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Saint Leibowitz and the Wild Horse Woman (St. Leibowitz #2)

3.13  ·  Rating Details ·  671 Ratings  ·  69 Reviews
It has been nearly forty years since Walter M. Miller Jr. shocked and dazzled readers with his provocative bestseller and enduring classic, A Canticle for Leibowitz . Now, in one of the most eagerly awaited publishing events of our time, here is Miller's masterpiece, an epic intellectual and emotional tour de force that will stand beside 1984 , Brave New World , and A C ...more
Paperback, 434 pages
Published January 11th 2000 by Bantam (first published September 4th 1997)
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Feb 04, 2012 DROPPING OUT rated it it was amazing
This book is nowhere as bad as some have made it out to be, and, indeed, had the original Canticle for Leibowitz not been written, this book standing alone might have established Miller's reputation.

Miller's "problem" was that he hit a grand-slam home-run in Canticle, and he spent the remainder of what must have been a sad and frustrating life trying to get out from under Canticle's shadow. For a long time the prevailing view was that he had given up writing altogether. But the truth was that he
Bryn Hammond
Dec 23, 2014 Bryn Hammond rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: imagined-fiction
Hard to rate, even when I discount the last hundred or so pages written by another hand. If I also posit that Walter M. Miller (rest in peace) left an unfinished book behind him, whose first four-five hundred pages still needed his hand – and if I don’t blame the book for that – then it’s a definite four stars. It was very interesting to follow Miller to this, forty years later, which I did out of curiosity and respect for the writer who gave us Canticle. This one seemed to me a case of half-rea ...more
Mar 25, 2011 Jason rated it liked it
Walter M. Miller committed suicide before completing his sequel to his only other novel, A CANTICLE FOR LEIBOWITZ. Terry Bisson was hired to edit and finish the book from Miller's outline. That hybrid became SAINT LEIBOWITZ AND THE WILD HORSE WOMAN.
This novel is more of a 'midquel', rather than sequel, because its events take place 80 years after CANTICLE's part two, called "Fiat Lux" (c. 3254 AD, and 600 years before CANTICLE's part three.
SAINT LEIBOWITZ reminded me very much of Herbert's DUNE.
Jun 29, 2007 Jon rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: hardcore Miller fans only
The sequel to A Canticle for Liebowitz was thirty years in the making, but unfortunately, Miller seems to have forgotten how to write a novel in those decades. Many of the moral and ethical arguments that made Canticle so brilliant are still present, as is the occasional bit of dry humor, but these are overshadowed by long and drug-out passages, poor plotting, and a conclusion that seems to have been hastily written the night before the book went to press (the "Wild Horse Woman" from the title, ...more
Jul 07, 2008 Doreen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone who wants an intellectually, emotionally stimulating sci-fi novel
Oddly enough, I seem to be one of the few people here who enjoyed the sequel much more than its predecessor. I found A Canticle... devoid of much of the human suffering that pervades this book, which questions the conflict between faith and tradition, desire and happiness, and what it means to be a good human being. SLatWHW tackles some heavy moral issues of how best to synthesize your emotions with your scruples in order to lead a godly life, and admits that self-sacrifice, though good for your ...more
Jan 28, 2010 Mike rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy
Miller's first (and only other) novel, A Canticle for Liebowitz, is rightly regarded as classic. This posthumously published sequel is, in my opinion, just as good as the first (a minority view, I think). The story takes place around the same time as the second part of Canticle, and is an engrossing story with vivid characters. The symbolism and themes are often similar to Canticle's, with similar pessimism & dark humor, but Miller meanders into eastern mysticism too, and we even see heroism ...more
Veronika KaoruSaionji
Story of two men, simply monk and noble (charismatic) arcibishop, later pope, from future middle-age-like (plus in some aspects renaissance-like and 19. century-like)world about finding way to God, love and hapiness.
I thought for first time about dogmatica and spiritual confussion in middle age. It must be terrible! I feel so sorry for the poor people...
But, all this is so interesting! Very good book.
And there are some gay stories, too :o), some nice, some cruel ones: poor sweet (gay young unha
Feb 18, 2013 Myriad rated it did not like it
My reaction in one sentence: What the eff was the point?

There’s a problem if I finish reading your book and I have no idea why you wrote it. And I honestly have no idea why Miller wrote this. What did he think he was discussing? Did he think he actually made some kind of point?

I wanted this to be good; it started out with so much potential. Since the main characters are primarily Nomads who have chosen service to the Church, I figured there would be a great exploration of the tension between a
Erik Graff
Sep 13, 2011 Erik Graff rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Miller fans
Recommended to Erik by: no one
Shelves: sf
I'd read Miller's A Canticle for Liebowitz as a kid. Post-holocaust novels were quite popular then when the threat of global thermonuclear war was much discussed. Unlike most other such books, Canticle was touching, wryly amusing, even hopeful. Civilization had not quite collapsed and the Church, as in the Dark Ages, maintained fragments of culture and learning.

