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Contact [Paperback]

Carl Sagan
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
RRP: 9.99
Price: 6.99 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

16 Oct 1997

At first it seemed impossible - a radio signal that came not from Earth but from far beyond the nearest stars. But then the signal was translated, and what had been impossible became terrifying.

For the signal contains the information to build a Machine that can travel to the stars. A Machine that can take a human to meet those that sent the message.

They are eager to meet us: they have been watching and waiting for a long time.

And now they will judge.


Frequently Bought Together

Contact + Cosmos: The Story of Cosmic Evolution, Science and Civilisation + The Dragons of Eden: Speculations on the Evolution of Human Intelligence
Price For All Three: 23.61

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Product details

  • Paperback: 432 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit; New Ed edition (16 Oct 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1857235800
  • ISBN-13: 978-1857235807
  • Product Dimensions: 10.9 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 12,534 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Amazon Review

It is December 1999, the dawn of the millennium, and a team of international scientists is poised for the most fantastic adventure in human history. After years of scanning the galaxy for signs of somebody or something else, this team believes they've found a message from an intelligent source--and they travel deep into space to meet it. Pulitzer Prize winner Carl Sagan injects Contact, his prophetic adventure story, with scientific details that make it utterly believable. It is a Cold War era novel that parlays the nuclear paranoia of the time into exquisitely wrought tension among the various countries involved. Sagan meditates on science, religion and government--the elements that define society--and looks to their impact on and role in the future. His ability to pack an exciting read with such rich content is an unusual talent that makes Contact a modern sci-fi classic. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Review

Dazzling...Contact becomes the greatest adventure of all time. (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Imaginative flair...The Sagan wit on full display...Contact jabs at commericalism, nationalism, sexism ... THE WALL STREET JOURNAL

Contact [deals] with issues... worth pondering... The range and depth of ideas is quite uncommon (The New York Times Book Review)

A masterly piece of work blending adroit characterisation and flights of scientific fancy that spring from today's fact (Belfast Telegraph)

A feast of marvels (San Francisco Chronicle)

Who could be better qualified than the author of the highly successful Cosmos to turn the possibility of extra-terrestrial intelligence, and humankind's first contact with it, into imaginative reality? This is precisely what Sagan does in this eagerly awaited and, as it turns out, engrossing first novel... Sagan's informed and dramatically enacted speculations into the mysteries of the universe... make Contact an exciting adventure (Publishers Weekly)

Like a good mystery, Contact keeps us curious to the end... Ingenious and satisfying (Newsweek)

A splendid story whose appeal is universal (Yorkshire Post)

Sagan's continuing compelling plea that we do not destroy the ineffable loveliness of life on this planet is present in every scene and phrase of Contact... It is pleasurable and reassuring to read a popular author in whom the observable and scientifically imagined universe inspires excitement, humour, love, awe (Newsday)

If there is a God and He isn't hiding, He will have left an unambiguous message. What will the message look like? Sagan's answer is stunning and satisfying (Los Angeles Times)

Grand and vivid... a lot of fun (The Village Voice)

One of the best science fiction stories about contact with intelligent beings ever written. Sagan calls on his scientific knowledge to garnish realistically a devastatingly credible account of how contact could be made (Sydney Daily Telegraph)

An astonishingly exciting, precise and involved book (Sydney Sunday Telegraph)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
61 of 62 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful, heart-warming SF novel 3 Oct 2001
Format:Paperback
This book is proof enough that one of the world's greatest space scientists can also write great SF!
It is a super SF novel, but it's more than that. Throughout the book, Carl Sagan's love and hope for the human race shine through.
Eleanora Arroway, a woman who has known her fair share of bad times in her life, eventually becomes the head of a space center which listens for messages from intelligent extraterrestrials. Against all the odds, a message is discovered and deciphered. Instead of being a message telling us how to create the perfect society, or a religious revelation, it turns out to be a blueprint for a highly-advanced machine.
Do they dare build it? And if they do, what will the machine do? Religious fundamentalists battle with governments and scientists to destroy the project. For the machine, chillingly, is clearly designed to carry a team of people...
If the machine is built, who will ride in it, and where will it take them? You will have to read it to find out!
This book has been made into a movie, but, although it's good, I felt that it did not really do justice to the book. This is one of the finest SF novels I've read - great characters, a gripping plot, high adventure, and to cap it all, a wonderful ending (which is not the same as the movie). An uplifting book which I recommend to one and all. Simply fab!
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Cosmos was better 2 Mar 2008
Format:Paperback
I'm a huge fan of Carl Sagan, but found this particular foray into fiction the only book of his to be well, a bit boring.

