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Recommendation: Contact, by Carl Sagan

April 15, 2014

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It is December 1999, the dawn of the millennium. 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. 

Alright, so, I read this several weeks ago now and, since it was lent to me by a friend, no long have access to the text. At this point, the book is no longer fresh in my mind and I really don’t feel like  can give a detailed review at this point. Thus, this will be more a simple recommendation than an actual review.

With that said...Contact is a wonderful book in a variety of ways, and one that you should probably try to read at some point in your life. The book gives us a strong yet relatable protagonist in Dr Ellie Arroway, a SETI astronomer abruptly catapulted into the spotlight after detecting an alien signal. Sagan does an excellent job at constructing a believable first contact scenario, and an even better job at depicting the world’s (not always constructive) response. I found the beginning rather slow, sure,but once the “Message” turned up I quickly found myself hooked and then remained hooked right to the end.

The book is, admittedly, rather dense. There were a lot of side characters, and there were times when I began to lose track. This did not significantly detract from the book, in my eyes, but it was still an annoyance at points.

So, with all that said, I will conclude this review with two points:

-This is a very good book. I wholeheartedly recommend it, especially if you like hard SF

– I should really start posting these reviews in a more timely manner

Until next time, all!

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6 Comments
  1. How does it compare to the movie? Or vice versa.

    I actually watched it again last week, and it still holds up very well. Easily one of my favorite movies of all time!

    • Wouldn’t know: haven’t seen the movie, unfortunately. Though, I’ve noticed on Goodreads that a lot of people seem to prefer the book.

      I’ll try to watch the movie when I get the chance; I’d be interested to see how different the two versions are.

  2. I enjoyed the film but haven’t read the book. Should probably remedy that.

    • Other way around, for me. I gather they’re fairly different, so I’d be interested to see the film at some point.

  3. Huh. I didn’t know there was a book…I’ve only seen the movie.

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