What a truly remarkable read. This is the kind of science fiction which instead of being more speculative relies on existing theories about extraterrestrial life and details of the ongoing research to spin an enthralling tale. Carl Sagan has tried in his own unique way to merge the seemingly contradictory worlds of science and faith. A near impossible feat for a man of science, but he manages to achieve exactly this and in such a thrilling way too. He combines elements of science fiction, radio astronomy, extraterrestrial life, conflict between science and religion and yet never manages to sound half-hearted. The reader gets the message in the end, loud and clear. The ending is the clincher and after finishing with the book I don't think there could've been a better way to end it. Must read!
Though the movie was largely able to capture the feelings that the book evokes in the reader, the director ended up Hollywood-izing it anyway.