Nov 27, 2012

A Canticle for Leibowitz

Original Title: A Canticle for Leibowitz
English Title: A Canticle for Leibowitz
Turkish Title: Leibowitz İçin Bir İlahi
Author: Walter M. Miller, Jr.
Pages: 368
My Rating: 2/5

Just because it was a Hugo award winner for best science fiction novel.

A Canticle for Leibowitz is set in a Roman Catholic monastery in a desert in the southwestern United States after a devastating nuclear war. The story covers thousands of years as civilization tries to rebuild itself. The monks of the Albertian Order of Leibowitz take up the mission of preserving the remnants of man's scientific knowledge until the day the outside world is again ready for it.

The story had previously been published as a series of novellas in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science. I definitely would have liked the book more if I read it in the from of 15 consecutive novellas rather than a single novel. Still, it was so Catholic for me. I was overdosed by the density of Christianity related content.

I was really into the story during the first few chapters and then I got so lost as if I was really in that damn desert. I was annoyed by the sudden and unforeseen and unrelated jumps in time. I lost track of what I was reading about due to lack of a narrator.

There are so many readers out there who loved this book. I didn't like it maybe because I am just a casual sci-fi reader but come on! I didn't get a story. I didn't get characters. What I managed to get was a vague sense of some of the themes the author wanted to explore. The idea that, if the world blew up tomorrow and several centuries went by, we would probably repeat all the same developments and mistakes. The old science vs. religion thing. And probably some other themes I would have picked up ifI had read more carefully rather than losing my senses in a desperate attempt to just finish off the book.

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