Julia Miele Rodas's Reviews > A Canticle for Liebowitz

A Canticle for Liebowitz by Walter M. Miller Jr.
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's review
Jun 14, 2012

it was amazing
bookshelves: bcc-reading-challenge

Finally (and I'm starting to recognize a theme here), I reread (again! oh, dear!) Walter M. Miller's delightful A Canticle for Liebowitz (1960), a foundational post-apocalyptic SF novel in three parts that tracks the so-called progress of humanity from nuclear desolation through the renaissance of technological knowledge and the inevitable return to self-destruction. The lovliest bit here is that Miller makes the Roman Catholic church (and the sainted Liebowitz, a mid-20th-century electrical engineer wrapped up in weapons design and construction) the collector and repository of technical "memorabilia." The idea that knowledge must be preserved, even if we are going to use it to destroy ourselves, seems like a very good joke, if rather a bitter one. Still, the story is told with such fetching comic nuance and with such sympathy for humanity, that it does take off quite a bit of the edge.

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