This book was intended as a sequel, being set many years after its predecessor. Unfortunately, Miller did not live to see it through to
Martin Moleski
Jul 07, 2014 Martin Moleski marked it as to-read
Shelves: science-fiction
I loved Canticle for Liebowitz when I was younger--I read it three or four times.

I was shocked and saddened when I heard that the author committed suicide. I've never used the book in my courses as a consequence.

Some day, I hope to stumble across the sequel and see how it goes.

May God have mercy on Walter. May his soul and the souls of all of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God, rest in peace.
This book is structured much like the first book: A series of delightful events surrounds a hapless junior monk and then other stuff that is just kind of tedious.

Any time there were people around, this book is great. The characters are all a little wacky. But for some reason, they like to A) have councils of war and B) go do some war, both of which I found trying.

Though, I got to tell you. The nomads have some pretty great names. If your name was Holy Madness I might (view spoiler)
Robert Wallis
Oct 31, 2016 Robert Wallis rated it liked it
A book that rewards the concentration I didn't give it. Set within the same post apocolyptic world of it's predecessor. It follows a man spun by his own failings across a tale of complicated high church politics and secular conflict. With a lot of things going on you will need to set aside a couple of full Sunday's afternoons to keep a grip on it all, and the momentum for the story to grab you. Not a book to do in fits and starts as I tried if you want to appreciate and enjoy it fully. If I had, ...more
Pedro P. Enguita
Un buen libro, aunque queda muy lejos de la mítica "Cántico por Leibowitz". Ni el estilo ni la temática ni la forma de narrar la historia están a la altura de su antecesora. A pesar de eso, insisto, sigue siendo un buen libro.
William Cline
Jan 24, 2013 William Cline rated it liked it
It’s a shame that Miller didn’t finish Saint Leibowitz and the Wild Horse Woman before he died. He had the makings of a rich novel, related to his earlier book A Canticle for Leibowitz but capable of standing on its own. Sadly, the book as it was published is much less than what it could have been.

In Terry Bisson’s account of working to finish Miller’s book for posthumous publication (contains mild spoilers for both Saint Leibowitz and Canticle), he claims that Miller’s manuscript, as he recei
Feb 03, 2014 loupgarous rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
The last novel written by Walter M. Miller before his death in the 1970s (with considerable posthumous rework by science-fiction author Terry Bisson at the Miller family's request), Saint Leibowitz and the Wild Horse Woman is a sequel to Miller's classic postapocalyptic novel A Canticle for Leibowitz.

This time, the action all happens within the lifespan of Brother Blacktooth "Nimmy" St. George of the Abbey of Saint Leibowitz, a hundred years after the action in the "Fiat Homo" chapter of A Canti
Perry Whitford
What the hell happened to Walter M Miller?

In the 1950's he was a fairly consistent writer of short-stories who ended the decade producing one of the kite-marks of "literary" post-apocolyptic science fiction, A Canticle for Leibowitz.

Then, all of a sudden, he produced precisely nothing until this follow-up novel 40 years later - and this was only published posthumously, after he blew his own brains out with a gun and an editor whittled down a sprawling 600 page manuscript by a third.

I had previ
Le terme « arborescence » utilisé sur la quatrième de couverture est juste puisque l’histoire du roman se déroule soixante-dix ans après le séjour de Thor Thaddeo, le savant de Hannegan City, à l’abbaye de Leibowitz dans « Un cantique pour Leibowitz ».
« L’héritage de Saint Leibowitz » est d’une structure plus classique que le précédent. Ici on suit un personnage tout au long du roman. Je trouve que le titre anglais (Saint Leibowitz and the Wild Horse Woman) est plus parlant lorsqu’on lit le rom
Jan 02, 2013 Bernard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: post-apoc
I struggled with this book, an 'interquel' to Miller's previous novel, A Canticle for Leibowitz. The middle third of this mature-themed novel was difficult reading but I am satisfied to have finished it. At first I couldn't figure out what the book was supposed to be about. Then I realized it was really about one man, Brother Blacktooth "Nimmy" St. George, born a nomad but who joined the monks at the St. Leibowitz Abbey in the Southwest desert, but who through all his life struggled to find a ba ...more
Kirk Johnson
Sep 08, 2016 Kirk Johnson rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Until the last portion of this book, I thought it slightly inferior to its predecessor, A Canticle for Leibowitz - which would only have been expected, as this was published forty years after the classic. But the end was a thing of such beauty, and gave such perspective to the earlier portions of this book, and fit so well with the first, that I put it away like a treasure when I had finished it. This is mystical science fiction at its best.

Addendum: Turns out - and this is shocking to me becaus
Oct 22, 2016 Rhiannon rated it really liked it
Having read the first book, I was curious about this sequel. It has some references to the first book, but with a new protagonist. He's kind of a strange character but definitely still a good guy. The sexuality definitely seems out of place in a story of monks, but it's a dystopian future and it's not really that much. The Wild Horse Woman in the title doesn't really show up too often, but that's par the course for books featuring my favorite mythical being. She's featured in three forms, which ...more
Ethan I. Solomon
Dec 03, 2014 Ethan I. Solomon rated it liked it
Shelves: own
I really enjoyed this book, way more than I thought I would. An interesting take on the post-apocalyptic genre, which often times finds itself shying away from religious storytelling as it can be difficult to justify its existence in science-fiction in general.

