This book works in every way. The writing is done well. It's not to difficult to understand yet it's not immature. The plot is believable, and your captured from the start. The narrators voice is lovely and perfect for the story. Occasionally the volume decreases so you just turn it up. All in all, a job well done.
I'm blown away by the depths at which Sagan explores the theoretical scenario from both a global and personal perspective. By the end, I had cried tears of joy for the triumphs of mankind and tears of sorrow for personal defeats. One of the best books I've had the pleasure of enjoying.
The reading. There were 2 issues that I had specifically with Laurel Lefkow's reading: her cadence and accents.She tends to approach her dialogue sentences in a contrived and exaggerated manner, ending her sentences shortly and flippantly. Many, many times a chapter I found her tone to not fit the the situation, character and dialogue. Her cadence started out grating on me but quickly began to drive me up the wall. I tried as hard as I could to stick with it for the sake of Carl Sagan, but I had to stop listening about halfway through the book.She does not have the range to pull off the myriad of accents that she used, and her New York accent was especially horrifying. There seems to be several approaches to reading audiobooks, and it takes a certain person to be able to pull off doing "voices". Perhaps it would have been better if she hadn't tried so hard to give everyone a unique voice.
I know that Ellie should have topped by list, but the reader's portrayal of her was so irritating that she was absolutely my least favorite character.
Carl Sagen's writing, and his masterful reconciling of the tension between science and religious fanatics. The story and characters are believable and true to form. seeing the movie first, enabled me to visualize the Machine and, enhanced my enjoyment of the story
The book opened up a universe of thought, (bad pun), but really makes you think as Carl says, "Billions and billions of stars, what a waste if we're the only intellegent ones out there".
The least helpful reviewer on audible.
This was written in the 80's and it's pretty dated now (Sagan writes about the need for a global information network before the internet). However, this is still an awesome book.
I'm a huge fan of the movie (I watch it every year or two) and there are a lot of differences in the book. Some reviewers have already pointed these out. I'll just say that in some of the differences I favor the movie and in some I favor the book. The conversation between Ellie and the alien/father was a lot more satisfying in the book. Also, the concept of a hidden message in pi was really cool in the book (this was not in the movie).
If you like the movie you need to listen to the book. It's well written, mostly entertaining and the reader gives a good, solid performance.
The discovery of the signal from Vega
All voices and diction sounded the same - hard to tell characters apart.
Audiobook, read by Laurel Lefkow, 14 plus hours of listening. If you are interested in reading a book that reflects the well known movie starring Jodie Foster, this won’t work for you. The characters are there, i.e., Ellie Arroway, Parker Joss, David Drumlin, but the rolls are entirely different. Bill Clinton is not the president. In fact, the United States president is a woman. David Drumlin dies in an attack on one of the machines, but he saves Ellie’s life in the process. There are several machines, not only two. She does not have an affair with Parker Joss. The story is much more political in flavor and there is a considerable unloading of Sagan’s mind regarding these issues in addition to religion and faith. The actual science of the Vega communique is definitely the catalyst of the story, but it is heavily surrounded by the political and religious ramifications of the event. The version presented by hollywood does not have the depth of the written story, no surprise there … but, the book created by Carl Sagan is an entirely different message than that of the screenplay, which he did not write. Carl Sagan died before the movie was produced; it would have been better had he lived.
Lefkow does a great job in narration, nice listen.
Audiobook Addict... owner of 200+ and counting.
Roughly the last hour is a detriment to an otherwise fantastic and forward thinking book. Sagan's ability to tap into critiques of science academia's views on gender-roles pertaining to the lead character to large scope astrophysics in a cohesive manner is impressive. Sagan, obviously comfortable as an author, fiction or non-fiction, lost me at the end with a little too thick of pan-humanist religious idealism.It felt like pandering to the religious majority. While the book certainly takes Sagan's fantasy of what clearly is his ultimate dream, and explored, the ending lasted perhaps a few chapters too long, and found me wishing for it to stop as humanity magically holds all the cards (or fingers) to unlocking the secrets of the universe meant specific for us. Very much worth a listen, even if the regrettable ending.
No, Laurel Lefkow's performance is slightly annoying. I may read it again, though.
Ellie is awesome.
Worth a listen / read.
I like the "Contact" movie, and I originally read the book first. Reading the book add some different dimensions to the story. Its too bad Carl Sagan isn't around to update his story, I'm sure he'd have some interesting things to say. I liked the movie for its special effects, and Jodie Foster. The original story by Sagan has that interesting ending..suppose you to were able to graph out the numbers to PI.....do you suppose the numbers might form a circle?