Book cover
A Canticle for Leibowitz
Walter M. Miller, Jr.

This was the second recommendation from a friend during a long lunch last year. (The first was The Name of the Rose). While on balance I definitely like The Name of the Rose better, I enjoyed this one too. It is inventive, funny, and expertly crafted.

My only complaint, and I’m not sure it even is a complaint, is that like a lot of good sci-fi (see Ursula K LeGuin for example) it is much more concerned with its worlds and ideas than its individual people. And for better or worse, it is almost always people that move me. So it can feel a little flat.

But that’s not to say it isn’t a worthy read. Miller’s ability to convincingly and humorously construct a post-apocalyptic quasi-modern relgiosity is impeccable. And he’s as cynical as he is satirical, which is always a good thing.

I’ll also add that the audio book is beautifully read by Tom Weiner. He gives so many crotchety old monks so many perfect gravely voices. And he churns out all the bible-talk like practiced sermonist.