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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 (1281 )
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4.3 (1054 )
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Performance
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  •  
    09-02-15
    09-02-15 Member Since 2011

    grizwald8

    ratings
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    11
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    Story
    "loved it!"

    a really good listen. I would recommend it to anyone that likes a well written story with memorable characters. science fiction without crazy science. even if you are not a reader of science fiction you will like this story

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Shawn Barrie, Ontario, Canada 08-29-15
    Shawn Barrie, Ontario, Canada 08-29-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "A Catholic, a Jew and Atheist couple board a ship"

    This is a well written, slow moving first contact story that is not written like a sci-fi book. It became a science fiction book because there was no first contact stories left to have on Earth. The only technology used that we don't have is space mining. It's about Earth discovering radio signals from another planet. Poised with indecision, our governments can do nothing. The Jesuits of the Catholic Church sell off their assets to send a mission to the aliens.

    I read the author say that she avoided talking about the technology. A call was a call. A message a message. How it worked isn't important. Her way of describing the use and not the technology makes this book age well.

    Ultimately, this is a book about being human: It's about success and failure. It's about making mistakes while trying to do good. It's about finding God, it's about losing faith. It's about love and friendship.

    It's more philosophical and human than sci-fi, neither an easy read or a hard one.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    EllenofCA 08-22-15
    EllenofCA 08-22-15 Member Since 2015
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    84
    4
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    Story
    "I was sad when it ended"

    I loved the story and the characters. I rarely give a 5 to a book, but this one surprised me.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jasmine 08-01-15
    Jasmine 08-01-15 Member Since 2012
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    9
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    Story
    "Wonderful!"

    I listen to this book many years ago, loved it then and loved it again this time. The authors intellectual and educational background are well demonstrated in this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    AGreviewer 06-09-15
    AGreviewer 06-09-15
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Little wordy but good"

    Good story. Not really a sci fi story per se, more just good fiction with a strong philosophical undertone.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andreas 04-30-15
    Andreas 04-30-15 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    10
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    Story
    "Too much religion for my taste"

    Was hoping for more aliens and less religious philosophy,so for me the story was the weakest part.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bill Bucket 03-22-15
    Bill Bucket 03-22-15 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Great story, sound engineering is not great"

    The narrator did a great job with voices and emotion. But some sentences, described as barely audible, were made to be, in fact, barely audible. I had to rewind and crank the volume to catch them and then the following sentence would be far too loud.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Nathan London, Ontario Canada 03-02-15
    Nathan London, Ontario Canada 03-02-15 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "More literary than fun but good."

    I found it to be a slow read, more literary then fun, and more hard sci-fi then fantasy sci-fi. Despite being published in 1996 the predicted science is vague enough not to take away from advances since then.
    In the near future the discovery of nearby alien civilization causes the Jesuits to organize a mission to make contact. Loosely Paralleling historic Jesuit missionary.
    Like good sci-fi it deals with several social issues and other themes. Faith and devotion is a strong theme throughout. Dealing with significantly different cultures and overcoming one's troubled past.
    Half the book is dealing trauma and a character's personal struggle to reconcile his faith of a loving God with the horrors and evil he witness.
    The aliens and world are different and strange by our standards but understandable if not always relatable. Characters are well developed, believable and interesting. I had an issue that every Priest on the mission seemed loose with their faith. I think the organization of the Church was handled well.
    While funny, clever and hopeful at times this is not a feel good book at the end. If you like first contact stories or theme of struggling with one's faith or traumatic past it's worth a read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    E. Willow Brugh Somerville, MA 02-16-15
    E. Willow Brugh Somerville, MA 02-16-15 Member Since 2015
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    Story
    "one of my favorites"

    raw, deep, and beautiful, this author is exceptional at building the tiny parts of life which add up to an epic story

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andrew Ainsworth 02-12-15 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    5
    3
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    Story
    "Beautiful story"

    A bit wordy at times, but nonetheless musical in its artistry and carefully crafted. An interesting tale of joy and woe. Emilio is a wonderful protagonist to follow.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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