Synopsis: A radio astronomer at a remote observatory makes a discovery of alien proportions.
I wrote out a whole review about this book....and then my connection gave out when I hit post...because I'm cabled in tonight and FUCK. So I'm rewriting this again and trying to figure out what I wrote.
Anyway, Contact does not have a problem with pacing. It's slow and steady, almost from start to finish. And when I say slow, I mean slllllllooooowwwwww. Your gonna hear about everything you have no interest in. This is includes the protagonist's childhood, school life, college days, relationships with friends, colleagues and her love life. Also religion. Your gonna hear about religion, more specifically about how science attempts to deal with it.
Basically, everything your not interested in while the plot line that is interesting plays out.
Thats Sagan's game here. He's written about an amazing scientific discovery and he's going to go through everything that surrounds it. Whats more he's not pulling any punches to make it more interesting. The book is slow, stodgy and generally abit dull(show spoiler)
It's this way because thats how the scientific process is. While scientific discoveries may be fascinating, or lead to other things that are, the scientific process itself is often tedious, slow and dull. Sagan was writing this to be true to science and thats very clear. But if it was ever meant to make it interesting to anyone, it's a failure.
The other thing is that he puts forth several agendas in the book. These include SCIENCE IS AWESOME! and women's rights to later on trying to address the gap between science and religion. I don't mind any of these agenda's, but I would have appreciated it he would have kept them out of the fiction.
General rating: 3 1/2
Epic rating: 1