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The Sparrow Audiobook

The Sparrow

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Publisher's Summary

Emilio Sandoz is a remarkable man, a living saint and Jesuit priest who undergoes an experience so harrowing and profound that it makes him question the existence of God. This experience - the first contact between human beings and intelligent extraterrestrial life - begins with a small mistake and ends in a horrible catastrophe.

Sandoz is a part of the crew sent to explore a new planet. What they find is a civilization so alien and incomprehensible that they feel compelled to wonder what it means to be human.

The priest is the only surviving member of the crew, and upon his return, he is confronted by public inquisition and accusations of the most heinous crimes imaginable. His faith utterly destroyed, crippled and defenseless, his only hope is to tell his tale. Father John Candotti has been charged with discovering the truth, but the truth may be more than Earth is willing to accept.

©2008 Mary Doria Russell; (P)2008 Brilliance Audio

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (1495 )
5 star
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4.2 (1251 )
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4.3 (1251 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Leanna Seattle, WA United States 06-27-15
    Leanna Seattle, WA United States 06-27-15 Member Since 2008

    I love to read, but I am time-limited. Audible allows me to keep up with all my favorite authors while on the hiking trail. Thanks, Audible!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Amazing!"
    Any additional comments?

    What an outstanding series debut! Sparrow follows a interstellar Jesuit mission that takes place, because music signals are detected through SETI. While it may not sound like it, this book has it all: alien cultures and ecosystems, evolution, love, friendship, mentorship, loss, betrayal, brutality, slavery, meaning of life, moral obligation, etc. Additionally, this book has the added theological discussions that inevitably emerge when people decide to walk with God but are good friends with atheists and agnostics. The mission crew members are described in detail giving the reader textured insight into their motivations. Basically, this is a great book. I can't wait to listen to the sequel.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathy Davis, CA, United States 07-22-14
    Kathy Davis, CA, United States 07-22-14 Member Since 2008

    I am retired and I love having more time for audio books. I also enjoy hiking, birding, gardening, and genealogy.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Jesuits in space!! First contact and so much more"

    I read this book in paper and was SO happy to be able to get the audiobook. Colacci does a really fine narration to make the listening experience just about perfect.

    While classified as science fiction, this book is so much more. If you are NOT usually a sci-fi fan, do not write The Sparrow off. It is a very unusual book that is multi-dimensional. It has so much to offer besides the sci-fi. If you ARE a sci-fi fan, just know that you will be getting a lot more than you might be expecting. Which is also good, right?

    The character development is excellent, and what interesting characters Mary Doria Russell has created! This book addresses so much--philosophy, theology (Catholicism, Judaism) , celibacy, friendship, music, sexual assault, among others. There are a great deal of references to God (after all, a number of the characters are Jesuits!) , but it didn't put me off at all. I usually am turned off by books with religiosity in them; I can't stand the sneaky preachy-ness of some authors. That is not what this book is about!

    I am not going to describe the story as it has been adequately done in other reviews. Perhaps you'd be better off surprised like I was the first time I read the book. But you should know that it is a very intense listening experience, especially toward the end, when we learn what really happened to the main character, Emilio Sandoz.

    This book is like no other book I have read or listened to. I am so glad I found it.

    6 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    cheryl f 01-03-15
    cheryl f 01-03-15
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    "Best Listen EVER for me leading to my first review"
    Would you listen to The Sparrow again? Why?

    Absolutely...did not want it to end. Complex, moving tale. The "first contact" idea and space travel is not my usual reading fare and were off-putting initially but in the end were essential to the story. The lack of vilification but attempts to understand instead, the presentation of desire and faith so vulnerable to disappointment and confusion was very well portrayed.


    What did you like best about this story?

    How the real story unfolds through Emilio's tears and the actual bravery dressed as callousness of his superior.


    Have you listened to any of David Colacci’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

    No. But his voice modulation, sometimes muttering so low that I had to rewind and turn up the volume marred an otherwise good presentation of the material which included multiple complex accents, new words and languages, and sophisticated terminology of medical, aeronautic, techie and futuristic ideas.


