Thursday, 22 May 2014

Book Review: Walter M. Miller jr - A Canticle for Leibowitz

(Orbit Books)
This classic three act post apocalypse novel has been sat on my bookshelf waiting it's turn for a good while now.  I was pleased to finally have both the time and the inclination to get around to it as it turned out to be a fantastic read.

It tells the story of the monks of Saint Leibowitz, a pre-war technician who had hid various scientific books, charts and scraps from the vengeful mobs that rose up after the war.

The three sections depict a 'mediaeval' setting where Leibowitz is a candidate for sainthood, an 'enlightenment' era where science is once more being re-invented and a final supra-modern era of spaceflight and nuclear weaponry.  Each of these sections centre around the actions of the monks of the abbey of Saint Leibowitz and their quest to keep the knowledge safe and alive.  In addition there is the knowledgeable and very long lived hermit who in many ways is responsible for much that happens.

It was a beautiful and poetic piece of work that held me absolutely rapt throughout.  The use of the Catholic church and it's rather depressing allusion to cyclic history was a simply amazing trip throughout.
(www.orbitbooks.co.uk)

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