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Book cover of A Canticle for Leibowitz

A Canticle for Leibowitz

by Walter Miller

Publisher: Random House Publishing Group
Pages: 368
Mass Market Paperback
ISBN: 9780553273816

Available to Buy

Overview of A Canticle for Leibowitz

Deep in the Utah desert, Brother Francis of the Albertian Order of Leibowitz has miraculously discovered the relics of the martyr Isaac Leibowitz himself, including the blessed blueprint and the sacred shopping list. They may provide a ray of hope in a terrifying age of darkness, a time of ignorance and genetic monsters that are the unholy aftermath of the Flame Deluge. As the mystery unfolds, it is the search for meaning, for truth, and for love, that offers hope to a humanity teetering on the edge of an abyss.

"Angry and eloquent...a terrific story." (New York Times)

Synopsis of A Canticle for Leibowitz

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, Jr.'s A Canticle for Leibowitz is a true landmark of twentieth-century literature — a chilling and still-provocative look at a post-apocalyptic future.

In a nightmarish ruined world slowly awakening to the light after sleeping in darkness, the infant 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 here 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, and 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.

About the Author, Walter Miller

Walter M. Miller, Jr. grew up in the American South and enlisted in the Army Air Corps a month after Pearl Harbor. He spent most of World War II as a radio operator and tail gunner, participating in more than fifty-five combat sorties, among them the controversial destruction of the Benedictine abbey at Monte Cassino, the oldest monastery in the Western world. Fifteen years later he wrote A Canticle for Leibowitz. The sequel, Saint Leibowitz and the Wild Horse Woman, followed after nearly forty years.

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From Barnes & Noble

The Barnes & Noble Review
In the introduction to this visually stunning reissue of Walter M. Miller, Jr.'s 1959 postapocalyptic classic, Mary Doria Russell classifies the Hugo Award–winning A Canticle for Leibowitz as Literature with a capital L: a novel that will change all those who read it. She couldn't be more correct -- this bitingly cynical and disturbingly prophetic look at the future of humankind will chill readers to the bone.

Centuries after a nuclear war devastated the Earth, Brother Francis Gerard of Leibowitz Abbey is on a Lenten fast in the Utah desert when he uncovers an ancient fallout survival shelter containing puzzling clues into pre-Flame Deluge culture. Some of the findings may even have belonged to martyred "booklegger" Isaac Edward Leibowitz himself, a priest who dedicated his life to saving knowledge for future generations. But will Brother Gerard's discovery help humankind avoid another self-inflicted catastrophe?

Almost a half century after it was first published, A Canticle for Leibowitz hasn't lost any of its megaton punch: If anything, Miller's words relating to humankind's propensity for self-destruction have taken on a kind of eerie aura of prophecy: "Is the species congenitally insane, Brother?… Are we doomed to do it again and again and again? Have we no choice but to play the Phoenix in an unending sequence of rise and fall?… Are we doomed to it, Lord, chained to the pendulum of our own mad clockwork, helpless to halt its swing?" A fascinating and paradoxical novel by an equally paradoxical man, A Canticle for Leibowitz is undeniably one of the best science fiction novels of all time. Russell sums it up perfectly: "You'll be different when you finish it." Paul Goat Allen

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