We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
A Canticle for Leibowitz Audiobook

A Canticle for Leibowitz

Regular Price:$23.07
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Publisher's Summary

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.

What the Critics Say

“Chillingly effective.” (Time)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.9 (2727 )
5 star
 (1047)
4 star
 (853)
3 star
 (547)
2 star
 (195)
1 star
 (85)
Overall
3.9 (2462 )
5 star
 (981)
4 star
 (701)
3 star
 (485)
2 star
 (195)
1 star
 (100)
Story
4.2 (2453 )
5 star
 (1105)
4 star
 (857)
3 star
 (364)
2 star
 (83)
1 star
 (44)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Dorathea 12-21-12
    Dorathea 12-21-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    14
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A great listen for a great read"
    What made the experience of listening to A Canticle for Leibowitz the most enjoyable?

    I had read this book a long time ago and was always impressed by the author's grasp of the essential destructiveness of humans. Listening to this was a refresher on the bleak possibilities in a post-nuclear holocaust future. A morality tale, well told.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    This was not a book of characters, so no one stands out. It was a book of circumstance and plot.


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

    No


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

    Will we never learn?


    6 of 10 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Bass guy Penn Valley, PA, United States 05-28-15
    Bass guy Penn Valley, PA, United States 05-28-15 Member Since 2017
    HELPFUL VOTES
    46
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    34
    29
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Meh--there's much better out there"

    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!!

    14 of 24 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 08-10-12 Member Since 2016

    I value intelligent stories with characters I can relate to. I can appreciate good prose, but a captivating plot is way more important.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1048
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    215
    167
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    46
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Good premise, but that's all"

    I got more joy out of reading the wikipedia synopsis of the book than I did from the book itself.

    Miller seemed far more interested in showing off his eclectic vocabulary than in telling the story. It felt like some sort of bizarre creative writing experiment at first. Later he either toned it down, or I got used to it. Either way, it nearly put me off the novel.

    The opening scene of the novel is the only one worth listening to, but then it goes down from there- and stays down.

    I guess the audience is supposed to appreciate the brilliantly subtle way that Miller unravels the events of the past for us, but really I was so bored by the central story lines that it was hard to even care about world Miller was imagining them in.

    I REALLY wanted to like this book. I mean, I stuck it out until the end, despite pretty much hating it by the end of the second chapter. Post-apocalyptic sci-fi is one of my all time favorite genres. Unfortunately this book contained none of the danger and drama that I had imagined were inevitable in this family of stories.

    Ultimately, the problem with the book is that there isn't a single character in here that listeners can come close to carrying about; they're all boring, ignorant, quite folks who like to keep to themselves and study. Sounds exciting, doesn't it?

    18 of 31 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Z. Bouis 03-13-17
    Z. Bouis 03-13-17 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    6
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    21
    21
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "The Precursor of Post-Apocolyptia"

    I had wanted to read this for quite some time since I'm a huge fan of post-apocalyptic fiction in general, and for the most part this novel is the inspiration for post-apocalyptic sci-fi as we know it. It's a particular influence on the Fallout video game series, which I am a huge fan of. The whole concept in post-apocalyptic fiction of a nation like America being destroyed, returning to tribalism, and then slowly over time building up new socieities and cultures over the course of hundreds of years after an apocalypse, that whole concept in post-apocalyptic sci-fi has it's roots in this book.

    The general summary is that there is eventually a nuclear war in which the US is largely decimated. However, immediately following the war's aftermath, there is a great surge of hatred and prejudice towards the educated elite who are blamed for the catastrophe. Scientists, engineers, doctors, professors, etc. are all murdered by mobs of people in cathartic rioting immediately following the war. The Catholic Church, being the massive global organization that it is, somehow has the resources to communicate that monasteries and churches are to be refuges for men and women and women of learning and to preserve as much pre-war knowledge as possible.

