was having very hard time flowing the story - i had few issues with this book
1) the religion - was very annoying
2) why do after war only dumb survive? if there was an atomic war ppl would not destroy everything and send society into stone age just to prevent next dessert or whatever the reason
3) for what this book tried to accomplish it was very short. Not enough character development, and all idiots at that...
I got this on discount, I want my money and time back
There were a TON of really great reviews for this story. I was really looking forward to the listen. I listened to the first 7 hours of it and gave up. The characters were boring. There were no action scenes (at least for the first 7 hours). I understand the irony of the churches worshipping idols from a previous age that were completely irrelevant. It just wasn't that exciting.
I am brutally honest. Popular, love everything they read, reviewers are scared to go neg. and risk their ranking. It's your money!!!
This is one of those books I have tried more then once to read. It is supposedly a classic. Science Fiction Book Club included it in their 50th year Anniversary Collection. This is the first time I have listened to it and I do believe I got more out of it that way. I still am not a fan. It seemed more about the inner workings of the Catholic Church and not a good look.
Leibowitz seems to have been a engineer and not necessarily a good one at that. I also believe that Leibowitz is a Jewish name? The church in the future after the world is almost blown up wants to make him a Saint. Truthfully, I think people in Academia who are not even Science Fiction Fans claim this as a classic. It is funny in parts, but not funny enough.
The narrator is not one of my favorites. He basically has two voices. A regular voice and then a gruff voice.
This is a dystopian combo of Scifi & Religion from an older time, having said that it is quite charming. As a man who once lived a lifestyle not so dissimilar from the monks, I can understand their faith and and their acceptance of science quite readily and find it quite realistic. While being a product of its time, it still stands well in ours and is a classic for a reason. I highly suggest it.
Tom Weiner's characterizations.
I loved how I could listen to it and enjoy it, but disagree with it at the same time.
Yes, I listened to his reading of Radio Free Albemouth, and this is far superior.
When the monks picketed the euthanasia clinic.
A Canticle for Leibowitz, ironically, has seen over half a century of time pass since it was first published in 1960. It takes place in three different time periods, each separated by 600 years. “Fiat Homo” (“Let There Be Man”) takes place in the 26th century, deep in a post-nuclear Dark Age. “Fiat Lux” (“Let There Be Light”) takes place in 3174, when the Dark Age is nearly over. “Fiat Voluntas Tua” (“Let They Will Be Done”) takes place in 3781, when humankind has colonized the stars as a second nuclear holocaust is looming.
“Fiat Homo” is based on the short story “A Canticle for Leibowitz,” about an Albertian abbey in the desert following nuclear war or the “flame deluge.” Although the narration is third person, we see events through the nervous, 17-year-old Brother Francis. While on a vigil in the desert, Brother Francis discovers evidence of the founder of the Albertian Order, Edward Leibowitz which could possibly lead to Leibowitz's canonization in New Rome. It's a wonderful section about the cyclical nature of Dark Ages, although I would argue that with the transition from feudalism to capitalism, humankind has replaced Dark Ages with depressions, and that with the transition from capitalism to socialism, humankind will replace depressions with recessions. The section also compares Dark Ages with the deluge and nuclear war. The reader is reminded of the antediluvian societies who were very advanced, but corrupt.
“Fiat Lux” is the weakest section in the book, based on the short story, “And the Light Is Risen.” Here, again, the narration is in the third person, seen through the eyes of the secular scholar Thon Pfardentrott “Fiat Lux” includes the second Jewish character of the novel, Benjamin, who is a Shakespearean fool with a glass eye. The first Jewish character is Leibowitz himself, who converted to Catholicism following the flame deluge. The survival of Benjamin, who is over 100 years old and claims to be 5500 years old (this would put his birth slightly after the death of the 10th Patriarch, Noah, who lived 950 years). There is also a clever mention of Brother Francis, who Benjamin claims to have met 600 years earlier. For 1200 years, the Abbey has preserved the pre-flame-deluge literature, and finally, humankind is ready to enjoy it. The story is epitomized by the monk/engineer, Brother Kornhoer, who creates a simple, treadmill-powered arc lamp. His work is great, of course, but he has been overtaken by secular scholars.
“Fiat Voluntas Tua” is based on the short story, “The Last Canticle,” and it is the most complex of the three sections, dealing with euthanasia, suicide, cyclical history, nuclear war, extra-solar colonization, and the conflict between Church and State. In particular, the brothers of the Order of Leibowitz are required by the government to tell nuclear fallout victims that they can go to state euthanasia clinics if their case is hopeless. This, of course, represents suicide, a mortal sin, meaning that Hell awaits. Abbot Zerchi, who is the head of the order and serves as the eyes of this novel, has robed monks picketing the clinic, carrying signs which say, “Abandon all hope ye who enter.” This, of course, is the sign on the entrance to Hell in Dante's Inferno. Meanwhile, a group of monks who used to be astronauts plan to leave the Earth to spread Catholicism to colonies on other solar systems.
