A Canticle for Leibowitz

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Hard cover, USA, first edition.

A Canticle for Leibowitz is a post-apocalyptic science fiction novel by Walter M. Miller, Jr..


I read this book because it was ranked high on a list of science fiction books. I finished it in 2016.


I do not own this book, but have listened to the audio book read by Jonathan Marosz.


— This section contains spoilers! —


  • I think the Miller hits the nail on the head with religion preserving documents, but only when they don't know what they're for. The moment technology can actually progress, they want to hide them away again.
  • I love how the church is so incredibly pious about everything, but all of their history is wrong.
  • I liked how the book was broken up into three parts, each taking place centuries later.
  • The book's depiction of cyclical history and the folly of humans destroying themselves is a grim reminder to be humble.


  • The book has too many drawn out passages of Latin mass.
  • Having to read about the obnoxiously dogmatic priests tried my patience.
  • Despite the book being named after him, the Leibowitz character is never described other than having been a long-dead electrical engineer.
  • As is common with older sci-fi, the author describes futuristic technology, but doesn't seem to grasp that abundant microchips and storage memory would be necessary before any of it would be possible.
  • Nothing seems to come about from The Wanderer. He's in the first section, and we can assume he is the hermit in the second section, but there's no mention in the third section, or any explanation of his immortality other than the magic goat.


  • While I didn't have any major gripes with the book, in general, I was bored most of the time.


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