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Contact

Contact

Written by Carl Sagan

Narrated by Laurel Lefkow


Contact

Written by Carl Sagan

Narrated by Laurel Lefkow

ratings:
4.5/5 (397 ratings)
Length:
14 hours
Released:
Feb 21, 2012
ISBN:
9781442353817
Format:
Audiobook

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Also available as ebookEbook

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Description

The future is here...in an adventure of cosmic dimension.

In December, 1999, a multinational team journeys out to the stars, to the most awesome encounter in human history. Who -- or what -- is out there? In Cosmos, Carl Sagan explained the universe. In Contact, he predicts its future -- and our own.
Released:
Feb 21, 2012
ISBN:
9781442353817
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

Also available as ebookEbook

About the author

Carl Sagan was Professor of Astronomy and Space Sciences and Director of the Laboratory for Planetary Studies at Cornell University. He played a leading role in the Mariner, Viking, and Voyager spacecraft expeditions, for which he received the NASA medals for Exceptional Scientific Achievement. Dr. Sagan received the Pulitzer Prize and the highest awards of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Science Foundation for his contributions to science, literature, education, and the preservation of the environment. His book Cosmos was the bestselling science book ever published in the English language, and his bestselling novel, Contact, was turned into a major motion picture.


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Reviews

What people think about Contact

4.5
397 ratings / 70 Reviews
What did you think?
Rating: 0 out of 5 stars

Reader reviews

  • (4/5)
    a fantastic journey.
  • (5/5)
    I'd forgotten about this book ... I loved it.
  • (3/5)
    To sum up, an interesting story, but filled with digressions, under-developed characters and under-pursued minor plot-lines.

    -----------------------------------

    Contact is an interesting piece of work, as it represents Sagan's attempt at science fiction. I think he largely failed. The main problem with Sagan's approach to Contact is that he treated it more as a vent for his ideas and opinions than a conventional sci-fi story.

    I cannot count how many times I lost track of who one of the characters is or what a character's relation is to the current events. I also found myself losing track of the events themselves due to Sagan's habit of digressing a bit too far off topic, usually following a brief mention of a historic event or similar. This is not a bad thing in general, but in Contact, digressions of this type happen far too often.

    Character development is poor. Pretty much all of the characters, save for Ellie, are introduced through the unimaginative use of a boring body of text detailing the character's history. A clear example of this is Reverend Joss' history. In addition, various bits of different characters' ideas, opinions, or additional history are mashed in between lines in a very unwieldy fashion.

    There are positives, of course. The overarching plot, when it is being pursued, is intriguing. In my case, it was the only thing that kept me going until the end. The minor threads in the plot are, in most cases, unnecessary, and are often scrapped without any noticeable reason. For instance, what happened to Ellie and der Heer towards the end of the story?

    SPOILERSPOILERSPOILERS

    Speaking of the end, the final twist was, I felt, insignificant, as that aspect of Ellie's life was not pursued nearly enough.
  • (4/5)
    A great book. So pleased I read this even after watching the movie years ago.

    Actually Carl Sagan was my idol, just about, when growing up and love his references to poetry and the subtle spirituality in the story.

    A true classic.
  • (5/5)
    Fantastic as always. Carl was a genius. Terrific version
  • (5/5)
    Probably one of the best works of writing I've had the please to read. Very amazing work and got me interested in science. The narration is amazing aswell!
  • (5/5)
    This is so good! It takes the JF movie to another level. Carl Sagan was an outstanding writer. If you enjoyed the movie you will be captivated by the book. Well done!
  • (4/5)
    Special kudos to the narrator. What a poignant and stimulating tale
  • (3/5)
    The movie, as far as I recall, has the same plot. But the tone of the movie fits its plot better, I think, so it works better. Sagan has to stretch his writing to reach his themes, and he's trying too hard; it never really works. I had hoped that the book would be more intelligent than the movie, but not really.
  • (5/5)
    One of my favorites, watched the movie and read it a couple of times already
  • (4/5)
    If you like classic sci-fi, like Clarke and Asimov you most probably like this novel.
  • (5/5)
    An absolutely beautiful novel by the renowned scientist. The story and main character are captivating, the detailed science is thoughtfully sprinkled throughout the story to make you learn a thing or two. It covers themes of faith, science and politics that I didn't expect to come together so well. At the ending I was beyond pleased and wished I could read a sequel of the world he built.
  • (1/5)
    Missing pieces of text, poor reading, low quality audiobook...
  • (5/5)
    This book is unbelievable and timeless. Naturally, the movie doesn't even come close.
  • (5/5)
    Rich in tapestry. An authentic portrayal of science and human nature.
  • (5/5)
    F*cking incredible! This is the best book I have read yet.
  • (5/5)
    The story asks the question what would happen if we were ever contacted by radio by an alien civilization. Sagan was assumed to be atheist/ agnositic. Yet the book treats religion in a fair manner. The story asks the compelling questions that folks outside of Christianity that think feel are fair. It looks at the question is personal experience without supporting real world evidence enough to cause someone to believe in something?

