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4.08  ·  Rating Details  ·  83,215 Ratings  ·  1,737 Reviews
Contact is a science fiction novel written by Carl Sagan and published in 1985. It deals with the theme of contact between humanity and a more technologically advanced, extraterrestrial life form. It ranked No. 7 on the 1985 U.S. bestseller list. The novel originated as a screenplay in 1979; when development of the film stalled, Sagan decided to convert the stalled film in ...more
Paperback, 434 pages
Published January 8th 1998 by Mazarine (first published 1985)
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Dec 26, 2014 Alejandro rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A smart story crafted by a real space science guru


The universe is a pretty big place. If it's just us, seems like an awful waste of space.

When I read this book, back then in 1997, I did it like a couple of months before of being able to watch the film adaptation. (And I am truly glad that I was able to get the movie in blu-ray, a few months ago in this year, 2014))

This is truly great novel and it's written by one of the most respected scientist in the field about science of
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L Greyfort
"Your god is too small."

The heroine makes this comment about 2/3 of the way through this novel. She is trying to get across the idea that, if your god cannot encompass the knowlege which humans have so laboriously amassed over the millenia (which is only about two teaspoons worth in comparison to the enormity of the universe!), then there is something wrong with the god you've made for yourself.

A lot of what is going on in Sagan's book, it seems to me, is the attempt to explore and express the
Mar 16, 2016 Apatt rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
As far as I know Contact is Carl Sagan's only novel. This makes him almost the Harper Lee of sci-fi (though he did write boatloads of sci-fact books). Not being much of a nonfiction reader this is my first encounter with Carl Sagan's writing, I already feel like it is a shame that he only wrote the one novel; though I am sure the world is more than compensated by his other output.

Contact piqued my interest immediately with a vivid portrayal of Ellie Arrowway, a two years old genius, figuring ou
J.G. Keely
Sagan was a lucid and impassioned defender of rationality and clear thought. Unfortunately, his foray into fiction did little to increase the understanding of his philosophies, and much to muddy the waters of once clear thought. Inspired by Asimov and Heinlein, he decided that fiction was as good a place as any to explore his ideas on science, belief, and wonder.

While we expect long, in-depth explanations from non-fiction, fiction readers want more than just a lecture from the author. They expec
Jul 13, 2013 Jill rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jill by: Samadrita
Contact is not only one of the most religious science fiction books I’ve ever read but also one of the most religious books I’ve ever read, period. In Carl Sagan’s only work of fiction, the story is a mere backbone, a structure upon which Sagan can explore what he truly wants to explore, that is, the deepest questions of our existence.

What is our purpose here?
Can humans live without institutionalized religion?
What are the dangers of extraterrestrial contact?
How did we come to exist?
Can science a
I finally finished reading CONTACT and am completely shocked!

First of all, the entire novel is very different from the movie (that I love) which is fine. It is still about the search for extraterrestrial intelligence, and a complex message is received from Vega with instructions to build a machine and take a ride, but the telling is much more scientific, technical, political and religious in nature.

While some of the characters are the same, their relationships, for the most part, are surprisingl

Joey Francisco
Feb 13, 2013 Joey Francisco rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Tonight, after two days of heavy rain, I looked up and smiled at the stars dotting the night sky.

I'm somewhat of a hard critic, but I had to give CONTACT five stars because it did something truly amazing~it helped me again embrace the wonder and awe I once felt for the universe as the geeky kid that adored science.

This book is thought-provoking, and absolutely beautiful to read. What can I say? It made my heart and soul sing.

As a child I was fascinated by the stars and universe, and even asked
Charlie George
I was surprised by how similar the original story was to the movie, as I had heard they butchered it. Not so. The only changes of any weight were in Ellie's relationships to the other major characters, and the removal of dated material relating to the Soviet Union.

Sagan's forte is definitely in non-fiction science popularization, and it is on display even in this work of fiction, where I'm sorry to say, it doesn't make for particularly good storytelling.

I was not surprised by the book's greatest
Peter Meredith
Dec 04, 2013 Peter Meredith rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love it when an author can get me to learn at the same time as entertaining me—Carl Sagan and Michael Crichton are the best at this(Though E. L. James is right up there with them. She taught me how to debase women and make them think that it's liberating in some way)
‘He’s so perverse, Robert’, said Manny at lunch today. We’d been talking about the ending of Contact, which I’d just finished, where there is a message in Pi which proves that there is a Maker. The Maker has put a series of ones and noughts in Pi which make a circle if you care to set them out thus. Manny is quite taken with this. So, I’m like ‘Get off the grass. How could that possibly prove the existence of a Maker?’

