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?
Making science popular for at least two generations of people, Carl Sagan's Contact goes a long way in doing just that: making science comprehensible in the form of this novel. Dr. Eleanor Arroway is an accessible, likable character and Laurel Lefkow performs her beautifully. Theists, atheists, and agnostics, and even the scientifically illiterate can all equally enjoy this book.
If you've ever been even slightly interested in SETI-the Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence, or in astronomy, please read or listen to Contact, but don't expect it to be like the movie.
Yes because this book is read by the perfect actor.
Elle Airaway because of the characteristics I share with her.
My favorite seen is when the Machine takes them through several worm holes to arive at their destination and they five characters meet the aliens before being told to go back.
Charles Wm Anderson
Absolutely mesmerizing story about the wasted energy expended in choosing between science and God.
Without either there can be neither.
What sticks out most is the dawning realization by the heroine of the real science.
She is almost conversational in tone. Not quite as conversational as Jodie Foster, who read the abridged version, but sufficiently to permit my mind to concentrate on story instead of performance.
Yes, absolutely even though I have seen the movie twice before.
Buy the book also and read along with Laura for double the pleasure.
I note that some reviewers did not like the narrator, (for a lack of accents?) Astonishing. This was perfectly read. A gentle caress to the ear. Letting the story do the work, beautiful timbre, and every word delivered with clarity. A masterful definition of the art of narration. Laurel Lefkow, thank you, wonderful work.
The novel, well, it does wander a bit. It addresses questions of science, some of the theories of which were at the point of writing, the shores of the unknown. Putting those questions of existence up against love and faith, an interesting and confusing basket.
I really liked it, but I admit, 60% of that was because of the beauty of Lefkow's voice. She could read the telephone directory for me.
Yes, I would, if she had not read the story already.
The movie does a good job of covering the book. I eventually stopped as I didn't find that there was any particularly new insight, as I had hoped.
In the movie, the ending is fantastic.
I love the theme, that as human beings we have experiences that can't be explained by science; sometimes faith is all we have.
She does fine. Her voice fits pretty well with Ellie.
The movie, yes. I enjoy the ending dramatically.
The book, I didn't finish, as I mention above.
Audio books are a great resource for office jobs in the computer graphics field and possibly long car rides. Unfortunately not every audio book can be read by Morgan Freedman. Although Laurel Lefkow's performance is better than most, I feel she tends to overdramatize her sentences. What's worse is her decision to characterize each role in the novel. This may work for children's books but falls short for a science fiction masterpiece.