5.0 out of 5 stars What an amazing book!
What an absolutely amazing book! I was afraid to read this book for a LONG time. It came highly recommneded by a friend...twice he went into it, explaining how interesting it was. I borrowed, but was hesitant to read, knowing some of the content was intense and painful.
But I finally read it, and am so glad I did. Maybe this was the time for me to read it--the...
Published 10 months ago by Love Reading
1.0 out of 5 stars Sound familiar?
Father Ruiz-Sanchez was a dedicated man--a priest who was also a scientist, and a scientist who was also a human being. He found no insoluble conflicts in his beliefs or his ethics until he was sent to Lithia. There he came upon a race of aliens--reptilian in form--who were admirable in every way except for their total reliance on cold reason; they were incapable of...
Published on Oct 4 1998
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5.0 out of 5 stars What an amazing book!,
This review is from: The Sparrow: A Novel (Paperback)What an absolutely amazing book! I was afraid to read this book for a LONG time. It came highly recommneded by a friend...twice he went into it, explaining how interesting it was. I borrowed, but was hesitant to read, knowing some of the content was intense and painful.
But I finally read it, and am so glad I did. Maybe this was the time for me to read it--the story was great, but for me it also allowed me to find words and emotion, to cry out some of the intense pain I had been feeling--the disillusionment with life and faith, the things we don't understand when God could have prevented...oh and I loved the Father General, how he reached out and cared--Canotti (sp?) of course too.
5.0 out of 5 stars A HIGHLY INTELLIGENT TREATISE ON PERSONAL THEOLOGY - A TRUE CLASSIC,
This review is from: The Sparrow: A Novel (Paperback)Theology can become a distant logical exercise of dry doctrine and easy theoretical conclusions. When it comes down to the wet choices of real life most such theoretical Theology is found wanting as it can offer only limited answers. This is Theology of the other kind, the real one.
Mary Doria Russell has created a highly intelligent story: what would the story of a future saint be? Say, a Jesuit spearheading an exploratory mission to an alien civilization as a linguist of unique abilities; a former outcast that found his true calling as a man of the Cloth and God's face in all the hungry he fed and all the orphans he sheltered and all the lost he bough back from desperation. And then God asked for more. Much more. Is God real or a mere human construct? Can Faith survive anything?
This is one of those books that stays with you for ever. Read THE SPARROW first, CHILDREN OF THE GOD later in order to enjoy them both more.
5.0 out of 5 stars The story is strong - it inspired a musical journey,
This review is from: The Sparrow: A Novel (Paperback)I found the book to be very strong, in fact all of the members of our band Metaphor read it and decided to write and record a concept CD or rock opera, based on the book! We got the author's permission, and voila, it's The Sparrow by Metaphor. A great complement to the book, you can hear samples at metaphor.org
So, it's an absolutely inspiring, disturbing, and thought provoking book.
1.0 out of 5 stars Sound familiar?,
By A Customer
This review is from: The Sparrow: A Novel (Paperback)Father Ruiz-Sanchez was a dedicated man--a priest who was also a scientist, and a scientist who was also a human being. He found no insoluble conflicts in his beliefs or his ethics until he was sent to Lithia. There he came upon a race of aliens--reptilian in form--who were admirable in every way except for their total reliance on cold reason; they were incapable of faith and belief.
On Lithia, Father Ruiz-Sanchez also found a scientific riddle, and he was presented with an ethical problem that reached across two worlds!
Father Ruiz-Sanchez was then torn in a struggle between the teachings of his faith, the teachings of his science, and the inner promptings of his humanity., There was only one solution. He had to accept an ancient and unforgivable heresy--and in accepting that heresy, he risked the futures of both worlds!
This is the promotional "blurb" from the back cover of book published in 1958. The book? It's called "A Case of Conscience" by James Blish. Is it better than the sparrow? By leaps and bounds. So is the Sparrow original? Hardly. Is the Sparrow a good book on it's own merits? No, it's science is flawed, it's world building clumsy and it's pacing is horrendous. For a fine example of religous agonizing over the nature of God's seeming indifference read the short story "The Star" by Arthur C. Clarke or the afforementioned novel by Blish. The Sparrow is quite simply an altogether unoriginal and dreadfully executed work.
