- Paperback: 368 pages
- Publisher: Orbit; New Ed edition (4 Sept. 1997)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1857230140
- ISBN-13: 978-1857230147
- Product Dimensions: 13.6 x 2.4 x 18.3 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars See all reviews (79 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 34,012 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
A Canticle For Leibowitz: Book One: The Saint Leibowtiz Series Paperback – 4 Sep 1997
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Angry, eloquent...a terrific story. (New York TIMES)
Prodigiously imaginative, richly comic, terrifyingly grim. (CHICAGO Tribune)
The brilliant and provocative classic of the post-nuclear age, ranking with 1984 and Brave New World in its visionary power --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product Description
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Top Customer Reviews
There is a large amount of ironical humor suffused throughout this book, which makes its prime message that man is doomed to continuously repeat his mistakes, leavened only by the love of a distant God, much easier to take. In many ways this book is a hard look at both the ultimate value of religion and at basic human nature, couched alongside some heavy symbolism (the Wandering Jew makes multiple appearances) and some very sharp satire.Read more ›
A little about the plot. This is a post-apocalyptic novel as is obvious in the first chapter when a monk of the order of St. Leibowitz is wodering why metal cores are found so often in rocks - said rocks being concrete rubble. The Catholic church has relocated to New Rome, somewhere in the American southwest, and the main setting is the monastery of St. Leibowitz, somewhere in the desert in the American southwest. The main characters are the monks. The action of the story takes place over around 1,000 years, consisting of three stories, each one hundereds of years apart from the others.
The order of St. Leibowitz is dedicated to preserving knowledge in the Memorabilia, a collection of pre-apocalyptic writings and documents. For this, they were persecuted in the immediate post apocalyptic period as the survivors of a nuclear war rose up, enraged, against technology. The first story takes place a few hundred years after this, when civilisation is just starting to be even thought about again. The Church of New Rome is a repository of knowledge (especially the Order of St. Leibowitz) and a force for social cohesion. There are obvious (and, I'm sure, intentional) parallels with the European Dark Ages after the fall of Rome here. As there are in the second part, which deals with the rise of an empire (perhaps based on Charlemagne?) that looks like it might unify the American southwest but, perhaps inevitably, comes into conflict with the Church. Again, historical parallels can be seen.Read more ›
So the cold war brought the world to the brink of the apocalypse, this may be so, but this period instilled a level of fear and paranoia in the mind that can germinate great creative ideas, and this book is full of them, I can't recommend it highly enough! The prose is beautifully written and incredibly readable, although at points intensely depressing I was surprised how richly comic I found this novel given the subject matter.
I'm a massive Sci-fi fan but must concede that although some of the great literary ideas are produced in this genera, the quality of the writing and characterisation frequently falls short of the mark. I would often tar even the `greats' such as Azimov and Clark with this brush, although don't get me wrong, I hugely enjoyed some of their books.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Pure class, an unmissable read if you like your Post Apocalyptic SF stories done well, with real depth of heart
(although in all honesty : For me, It still lags behind... Read more
Written at a time when nuclear war was more present in people's minds, this is nevertheless a great novel about the faults of humanity in dealing with deadly knowledge. Read morePublished 6 months ago by international
A perceptive account of the mutual development of humanity and theology.Published 7 months ago by Aleksander Kuczynski
This book should be part of the canon of Catholic literature. The novel images the history of the Catholic Church as it preserved civilization in the "dark ages" through a... Read morePublished 8 months ago by CatholicWitness
I had no idea what I was reading for most of it but its a good story.Published 8 months ago by 5kg dumbbell curl king