Carl Sagan’s Contact: The movie was fine, but the book is amazing.

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What it is: A speculative 1985 science fiction novel by visionary astronomer Carl Sagan, later adapted into a feature film starring Jodie Foster.

What I’ve read: I finished it a week or so ago.

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Is it good? Hell yes it is. I hadn’t read any Sagan before and I’m blown away by this book. I bet this book is a lot of people’s favorite book.

Quick thoughts: It’s quickly knocked the movie from my memory except that I can’t help but picture the protagonist Ellie as looking like Jodie Foster. While the movie did a good job of telling one woman’s story, the book (by being a book) is able to tell a more global, far-reaching story. I wish I could see the world the way Carl Sagan sees the world—this luminous mixture of imagination and science. He expresses such wonder at the universe, and his scientific bona-fides only ever enhanced that wonder. This book rules.

An excerpt from the beginning chapters, when we watch Ellie growing up

Party Chat is where we talk about things we’re reading and watching when we’re not playing video games.