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Sparrow,The(MP3)Lib(Unabr.) MP3 CD – Audiobook, MP3 Audio, Unabridged

3.9 out of 5 stars 364 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • MP3 CD
  • Publisher: Brilliance Audio; Library edition (May 14 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 9781423356301
  • ISBN-13: 978-1423356301
  • ASIN: 1423356306
  • Product Dimensions: 13.7 x 1.3 x 19 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 45 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars 364 customer reviews
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Product Description

From Amazon

This strange, ambitious science fiction novel has already won enough attention for its first-time author to make it a selection by both the Book of the Month and QPB clubs. Father Emilio Sandoz, a Jesuit linguist, heads a team of scientists and explorers on an expedition to the planet Rakhat, where contact has been established with two apparently primitive races, the Runa and the Jana'ata. The narrative shifts back and forth between 2016, when contact is first made, and 2060, to a Vatican inquest interrogating the maimed and broken Sandoz. A paleoanthropologist, Russell makes the descriptions of the inhabitants of Rakhat both convincing and unsettling. Check out Amazon.com's Sparrow feature and read an excerpt from the book! --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Publishers Weekly

An enigma wrapped inside a mystery sets up expectations that prove difficult to fulfill in Russell's first novel, which is about first contact with an extraterrestrial civilization. The enigma is Father Emilio Sandoz, a Jesuit linguist whose messianic virtues hide his occasional doubt about his calling. The mystery is the climactic turn of events that has left him the sole survivor of a secret Jesuit expedition to the planet Rakhat and, upon his return, made him a disgrace to his faith. Suspense escalates as the narrative ping-pongs between the years 2016, when Sandoz begins assembling the team that first detects signs of intelligent extraterrestrial life, and 2060, when a Vatican inquest is convened to coax an explanation from the physically mutilated and emotionally devastated priest. A vibrant cast of characters who come to life through their intense scientific and philosophical debates help distract attention from the space-opera elements necessary to get them off the Earth. Russell brings her training as a paleoanthropologist to bear on descriptions of the Runa and Jana'ata, the two races on Rakhat whose differences are misunderstood by the Earthlings, but the aliens never come across as more than variations of primitive earthly cultures. The final revelation of the tragic human mistake that ends in Sandoz's degradation isn't the event for which readers have been set up. Much like the worlds it juxtaposes, this novel seems composed of two stories that fail to come together. BOMC, QPB and One Spirit Book Club selections.
Copyright 1996 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: 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
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Format: 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!!!
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Format: Paperback
In years gone by the Jesuits travelled far and wide trying to convert civilisations to Christianity. Jesuits were men of considerable learning and they became the friends of Emperors in such places as China and Japan. It is not clear if they actually were particularly succesfull but their travels make interesting reading.
This novels pushes the process to a future in which a Jesuit expedition travels to a star which has broadcast radio signals suggesting that it has intelligent life. The book is not linear but starts off with one member returning alive with his fellows killed. His hands have been mutilated and it is thought that he killed an innocent member of one of the species on the new planet. The book is broadly a gradual (some might say glacial) revalation of what happened on the expedition.
The writer is unusual in that she was a university academic who turned to writing fiction late in life. As a result the book is poignant with issues. How can a benevolent God create a universe in which there is suffering and so on. The structure of the book consists of intertwining the events as they unfold plus an inquiry which takes place some sixty years later as to whey the expedition fails. The main character who is the Jesuit priest who comes back with the mutilated hands is infuriating. For chapter after chapter one constantly exclaims, why can't you just say what happened. However we have to work to a gradual climax which only really unfolds in the last 100 or so pages of the book. In fact the last 100 pages or so are quite gripping but for the initiall 400 or so one just thinks continually of the main character, let it all out, you will feel better, but for the point of view of dramatic development we are kept guising to the end.
The book has other anoying aspects.
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Format: Paperback
This is one title I've known about for years. Intrigued by the book cover and the description, but somehow always steered myself away, most likely by the science fiction element. A huge fan of sci-fi in my youth I've since become immersed in other genres. But alas, ever the student of popular culture, once I heard it was being adapted for the screen I decided to give it a second look. All in all, worth the read and I am anticipating reading Children of God. The scholarship in this book is quite evident. Coherent character development and cogency of plot, less so. Russell takes on a very ambitious project here and she is a talented writer.
Now for the quibbling. I had several issues with some of the book's major points. Characters are arguably the most important element of any good story. And these characters didn't seem quite real, more archetypes serving various functions within a cohesive whole. Anne in particular, bothered me. Her gung-ho, outrageously candid den-mother didn't ring true for me. She basically seemed like more of a catalyst for the less frank and more emotionally stunted characters. And what ultimately happened to her and D.W. really seemed to have been inexplicably glossed over for some reason, which I found quite odd as well as frustrating. George was barely developed at all. And certain revelations about other characters, D.W. especially, were way out of left field and generally unnecessary and pointless. But then, of course, there is Emilio. His Job-ian role as a vessel for human suffering is an unenviable one, to be sure. Ultimately I think he pulls it off by behaving in a realistic way, in a fashion anyone who suffered such pain and indignity would behave.
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