Walter Miller’s A Canticle for Leibowitz is a philosophically rich and intricately gorgeous book. What makes this philosophical SciFi novel so compelling is an endearing slate of characters. I wish I could read a whole other book about Brother Francis, and each of the Abbots is unique and engaging. The Canticle is full of philosophical and theological discussion, yet from beginning to end it is about the characters in the world.
A Canticle for Leibowitz isn’t a perfect book, but its imperfections can be valuable. The great deal of Latin shows how our world has grown, but even in the 50s it is meant to be somewhat alienating and gives something that roots the SF world. And, yet, that starts to break down in the third book. The world is becoming unhinged, and the third section shows that dissolution as a way of performing the plot.
This unique gem by Walter M. Miller, Jr. is very much in the “brilliant” category for me. I hope you enjoy the 10 Minute Book Talk, share the talk, and subscribe to my youtube channel. Mostly, though, I hope you read this book, which is both literary fiction and thoughtful SciFi at its finest.