Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Contact” as Want to Read:
Contact
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Contact

by
4.11  ·  Rating details ·  98,728 Ratings  ·  2,220 Reviews
The future is here... in an adventure of cosmic dimension. 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.
Audio Cassette, Abridged, 0 pages
Published December 1st 2004 by Audioworks (first published September 1985)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Contact, please sign up.

Popular Answered Questions

Robert Goodman It was in the last few paragraphs. That bit of suspense, broken unexpectedly, changed the meaning of the book.
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Cecilia Teixeira Yes so much i would love for us to be friends with the Elien beautys, wich they are massive impressing beautys.
This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Add this book to your favorite list »

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
|
Filter
Alejandro
Jul 12, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A smart story crafted by a real space science guru


WE CAN'T BE ALONE

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
...more
Manny
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Lisa
Contact! Contact? No…

To make a long story short: this is probably an excellent book, but I failed to make contact, to connect to the characters. Feeling sorry about that, I decided to read Sagan’s nonfiction instead, to give him another chance.

The problem I had with the novel was similar to my experience with 2001: A Space Odyssey, but on a bigger scale. I have no doubt that Sagan’s visions and ideas on extraterrestrial lifeforms are much more erudite than other science fiction I have read, wher
...more
Bradley
Mar 26, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi, 2016-shelf
I really hate it when I lose reviews. Okay, take two.

I was just reminiscing on my younger self's condemnation (or at least his valid annoyances at the plot holes and some of the straight story elements), or the fact that I was trying to compare this classic SF work with other classic SF works that I was making my way through at the time and comparing them unfavorably because I wanted a lot more of the psychedelic naked singularity stuff and aliens, not just a long-winded optimistic synthesis of
...more
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
...more
Apatt
Mar 09, 2016 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
...more
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
...more
Joe Valdez
J.D. Salinger (The Catcher in the Rye), Harper Lee (To Kill a Mockingbird) and Sylvia Plath (The Bell Jar) all published one novel each. Another member of the First Novel/ Last Novel club is astronomer, Pulitzer Prize winning author of Cosmos and science communicator Carl Sagan, whose foray into fiction was Contact, published in 1985. I gave the book a lot of latitude, not only for Sagan's potential shortcomings with character and dialogue, but for hopes that the novel could live up to the engag ...more
Jill
May 12, 2013 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
...more
Joey Francisco
Feb 13, 2013 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
...more
Carol
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

...more
Negativni
Feb 25, 2013 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
...more
Peter Meredith
Jun 06, 2012 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)
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
...more
notgettingenough
‘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
...more
Daniel
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
...more
Wanda
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
...more
Stephanie Swint
Feb 16, 2015 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 Sagan wrote.  It, however, is not the only book he wrote.   Sagan wrote several works of non-fiction including 'Demon Haunted World.' which is great.  As an astronomer, 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 sci ...more
Jen
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)
...more
Kirsten
I have always wondered why people say science and faith (or a belief in God or Supreme Creator) have to be two separate things. Everything I learn about the natural world and the universe proves to me that God exists, not the opposite.

This book repeats back to me truths that I have I think I have always known. And it does it in the voice of a scientist, as written by the pen of a scientist. It points out the fallacies of religion, but not faith. It points out the weaknesses of government, but n
...more
Daavid
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. :) ]

Review: COMING SOON
Chris
Jun 06, 2008 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
Daniel Afloarei
Jun 01, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Inima ♥ inima ♥ inima ♥ inima ♥ inima
(sunt foarte masculin, ce pot sa spun - asta e, ma entuziasmez prea usor)

Restul aici:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8LNmP...
George
Oct 17, 2014 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
...more
Krbo
Mar 20, 2015 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.

Ghanda
Jun 12, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: beloved, just-sf
Un roman în care am regăsit acel sense of wonder care m-a atras inițial spre SF. Un roman dens, lent pe alocuri, care probabil nu va fi pe gustul tuturor, dar pe care cred că toți ar trebui să-l citim măcar o dată. E genul de carte care îți redă încrederea în omenire, care îți arată ce lucruri extraordinare am putea face dacă n-am mai fi niște cretini egocentriști și am lucra împreună, dar mai ales dacă ne-am folosi creierul.

Regret că nu am citit romanul mai devreme, e mult, mult mai bun decât
...more
Samadrita
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  (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.
David Holmes
May 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It seems to me that Contact is only 50% science fiction novel, and 50% The Gospel According to Carl Sagan. That's not a bad thing. Carl Sagan's worldview permeates this entire book. Science, skepticism, truth and wonder are all advertised here, and organized religion, superstition, frauds and conspiracy theories are all criticized. I've read The Demon-Haunted World: Science as a Candle in the Dark, and in some ways I think Contact does a better job of selling some of the same ideas.

She was dete
...more
Arun Divakar
Jan 02, 2014 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
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
  • 2010: Odyssey Two (Space Odyssey, #2)
  • Factoring Humanity
  • The Gods Themselves
  • Mindbridge
  • Eon (The Way, #1)
  • Earth
  • Voyage (NASA Trilogy, #1)
  • Red Mars (Mars Trilogy, #1)
  • Time Enough for Love
  • Johnny Mnemonic
  • Solaris
  • Eater
10538
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...
“For small creatures such as we the vastness is bearable only through love.” 977 likes
“The universe is a pretty big place. If it's just us, seems like an awful waste of space.” 638 likes
More quotes…