Incredibly thought-provoking story. Intelligently written without a hint of pretension. Many parts of the story serve as a backdrop for rational discussion regarding the beliefs and faith of scientists and religious practitioners.
Conversations between Dr. Eroway and Palmer Joss.
Well-paced. Bad accents. Perfect for Dr. Eroway's voice
A couple laugh-out-loud and "aha!" moments.
Avid audible listener for over 10 years.
The primary plot of this book is first contact with aliens via radio telescopes. This part of the book is interesting. However, the author, Carl Sagan, keeps diverting into subjects that have nothing to do with the major plot line. So it's part fiction and part non fiction. Although the subjects are interesting, such as Chinese Emperors of the Ming Dynasty, they have nothing to do with the plot. I just think the author (who had the famous TV show Cosmos) just liked to show off his knowledge.
Although this is science fiction, the book is set in the present. The lead character is in college during the Viet Nam War, which would put the present at 2000. The part with contacting aliens is conceivable, but the author all of a sudden has older people living on space stations. Basically retirement homes in space. This just comes out of the blue and throws the whole book off.
Typically I listen to books and fall asleep while listening. I then rewind them to the last part I remember. I did not bother with this book since it was rather tedious.
If you want to read science fiction, there are much better books. Or with Contact you can watch the movie on Netflix.
It's like the movie only was inspired by this book. There are things that will feel familiar but ,by and large, this book outreaches any of the thoughts that were placed into the movie. Carl Sagan goes at great lengths to really explain how things might happen along with the sheer effort and time that it would really take to do all of this. What you are left with is a book that is far more believable and rooted in reality.
I originally read this book in high school with two of my friends in the late 80's. We really liked it then. Years later the movie came out and I thought the movie didn't quite do the book justice, it was well done but it seemed to me, at the time, that it fell short. Now after reading/ listening to the book years later, I think the movie actually captured the intent of the story better than the book did. The book, of course, has way more detail and delivers parts of the story in a way that a movie just can't do effectively. Since the book was written by Carl Sagan the non science fiction parts of the book are very accurate based on scientific understanding at the time it was written. Where I think Sagan fumbled but not quite dropped the ball was with the political actions and reactions. And I believe that the political area is where the movie does a better job than the book did. That said, I think that the book does a much better job with Ellie's personal growth which is unfortunately mostly crammed into the last portion of the book with very little, if any, coming before the halfway point. The story might not quite be 5 star material but it is better than 4 stars so I gave it the benefit of the doubt.
The narration was very well done but was lacking in enough areas like clarity of who's speaking when several characters are together. And perhaps there could have been a little more emotion conveyed. Don't get me wrong, she did a very good job it just wasn't 5 stars to me.