A Canticle for Leibowitz
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A Canticle for Leibowitz
Walter M. Miller Jr.
Fantasy & Science Fiction
Aug 27, 2018
This hardheaded yet incantatory novel, full of desert sunlight, dust, and spartan, censer-plumed chambers, opens more than half a millennium after a nuclear holocaust has plunged mankind back into the Dark Ages. In the American Southwest, the monks of the Abbey of the Blessed Leibowitz struggle to preserve the rare and incomprehensible documents that have survived the scathing Simplification, a period in which not just learning but literacy itself has been disdained and persecuted. The abbey is named for its founder, a Jewish electrical engineer in the American military who converted to Roman Catholicism and, in the wake of that now distant nuclear catastrophe, established a monastic order dedicated to hiding books and protecting scientific knowledge. Six hundred years later, the novice Brother Francis stumbles upon a cache of ancient documents and relics from the holy Leibowitz, and eventually travels to New Rome to be present for Leibowitz’s elevation to sainthood. Miller’s tone throughout his recursively calamitous chronicle is alternately coolly ironic, despairing, affirmative, and resigned. The eternal parade of human folly—man as God made him, mitigated only by faith and education—gets the full scrutiny of his gimlet eye. Still, Miller’s vision of cloistered savants struggling to maintain and transmit civilization amidst ineluctable chaos speaks to the most noble and altruistic impulses of the human soul.
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Mar 26, 2019
one of my favorite science fiction books. the new testament, the wandering Jew, all together with a future history
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Mar 27, 2019
This book is weird and has little plot, but it left me with a deep sense of wonder and introspection as I look at our modern age.
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Apr 15
A bit preachy but good story.
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