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Publisher's Summary

The future is 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.
©1997 Carl Sagan (P)1997 Simon & Schuster
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Critic Reviews

" Contact deals with issues...worth pondering.The range and depth of ideas is quite uncommon." ( New York Times Book Review)
"Like a good mystery, Contact keeps us curious to the end...ingenious and satisfying." ( Newsweek)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By A. Ferguson on 01-25-13

Great book, significant differences from the movie

Any additional comments?

My favorite book, written by one of my favorite people (Carl Sagan).

I am writing this review to mainly focus on the major differences between the movie and the book.The book follows the same basic plot as the movie, but with a few exceptions (SPOILER ALERT):

- Ellie's mother is not dead, as in the movie. While Ellie's father passes away, her mother is around throughout her childhood and her adult life.

- Ellie and her stepfather (also not present in the movie) have a strained and reoccurring relationship throughout the book.

- Ellie's childhood, teenage years, and early graduate and internship years are described in a more detail.

- The President of USA has a more prominent, reoccurring role, and is female.

- Ellie has many romantic relationships (i.e., sexual relationships with a lab assistant early in her career, and then with Kent the Russian Scientist later in her career; and sexual tension with Drummond and then to an even greater degree with Vagay), albeit not with Palmer Joss who is the one individual she does have a romantic relationship with in the movie.

- Three machines, not two, are constructed (i.e., in the USA, Japan, and Russia). This was interesting because by the time the story concludes only two machines have been used (or should I say, one has been destroyed and one has been used and possibly is not able to be used again), with the machine in Russia still unused.

- Ellie is not the only individual who makes the trips; several delegates make the trip with her and have their own unique experiences.

- The conversation Ellie has with the alien is much, much more detailed and extensive, and for me was a real highlight of the story.

- Following her voyage in the machine, Ellie learns something interesting about the number for "pi" (i.e., 3.14...) that provides an interesting twist at the conclusion of the story.

In summary, excellent book, and not only because of the writing but due to the narrator's great performance as well. Lefkow did an outstanding job as a true Voice Actor. Most of the supporting characters are male and the narrator (female) did a superb job rising to the challenge of voice acting each male character without sounding odd or goofy.

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26 of 28 people found this review helpful

By Matt on 11-28-12

Technical problems with this recording - skips...

This recording has technical issues with it that I noticed after awhile. The recording skips at several instances, for example go to Chapter 11 and at 4:22 the recording skips some of the story. I have verified that it is indeed skipping by looking at the ebook on Google:

Hopefully this will be fixed and re-digitized soon.

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37 of 41 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

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By W on 05-29-15


Would you listen to Contact again? Why?

I would definitely listen to Contact again and not just because it was a brilliant story or because I know I'm going to get more from revisiting it. I spent much of the first listen comparing it to the film but now I've done that, the book will be foremost in my mind and I'll be able to relax with the story.

What other book might you compare Contact to, and why?

I can't think of a direct comparison, but there are elements of The Wizard of Oz and Narnia in there - in a really small way!

Which scene did you most enjoy?

My favourite scene was the debate between Ellie and the 2 pastors on the nature of her belief in science versus theirs in religion. If I can pick another, the way Ellie's position is flipped about at the end is fab and I enjoyed the reversal. As far as I can tell, belief, faith and respect for each other's views is the heart of the book. I don't know much about Carl Sagan, but I get the sense he didn't believe in absolute certainties and he handles both viewpoints fairly and with an open mind in the book. He leaves you thinking.

Any additional comments?

If you like lots of technical detail and science alongside your philosophical debate, then you'll really enjoy this story. Personally, I tend to focus on the latter, but I didn't find the science overwhelming or overly uninteresting and zoning out on the odd detail didn't detract from what was an excellent book.
First class narration too.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

By A. Beaumont-Baker on 02-18-15

Fantastic delivery

The narrator's impeccable reading style brought this great book to life. She breathed and became the characters, creating the illusion of reality, involving the listener in Ellie's experiences.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Anonymous User on 09-15-17

You've seen the movie. The book has a message

I wasn't sure if this book would add anything to what I've already seen in the movie. I was glad to be proven wrong. There is a lot to learn and discover. Do yourself a favour and look inside and find your message.

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By Paul on 06-25-17

Excellent book. One of the best fiction audiobooks

Great listen, highly recommend. Much better than the movie. Carl Sagan at his finest 10/10

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