‘Yes, that’s just what Robert thinks’, said Manny. I couldn’t tell if he was s
Sta reci sem odlicna knjiga. Vrlo pametna ali ni u jednom momentu ne pokusava da nekoga prikaze glupim. Odlican prikaz religije, filozofije kao i same nauke u slucaju susreta sa vanzemaljcima. Sve je prikazano dosta realno, pa kolko je realno ono sto knjiga opisuje.

Likovi koji se pojavljuju u knjizi su fino opisani ali u sustini fokus nije na njima. Pa cak ni na Eli koja je nas glavni voditelj kroz celu pricu.

... jednostavno nisam dovoljno recit da posteno pohvalim ovu knjigu pa mogu samo reci d
Contact. The first contact with a non-human intelligence, beaming information at Earth from somewhere in the vicinity of the star Vega. I was reminded strongly of Arthur C. Clarke’s 2001, a Space Odyssey and also his Rendezvous with Rama. Sagan and Clarke were both very familiar with the political maneuvering that takes place in multi-institutional projects and could provide very believable back-room machinations.

At first, I thought that Sagan’s main character, Ellie, was rather like Clarke’s ch
Sep 22, 2015 Negativni rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Ovaj roman se neizbježno mora promatrati u kontekstu vremena u kojem je napisan. Dakle, doba hladnog rata, kada je strah da će netko početi s lansiranjem nuklearnog arsenala bio opravdan.

Neuvjerljivo djeluje lakoća s kojom su se Rusi i Amerikanci dogovorili na suradnju i kako se kasnije cijeli svijet udružio u zajedničkom cilju.
No, Sagan je to napisao tako jer je, kao i znanstvenici u romanu, sa ruskim znanstvenicima mogao komunicirati samo ograničeno i to ga je smetalo. Znao je da ta zatvoren
Stephanie Swint
Feb 28, 2015 Stephanie Swint rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
'Contact' deserved the Locus Award it won for Best First Novel in 1986. Unfortunately, it is the only piece of fiction Carl Saganwrote.It, however, is not the only book he wrote. Sagan wrote several works of non-fiction including 'Demon Haunted World.' which is great. As anastronomer, cosmologist, astrophysicist, astrobiologist, and author he created many works that popularized and made science accessible to the general public. With 'Contact,' you do not have to question whether the science beh ...more
Jun 22, 2008 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I can’t say enough good things about the writing of the late Carl Sagan. Previously, the only works of his I had read are his non-fiction works “Cosmos” and “Dragons of Eden”. I didn’t quite know what to expect of his fictional work, though I think I had a few good clues going into it, the first being the fact I’ve seen the film adaptation about fifty times (which I discovered is vastly different than this story, aside from the general, top-level plot) and the second being Sagan’s stated expecta ...more
I'm a closet science fiction fan, although I suppose one has to be in the closet about it to be... in the closet.

ANYWAY, this is one of my all-time favorite books Ever. I think I saw the movie first and despite not really liking it, my interest was piqued by the book... and a big book, too. I really like long, good reads (chalk it up to my early interest in historical romance novels which for the most part - especially early Johanna Lindsey ones, none of her new crap - are long and big... haha)
Super-6-stars !!

[A 6-star rated book is the one that has been able to amaze me through more than 70% and above of its content ingredients. :) ]

Oct 17, 2014 George rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
As a general rule I like Carl Sagan's writing, both fiction and reference.

Resplendent with both fears of the new millenium and mid-1980s nuclear jitters, I can't help but feel that this novel borrows much the film "Red Planet Mars," where astronomers get in touch with our planetary neighbor by broadcasting the number "pi" (and receive, in response, a broadcast of the Sermon on the Mount).

Though some of this tome appears quite dated from a technological aspect, and bound up in the context of the
Mar 20, 2015 Krbo rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Prvo čitanje sam smjestio negdje u 1987. obzirom da imam HR izdanje iz 1986.

Izvrsno napisan roman, dobro se sjećam velikog užitka pri čitanju i zato čista petica.

Roman koji je pozitivan i daje nadu čovječanstvu (a to uvijek volim).

Film odličan - pogledao nekoliko puta.

Preporuka svima i za knjigu i za film poslije.

