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63 of 64 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful, heart-warming SF novel
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...
Published on 3 Oct 2001 by W. Robinson

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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Cosmos was better
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...
Published on 2 Mar 2008 by Hotblack Desiato


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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An intelligent and enlightened discussion but a flawed novel, 11 Jan 2004
This review is from: Contact (Paperback)
Firstly, this book is a delight to read, simply for the sheer profusion and humanity of the issues it addresses and the sensitivity with which it does it, as it charts the reactions of various people from a variety of philosophical and religious backgrounds to the remarkable events it portrays. This is a book with little action; but the action isn't the point - the sheer profusion of ideas is.
The main character is expertly drawn, and for the most part, excellently handled, as both scientist and dreamer - someone who has never lost her childlike wonder at the universe. It's a fitting protagonist for this kind of novel.
However, there were quite a few moments when it seemed to me as though the interaction between ideas and philosophies pushed the interaction between characters firmly into second place. I never, for instance, did get any sense of chemistry between Ellie and Der Heer, in spite of their relationship, & found many of the other characters had little behind them when you weren't considering their ideas and philosophies. The characters, for me, just weren't enthralling. Their ideas were, and I'd read it again just for those ideas.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Favourite, 5 Nov 2011
This review is from: Contact (Paperback)
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'.

To the first I say 'do what I did - go away and learn'. There are books available now that will make you think, and are written in a way that the theories and discoveries made since 'Contact' become understandable. As well as Hawking, read John Gribben, Michio Kaku, Paul Davies and others.

'Too boring' ? See above, then read 'Contact' again. If you are unable to do that, stick to Zombie Fiction (I read it too !) or Celebrity Biographies (no, I don't).

Strangely, the only people I know who claim that 'Contact' (the movie - they don't read many books) is 'unrealistic' are the same people who belief that the universe was created 6,000 years ago by a Great Magician. To those people I say that the last few minutes of the movie is directed at you : People who believe in demons, angels, gods, miracles, and Heaven and Hell without a shred of evidence, while condemning science for looking for it - then trying to suppress, 'demonise' (the 'Science is Satanic' bunch), or hide that evidence when it IS found.

This book should make you think. I believe that this universe is only one of an infinite number, that space MUST be infinite in all directions, and so is 'time'. Why ? Because it makes sense.
If you can understand that, then 'Contact' should make sense too. But when thinking about infinity, sit down. Because you'll get dizzy !
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4.0 out of 5 stars Carl Sagan's Contact, 25 Feb 2014
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This review is from: Contact (Paperback)
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. There is, however, so much more in the book. It is an exciting prospect to think that all of this could be true and that there must be many more advanced civilisations in the universe that haven't made contact with us yet. Or have they in ages gone by?
It shows the dilemma we would face on earth if this happened and debates religion vs science quite nicely. It is also good to see how it unifies the people of earth in the face of the unknown- ie friend or foe?
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great in places, not so much in others, 13 Dec 2013
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This review is from: Contact (Paperback)
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. Though the writing's a little too detailed and technical in places, it's still very much readable. I was surprised at just how much religion was covered in the story - which I found to be unnecessary, off-putting at times. Especially considering that Sagan wasn't remotely religious himself. As some other commenters have pointed out, it's quite different from the film, if you have happened across it, you'll notice a lot of differences between the novel and the 1990s movie.
I wasn't sure whether to rate it a three or a four star. I settled on four stars, which if you can get passed the unecessary bits about religion and the sometimes confusing technical jargon, it's well worth the read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, well worth reading, 31 Dec 2012
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S. Dyer (Cambridge, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Contact (Paperback)
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!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Perfect, 23 Sep 2012
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This review is from: Contact (Paperback)
Everything was perfect. Fast shipiment and so on. Buying from Brazil and shiping to London. Perfect. Nothing to complain. Very happy with this purchase.
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4.0 out of 5 stars fascinating, 9 Sep 2011
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This review is from: Contact (Paperback)
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. It would be tempting but would we risk?
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3.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed the film more, 8 Feb 2011
This review is from: Contact (Paperback)
Please try not to see the film before you read the book. Whilst I found the book a good steady read with some great ideas, I felt that Sagan's screenplay for the film flowed far better and gave greater depth to some of the main characters. A good example being Arroway's father who didn't really feature heavily in the book but was her driving force in the film. Also Hadden played a central part in the film and brought together a few loose ends left in the book. I'd recommend the book but I'd highly recommend the film.
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5.0 out of 5 stars intelligent and brilliant, 17 Oct 2010
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This review is from: Contact (Paperback)
This book is much better than the film, so please read it if you liked the film anyway. If you didn't like the film it's even a better reason to read it. If you never heard about it, I'd suggest to read the book first anyway... Carl did great work, representing a new and more elegant way of imagining extraterrestrial intelligent life.
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4.0 out of 5 stars An alien story where the aliens are not green monsters out to devour or destroy humans., 21 Nov 2014
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Mr. E. Bray (North-west United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Contact (Paperback)
Oddly enough, the book is not as good as the film, as Mr Sagan goes off at a tangent, into a lengthy ramble over religions, and loses his way for a while.
Apart from that, the story is a good one, with a lot of thought buried in it, about what might happen if - - - - .
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Contact by Carl Sagan (Paperback - 16 Oct 1997)
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