Book Review: Contact

And so it is: officially done with Contact.  Overall it was an enjoyable read, although certain aspects seem quite dated (the numerous references to Cold War politics) and others a bit odd (Babylon and all the people in the future living in the sky).  I think the movie did a good job of editing some of these elements out, although this is an instance where I wonder if the movie has perhaps clouded my judgement a bit too much.  The end is left wonderfully ambiguous, and you’re pretty much left to determine if there is a God or not by yourself.  The pacing is good, although it does get bogged down with scientific specifics (which I enjoyed for the most part) and politics at certain points that can make it a bit difficult to immerse yourself in the story.  I wish a bit more time was dedicated to the journey and fallout, considering half the book is decoding the Message and another 100 pages is spent building the thing and crew selection – you’d think the journey and the post-journey fallout would be more than just two chapters.  If you enjoy the movie – or are interested in epistemological arguments regarding the existence of God – this would be a good read.

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