    Thus, the premise of the novel is that it follows the story of a single Catholic monastery in the Arizona desert over a huger period of time following the nuclear apocalypse. They end up becoming a bastion of scientific knowledge and learning in a chaotic, barbarous wasteland, which often makes them a target and a lightning rod for violence. However, the monastery survives throughout centuries and is slowly able to effectively use the knowledge and skills they have preserved and collected, to hopefully ensure a better future for humanity.

    It's more of a collection of short stories than one continuous narrative with each story taking part in a different part of America's post-apocalyptic history.

    One of the things I thought was great about that is that several smaller subnations develop in America's wasteland. One of them being a powerful kingdom with Texarkana as it's capital, which I just found hilarious and awesome.

    In terms of general themes the novel is very pro-religion and pro-Catholicism. Although science and technology are the saving grace of humanity the novel makes the case that they are also it's greatest downfall, and that science and technology must be guarded and controlled to prevent their misuse. Also, the final segment of the book has the ethical question of euthanasia as the theme of it's climax, and I found the book's take on the problem was so obviously Catholic I thought it was a bit heavy-handed.

    This is a great novel though, a great and interesting take on post-apocalyptic America. I can easily see why it inspired a genre and the fallout series.

    As for Tom Weiner's performance. While it was ok, he definitely mumbled through parts of it and I found it hard to understand. I wouldn't mind hearing this from another narrator, but still a solid buy if you're interested in this sort of literature.

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Cecil West Memphis, AR, United States 04-21-17
    Cecil West Memphis, AR, United States 04-21-17 Member Since 2009

    I am a fan of both fiction and non-fiction with a recent bias toward fiction, possibly due to my history background. ]

    HELPFUL VOTES
    42
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    103
    13
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Human Nature Not Necessarily Science Fiction"
    Would you consider the audio edition of A Canticle for Leibowitz to be better than the print version?

    Possibly. As a Protestant I found this to be an interesting look at a post apocalyptic Catholic church.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The old Jewish man.


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

    Pacing. As time was a major "character" his pacing let you feel the constant but slow change.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The face off between the "scientist" and the priest.


    Any additional comments?

    It made me think.

    4 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kara Davis Orem, UT United States 12-12-12
    Kara Davis Orem, UT United States 12-12-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    22
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    25
    15
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Weird. Enjoyable listen, but cerebral"
    What does Tom Weiner bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The voice performance is great... the different characters, the Western accents speaking latin, etc. Unexpected and as strange as the story. Reading it would be a completely different experience.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    Not really; it's pretty disjointed and isn't really a narrative story. I found myself thinking more about how Miller came up with it rather than aspects of the story.


    Any additional comments?

    Strange, but worth a listen.

    4 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ted Lancaster, PA, United States 07-18-12
    Ted Lancaster, PA, United States 07-18-12 Member Since 2010

    Don't know what I want to be when I grow up. Trip's cool though. Use Audible to make gym-training sane... And rip my imagination.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    4072
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    520
    439
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    326
    6
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A GREAT STORY! Classic, Reverberates, Sizzles"

    This is an important novel. This is a fun novel. This is a serious novel. This is a scholarly novel. This is everybody's novel. Pity that A Canticle for Leibowitz has somehow become stuck in a SciFi category as opposed to a Great Fiction category. Written in the 1950s, Miller's tale of the future is as gripping today and ripens wonderfully with age. Tom Weiner's the perfect performing artist to tell us "A Canticle For Leibowitz". A GREAT STORY!

    5 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer 06-27-17 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    25
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A bit disjoint"

    I did struggle to finish this book. I'm a big fan of dystopian novels. And there were elements that were quite unique to this story that were enjoyable. In the end however, it lacked cohesion , and the story became cumbersome and confusing.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Ducolon Auburn, WA, US 06-24-17
    David Ducolon Auburn, WA, US 06-24-17 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    42
    19
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Three stories in one and no climax"

    Religion persists along side mythology not very dystopian. It sounds very 1950's culturally. Not even one strong protagonist the only up side was the narrator.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James L. Grant houston, tx 06-21-17
    James L. Grant houston, tx 06-21-17 Member Since 2017
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I would ask for my credit back"

    I am not a fan of this book. 90% fluff 20% connecting fluff 10% substance.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.