Contact by Carl Sagan
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
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 science, religion, politics, and philosophy.
But now, after having read a lot of so-so average SF, I can easily bump this one up because it balances everything on a good tightrope, including the story elements and the characterizations...
And I'm gonna face it... I'm SERIOUSLY in need of good science and heavy optimism and reconciliations between disparate camps of philosophies.
Whoa... was this novel exactly what the doctor ordered, or what?
I rocked to all the good science. I jammed to the intelligent discussions, whether they were religious, political, or even the ethics of science. Of course, the novel is about aliens and whether or not we're grown up, too, but that's all part of the big package, and what a huge package!
Sagan is rightly considered a god. :) I'm not alone in thinking he should have been writing tons more novels, either, and not just this single masterwork.
So if I ever get the chance to travel back in time and slap around my younger self, I'll do it joyfully. Sure, the novel has a few plot and element faults, but overall, I'm rather amazed that so much was able to come out of the text. As a whole, the book itself is a synthesis, and not only its message.
Oh, and other than that, I've seen the movie like a 10x24 times, as if each iteration was a point in pi, so it was also fun as hell picking out all the divergences between the book and the movie. I was always pretty amazed that not only the spirit was intact, but so was most of the pieces.
Sure, she wasn't alone on her little trip in the book, but both ways were pretty great. Want visual? Or do you want extrapolation and discussion and theory? Pick one. Watch or Read. :) Good, either way. :)
I can enthusiastically recommend this novel to anyone. :)
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