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Contact

Written by: Carl Sagan
Narrated by: Laurel Lefkoe
Length: 14 hrs and 45 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (33 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

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.

©1997 Carl Sagan (P)1997 Simon & Schuster

What the critics say

"Contact deals with issues...worth pondering. The range and depth of ideas is quite uncommon." ( New York Times Book Review)

"Like a good mystery, Contact keeps us curious to the end...ingenious and satisfying." (Newsweek)

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

Contact -Carl Sagan

The narration is beautifully done with a variety of accents to emphasize the different characters.

The amount of science specific nformation Carl Sagan is able to fit into his chapters is extremely well done. Many times it felt like reading passages from Cosmos or Pale Blue Dot. Coupled with a truly unique telling of the worlds first contact with intelligent life, I felt Carl dreamed himself the center of the entire story, replacing himself as an intelligent female character that educates individuals in stride while working to answer particularly hard answer. This telling was brilliantly done, and appeals to both educates of advanced science literature and those of lesser knowledge of such advanced topics.

Having watched the movie before the book, I felt I was listening to an entirely new take on the story. Many changes were noted from the film, but as always, the book blows the movie away.

An incredible story, this can not emphasize that enough.

Thank you Carl.

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Kyle
  • 2017-03-27

Great Story with a Few Glitches

I loved the glimpse into how scientific discovery unfolds and the fantasy. Plus, it's really well read. There are a couple glitches though where it jumps ahead randomly. Didn't seem to miss anything major, yet damaged the flow.

75 of 77 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Matt
  • 2012-11-28

Technical problems with this recording - skips...

This recording has technical issues with it that I noticed after awhile. The recording skips at several instances, for example go to Chapter 11 and at 4:22 the recording skips some of the story. I have verified that it is indeed skipping by looking at the ebook on Google:


Hopefully this will be fixed and re-digitized soon.

156 of 165 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • AF
  • Albuquerque, NM
  • 2013-01-25

Great book, significant differences from the movie

Any additional comments?

My favorite book, written by one of my favorite people (Carl Sagan).

I am writing this review to mainly focus on the major differences between the movie and the book.The book follows the same basic plot as the movie, but with a few exceptions (SPOILER ALERT):

- Ellie's mother is not dead, as in the movie. While Ellie's father passes away, her mother is around throughout her childhood and her adult life.

- Ellie and her stepfather (also not present in the movie) have a strained and reoccurring relationship throughout the book.

- Ellie's childhood, teenage years, and early graduate and internship years are described in a more detail.

- The President of USA has a more prominent, reoccurring role, and is female.

- Ellie has many romantic relationships (i.e., sexual relationships with a lab assistant early in her career, and then with Kent the Russian Scientist later in her career; and sexual tension with Drummond and then to an even greater degree with Vagay), albeit not with Palmer Joss who is the one individual she does have a romantic relationship with in the movie.

- Three machines, not two, are constructed (i.e., in the USA, Japan, and Russia). This was interesting because by the time the story concludes only two machines have been used (or should I say, one has been destroyed and one has been used and possibly is not able to be used again), with the machine in Russia still unused.

- Ellie is not the only individual who makes the trips; several delegates make the trip with her and have their own unique experiences.

- The conversation Ellie has with the alien is much, much more detailed and extensive, and for me was a real highlight of the story.

- Following her voyage in the machine, Ellie learns something interesting about the number for "pi" (i.e., 3.14...) that provides an interesting twist at the conclusion of the story.

In summary, excellent book, and not only because of the writing but due to the narrator's great performance as well. Lefkow did an outstanding job as a true Voice Actor. Most of the supporting characters are male and the narrator (female) did a superb job rising to the challenge of voice acting each male character without sounding odd or goofy.

90 of 97 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Candace
  • 2017-02-26

Skipped a little?

Excellent reader. It took a few chapters for her to grow on me, and then I looked forward to hearing her interpretation.

In a couple places, the story skipped - I had to pull up my physical copy to fill in the blanks. Maybe a download malfunction on my phone?

As always, a timeless story, always relevant, always beautiful.

21 of 22 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Beth
  • Elkins Park, PA, United States
  • 2018-08-30

Great book but narrator needs bigger vocabulary

This is a great book, and, for the most part, the narrator is great. Then she will mipronounce a word like "consortium" or "impious" or "metallurgy," and it's completely jarring.

41 of 44 people found this review helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Tex
  • Alvin, TX, United States
  • 2013-01-17

So many choices

As good as the movie was, this book is orders of magnitude better. I had struggled with whether to choose the abridged, with Ms. Foster, or the unabridged. I am glad I chose the unabridged. As fan of science, I enjoyed hearing Dr. Sagan’s perspective on science and religion and I suspect those passages were what got chopped in the abridged. Those plus there were times when the plot wandered about. So if you’d rather focus on the main plot line, the abridged might be a better choice.
Laurel Lefkow’s narration was excellent. Only one of the accents annoyed me, the New York street accent. But honestly, that’s not her fault – she was true to the description of the accent given in the book.
Whichever version you chose, you will not be unhappy. It’s a great audiobook, well worth the listen.

30 of 32 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mohamed
  • 2016-10-26

A remarkable audiobook

Best audiobook I have ever experienced. Phenomenal narrator: perfect pace and interpretation of the text. Carl Sagan captures a Noah's Arc kind of presentation; rich and well-informed reflections on the universe and the human condition, portrayed ever so simply.

8 of 8 people found this review helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • Stephen M. Banuelos
  • San Francisco, Ca.
  • 2016-06-07

Good But There Were Errors

Bought the book too. While listening to this unabridged edition I found an occasional paragraph or two was skipped. Satisfying overall though.

15 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
  • brendanstallard
  • lilburn, GA, United States
  • 2012-09-30

Wonderful Reading

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.




brendan

15 of 16 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Oraiatoxotis
  • 2014-07-16

Get it

Would you consider the audio edition of Contact to be better than the print version?

I have not read the print version, but the audio version is well read. I very much enjoyed listening to this narrator.

What was one of the most memorable moments of Contact?

Hard to decide; I really like most everything about the story. If I had to say, and to avoid spoilers, I'd say when she was looking up to the sky. You'll know what you get to the part.

Have you listened to any of Laurel Lefkow’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

I have not, but was considering doing so. However, currently, I don't have any interest in her ither reads.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I would've if I could've. Was done in 3.

Any additional comments?

Awesome story. Awesomely written. Awesome narration.

13 of 14 people found this review helpful