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The Sparrow | [Mary Doria Russell]

The Sparrow

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.
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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 (888 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Budd Trippet Austin, TX, United States 02-01-15
    Budd Trippet Austin, TX, United States 02-01-15 Member Since 2013

    Audible saves my sanity on my hour long commute! Traffic jams just mean more listening. Enjoy Sci-Fi & Fantasy.

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    6
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    "Crisis of the spirit and super 1st contact story"

    Excellent characters, I particularly enjoyed the exposition of the trip and first contact. Emilio Santos is a riveting character. I loved DW Yarborough character . The cultures were portrayed with thought and originality. I am not Catholic but now am interested in reading more about the Jesuits. I have to read the sequel now

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joshua Harris 01-20-15 Member Since 2014
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    "wow...intense"

    A little slow in getting going but an original story and worthwhile listen. Excellent narration!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    G. Parish 01-15-15
    G. Parish 01-15-15 Member Since 2013

    Blind Bard

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    "Beware"

    Now that I have your attention I would say this is well written and well thought out. I think many listeners will appreciate the quality of the story while being unable to turn their eyes from the excruciating train wreck that is the characters personal stories. I should also add the narrator regularly changes volume at inopportune moments rendering certain portions painful for listening to. In all honesty there are so many better books out there, even for the drama types that I would suggest you avoid this one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    R. O'Connor Omaha, NE United States 01-08-15
    R. O'Connor Omaha, NE United States 01-08-15

    Bobby

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    "I didn't want it to end..."

    MDR has a gift for setting big theological questions in the context of vibrant characters who came to life with deep humanity as she wove personal journeys into THE quest.
    Her eye for detail & her ear for speech both alien & human made her book rich indeed
    The narrator added color while not inserting himself...a truly humble blessing

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Lynn Downie Alpharetta, GA United States 01-03-15
    Lynn Downie Alpharetta, GA United States 01-03-15 Member Since 2014
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    3
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    "Thought provoking"

    I don't usually choose to read/listen to science fiction but picked this up on a friends recommendation. The religious theme intrigued me and I found parts of the book thought provoking. Can't say I was a big fan of the ending...all in all a good read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    cheryl f 01-03-15
    cheryl f 01-03-15
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    8
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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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    JCL Coarsegold, CA USA 01-02-15
    JCL Coarsegold, CA USA 01-02-15 Member Since 2004

    Live near Yosemite National Park. Listen to Audible books while hiking.

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    "Intelligent; not an adventure"

    The Sparrow isn’t so much a sci-fi tale as it is a theological inquiry where the main question of the plot isn’t answered. After the story, the author allows how she is an academic who has not written fiction before. Her work has well-developed characters with well-written interaction among them, but no hard action. All the violence takes place off stage. In short, it wasn’t what I expected but still found the book well-written. The reader is good. On the sci-fi level, one has to suspend disbelief quite firmly at some points in the plot, i.e., the crew with its particular personalities would never have ever been permitted to undertake such a momentous and historical mission (some government would have stopped them); the characters’ organization would never have had the resources to fund such a mission (internal disputes about inappropriate expenditures would have stopped the project); the episode about the hands would never have happened in real life except under huge duress and onstage violence; and the radio reports back to earth would have been decipherable and understandable by many (hackers; hams; foreign governments, etc.), so get ready to sigh as the storyline takes unlikely, if not downright unbelievable, turns. Nevertheless, the book is well written and well read by its narrator, so if you like thoughtful fiction, you will probably enjoy this work.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer 11-09-14
    Jennifer 11-09-14 Member Since 2011
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    "Wow."
    Any additional comments?

    Perhaps one of the most surprising pieces of fiction I've encountered. This one keeps you engaged and then stays with you for months after you've left it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Josh Sacks 07-04-14
    Josh Sacks 07-04-14 Member Since 2010

    quirkyllama

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    "Implausible SF- extremely contrived"
    What did you like best about The Sparrow? What did you like least?

    Perhaps I'm being too hard on The Sparrow, having just read "The Martian" which treats space travel as something difficult and dangerous. Apparently in The Sparrow, you just hop an asteroid which gang of who's ever around to travel to distant stars. No zero-g training or vacuum experience required.
    When you arrive at the planet, everyone comes on down with the lander and the crew operates more like a family on vacation than a military command structure. Oh yeah, and extremely smart people who've trained for the mission don't think about fuel consumption or the importance of establishing contact with command before doing rash things.

    The plot is poorly constructed and contrived to arrive where the author wants it.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Whatsczup? 02-17-14
    Whatsczup? 02-17-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wonderful Spiritual Journey"
    Where does The Sparrow rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

    Top 3


    What does David Colacci bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    His beautiful narration made me feel like I was sitting in a performance of reader's theatre. He brought all the details to life.


    Any additional comments?

    I read this book years ago when it came out. Hearing it again like this was truly a new spiritual awakening for me. Thank you. I can't wait until next month's credits come available so I can read the next part, Children of God!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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