This is by far the best science-fiction book I've read this year (sorry, The Martian). Instead of humor, it brings wit. Instead of dogma, it brings a worldview the reader can choose whether to agree with or not. The message is fairly clear, though. In a world of darkness, Christianity is the light, and the monks of the Albertian Order of St. Leibowitz resonated deeply with me, despite my secular humanism. This is quite simply, a science-fiction masterpiece, one every fan of the genre should read. *****
After a nuclear war the world is a wasteland, like so many past dictators those that survive push their anger towards the educated. An order of the the Catholic church has taken on the task of preserving man's scientific knowledge until society is again ready for it. This is the story one monastery order that takes on this task for thousands of years.
The book is broke into three stories: The first a novice monk, who is prone to fainting, makes a discovery that unwillingly involves him in the canonization process of the order founder Leibowitz. We see how the monks offer their work and preserve the past. In the second story, civilization has advanced to a new renaissance age and a leading secular scientist comes to the monastery to review and discover the history and scientific knowledge they have kept. The third story takes place when society have advanced to the stars but is on the verge of destroying itself, again. The church takes steps to not repeat the past and give the future hope, we also see how people react to suffering.
The characters are well realized. These are not cloistered monks that do nothing but pray. They're normal people with humour and personalities, who have devoted their life to their work and their faith. It also does not water down religious teaching or try to 'modernize' it. Often authors will adjust the church teaching to show so call progress, that is not the case here. The Abbots fight against euthanasia is as strong as someone today would be.
Since it was written in the 1960s the technology referenced can feel dated, there no computers, which may be a good thing for preserving knowledge. The world is well realized but may seem cliche to people despite it being one of the first.
Explores themes of technological vs social development, history repeating itself, and church vs. secularism. Give hints of events that can be either interpreted as divine, as often is by the POV, or explained by other means by the reader if they so chooses.
Worth reading if you like classics, somber but funny post-apocalyptic stories or religious and philosophy themes. You don't have to be catholic to appreciate it but you'll appreciate the through and detail the author put into it.
If you have a taste for theological speculation on what the Catholic Church might look like following an apocalyptic event then you'll enjoy the story. I found the lack of a central protagonist (if you don't count the church) made it hard to stay engaged with the story. The prolific use of Latin made it also feel pretentious. The performer certainly seemed to have a good handle on the Latin pronunciation and tried to give the characters their own voices, but there wasn't much character development to work with.
A standout in the "dystopian" genre, from the height of the cold war. There is a Catholic worldview in operation throughout. After human civilization collapses (after nuclear war), it is the job of a monastic order (just as after the collapse of Classical civilization) to gather up the fragments and lovingly preserve them, passing on human knowledge to future generations. Really three stories in one, in which the church stands throughout as she has always stood.
There are so many beautiful things in this book: the lyrical description of a lovingly illuminated manuscript copy of a schematic diagram, the reinvention of the electric lightbulb accompanied by a communal recitation of Genesis 1, the final scenes with the abbot as he confronts the same ethical issues that plague every generation.
Narration is mostly okay, but the Latin pronunciation is erratic (there's plenty of Latin, mostly scriptural and liturgical quotations), and some of the accent choices seem odd. Worth a listen if you are interested in sci-fi and Catholicism.
I don't mind that this story -- written in 1959 -- gets the whole "end of the world" thing wrong. We now know that the world won't end in an atomic war, but with climate change and zombies, of course.
What I do mind, however, is that the whole story kind of sucks. There's a group of selfless, dedicated, intelligent monks who do everything in their power to safeguard some undisclosed "memorabilia" through centuries of ignorance and unrest. And what is this precious "memorabilia," you ask? No one ever says, but it sounds like just a bunch of worthless engineering diagrams or circuit drawings. Big deal--and certainly not enough to restart civilization after it was ruined in a nuclear apocalypse. That's really not much of a story either, unless you think that a propaganda piece about the Catholic Church makes for a great sci-fi story. For me, I need a bit more, thanks.
And what in the heck is up with the narration? One character in the book--supposedly a brilliant scientist and scholar of the future--is given the accent of Foghorn Leghorn! And the other characters are not treated much better. The narration was very distracting in my view.
Anyway, I did finish the book just to see if it gets better at the end (spoiler alert--it doesn't). I say, don't waste your time and get a better book to listen to. Life is short, and zombies will be here soon!!
Science fiction, philosophy, religion all woven into an intriguing story. Masterpiece of literature. Hilariously funny in places, as serious as life in others.