1.0 out of 5 stars Good idea, but only that,
By A Customer
This review is from: The Sparrow: A Novel (Paperback)The author has had a good idead, but barely little else. The writing is sloppy, the storyline is implausible and the characters are completely shallow. At the beginning, all problems are magically solved, as if the author hadn't enough imagination to deal with them. Then an expedition of unprepared, old people is sent to make contact with extraterrestrials. An then the aliens raping humans? Come on. I haven't seen any profound philosophical or trascendental questions, at least not more than the ones found in most good science fiction books. The science fiction frame is completely wrong - this should have been a plain fiction book, with the action taking place on Earth on some distant island, rather than trying to dress it like SF. It would have been much more credible.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great characters, good plot, so-so ending,
This review is from: The Sparrow: A Novel (Paperback)This is something of a rarity among all the science fiction titles published every year: it's a highly intelligent work of literature. That said, plot still counts for something, and endings can make or break books. The fact that this remains a cult classic despite its uneven plot and weak denouement is due to the cast of vivid characters and the strength of ideas expressed, which (ironically) only serve to make the "what the...?" ending even more disappointing.
And those characters! One of the reviewers here said she would like to talk to the entire crew; hell, I want to go with them. (Although I don't want their typical fate at the end.) The depth of religious and philosophical discussions and ruminations nearly makes up for the other flaws, and sets this book well above standard sci-fi fare.
If the ending had been stronger, this would have been a five-star book.
Another intelligent new book for your consideration: An Audience for Einstein. Set in the near future, Mark Wakely's book chronicles the "rebirth" of a genius by questionable means, in a highly entertaining and surprisingly touching story that (like The Sparrow) will stay with you
5.0 out of 5 stars The BEST intellectual sci-fi book in existence,
This review is from: The Sparrow: A Novel (Paperback)I have been reading "legitimate" Sci-Fi (not fantasy) for over 40 years and this book (with its sequel "Children of God") is undoubtedly the BEST, most awe-inspiring, enrapturing novel ever written.
I have read both books 3 times, and each time I am in awe - of the details, the ethical and moral dissection, and the plot which is both entrancing and entrapping.
If you (or anyone you know) is into Sci-Fi or, for that matter, into the deepest aspects of the ethical and moral dilemmas of vastly different cultures and customs on a collision course, then you must read both novels.
Brilliant, fascinating, intelligent, deeply moving and religious throughout (regardless of your religious leanings), this novel speaks to everyone and challenges your views of the universe, the diversity of "life" there might be out there, and the effects of forcibly placing 2 vastly different worlds and their customs/ethics/morals together in one place.
I challenge you to find a better book in existence.
And.......to make things even better........the sequel "Children of God" is EVEN BETTER!!!
5.0 out of 5 stars One of my Favorites,
This review is from: The Sparrow: A Novel (Paperback)The Sparrow is a book about the existence of an alien race on another planet, and the expedition of a space crew to explore and learn from this newly discovered race. That is a very stripped down plot outline. Anyone interested in this type of plot will be amazed with this book. It is the most interesting, expertly written, highly researched novel I have ever read. I can't count on one hand any books I would recommend more than this one. Like I said, if you like novels as I do about extra terrestrials, and alien worlds...There is no better read in the genre than The Sparrow...The sequal "Children of God" is also a must read.
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down.,
This review is from: The Sparrow: A Novel (Paperback)This book grabs you and throws you into the world of M.D.R's imagination. My wife read it after I was done with it and had to put it down because she became so attached to the characters and anticipated something terrible was going to happen!
The Sparrow is the perfect combination of theory and imagination. You can tell M.D.R is very meticulous, focused and I longed to be a guest of Anne & George Edwards sitting alongside the entertaining & intellectual giants of tomorrow.
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing,
This review is from: The Sparrow: A Novel (Paperback)What a truly amazing book! I think it must be close to the best book I've ever read. Although it's classed as science fiction, it's better described as a book that examines the soul of man and the nature of faith, and I've never seen it done better. There will be people who don't "get" this book and will consider her writing juvenille in places but then again there are people who consider Picasso unskilled. Buy this book and enjoy.
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The Sparrow: A Novel by Mary Doria Russell (Paperback - Sep 8 1997)
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