What a truly remarkable read. This is the kind of science fiction which instead of being more speculative relies on existing theories about extraterrestrial life and details of the ongoing research to spin an enthralling tale. Carl Sagan has tried in his own unique way to merge the seemingly contradictory worlds of science and faith. A near impossible feat for a man of science, but he manages to achieve exactly this and in such a thrilling way too. He combines elements of science fiction, radio ...more
Viji Sarath (Bookish endeavors)
I feel sad that this book had to end. It was a fantastic and informative journey into a different world. The author touches our reason and our faith,and a fine blend of both rarely happens. One can't leave this book without feeling awe at the world we live in,or feeling numinous. It is because of authors like these that it is said that "books are the example of the fact that humans can work magic." A must-read for any book lover. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.
Arun Divakar
Jan 12, 2014 Arun Divakar rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
Religion has a nature of making their interpretation of God to be an omnipresent, omnipotent deity. It is most obvious that they have to create such a figure for if otherwise, not many people will be takers for your religion. In the few decades that has passed ever since I have been capable of rational thought, it has been a consistent observation that a lot of people around me take God to be a petitioning body. You pray to him/her for getting through exams, a safe delivery of your child from th ...more
Heather's Mum
Sep 09, 2007 Heather's Mum rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Sagan fans
Shelves: sciencefiction
Short review - huge book.

I liked Sagan and his "billions and billions" charm. I am sorry he is no longer sharing planet earth with us. As with all of his publications, Contact was well written, entertaining & educational. However, it left me wondering if Sagan truly was an agnostic. (or atheist?)

I hate to admit (& regret the fact) that the religious characters in the book do indeed reflect some Christian's attitudes and beliefs. There are times we (Christians) can do more harm than good
I adore Carl Sagan. I came to this adoration rather late, through Symphony of Science. So I've intended to pick up Contact for a while, and I'm glad I finally did. It did take me quite a while to get into it -- the level of scientific detail is what was difficult for me, but there were some great scenes: the one that springs to mind is the one where they're lying in bed quoting in the encyclopaedia at each other.

Another thing I loved is that he had a female scientist as his protagonist, and a fe
I've read several of Sagan's non-fiction books prior to this novel, and I strangely found him to be much less engaging here. The first half of Contact reads more like non-fiction than a story, but it's lacking the voice that made his non-fiction so good. The second half of the book, though, once the Machine gets built, suddenly has a lot more heart to it than I was expecting. Now that I'm done with it, I'm finding myself appreciating the whole thing a lot more than I thought I was going to in th ...more
Dec 11, 2015 Cheri rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book surprised me in its power. I actively disliked this novel about halfway through, when it felt like the religious perspective was being unfairly broiled by Ellie. I consider this part of the novel unartful, clumsy, even ham-fisted.

Yet: the novel redeems it self. Solidly. This is about aliens and first contact, yes. But really, it's about the nature of faith, of proof, of the mystery of the spirit within math and science. That is a thing of beauty. I came to the end of the book while in
Mar 24, 2011 Laura rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Like many my age, Carl Sagan played a significant role in encouraging me to become a scientist and in particular, an astronomer. This book was transformative for me as a young teen: Ellie is such a strong, self-confident and human heroine. After reading this book, she was my role model, and it didn't mater that I knew she was fictional. If Carl wrote it, there must be female scientists out there just like her and one day I could be one too.
Jul 14, 2015 Melda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
One of the best science fiction books I've ever read.
Jan 27, 2016 drowningmermaid rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, 2016
4 stars for "Contact: or Celebrating All-Things Science with Feasible First-Contact Near-Term SF"

1 star for "Contact: How Carl Sagan Hates Creationists, now in novel form!"

Ellie's collegiate-level (while she was still in high school! when she had never picked up a religious text before! WHEE!) deconstruction of the Bible was wildly implausible. Seriously, if a modern kid picked up the Bible and started reading-- having had no exposure to ancient literature, or the "spiritual discipline" of "pray
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Syria Readers Ass...: 007- Contact 4 82 Sep 17, 2015 11:23AM  
2015 Reading Chal...: Contact by Carl Sagan 1 20 Jul 19, 2015 08:14AM  
Ending a bit vague? 9 154 Aug 01, 2014 03:02PM  
Which is better, the book or the movie? 62 457 Jul 30, 2014 06:03AM  
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in 1934, scientist Carl Sagan was born in Brooklyn, N.Y. After earning bachelor and master's degrees at Cornell, Sagan earned a double doctorate at the University of Chicago in 1960. He became professor of astronomy and space science and director of the Laboratory for Planetary Studies at Cornell University, and co-founder of the Planetary Society. A great popularizer of science, Sagan produced th ...more
More about Carl Sagan...

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“For small creatures such as we the vastness is bearable only through love.” 799 likes
“The universe is a pretty big place. If it's just us, seems like an awful waste of space.” 508 likes
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