A Sci Fi junkie who occasionally goes slumming to read other literature.
A little shaky in places and I got lost a couple of times, but for an end-of-the-world story this was well crafted. I especially liked the characters and dialogue. Still thinking about the ending.
I hadn't read this book for over 20 years and ordered it, expecting to be disappointed. Often the "classics" of yesteryear fail to impress on later readings. This is an exception. It sets the standard for all works featuring the cyclical way that civilizations rise fall and rise again scenarios (see Toynbee). Some humour (not easy in SciFi), some pathos but basically a great story (novel at the time, not so now), good characterisations and a large dollop of cynicism. The narrator does a great job of making the characters come alive and is not afraid to "ham it up" a bit in order to help us get an insight into the character. Thank you for doing a wonderful version of this book.
In the top 10 of any book I've read or heard.
Author very knowledgeable about medieval history and the Catholic Church. A terrific blend of humor and drama. The ending is outstanding.
I don't know. I would gladly listen again.
Laugh, definitely. I seldom cry at fiction.
I go for the post-apocalyptic stuff - favorites - Earth Abides and On the Beach. This one didn't do so much for me because it spanned too much time and was disjointed. I found it difficult to follow the story and lost interest.
This book is a fresh and pertinant now as it was when it was written during the height of the cold war. If you're not my age you probably don't remember having nuclear attack drills and having to hide under your desk at school, holding your head under your hands and with your head down between your knees. (And as I learned as I got older, "kissiing your a** goodbye".)
No, seriously, we had them every month or two in the late 50s when I was in the third and 4th and 5th grade. Then I guess the government decided not to make us do it anymore. But there were a few good post-apocalyptic books writtien during that time. "On the Beach" was one. And "A Canticle for Leibowitiz" was another, though I don't think it was actually discovered until after it had been out a while.
The book is a lot post apocalyptic (twice); a bit fantasy; a whole bunch philosophical, AND highly entertaining. It's about why human beings do the things we do, and how we manage to screw things up so royally, and the nature of evil in this world as well as the nature of good and the ever present coflict between the two. AND it's a fun read. Wait until the Abbot loses his temper and hits a doctor in the nose because he's doing euthansia of radiation victims. He has to confess his sin. His confessor, the assistant abbot, is relentless. It's hilarious.
However, beyond the funny scene of a priest who lost his temper are serious questions. And the arguement is as pertinant today as it was then, with all the focus on abortion and our "culture of death". Who is right? Is it the doctor, who is only trying to provide a compasionate and painless death to people who are dying already from radiation poisoning? After all, they are facing a painful and slow death and are going to die no matter what. Or is it the abbot who's right; who says to put your faith in God, and give your suffering to Him? The abbot maintains a person can use that pain and suffering to get closer to God. Who is on the right? Is the doctor really perpetuating evil, as the priest seems to think? Is it that "euthanize them" mind set that lead to the nuclear exchange in the first place?
Get it. You'll enjoy it. And the performance by Tom Weiner is just excellent. This is one of my favorite SF books of all time, read very well by a veteran reader. Enjoy!!!
I would consider them the same since it the same story I think the reader did a better job than I would have done since I seem to skip words.
He brings a depth to the story that I might not have depending on the day and page I might be reading.
It describes the arc of a civilization in three wonderfully written sections.
Brother Francis Gerard is a character that by dint of his humility and neurosis drew me into an epic story.
He seemingly gives a unique voice to the myriad of characters, which I think is remarkable.
It, was too long to listen to in one sitting. Moreover, this is a book I enjoyed thinking about while I wasn't listening to it.
Great book. I'm glad the editor put this in the $4.95 bin. Thank You.
Just couldn't get into it. It started off interesting but didn't keep my attention.
Well, I thought it was a good effort that fell a bit short. It felt like a couple of short stories on a common topic which were loosely tied together. There was an extremely feeble attempt to provide a 'thread' throughout the book, but it really felt artificial.
Listening to the book did make me want to learn Latin :-)
Oregon Forester, audio book addict
I will say, the book left me scratching my head but I did like the story. This book is not for everyone it is not a story that is easy to follow. The writer leads you into corners that are bewildering, you'll find yourself thinking "What?" However there is a poetry in the writing that kept me going through out the book. A post apocalyptic tale that spans century's and illustrates a somewhat cynical view of a violent humanity that is destined to repeat its mistakes over and over again.