Winner of the 1961 Hugo Award for Best Novel and widely considered one of the most accomplished, powerful, and enduring classics of modern speculative fiction, Walter M. Miller’s A Canticle for Leibowitz is a true landmark of 20th-century literature - a chilling and still-provocative look at a postapocalyptic future.
In a nightmarish, ruined world, slowly awakening to the light after sleeping in darkness, the infantile rediscoveries of science are secretly nourished by cloistered monks dedicated to the study and preservation of the relics and writings of the blessed Saint Isaac Leibowitz. From there, the story spans centuries of ignorance, violence, and barbarism, viewing through a sharp, satirical eye the relentless progression of a human race damned by its inherent humanness to recelebrate its grand foibles and repeat its grievous mistakes.
Seriously funny, stunning, tragic, eternally fresh, imaginative, and altogether remarkable, A Canticle for Leibowitz retains its ability to enthrall and amaze. It is now, as it always has been, a masterpiece.
©1959 Walter M. Miller, Jr. (P)2011 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
“Chillingly effective.” (Time)
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.
Not "better," but just a different experience. The narrator, Tom Weiner, does a simply beautiful job. I read A Canticle for Leibowitz originally when I was a teenager, and was delighted to see it pop up in my Audible queue.
The effortless way Miller compresses 1,500 years of future history into three linked volumes - not a bad trick in a book you can listen to in 10 hours.
Everything. Weiner performs the book perfectly, down to the different southwestern and midwestern accents.
Funny, but when I read the book originally 30 years ago, I believe it did just read it cover-to-cover.
I am a 67 yo disabled Vet who lives in N. Texas. I was a medic in the Army during the Viet Nam war, got an MS in ecology and just retired.
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.
Checking out Brandon Sanderson's work
This story tells a somewhat disturbing tale about earth post a nuclear exchange. The story covers a few thousand years and is a pretty disturbing story of humanity. The performance is good.
I am legally blind and talking books are the way I survive.
This is a very special book. The question that Miller deals with is what if the world should succumb to nuclear war and earth is all but wiped out how would the survivors rebuild. Mankind is never been one to learn from the mistakes of the past. Miller is writing in the late fifties when the threat of war was real; when nations across the world were experimenting with weapons that could wipe out whole cities and destroy whole nations.
This is a challenging book. I read somewhere-
"The lesson of History is that man does not learn the lessons of history"
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