    So what would a scientist say to astronaut who came back from a journey into space claiming he met aliens yet had no artifacts to support his claim? I think the same things that they say to Christians who claim God became a man and died for peoples wrong doings. These are the main questions that Sagan explores in this story,

    I would recommend to this story to everyone who wants to explore the questions of faith and belief while reading a good science fiction novel.
  • (4/5)
    Loved this book... except for the last 30 or so pages. I'm sorry, Carl, but you lost me there.
  • (5/5)
    This is probably one of my favorite books of all time. Which is kind of silly, as Sagan was crazy in the head.

    Admittedly, I saw the movie version of this first before reading the book. I thought the movie was wonderful, so I wasn't surprised to find that the book was even moreso.

    Eleanor Arroway is still my favorite heroine. I think her flaws are the flaws that a lot of driven people run into.
  • (3/5)
    I've read several of Sagan's non-fiction books prior to this novel, and I strangely found him to be much less engaging here. The first half of Contact reads more like non-fiction than a story, but it's lacking the voice that made his non-fiction so good. The second half of the book, though, once the Machine gets built, suddenly has a lot more heart to it than I was expecting. Now that I'm done with it, I'm finding myself appreciating the whole thing a lot more than I thought I was going to in the beginning.The main character, Ellie Arroway, is basically a voice for Sagan. She has his same sense of wonder balanced by a skeptic's strict requirement for evidence. I liked the vision that Sagan had of a world whose international conflicts died down once we learned we weren't alone in the universe.
  • (3/5)
    Carl Sagan was a science writer first and it shows. Many of the characters are undeveloped and his prose at times reads like a text book. The plot is pretty thin as well.
  • (4/5)
    Much better than the movie.
  • (4/5)
    I really enjoyed this book.

    It was first published in 1985 and set in 1999, so it's a little dated... I especially enjoyed in this future the Soviet Union never fell.

    This book is rife with great atheist and feminist quotes. The main character is a strong, self-assured woman in a field dominated by men. She's a great character. This book is way deeper and way more interesting than the Jodi Foster movie.

    I'd recommend it to anyone interested in spirituality and/or philosophy.
  • (5/5)
    I first saw the Robert Zemeckis film starring Jodie Foster years ago though it wasn't until my fifth or tenth re-watching that I realized how special it was to me. Visually the cinematography is quite striking, but more importantly there's this sense of divine wonder, this agnostic spiritualism, that permeates even though the film is implicitly not religious. Nowadays I cite Contact as one of my all-time favorite movies. And now that I've read Contact, the novel, I can say it's one of my all-time favorites too.Carl Sagan is a Pulitzer-prize winning author from a scientific standpoint, and with Contact he's writing more as a scientist than a novelist. You can see where he opts for the technical explanation over sentence economy. This strains the prose a bit, but Sagan isn't trying to win you over with dramatic flair. He wants to persuade you of his ideas, of his vision for the future.If you're a fan of Sagan's miniseries Cosmos, then you're aware of the breathtaking awe he brings to the study of cosmology. And it's not just about what's out there in space, but that we're a part of it too. He advocates for a positive view of mankind where our desire to build a better world is a future reality and not merely a glimmer of hope.
  • (4/5)
    I'm giving this one, in all honesty, something like a 3.7. It's well enough written it shouldn't be a three and yet not compelling enough to deserve a four. And yet I truly enjoyed it. It's been a long time since I spent so much time reading a hard core Sci-Fi novel, and Stephanie and I read them by parts one a week.

    I love getting to delve back into Sagan's mind. I've read his texts, but never his non-fiction, and there's a lovely thrill to reading about scientific details you know are completely true based on the background of the author.

    Definitely not time wasted.
  • (5/5)
    "She had studied the universe all her life, but had overlooked its clearest message: For small creatures such as we the vastness is bearable only through love." A great last sentence - the most compelling work of fiction I've read in a long time.
  • (3/5)
    When I saw the film I felt there was a lot left out. The film's narrative seemed disjointed and rushed. The book while it does fill in some of those glossed in details has its own pacing problems. After spending pages and pages explaining why something can't be done, this road block is suddenly gone. Then there's the ultimate "trip" to Vega is just as disappointing in the book (though certainly more coherent than the cinematic version).
  • (4/5)
    Contact is less a science-fiction novel then a discourse on controversial science topics in popular culture. Science and young people, science and women, science and religion, science and skepticism, science and politics, science and funding grants. Replace the aliens with .. global warming .. and it's the same story. In that sense it's a good novel for looking at these topics as reoccurring themes. The story itself ends in a way that isn't too corny leaving open the mystery and endless nature of space. Curiously in the 1970s and early 80s, when the book was being written, SETI was a new thing but now that 35 years have passed, with no signal, it seems increasingly remote, maybe, and the book has lost some its exciting potential, an artifact of another age.
  • (5/5)
    I'm not sure what to say about this novel beyond the fact that I really just loved every second of it. Carl Sagan has a gift for expressing the beauty and wonder of science using the humanities as a point of contact, and the result is almost always amazing. One of those books that you finish and then mope around feeling sorry for yourself because it's over.
  • (4/5)
    Fun excursion into first contact with an alien species. Sagan makes us think about many issues in this semi-prophetic rendering.