Ok, soooo I recognize that I was supposed to finish Contact in February buuuuuuuuuuuuut that didn’t happen so here we are. Hey, I finished it though! That’s an accomplishment right?
Alright now the question on everyone’s mind, was it good? Yeah, I enjoyed it. Overall the book felt very…Sagan-y. It’s abundantly clear how much his worldview influenced Contact, and I mean that in a good way. Sagan was a pretty forward thinking dude from what I understand, and it’s totally reflected in this book. He points out very clearly how the world would be a better place if we paid more attention to scientists, which, yeah, probably.
The story is good, and the characters are interesting. It’s a fascinating book in that the main character isn’t the chosen one, or a super hero, she’s just some scientist. In fact for the most part all of the characters are scientists, which is cool. Although, there were a lot of characters, and I could never get any of the names straight. The main character had like three or four professors, then there were a bunch of people from the US government, then there were those soviet dudes, I don’t know I could never remember who’s who.
Contact is well written. Sagan’s got some nice prose as it were. Also his chapter titles were awesome, also I liked the little quotes at the beginning. I will say the book is a little front heavy, by which I mean very…front heavy. This is probably my biggest gripe. It’s one of those books that is extremely meticulous at the beginning going over every minute detail. She had this kind of computer, they were using things kind of radio telescope, she like driving this kind of car. But then it’s like, oh yup here we are like 2 years later and the entirety of the, I guess, action, happens in the last third or so of the book. It’s a common problem, but it’s still a problem. The beginning was slow.
It was very clear from the very beginning that this was one of those books that really tried to get the science right. Which makes sense, it was written by the OG science guy after all. He did a good job though, the science was interesting without being overly complex. I did appreciate that at- ok I guess I’m going to spoil it, but like, this book came out 30 years ago, and also this is supposed to be a book club type deal, which presumes you’ve read the book, anyways.
When they’re going through the wormhole I did appreciate that they were like, some shits happening, and we don’t know what’s going on. Like I thought that was kinda neat. And they were scientists so the whole time they were trying to figure it out. Oh! and there was the one dude the super unification guy who was like, “This can’t be happening!” because like that was his deal and the whole thing basically proved his research was wrong. It was cute.
It did suffer from a little bit of that, “love transcends space and time” (imagine I said it in a monotone robot voice) stuff that people didn’t like from interstellar, although I didn’t mind it in either case. Speaking of which, I’m noticing that some things may have been stolen/copied from other things. But I guess that’s art.
In finality (what a dumb word: finality), I rank this book a fun read. Certainly not the best book I’ve ever read, but certainly not a bad or even mediocre book. I would recommend you check it out if you haven’t already.
So what’s next you ask? Weeeeeell I’m glad you asked. The next book on my list is Cat’s Cradle by Kurt Vonnegut. I have no idea what it’s about, but I’ve heard it’s good…from….people. Also given that I’m like 2 months past my deadline (hey, at least I finished it before May), I’m not going to pretend like I’m going to finish Cat’s Cradle in a month. Hopefully I will, but I don’t make any promises.