A Canticle for Leibowitz Archives
We recently "incensed" John Brownlee of Table of Malcontents with our simplistic instructions for reading House of Leaves. He responded with the passion of a book lover and a description of the novel's layout, including a page scan. If you honestly need help approaching the book, see his post. We remain resolute in our position that if you can't figure out how read it without an explanation, you will have problems understanding it. Instead, might we suggest something in either a James Patterson or Sidney Sheldon?
Smooches to Ed Champion for defending us.
Let's see whose query we won't answer properly today.
Search String: book report on charlie and the chocolate factory
Do your own homework, kid.
Search String: comments about "If on a winters night a traveler"
Considering that the Book Mistress didn't make it past the first chapter of Italo Calvino's novel, which is written in the second person, before casting it aside and telling it to shut up, we have no comment.
Search String: what did brother francis eat AND "canticle for leibowitz"
Is this important to the plot of the above by Walter M. Miller, Jr.? Why would anyone need to know this? Is this a question from some kind of fact-based assignment in which a teacher naively expects to discover whether or not you did your reading? Or are you working on cookbook targeted to nomadic priests in the post-apocalyptic future?
Our wonderings aside, the best way to find out is to either actually read the book or try Google Book Search, but we'll tell you what he didn't eat:
"Yesterday. There was this lizard, Father. It had blue and yellow stripes, and such magnificent hams—thick as your thumb and plump, and I kept thinking how it would taste like chicken, roasted all brown and crisp outside, and—"
"All right," the priest interrupted. Only a hint of revulsion crossed his aged face. After all, the boy was spending a lot of time in the sun. "You took pleasure in these thoughts? You didn't try to get rid of the temptation?"
Francis reddened. "I—I tried to catch it. It got away (pp. 33-34)."
Search String: WHAT DOES IT MEAN WHEN A PERSON LIES ALOT
It means that person is a liar. Next?
A belated yet hearty thank you to Hunter for choosing A Canticle for Leibowitz as last monthís selection. If you can believe it, he actually fretted over which book he was going to choose because he wanted something everyone would enjoy. In the end, he went with a title he had previously enjoyed, which is usually the best strategy. Those of us who were able to participate joined in on a great discussion (etymological arguments and all).
Hope everyone here in the states had an enjoyable holiday weekend.
I also hope you enjoyed reading the book. I first read this book around 20 years ago and have since passed it along to friends and family who showed any interest in science fiction. I think one of the testaments to the quality of the work is how the book is accessible for readers who would normally steer clear of sci-fi. I had a difficult time selecting my book for this month, but once I thought of Canticle, it just made sense - a book I really like that hopefully most have not read but will like as well.
I have a few specific points to bring up about the book, but I thought I'd open up the discussion with a few questions:
What did you think of the book as a whole? Did you have a favorite section out of the three?
What do you see as obvious influences on the book?
Do you think the book had a central statement to make? If so, what?
When I set the date for our Canticle for Leibowitz discussion, I didnít realize May 26th was Memorial Day here in the United States. Hunter and many of our members may be off vacationing (separately, that is). So if the discussion doesnít get started until Tuesday, we all know why.
Before the discussion gets going, I just wanted to pop in and post that I hope many members have managed to read A Canticle for Leibowitz. Although I don?t read much science fiction, I did enjoy it, but more for its post-apocalyptic vision than its connection to technology and outer space. I especially appreciated Miller?s use of irony as well as his take on the post- and once again pre-destruction Catholic hierarchy.
It?s very timely to be reading a novel about religion and end times since that LaHaye and Jenkins piece of crap Armageddon is in its fifth week atop the NY Times Best-Sellers List. Although I haven?t read it, I did read Left Behind just to see what all the fuss was about. I found it dull and predictable with some of the most ridiculous dialogue I?ve ever encountered in print. The plot itself is fine, but the characters are flat, unimaginative, and not-very-quick-on-the-uptake and I have to admit I wouldn?t want any of them leading the battle against the anti-Christ if the theory of the Rapture turns out to be true (which it isn?t, but, then again, I am a non-believer). Even their names are trite: "Buck" Williams, Rayford Steele, and Nicolae Jetty Carpathia. Puh-lease.
I?m looking forward to following up A Canticle for Leibowitz with Blindness, which is similar yet not similar. Although it isn?t about end times, it does deal with how humanity reacts to an event leading to the complete breakdown of society. Blindness is very difficult to read since Saramago writes using an unconventional format in which dialogue by multiple characters is embedded in the same paragraph without quotation marks. After a while, though, reading 300+ pages of dialogue-less text becomes easier to bear since it sort of forces the reader into experiencing the characters? dismay at who said what. I hope everyone also participates in this discussion because I found it to be a rewarding look at human nature.
Although Kate knew choosing Shopgirl would not generate much controversy among our members, I felt the discussion disintegrated into an appalling display of mutual respect and affection between Rich and Andy. (Stop it. Now. Please.) Despite my chagrin at the lack of tension in March's discussion, I'd like to send a hearty thank you to Kate for moderating and exposing us a title that was able to, ahem, unite us as a group. (Oh, I'm kidding. I'm glad we can agree on some things.)
That being said, we've got some interesting books coming up in the future. I've already finished Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister and am almost ready to get started on A Canticle for Leibowitz. Of course, I've read Blindness, which is one of my favorite books, since I'll be moderating June.
Who's ready to step up to the plate and take on July?