“A group of Americans, led by a Jesuit priest, journey to Alpha Centauri when they discover evidence of life on that planet (detection of otherworldly music via satellite). One of the explorers,linguist and Jesuit priest, Emilio Sandoz finds Gnod, but the encounter nearly destroys him. Russell poses the question: is it better to function as an atheist, and see all events as happenstance, or to believe in a God who metes out ecstasy and agony without apparent reason?”Joanne M wrote this review Saturday, August 18, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Anyone who thinks that science fiction can't also be literary fiction should read this book to change their minds. However, anyone who thinks that literary fiction must end in tragedy won't have to rethink their position after reading this. That's no spoiler: the book begins with the revelation that the first mission to a populated planet ends in horrible disaster. For the remainder of the book, we get to know the characters and enjoy their family-like dynamic.
We read out of love for the characters and in a desperate hope that they might escape their fate. Yet the truth about this planet and its dual populations is even worse than can be guessed at the outset.”
“If you read it, Please read Children of God immediately afterward.
Together they make a great story. This book on its own is pretty rough- though incredibly thought provoking.”
“A very powerful and shocking story that is hauntingly brilliant.”James Lauren wrote this review Saturday, August 4, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Hmmmm, how to rate this one; like it? Not like it? A bit of both I suppose. Did it make me think? Yes. Did it pose some interesting moral/spiritual questions? Yes Was it easy to read? Not really. Did it have sections that were kind of sick and awful? Yes.
The book really started out SLOW for me and I had to get accustomed to the back and forth between periods of time. When I finally got into it and things were "rolling along" it got gross and depressing and maddening. Doesn't sound so encouraging, right? HOWEVER, when it was over it really set me to thinking about God and about the Jesuits, and about seeking to help others, and about being judgemental, and a few other things. Got me to thinking about how we judge other cultures and their customs as compared to ours.
Then I found out there is a second book, "Children of God" which is the sequel to this one and now I can't decided if I want to take the time to read it and give myself something else to ponder. So although I didn't like this book for the traditional reasons I usually enjoy books, I do have to admit that it has stuck with me and kept me thinking and I like that about it. By the way, my sister read this author's book "Doc" about Doc Holliday and she raved about it.”
“One of my favorite books ever. ”kate kinsey wrote this review Friday, July 6, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Recommended by Shawn ... on Overdrive”allybabes wrote this review Friday, August 31, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“An entertaining, moving, memorable, and important novel. This novel deserves far more attention than it has received. I would gladly place The Sparrow in the very narrow category of Life-Changing Science Fiction. It loses a star solely for occasionally losing focus and drifting off on tangents, but the novel's strengths more than compensate. Read it.”Josh wrote this review Monday, March 12, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“An extremely thought-provoking novel for people of faith. Difficult to read at points.
A Jesuit is in position to learn of the first signals coming from another world. He comes to believe that he has been specifically appointed to visit the new world. In the process of this goal many terrible things happen. Some happen despite good intentions. Some happen because the beings do not understand each other culturally or physically. Eventually the Jesuit returns broken and mutilated, a man uncertain of himself or his God.
Not an easy book. ”