The Sparrow
ISBN: 0449912558
EAN13: 9780449912553
Language: English
Release Date: Sep 8, 1997
Pages: 408
Dimensions: 1.1" H x 7.7" L x 5.5" W
Weight: 0.65 lbs.
Format: Paperback
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Book Overview

ONE OF ENTERTAINMENT WEKLY'S TEN BEST BOKS OF THE YEAR
A NOTABLE ACHIEVEMENT . . . Russell shows herself to be a skillful storyteller who subtly and expertly builds suspense.
--USA Today
AN EXPERIENCE NOT TO BE MISED . . . If you have to send a group of people to a newly discovered planet to contact a totally unknown species, whom would you choose? How about four Jesuit priests, a young astronomer, a physician, her engineer husband, and a child prostitute-turned-computer-expert? That's who Mary Doria Russell sends in her new novel, The Sparrow. This motley combination of agnostics, true believers, and misfits becomes the first to explore the Alpha Centuri world of Rakhat with both enlightening and disastrous results. . . . Vivid and engaging . . . An incredible novel.
--Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
POWERFUL . . . Father Emilio Sandoz [is] the only survivor of a Jesuit mission to the planet Rakhat, 'a soul . . . looking for God.' We first meet him in Italy . . . sullen and bitter. . . . But he was not always this way, as we learn through flashbacks that tell the story of the ill-fated trip. . . . The Sparrow tackles a difficult subject with grace and intelligence.
--San Francisco Chronicle
SMOTH STORYTELING AND GORGEOUS CHARACTERIZATION . . . Important novels leave deep cracks in our beliefs, our prejudices, and our blinders. The Sparrow is one of them.
--Entertainment Weekly
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Book Reviews (12)

4
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4
   Probably the best speculative science fiction since Bradbury
After I completed this book, I remembered a quote : The road to Hell is paved with good intentions. This is very wise writing by a mature and well rounded individual. The characters are well developed, hard science about space travel seems plausible, and its obvious that the author did her homework, she probably didn 't need to, the story is allegorical. There are some plot points that need to be cleaned up, but I think that is why there is a sequel that I have already downloaded to my kindle. This book is not for everybody and is not well read, but it is well worth it if you like pensive fiction.
 
5
   Travelling to and exploring a nearby planet.
The story is set in the future and involves the Jesuits going to another nearby planet to see what God has done there. The Earth became aware of the planet because electronic signals were detected. The story does a great job of making the travel aspects seem real. Of course, not everyone gets back. Expect the Jesuit convictions to be strongly challenged. Great read, but not really for the prudish.
 
5
   A fabulous book
One of the best sci-fi novels ever written. Searching for a first contact story at the time of Columbus'500th anniversary of discovery, Russell realized that such a story could no longer be set on Earth and instead tells a first contact story set on another planet. The plot twists and turns and never ends where you expect it. There are no bad guys, just misunderstandings that make some peoplealiens appear to be good. It is a very sad and adult story. I wouldn 't recommend it for teens, although they should be fine.
 
5
   A Memorable Book
It has been years since I last listened to this book on audio, but since I bought Ms. Russell's latest book, I wanted to take the time to recommend it. It is a story that combines space travel and Jesuits, a highly unlikely but effective combination. In this future world, the Jesuits send priests to another planet with interesting consequences. The style of the book is unusual in that the story is told in two points of time that gradually converge at the end. Like I said, its been years so I can not go into detail, but if you like science fiction with a moral dimension, this is the book for you.
 
5
   Science and God, not Science or God.
I have always believed that science and a deity were not separate from each other, but one together.
 
1
   Uggg, Why would anyone like this?
Can 't believe that I have wasted my time. I thought I was missing some deep meaning or symbolism, but after reading the author's questions and answers at the end, I think it was just shallow garbage. The whole coming together of a missionary space mission was believable and was not ridiculous. It may have come together to be a decent story if there was any redemption or message of hope... there was none. You may enjoy the story if you like the idea of all characters being killed except the one who spends his days on the planet being raped and sodomized by aliens.
 
3
   An ambitious book that tries to juggle many deep themes...and fails to do so.
This is an ambitious book that sets out to cover many deep themes and topics first contact, religion meets science, platonic and not so platonic love, celibacy, Jesuit politics... However, it fails in a satisfying way to do so. Most of these topics seem to be addressed halfway when the author rushes the ending. To be fair, this wasn 't something that could have been solved with 200 more pages... Some of these are ill-born from the beginning. Anything relating to the group dynamics of the missionaries '' is somewhat bland at the start and is directly cringeworthy at times. The character interaction is by far the weakest part of the book. The book should score points on its originality and on the fact that it keeps you intrigued and going. The ending, as many state is conceived, is more so because of its abruptness than because of how it is conceived.
 
4
   Entertaining Story
Characters and imaginings of culture and religion are interesting. The author found Pleasant writing. Worth reading :
 
1
   interesting sci-fi, but ultimately ruined by gratuitously violent ending
Look away, lest I spoil something for you. I enjoyed the book as a literary sci-fi, and I actually enjoyed the lack of focus on technology in favor of focusing on the spiritual and moral dimensions of a first encounter. The central character's trauma was centered around a moral ambiguity and we didn't need a sexual debasement to somehow accentuate this in the mind of the reader. It is as if the author gives no credit to the reader's understanding of everything that preceded those last pages. I was offended enough that I would not read the sequel, nor would I read anything else by this author.
 
4
   kept me going
One of my first Sci - Fi books I have ever read. I really enjoyed it, but it took a while to get started. Would have liked a steady pace throughout the book. All that said, a thought-provoking, powerful book on God and his role in the universe.
 
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