Bruce's Reviews > A Canticle for Leibowitz

A Canticle for Leibowitz by Walter M. Miller Jr.
Rate this book
Clear rating

by
735201
's review
Jun 02, 09

Read in June, 2009

I just finished this book, which was recommended by my son Rob. It's a remarkable book, well written, imaginative, deeply thought provoking. Though often classified as science fiction, it really transcends that genre. The term "speculative fiction" works better: the book imagines a post-apocalyptic future in three stages, but with recurring themes and symbols. Besides presenting, often with subtle humor and biting irony, a number of striking characters and incidents, the book is drenched with philosophical, ethical, and religious implications, and comments (through the events and the characters) on science, technology, politics, history, and lots of other things. The author skillfully depicts individual stories but sets them in a large-scale global and historical context so that the drama involves the fate of civilizations and even of humanity, as well as of individuals.

For me, the author's apparent point of view became a little too obvious near the end, but for the most part the ideas in the book are dramatized, not preached, allowing readers to grapple with the ideas without feeling pressured toward a particular conclusion. Another intriguing thing about the book, from my point of view, is that it begins with a character named "Brother Francis Gerard of Utah" (I live in Utah), associated with a monastery which seeks to preserve learning after a period of nuclear destruction and subsequent social chaos. I look forward to the sequel Saint Leibowitz and the Wild Horse Woman, which apparently further explores events taking place between parts 2 and 3 of the earlier book.
Likeflag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read A Canticle for Leibowitz.
Sign In »

Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Andy (new)

Andy Great review Professor Young! I'll try it out! I wanted to read the road, which seems toi have some similar themes as this one, but it just seemed too graphic for me to be comfortable with it, and McCarthy's religious philosophizing is so blatantly atheistic in other books that I kind of got sick of it.


message 2: by Andy (new)

Andy Mark you're a very enthusiastic reader! Either that or you've been on a hot streak with you're reading lately :).

Malcolm Gladwell is always a fun read. Logically, he commits a lot of fallacies somewhere in the vast space between his premises and his conclusions. He spends so much time constructing one side of his logical bridge, putting in the foundation, the supports, painting it, making a nice railing, painting lines, and then he seems to lose patience and decides to just leap to the other side of the chasm, leaving his beige half-finished and him standing on the other side like magic.

I've learned to enjoy his stories and throw anything starting with "and thus we see" out the window.


message 3: by Andy (new)

Andy Mark you're a very enthusiastic reader! Either that or you've been on a hot streak with you're reading lately :).

Malcolm Gladwell is always a fun read. Logically, he commits a lot of fallacies somewhere in the vast space between his premises and his conclusions. He spends so much time constructing one side of his logical bridge, putting in the foundation, the supports, painting it, making a nice railing, painting lines, and then he seems to lose patience and decides to just leap to the other side of the chasm, leaving his beige half-finished and him standing on the other side like magic.

I've learned to enjoy his stories and throw anything starting with "and thus we see" out the window.


message 4: by Andy (new)

Andy Mark you're a very enthusiastic reader! Either that or you've been on a hot streak with you're reading lately :).

Malcolm Gladwell is always a fun read. Logically, he commits a lot of fallacies somewhere in the vast space between his premises and his conclusions. He spends so much time constructing one side of his logical bridge, putting in the foundation, the supports, painting it, making a nice railing, painting lines, and then he seems to lose patience and decides to just leap to the other side of the chasm, leaving his beige half-finished and him standing on the other side like magic.

I've learned to enjoy his stories and throw anything starting with "and thus we see" out the window.


back to top