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The Sparrow Paperback – 1 Nov 1997

4.1 out of 5 stars 124 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Black Swan; Reprint edition (1 Nov. 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0552997773
  • ISBN-13: 978-0552997775
  • Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 3.2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars 124 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 18,408 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Amazon Review

This strange, ambitious science fiction novel has already won enough attention for its first-time author to make it a selection by both the Book of the Month and QPB clubs. Father Emilio Sandoz, a Jesuit linguist, heads a team of scientists and explorers on an expedition to the planet Rakhat, where contact has been established with two apparently primitive races, the Runa and the Jana'ata. The narrative shifts back and forth between 2016, when contact is first made, and 2060, to a Vatican inquest interrogating the maimed and broken Sandoz. A palaeoanthropologist, Russell makes the descriptions of the inhabitants of Rakhat both convincing and unsettling.

Review

"'One of those rare books that takes you to its heart and refuses to let go'" (Lorenzo Carcaterra, author of Sleepers)

"'Compulsive reading and may be the year's best science fiction novel'" (John Clute Mail on Sunday)

"'Brilliant first novel about the discovery of extraterrestrial life...Shades of Wells, Ursula Le Guin and Arthur C. Clarke, with just a dash of Edgar Rice Burroughs - and yet strikingly original'" (Kirkus Reviews)

"'One of the years's most powerful and disturbing books'" (The Times)

"'A parable about human life on Earth, with all its imperfections, failings, doubts, wisdom and erudition...The Sparrow is a startling, engrossing and moral work of fiction'" (Colleen McCullough)

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