The Sparrow: A Novel (Ballantine Reader's Circle)

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9780449912553: The Sparrow: A Novel (Ballantine Reader's Circle)

A visionary work that combines speculative fiction with deep philosophical inquiry, The Sparrow tells the story of a charismatic Jesuit priest and linguist, Emilio Sandoz, who leads a scientific mission entrusted with a profound task: to make first contact with intelligent extraterrestrial life. The mission begins in faith, hope, and beauty, but a series of small misunderstandings brings it to a catastrophic end.
 
Praise for The Sparrow
 
“A startling, engrossing, and moral work of fiction.”The New York Times Book Review
 
“Important novels leave deep cracks in our beliefs, our prejudices, and our blinders. The Sparrow is one of them.”Entertainment Weekly
 
“Powerful . . . The Sparrow tackles a difficult subject with grace and intelligence.”San Francisco Chronicle
 
“Provocative, challenging . . . recalls both Arthur C. Clarke and H. G. Wells, with a dash of Ray Bradbury for good measure.”The Dallas Morning News
 
“[Mary Doria] Russell shows herself to be a skillful storyteller who subtly and expertly builds suspense.”USA Today

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Review:

In 2019, humanity finally finds proof of extraterrestrial life when a listening post in Puerto Rico picks up exquisite singing from a planet which will come to be known as Rakhat. While United Nations diplomats endlessly debate a possible first contact mission, the Society of Jesus quietly organizes an eight-person scientific expedition of its own. What the Jesuits find is a world so beyond comprehension that it will lead them to question the meaning of being "human." When the lone survivor of the expedition, Emilio Sandoz, returns to Earth in 2059, he will try to explain what went wrong... Words like "provocative" and "compelling" will come to mind as you read this shocking novel about first contact with a race that creates music akin to both poetry and prayer.

From the Publisher:

This is one of my favorite books of all time, EVER!!!! And I'm not just saying that because I work here at Ballantine/Fawcett and I have to. Being in the editorial department, there are always way too many books to read and way too little time to do it in. That's why when I first overheard one of my colleagues raving about this book to someone, I didn't give it a second thought. While it's nice to know at least a little something about the current books on our list (no small feat), this book had never caught my eye as something I'd be interested in. But after the millionth time I'd heard my cohort extolling the virtues of this book to anyone who would listen, I figured I would give it a shot.

I started reading it on my vacation, and it's a good thing, because I couldn't put it down to do anything else! I'm not quite sure what I can say about it that will do it justice, because it can be viewed so many different ways by different people----it's beautiful, ugly, sad, optimistic, and intensely compelling all at the same time. Suffice it to say that it's one of those once-in-a-lifetime books that just makes you stop and sit-up and think about things that you've never given second thought to before.

-----J. Rendon, Editorial Assistant

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Book Description Ballantine Books, New York, 1997. Softcover. Book Condition: New. Emilio Sandoz, a brilliant Jesuit priest, seems like the perfect leader for the first expedition to an extraterrestrial culture. However, when Sandoz returns to Earth 20 years later as the mission's sole survivor, he is accused of unspeakable violence and depravity. Bookseller Inventory # 10319

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Book Description Ballantine Books 9/8/1997, 1997. Paperback or Softback. Book Condition: New. The Sparrow. Book. Bookseller Inventory # BBS-9780449912553

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Book Description Random House USA Inc, United States, 1997. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reissue. Language: English . Brand New Book. ONE OF ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY S TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR A NOTABLE ACHIEVEMENT . . . Russell shows herself to be a skillful storyteller who subtly and expertly builds suspense .--USA Today AN EXPERIENCE NOT TO BE MISSED . . . If you have to send a group of people to a newly discovered planet to contact a totally unknown species, whom would you choose? How about four Jesuit priests, a young astronomer, a physician, her engineer husband, and a child prostitute-turned-computer-expert? That s who Mary Doria Russell sends in her new novel, The Sparrow. This motley combination of agnostics, true believers, and misfits becomes the first to explore the Alpha Centuri world of Rakhat with both enlightening and disastrous results. . . . Vivid and engaging . . . An incredible novel .--Milwaukee Journal Sentinel POWERFUL . . . Father Emilio Sandoz [is] the only survivor of a Jesuit mission to the planet Rakhat, a soul . . . looking for God. We first meet him in Italy . . . sullen and bitter. . . . But he was not always this way, as we learn through flashbacks that tell the story of the ill-fated trip. . . . The Sparrow tackles a difficult subject with grace and intelligence .--San Francisco Chronicle SMOOTH STORYTELLING AND GORGEOUS CHARACTERIZATION . . . Important novels leave deep cracks in our beliefs, our prejudices, and our blinders. The Sparrow is one of them .--Entertainment Weekly SELECTED BY THE BOOK-OF-THE-MONTH CLUB. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780449912553

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Book Description Random House USA Inc, United States, 1997. Paperback. Book Condition: New. Reissue. Language: English . Brand New Book. ONE OF ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY S TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR A NOTABLE ACHIEVEMENT . . . Russell shows herself to be a skillful storyteller who subtly and expertly builds suspense .--USA Today AN EXPERIENCE NOT TO BE MISSED . . . If you have to send a group of people to a newly discovered planet to contact a totally unknown species, whom would you choose? How about four Jesuit priests, a young astronomer, a physician, her engineer husband, and a child prostitute-turned-computer-expert? That s who Mary Doria Russell sends in her new novel, The Sparrow. This motley combination of agnostics, true believers, and misfits becomes the first to explore the Alpha Centuri world of Rakhat with both enlightening and disastrous results. . . . Vivid and engaging . . . An incredible novel .--Milwaukee Journal Sentinel POWERFUL . . . Father Emilio Sandoz [is] the only survivor of a Jesuit mission to the planet Rakhat, a soul . . . looking for God. We first meet him in Italy . . . sullen and bitter. . . . But he was not always this way, as we learn through flashbacks that tell the story of the ill-fated trip. . . . The Sparrow tackles a difficult subject with grace and intelligence .--San Francisco Chronicle SMOOTH STORYTELLING AND GORGEOUS CHARACTERIZATION . . . Important novels leave deep cracks in our beliefs, our prejudices, and our blinders. The Sparrow is one of them .--Entertainment Weekly SELECTED BY THE BOOK-OF-THE-MONTH CLUB. Bookseller Inventory # AAS9780449912553

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