SUMMARY ¾ The Sparrow

Mary Doria Russell è 1 SUMMARY

SUMMARY ¾ The Sparrow ↠ The Sparrow is a novel about a remarkable man a living saint a life long celibate and Jesuit priest who undergoes an experience so harrowing and profound that it makes him uestion the existence of God This experience the first contact between human beings and intelligent extraterrestrial life begins with a small mistake and ends in a So harrowing and profound that it makes him uestion the existence of God This experience the first contact between human being. What a strange accomplished nautilus of a novel every chamber containing both joy and tragedy


S and intelligent extraterrestrial life begins with a small mistake and ends in a horrible catastrophe From the Hardcover editi. This is the third SF story I've read where a Jesuit priest goes on an expedition to another planet and suffers a spiritual crisis as a result It's almost becoming a sub genre I don't want to call Emilio a whiner or anything obviously what happens to him is truly horrible But much as I hate to say it his tragedy seemed lightweight compared to the other two and I felt disappointed I was expecting something a little cosmic in scaleOf the three stories the one I found most effective was Arthur C Clarke's classic short The Star They set course for a supernova remnant and find a half melted planet on the outskirts of what used to be its solar system There's a deeply buried time capsule planted by the alien civilization which was destroyed by the explosion The aliens evidently had plenty of warning but no chance to escape This was all they could do The priest spends a lot of time looking at the records and artifacts and is greatly moved by themThey also let the humans get a precise fix on the date of the explosion which was previously just guessed to within a few centuries The Jesuit does the calculations and makes a horrifying discovery The light from the supernova would have arrived on Earth in 1 AD At the end of the story he is wringing his hands How could God have destroyed this innocent alien race just to provide a beacon to shine over Bethlehem OK I found that suitably impressive And even though it's poorly written James Blish's A Case of Conscience is also grandiose enough to justify the SF setting rather than making it a historical novel set in the colonial era There's this planet populated by a race of lizard like aliens At first they seem harmless enough They're kind peaceful and very civilized But if you're prepared to accept the author's loopy theology the mere fact that they have this perfect society without any belief in God is an affront to the teachings of the Church Then the aliens also provide living proof of the correctness of evolution since their young visibly recapitulate all the evolutionary stages after they've hatched Thus and I must admit that the details of the argument were a little obscure to me it follows that the whole planet was created by Satan in order to tempt mankind There is an apocalyptic showdown the details of which I shan't reveal but even if the book is crap at least it's crap on a motorcycleSo two hard acts to follow At one point I wondered if Mary Doria Russell was trying to update the Blish formula and produce a better packaged version of it That might be worth doing The closer I got to the ending the harder I found it to see what the payoff could be and when I got there it thought it was dismayingly prosaic Did we need to go to Alpha Centauri for this Well I don't want to knock the book too hard I liked the main characters even if they were sometimes just too damn nice to be credible and it was a page turner The linguistics and anthropology were well done and it was uplifting at times I didn't think it lived up to the advance billing But I enjoyed it enough that I'll probably read the seuel which I'm told is better Stay tunedPS This is incredibly geeky and I know it has nothing to do with the actual story but I need to share my thought The asteroid accelerates at 1 g for a year reaching about 093 of the speed of light or so she claims Then it decelerates by the same amount for another year to slow down To get back home same procedure againNow whatever can its power source be Even if you had an anti matter drive working with perfect efficiency at turning matter into kinetic energy you'd still use up most of the asteroid as fuel with all sorts of structural implications Remember that structural stability was important And how would you store that uantity of anti matter Recall that this is being done a few decades into the futureLook she started it This is what's wrong with an SF scenario If it had been a historical novel set in eg the sixteenth century rain forest you wouldn't have to worry about my silly objections It's bad enough keeping track of the theology without getting involved in physics tooPPS And continuing my geeky thought if the engines are powerful enough to accelerate the asteroid at 1 g it follows that they could lift it against Earth's gravity Wow Those are some engines I estimate their thrust at around 2 Supermen or 08 Powerpuff Girl say Buttercup when she's feeling a bit wussy And we're going to have invented them within the next ten yearsSorry sorry sorry all totally below the belt I know But I'm still blaming her for starting this She tries to give it a hard science gloss but she didn't use enough undercoat

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The SparrowThe Sparrow is a novel about a remarkable man a living saint a life long celibate and Jesuit priest who undergoes an experience. I had picked this up years ago due to all the terrific reviews but when I started it since it involves priests and such I thought it was going to be a Christian book So I'm really glad that a group decided to read this because it is NOT a yah yah Christian book at all I would instead call it a spiritual book in that the journey involves time old uestions of faith of God of religion of humanity And altho most of the main characters are indeed Jesuits and so many uestions and approaches do involve Catholicism they were universal And very very beautiful After I was done I read that the author had left the Catholic church at age 15 and after 20 years of aetheism found herself re examining uestions of values ethics morality and religion upon the birth of her child She found her drawn to Judaism and convertedAnd that makes alot of sense in that The Sparrow does speak about religion but in a completely open tolerant way You can also be an aetheist and derive much insight into the nature of what drives us toward spirituality to begin with And that morality and goodness has its place even outside any type of established religionThis was also one of the best first contact books because The Sparrow is far than just a uestion of what God is or isn't but so a fascinating study of anthropology Of both humans and aliens As a matter of fact I'm sorry I started this review even discussing the religious aspect because I would say the anthropology approach and insight is just as strong if not even a stronger force in the bookWhich also makes a ton of sense since the author was an anthropolistAnd I can not ignore the fact that the characters were some of the most complex likable and developed you can find in any bookI liked this book so much I immediately started reading its seuel Children of God upon completion The Sparrow itself is very much a stand alone book but I was so engrossed with Emilio I HAD to know what happened to himHmm I might make this book a 5