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95 of 98 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Repetition Does Not Make Perfect
Canticle is one of the best post-holocaust stories ever written. Told in three separate sections that were originally published as separate stories, it details a post-nuclear war society where (once more) the Catholic church has become the repository for what little learning there still is, complete with monk scribes happily copying by hand the few remaining books. But at...
Published on 30 Jun. 2003 by Patrick Shepherd

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3.0 out of 5 stars A little disappointing
This is one that I've been meaning to read for some time. It shows up on a lot of "best sci-fi" lists, and I've always thought the premise was intriguing - that a monastery has dedicated itself to preserving pre-apocalypse information, whatever form it may take, and however irrelevant it might be in reality.

The execution though - I thought - left...
Published 10 months ago by Mike N


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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Powerful Dystopia...Classic!, 7 Aug. 2009
By 
Book Maven (Cambridge, England) - See all my reviews
This review is from: A Canticle For Leibowitz: Book One: The Saint Leibowtiz Series (Paperback)
In a Nevadan desert in the middle of a future century an order of monks is giving thanks for its founder, St Leibowitz, a martyr of the Great Simplification. When a young monk discovers documents that cast light upon the hallowed founder as a regular guy, all hell breaks loose.

This is an angry, profound dystopia, a story of a dark-age world that follows a nuclear holocaust. Unfortunately, history repeats itself, both times as a tragedy, and a second nuclear holocaust brews as a desperate mission to the stars is being hastily assembled.

Miller has the descriptive power of a Dante, and that on its own makes this novel a masterpiece. But the story of the rejection of science and its aftermath, the Great Simplification, read like a prophesy to a modern reader.

Harrowing, addictive, ironic... you'll miss sleep for a week after you finished the last page.
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11 of 20 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Intriguing on some levels, but not so good as a novel, 22 May 2008
By 
John Hopper (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Canticle For Leibowitz: Book One: The Saint Leibowtiz Series (Paperback)
This is not an easy read. It contains some interesting theological viewpoints and in particular towards the end portrays both sides of the the euthanasia debate in a vivid and gripping way. But as a post-apocalyptic novel, it failed for me as the world described lacked any characters or reference points to which I could relate and which make the best post-apocalyptic novels so chilling and haunting. There was no real feel for the lives of ordinary people outside the monastic community that formed the centre of the novel.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, 23 July 2009
Set over a thousand years in the future as the world slowly recovers from devastation in the aftermath of nuclear war, Walter Miller's A Canticle For Leibowitz focuses upon the renewal of Faith in a faithless world, and the struggles of a lone monastery in the desert trying to protect ancient artifacts.

This book is highly enjoyable, and really makes you think about the place of faith and beliefs in the world. It not only entertains, but also engages your mind, as as good science fiction should.

Miller was clearly a brilliant author and it is a great shame that there are not many more books from him. His style is full of subtleties and wit, and for anyone deciding whether or not the subject of this book would interest them, despite the many positive reviews (as i was), I would just suggest go for it. You will not regret it.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought provoking book that you can read time and again, 25 Feb. 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: A Canticle For Leibowitz: Book One: The Saint Leibowtiz Series (Paperback)
I first read this book over 20 years ago whilst in hospital . It affected me greatly at the time , and on re-reading it now , it is just as fresh and as relevant as it was then . It is the type of book that you just can't put down having started reading. I am no great fan of sci fi but this is a wonderful story.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A wonderful book, 19 Feb. 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: A Canticle For Leibowitz: Book One: The Saint Leibowtiz Series (Paperback)
The post-apocalyptic world of "A Canticle for Leibowitz" is vividly depicted by Millers' excellent narrative which holds the reader under suspense from beginning to end. If you are looking for an original and interesting book, don't miss on this one.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One to read..., 18 Dec. 2008
Spanning 1800 years this is a fascinating and scary 'tour de force'... that at its root has the purpose and spiritual necessity of the church in the world.
About how it, for the secular world, becomes harder and harder to grasp the reality of God, as science and comfort become masters; about the death wish inherent in humanity, due to the consequences of 'original sin'.

I'm normally not a fan of sinister works of fiction, but this has so much more... check it out!
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great classic, 26 Dec. 2006
By 
Alan Urdaibay - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Canticle For Leibowitz: Book One: The Saint Leibowtiz Series (Paperback)
I read this book in the early 1960's and knew then I was reading an SF classic. It operates on many levels, as other reviewers state. In my case it was the first time I encountered a cyclical view of history which I now know to be the predominant viewpoint in the ancient world. Some of the earlier chapters are still imprinted on my mind and I am delighted to see it is still being published.
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4 of 9 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A true classic, 8 Feb. 2009
By 
Amit Mozoomdar (Birmingham, UK) - See all my reviews
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It is easy to see why this novel is regarded as a classic, not just of genre literature. The author creates a strong, literate narrative about his dystopic vision. The only reservation I have is that the last part is not as strong as the preceding two.
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1 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 14 Aug. 2010
Definately worth a read, a great philospohical work. You owe it to yourself to read this book.
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4 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Deeply depressing but thought inspiring, 23 April 2001
By 
Dr. D. Crowther "Damian" (Cambridge, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: A Canticle For Leibowitz: Book One: The Saint Leibowtiz Series (Paperback)
At first glance this book is about a group of post-holocaust Catholic monks. The philosophy behind the book is not Catholic at all though - proposing, as it does, the progression of history through an ongoing cycle of birth, death and rebirth. It is a book which you should read in private, don't get me wrong you will enjoy it - however when you tell your friends you are reading a novel about techno monks flying into space they will give you a few funny looks!
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A Canticle For Leibowitz: Book One: The Saint Leibowtiz Series
A Canticle For Leibowitz: Book One: The Saint Leibowtiz Series by Walter M. Miller Jr (Paperback - 4 Sept. 1997)
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