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A Canticle For Leibowitz

(19 Posts)

Read it this week and was a bit disappointed. I thought some sections of it were really good, and bits of it really made me laugh, but overall I thought it rather long-winded and ultimately didn't quite see what his point was. Opinions?


Oh and I have since read 'Ender's Game' too and really enjoyed it, apart from the final section. Any thoughts on that too?

teatimesthree Tue 23-Jul-13 19:19:55

I agree with you on Canticle. Perhaps it was more hard-hitting at the time? People alsways mention it as a really important post-apocalyptic book, but I had to conclude that its importance was mainly historical. I only read it last year and can't remember that much about it, which is never a great sign.

Thanks, Tea. Yes, I read it because so many people seemed to have mentioned it as a definitive post-apocalyptic masterpiece, but it just didn't seem to go anywhere. The funny bits reminded me of Terry Pratchett though - I suspect he's read it.

lucysnowe Wed 24-Jul-13 10:42:46

I loved it, but I went into it quite fresh, not really knowing what was going to happen.

What did you love about it, Lucy? I loved the first novice, and for the first 60 pages or so I was pretty smitten, but then I thought it lost direction.

PomBearWithAnOFRS Sat 27-Jul-13 01:35:32

I hated "Canticle" confused It was one of quite a few so called "Classics" I read because I "felt I should" iykwim, and I hated most of them confused
I hated Riddley Walker, Drowned World, A Gift Upon the Shore, Oryx and Crake and several other too, and then was disappointed at myself because I just couldn't "get" why so many people raved about them...

Pom - that's it: you are officially my soul mate!

I found 'Drowned World' completely unreadable and 'Riddley Walker' ridiculous. 'Oryx and Crake' was stupid and boring, although I didn't mind the follow up (Is it called 'After The Flood'or something like that?). I was also really disappointed by, 'I Am Legend' so would be interested in your view on that too.

I've never heard of, 'A Gift Upon The Shore' but am prepared to trust your judgement and not read it. smile

PomBearWithAnOFRS Mon 29-Jul-13 01:14:21

I didn't mind "I Am Legend" but only ever read it once (biting indightment in this house grin)
I find a lot of the so called "Classics" - not just in sci-fi but in general - to be, well, a bit utterly crap and I can't quite convince myself it's me iyswim - there's got to be some element of Emperor's New Clothes in there somewhere!
I did like Earth Abides, and I love John Wyndham and John Christopher's work (except Christopher's "The Pendulum Swings" which was dire) and think they don't get half the credit they deserve.
I enjoyed Ender's Game and the Sequels, and quite like OSC's other stuff - one of his short stories (something about Lost Boys iirc?) made me cry so much, it is one of the most moving things I've ever read, but I wouldn't re-read or rave about any of his apart from that one short.
All that said, I have never managed to read Lord of The Rings blush I have read the first few pages loads of times, but just can't get away with it somehow confused It is the one and only time where I will say the films were better than the book, because I watched and enjoyed them.
I do love my post-apocalyptic and End of the World fiction though, and can witter on for hours about it grin

AHandfulOfDust Mon 29-Jul-13 01:54:52

I was about to jump in & say I loved it, then I thought about it and couldn't really remember that much about it. I think I started to read it, put it down for a month or so then picked it up later & did end up enjoying it, but as you say, I can't remember a great deal about it now which isn't a great endorsement.

Drowned World - I couldn't read, have read the first 40 pages a few times, never get further (despite loving some Ballard, The Drought is brilliant).

I do love Oryx & Crake though - The Flood - not so much.

Earth Abides I loved, particularly the last chapter when he's very old & confused but incredibly lucid about humanity.

Ender's Game, I thought was OK, just that, I enjoyed it, am entirely unconvinced by the massive plaudits it seems attract. It didn't seem to me to be a book that was revealing a great deal about humanity which the best Science fiction does. A similar, but much better and more affecting storyl is The Forever Wars by Joe Haldeman.

I Am Legend was a product of its time I think, his startling realisation at the end has a hint of B movie to it.

Love my post-apocs & science fiction (the harder the better), am happy to witter on with you all.

I like to mix it up with a bit of lit-fic every now & then, I accidentally read some chic-'lit' the other week. I had to mainline hard SF to get over it.

PomBearWithAnOFRS Mon 29-Jul-13 02:02:09

I loved "Forever War" and have re-read it several times grin
I love John Scalzi's "Old Man's War" and his others set in the same universe too - he reminds me of Heinlein but without the moralising/self justification (and as much as I adore RAH, he was still very much constrained and affected by his "life and times" iykwim) whereas JS just writes grin

AHandfulOfDust Mon 29-Jul-13 02:27:09

Ohh, I've not read any Scalzi - have ordered Old Man's War - will let you know what I think.

Haven't read any Heinlein for years, I must have a look again, I recently attempted to re-read Foundation Trilogy but it was like Mad Men in space - I was horrified, there wasn't one female character in it who wasn't a wife or Jezebel. I so loved Asimov as a teen, it was quite a rude awakening. I may try I Robot again & see how I feel about it.

More recently I have loved Hyperion, Xeelee, & Revelation Space.

AHandfulOfDust Mon 29-Jul-13 02:39:21

Remus, I liked the final bit of Ender's Game best from the whole book. I thought it opened it up a bit to possibility.

That's why I read SF, for the possibility, not only because I love to think about what may be & the best SF writers often have a science background, but because that possibility, that extrapolation, tells me more about humanity & speaks to me about the nature of our existence more than a thousand navel gazing, lit-fic ruminations ever could.

AHandfulOfDust Mon 29-Jul-13 02:49:29

Have you read Tau Zero by Puol Anderson?

Have been ploughing my way through the SF Masterworks series, I'm probably about 2/3 in now, and it stands out. A brilliant little bit of hard SF.

Takver Mon 29-Jul-13 18:45:02

Definitely agree with Oryx & Crake - I definitely didn't feel that it stood up to MA's earlier books (well especially the Handmaid's Tale).

Have you read much Ursula le Guin (esp the Hainish novels particularly The Dispossessed, & The Birthday of the World collection)? I'd really recommend them if not.

To be honest, I think that 'The Handmaid's Tale' is the only truly good Atwood novel.

Takver Tue 30-Jul-13 16:56:39

What about The Edible Woman - very much of its time, but still stands up to re-reading, I think?

Nope - it was okay but that's all, imho. I doubt I'll ever bother reading it again.

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