A slight departure from the movie, but more rewarding as a whole. The characters, Bowman in particular, have a lot more depth. Hal is also slightly more sympathetic. And, oddly enough, the final goal is Saturn, rather than Jupiter. Even with more detail and depth, the sense of mystery and wonder isn't compromised in the least, a true testament to the skill of Arthur Clarke.
I never decide to read this one. Is it nice? How does it relate to the film?
It is very similar to the film, but with much more exposition about what's going on. I expect I will get a lot more out of the film the next time I watch it, having now read the book. I don't see myself rereading it, though.
Well, considering the the book and the film were developed together, they must have a lot in come. I think I understand what you mean by not coming back to it. I guess, I'll I'll just go with The Sentinel (the short story everything is based on). Thanks for the Intel!