    If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

    Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground outside your Father's care. I hope a film IS made of it.


    Any additional comments?

    This should be required reading for Christian theology classes.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Howard Cumberland, MD, United States 05-17-14
    Howard Cumberland, MD, United States 05-17-14 Member Since 2010

    When I like something I'll let you know. If I don't, I'll let you know that too!

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    "An interesting take on higher powers."

    I listened to The Sparrow and immediately moved on to The Children of God. Enjoyed listening to both and following the adventure into the discovery of other intelligent live in the solar system. Many well developed and memorable characters with dialog which propelled the story forward to discover a world beyond our own. It has many political and societal issues woven into the story, if you pay close enough attention to catch the author’s attempts to make statements about the church, capitalism, politics, belief in a higher power, slavery and population control. Some of the characters switch from good to bad and back several times during each book. These are novels that can make you listen for a while and then think about how this effects our present, our past and our future, for just as long. I found myself often stopping to contemplate these issues before continuing on with the story. If you have two credits and want several hours of intelligent novels, by all means get The Sparrow and The Children of God. (please note, you don’t need to get COG, but you really must start with The Sparrow. I don’t think you would understand near as much of COG without first listening to The Sparrow.)

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cheri Medicine Hat, AB, Canada 04-02-12
    Cheri Medicine Hat, AB, Canada 04-02-12 Member Since 2013
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    "Wish it had never ended"
    Would you listen to The Sparrow again? Why?

    Do yourself a favor and read this book. Makes other books seem amateurish by comparison. A consummate author. Very smart but knows how to tell a story.


    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Aja Sunny CA 09-30-09
    Aja Sunny CA 09-30-09 Member Since 2008

    Random Reviewer

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    "Good Story - Odd Audio Quality"

    My star rating reflects the audio quality - not story quality.

    Actually, Im not quite done with this book, an hour/thirty listening time left. Im finding the story to be good, I like the characters, and it keeps my interest. Until about 3 hours ago, the narrator kept a nice pace, and I was comfortable with the listening experience.

    Then, all of a sudden, it felt as though the recording was sped up fractionally. The pace is now a bit rushed, and, although it doesnt sound like Alvin and the Chipmunks, the narrator has begun to grate on me. Perhaps they were trying to meet a time-length goal, but the result has really damaged my ability to take in the story without being annoyed.

    I definitely would recommend this book as sci-fi-lite. I found that the character-based storyline was a nice change from my preferred sci-fi genres, where the main goal is world-building and techno-expose. This was a nice leisurely exploration of alien encounters, but READ the book in hard copy, and skip this download.

    13 of 17 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S 12-28-09
    S 12-28-09
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    "Not for me, maybe for you"

    I didn't really enjoy this book but could easily see how others would really like it and get a lot out of it. If you are looking for a book that explores the Catholic Church from a very critical but loving point of view thru hard sci-fi this book may be for you. But if you don't really care to deeply and critically spend a whole book exploring the depth of the Catholic Church and the way it interacts with the world and itself then skip it.

    10 of 13 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Braden Stromdahl 07-07-16 Member Since 2013
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    "Beautiful"

    This book took me from a warm glow to a desolate hopelessness so bad that I almost didn't finish it, but the ending makes it all worth it. I love this book.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jordan Seattle, WA, United States 06-30-16
    Jordan Seattle, WA, United States 06-30-16 Member Since 2015
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    "Faith in the face of the unknown"

    Great novel both a Sci fi novel but also an exploration of human's need for faith, love, companionship and purpose. An examination of other worlds both the Jesuits their mission and history and Rakat a planet with intelligent ET life. Captivating a very character and human focused piece of science fiction that I believe it will appeal to both hardcore Scifi lovers and those who usually stay away from intergalactic travel.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Margaret Fox 06-30-16
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    "Beautiful and horrifying"

    This story is beautifully organized. The mix of science fiction and faith actually works and really explores what it means to be human and the costs of seeking knowledge. Each character serves a purpose and the plot development is nearly perfect. Wonderful narration doesn't confuse with too much affectation.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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