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Publisher's Summary

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. All rights reserved (P)1997 Simon & Schuster Inc. All rights reserved. AUDIOWORKS is an imprint of Simon & Schuster Audio Division, Simon & Schuster Inc.

Critic Reviews

"Engrossing first novel....an exciting intellectual adventure and science fiction of a high order." (Publishers Weekly)
"Ingenious and satisfying." (Newsweek)
"The greatest adventure of all time." (Associated Press)

What listeners say about Contact

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Contact is wonderful

Contact is a great read and a great listen. In typical Sagan fashion, the book not only entertains, it challenges and educates. Jodie Foster does an excellent job reading the book so much so that is it easy to get lost listening to it. My only complaint? I wish there was an unabridged version available.

13 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Well narrated but feel like I have missed alot

I thought this narration was very well done. Jody Foster, I thought, brought out just the right amount of wonder to make this believable.

However, the book being abridged I feel like I have missed out on a lot. I thought the book went too fast. I have listened to just the beginning and read an excerpt of the beginning on a book site and I noticed that so many little things were cut out.

In this day and age with digital downloads of books that can last over 24 hours I wonder why there still are abridged audio books. I feel a little robbed when I see that one book can be 3 hours abridged and 15 hours unabridged. What wonderful things have I been missing from the book? I would want to listen to a unabridged version of this book.

17 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

So glad I got this

Abridged versions are offensive, but I am so glad I decided to give this one a go because of the reviews. This is more believable than the movie and made me eager to read the full print version. How sad it is that we have lost Sagan. Jodie Foster is as good reading this as she was in the movie. All in all an excellent experience. Do yourself a favour and get Contact - you'll be glad you did too. If you haven't already, checkout the Wikipedia entry for Contact for some of the issues Sagan raises - also a good read.

11 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

As expected... far better than the movie

I fully expected this book to be excellent with Jodi Foster reading, and I was not disappointed. Her oration was excellent and matched the quality of Sagan's imagination.

The story is fantastically creative, technical, and detailed, yet remains within the realm of possibilities.

5 people found this helpful

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A great story, a great Jodi Foster

About 10 years ago I bought Carl Sagan's novel as a German translation (I'm Swiss). The German edition was somewhat boring - the translator probably didn't like the story at all. But when I saw that Jodi Foster reads this book I gave it another try - and now I'm convinced that it's one of the best science fiction novels ever written and read fantastically by Jodi Foster. Too bad that it's just an abriged version. But nevertheless: Not to miss!

3 people found this helpful

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Abridged! Aaaarghh!!

I didn't know it was abridged!! Blast!! Anyway, great reading by Jodie Foster. I'll read the WHOLE book now....

2 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

An inspiring story for all scientists and thinkers

If you could sum up Contact in three words, what would they be?

Well thought out, scientifically accurate, captivating

What was one of the most memorable moments of Contact?

When they see the decahedron gates in all sizes, when Ellie learns that the tunnels were created by an unknown ancient intelligence, and most of all, when she learns that humans are worthy of a place in this universe.

What about Jodie Foster’s performance did you like?

The accents!

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I changed my undergraduate major to astrophysics!!

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jo
  • 04-17-11

Wonderful!!

Contact has long been one of my favorite movies - now I have the book as a favorite too!!
It is a bit different from the movie, more character insight, the only complaint I have is that it is too short - I wish it was not an abridged version.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Look up, look within

As with any book by Carl Sagan, Cosmos is a masterpiece. Ms. Foster’s performance was great as well.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Ellie and the beeps

Carl Sagan’s Contact is a book about a scientist named Ellie Arowway who has been interested in radio astronomy ever since she was a child. One day as she was listening to radio silence she heard a sequence of beeps. After finding out they were prime numbers she and her team decoded the message to reveal instructions to some kind of machine. After Ellie goes into the machine she sees a lot of beautiful stuff and learns all of the secrets of the universe. The best thing about Contact that makes it so good is how much Carl Sagan commits to this world he created. He goes into depth with the math that Ellie and others use, almost if it was based on a true story. He also describes areas better than almost any other book i’ve read before. Contact is a great book that I would highly recommend if you like science fiction and are okay with a longer book.

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  • B. Gowans
  • 10-10-19

Abridged

This version, while well narrated, quite significantly abridged. Unclear when purchased on the store page.

13 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Owen
  • 12-15-09

Awesome story from an inspirational scientist

Carl Sagan spent his life trying to engage ordinary people with science. "Contact" conveys the passion, imagination and dedication of scientists with the overwhelming sense of awe that comes with new discovery. Highly recommended.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Carl Forsyth
  • 06-09-20

If only the film was as good as the book

I’ve watched the film of Contact many times, but the book is so much better.

The ending to this book is much better than the film!

2 people found this helpful

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  • Gerard
  • 01-03-18

Brilliant mind dreams

Anything that Ms Foster does is okay in my book her Virginia twang I just love also if you see the movie she is beautiful

2 people found this helpful

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  • ndg
  • 01-11-21

Everyone should use a credit to listen

A really accessible way to understand a bit more about our universe wound in to a great story. Having read this book years ago and then seen the film, It’s fascinating how we haven’t got very much further in finding life in the cosmos in-spite of the technological advances made over recent years and the book makes you think about what could be out there waiting for us if we knew how or where to look and don’t destroy our planet in the mean time. A great listen with excellent narration by Jodi Foster.

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  • MB99
  • 10-29-20

Even better than the film

Great story, well read and the differences with the film add to this story. I’m biased, l love the film but now the book is an even better story.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-11-20

Enjoyable

This is a great story both independently and as a companion to the movie also starring Jodie Foster. Although filled with scientific terms it never seem patronising. a great story with a beautiful message and thought provoking ideas. I wish it were longer.

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  • Joakim Nilsson
  • 06-29-20

Easiliy the best book I ever read

Easiliy the best book I ever read, but it should have been marked as a shortened version. I have now started reading the original full-length version.

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  • M. WILLIAMS
  • 12-02-19

Brilliantly delivered but somehow dated

I'm pretty sure this is Carl Sagans' only novel and as such is worth it almost as a piece of history alone. It also helps make some sense of rather confused film. There are some points where the science has just moved on as have some of the points on social attitude giving it a dated feel. Hence I've marked the story down, Jodie Foster is perfect - even if she is sort of playing herself.

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  • JOHN DUNNE
  • 10-29-19

Great story, enjoyable from start to finish.

Loved every minute of this. Exciting story. Really well read and produced. Just brilliant.

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  • Liam McMillan
  • 02-09-21

This title is abridged

Nowhere did I see it advertised that this book is heavily abridged. Jodie Foster's performance is wonderful and the story retains an entertaining readability however it progresses quickly. The reader is left with the feeling of a good story not well fleshed out. I believe the publishers ought to offer an unabridged version of this title to better meet the demand of modern audiobook consumers, who regularly listen to unabridged works exceeding 20 hours in length. In addition to this, the ongoing sale of this abridged copy need more clearly and accurately be advertised as such.

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  • Scott Goldsmith
  • 09-20-17

A Classic in Science Fiction / Fact

Any additional comments?

Loved this movie, and now love this book... Carl Sagan was a genius and his superb mind comes through in this novel.