Don't get me wrong, it was really good in places, but for a story it was a little over-technical (ironic from a writer who usually managed to make the most complex and technical things very easy to understand and poetic)

I saw the novel through to the end out of respect to the author (who from his other work I consider one of the greatest thinkers of our time), but have to say, read all of his other books first ('Cosmos' is the best intro to Sagan world in fact) as only a fan will have the loyalty to enjoy this one fully
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21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Having seen the movie first, and loved it, my expectations were high.
I was not in the least disappointed.
This is a conciousness altering book that provides food for the soul.
Inspiring, deeply moving and full of a wonder that makes you feel young again.
Immediately after finishing Contact I went outside and gazed up at the stars. And smiled.
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28 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars So human, so scientific 18 Dec 2001
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is simply brilliant,it flowlessly combines science, science fiction, and a deeply moving story. What would happen if an alien civilization much more advanced than us made contact with us? What would they think about us? How would we feel when we knew that we're no so special as we thought, that there are people more intelligent, more advanced and above all, more civilliced than us? Sagan brilliantly played with these questions along the story, wich tells us about the life of Ellie Arroway, the most deeply involved astronomer in the whole affair of finding a message from allien beings, decoding it, and finally make contact. Through Ellie's point of view, we witness the whole story: Team work of scientist around the globe, political affairs (deep criticism of virtually every political system is descreetly included in Ellie's conversations with her coleages), religious affairs, the achievement of the goal, the hipocrisy and cruelty of politicians, and private aspects of Ellie's life as the death of her father, her relation with her mother and stepfather, her love affairs; this may seem beside the point in this story, but, are scientific questions and doubts such as the existence of extra terrestrial intelligence more important than "simple" personal questions and doubts about our lives? Sagan also played brillantly with this question, and when I finished the book, I started to ponder a few things, as the scientific I am, and as the human being I am. As I said, a deeply moving and exciting story.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great ideas, boring book 19 May 2010
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Carl Sagan is one of those people whose legacy seems untouchable. From the Pale Blue Dot and his work with NASA to the groundbreaking and essential TV series Cosmos you'll never hear a bad word spoken about him. He's one of those people who just makes you damn proud to be human. I cracked through the box set of Cosmos in under a week and was eager for more. I was excited by the prospect of Sagan having a whole novel to stretch out his ideas and was curious about how the passion and intelligence he displayed on screen would translate to the page.

What a shame then that this book is such a crushing bore! Massive theme's, breathtaking consequences. A protagonist vindicated before the whole world and realising a life's dream; contact with beings from another world! Do we sense any of this? I'm sorry but I didn't. The enthusiasm evident in Sagan's TV programs is all but absent from his prose. The writing is so dry, academic and thuddingly dull. There's just no personality or style to it. I wasn't expecting loads of laughs or anything but this book is as close to being amusing as we are to a faint star in a distant galaxy. Characters still need to be human, not machines for the pursuit of science or puppets to espouse the authors theories on Religion and politics. Dr Arroway, our protagonist, is given an injection of excitement and personality when she reveals that she is pretty liberated sexually. Not that she is given a chance to persue her penchant for experimentation; it forms no part of the plot and her only love interest is a lukewarm affair which peters out weakly. Really, her liking sex has more to do with Sagan's ideas on Feminism than it does to her character.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
GREAT BOOK
Published 20 days ago by gibson
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Excellent book. Very interesting A*****
Published 22 days ago by Sue Fry
4.0 out of 5 stars Carl Sagan's Contact
A good read and although written decades ago, is still very much relevant today. The book was made into a film starring Jodie Foster and I watched this before reading the book. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Beverley Clark
4.0 out of 5 stars Great in places, not so much in others
As a keen fan of science I hold a large amount of respect and admiration for Carl Sagan.
As for the this story, first of all, the plot's great. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Very very different to the film.
World respected scientist Carl Sagan takes us on an adventure of cosmic proportions, the first contact between mankind and aliens. Read more
Published 17 months ago by privatepetexxx
4.0 out of 5 stars Contact By Carl Segan
I returned tis book, as it was not what I wanted.
But If it is anything like the film, It will be great
Published 18 months ago by Hugh Hailes
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, well worth reading
Well worth reading, well written. Somewhat different to the movie starring Jodie Foester, though personally I'd recommend both rather than one over the other!
Published 19 months ago by S. Dyer
5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect
Everything was perfect. Fast shipiment and so on. Buying from Brazil and shiping to London. Perfect. Nothing to complain. Very happy with this purchase.
Published 22 months ago by Facioli
5.0 out of 5 stars A Favourite
After all these years this is still one of my favourite books.
There are those who claim it's 'too technical', or 'too boring', or even 'unrealistic'. Read more
Published on 5 Nov 2011 by BDI
4.0 out of 5 stars fascinating
This book is fascinating and gave me a fresh look when looking at the stars above.
The only thing: I dont think we human would take the risk to build the machine. Read more
Published on 9 Sep 2011 by Eric le rouge
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