Book Review of A Canticle for Leibowitz

A Canticle for Leibowitz
reviewed on
Helpful Score: 3


I stumbled across this book in college and was blown away. Reading it again almost twenty years later, I found it hadn't lost any of its impact. I'm going to recommend it to my book club when my turn comes round again. The characters are real; their situation, though dated at points, is hauntingly affecting; their decisions, though not the ones I might have made in their place, ring true for them. The writing is sharp and lucid throughout. Sadly, I've learned that in the time between my two readings of this book, the author--who never wrote another novel after this--took his own life (a tragedy further compounded by the anti-suicide argument that takes up the last third of the book).

This is science fiction, but science fiction like 1984 or Brave New World. To break out of the (unfortunate but undeniable) science fiction ghetto, this book deserves to be filed under Classics.

Highly recommended.