I find myself wanting to give this book four stars and yet I am held back by one crucial factor; the ending. In A Canticle For Leibowitz, a few ugly points about society and religion are faced and I was left feeling changed, as I believe
Nathan Buxton
Oct 07, 2015 Nathan Buxton rated it really liked it
It's certainly not the masterpiece that Miller found with Canticle, but still an interesting journey nonetheless. This is hardly a book of science fiction; it's more a story of losing and finding faith, and it's a more powerful work because of this. If you're looking for a second verse to the hymn of the enduring Church from Canticle, it won't be found here. The same gripping humanity is here: all the characters are trying to make the best life they can with what the mid-33rd century has given t ...more
This book was somewhat underwhelming to me. I read it immediately after I finished Canticle (which I love) for the third time and it just does not live up to the standard of the first book.

The focus of the book on politics is an interesting choice. I enjoyed the parts about the conclave. However, the 'human side' of the story was not fleshed out. Many characters felt like cardboard to me.

The book was wel structured though. I would recommend it to someone who really enjoyed Canticle but with a ca
Ed Terrell
Feb 18, 2016 Ed Terrell rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2016-fiction
"Saint Leibowitz and the Wild Horse Woman" is the 40 year followup of his "A Canticle for Leibowitz" a book whose originality puts Miller right up there with Orwell and Huxley. "Saint Leibowitz" is full of complexity, conspiracies and intrigue as we follow the banding together of various hordes and their final assault upon an oppressive regime. Epic in its undertaking of creating a world that arose from the ashes of a nuclear holocaust, the story has a heart as it also follows Blacktooth, a monk ...more
Ketan Shah
It started out well but became too much of a chore to finish.When the story is initially told from the viewpoint of Blacktooth St George it's great ,but once the political intrigues become too deep the story gets too confusing and just doesn't hold interest anymore.Definitely not as good as a Canticle for Leibowitz.If you like the highly detailed,non technological world presented here,you might enjoy Keith Robert's Pavane,set in a backward 20th century molded by the assassination of Queen Elizab ...more
This companion novel followed A Canticle for Leibowitz almost 40 years later. It's set some 70 years after the second section of the preceding novel. The book occasionally rivals the grace and power of its predecessor, but I suspect that the fact that it was ultimately published as a result of the editorial assistance of (read "completed by") another writer explains the occasional creaks and strains. Nevertheless, this is a worthy albeit not entirely successor to one of the great SF classics.
Mar 26, 2016 Michelle rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: dnf
I stopped 84 pages in. Life is too short for books you don't enjoy.

Maybe the fault is mine for trying to read this right after A Canticle for Leibowitz which would be a tough act to follow for anyone (including, apparently, the author who wrote it). Perhaps my expectations were just too high. This started off well enough with a nice premise about loss of faith, but it kind of fizzled after the first two or three chapters.
Jun 13, 2014 Cristián rated it really liked it
From the reviews it was hard to have a good idea if this book was good or not, because almost everyone was comparing it to A Canticle for Leibowitz. This one is a side story set around the year 3244 with Filipeo Hark as the ruler of Texark.
It is a good book. I liked the main characters, the story, the setting... Even though at first it started kind of slow, it grows more and more interesting at every page turn.
I would definitely recommend it whether you liked the other book or not.
Oct 12, 2008 Mike rated it did not like it
I am ashamed to admit that this book was so bad that I stopped reading it half way through. This is very out of character for me.

I don't know if Miller's interests changed over the intervening 30 years or if the substantial differences between Canticle and Wild Horse Woman reflect the thoughts and interests of Terry Bisson, who completed the book after Miller's suicide. Either way, I do know that this book ought not to have been written.
Feb 26, 2015 Mrs.Houck rated it it was ok
This book has quite a different focus than Canticle for Leibowitz. The emphasis was on one life in a period of war and turmoil in between the first two sections of the first book. I really struggled to get through it as there were many depictions of war, battles and lot of crises of conscience in the main character, a Leibowitz Monk named Blacktooth St. George. Parts were interesting, but overall I was disappointed and the ending didn't really satisfy.
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From the Wikipedia article, "Walter M. Miller, Jr.":

Miller was born in New Smyrna Beach, Florida. Educated at the University of Tennessee and the University of Texas, he worked as an engineer. During World War II, he served in the Army Air Corps as a radioman and tail gunner, flying more than fifty bombing missions over Italy. He took part in the bombing of the Benedictine Abbey at Monte Cassino,
More about Walter M. Miller Jr....

Other Books in the Series

St. Leibowitz (2 books)
  • A Canticle for Leibowitz

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