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Extended Audio Sample A Canticle for Leibowitz Audiobook, by Walter M. Miller Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (30,846 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Walter M. Miller Narrator: Tom Weiner Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2007 ISBN: 9781470804275
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Winner of the 1961 Hugo Award for Best Novel and widely considered one of the most accomplished, powerful, and enduring classics of modern speculative fiction, Walter M. Miller’s A Canticle for Leibowitz is a true landmark of twentieth-century literature—a chilling and still-provocative look at a postapocalyptic future.

In a nightmarish, ruined world, slowly awakening to the light after sleeping in darkness, the infantile rediscoveries of science are secretly nourished by cloistered monks dedicated to the study and preservation of the relics and writings of the blessed Saint Isaac Leibowitz. From here the story spans centuries of ignorance, violence, and barbarism, viewing through a sharp, satirical eye the relentless progression of a human race damned by its inherent humanness to recelebrate its grand foibles and repeat its grievous mistakes. Seriously funny, stunning, tragic, eternally fresh, imaginative, and altogether remarkable, A Canticle for Leibowitz retains its ability to enthrall and amaze. It is now, as it always has been, a masterpiece. 

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Angry, eloquent…A terrific story.”

    New York Times

  • “Chillingly effective.”

    Time

  • “An extraordinary novel…Prodigiously imaginative, richly comic, terrifyingly grim, profound both intellectually and morally, and, above all…simply such a memorable story as to stay with the reader for years.”

    Chicago Tribune

  • “An exciting and imaginative story…Unconditionally recommended.”

    Library Journal

  • Winner of the 1961Hugo Award for Best Novel

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Suzie | 2/9/2014

    " Well, if I wasn't ALREADY depressed this week... "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Keith | 2/1/2014

    " 2.5 stars. I wanted to like this book more but found it lacking somehow. I also found parts of it just annoying. The story was interesting enough but it failed to grasp me in. It took me a while to get through it. I can't say I would recommend this one. Others seemed to like it a lot more than me so take my opinion with a grain of salt. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Julia | 1/23/2014

    " I read a Canticle for Leibowitz almost concurrently with Anthem by Ayn Rand and Children of Men by P.D. James. The three works complimented each other beautifully; Canticle bridged the gap between Children of Men (with shared themes of Christianity and dictatorship) and Anthem (with the rediscovery of nearly-eradicated scientific knowledge and a warning of the perils of anti-intellectualism factoring heavily in each book. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Eveningstar2 | 1/22/2014

    " More theological and sociological speculation than scientific. A complex and fascinating book, Wolfe-esque in its depth, yet crisp and clear in language. Wonderful. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Stutley Constable | 1/22/2014

    " Excellent read. Well thought out. An engrossing novel. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kirsten | 1/21/2014

    " I loved the concept of this book, especially the first part, but I could not get past having a VASTLY different world view from the heroes. I felt like there were great ideas but I just did not like the realization. It did not explore what I wanted it to explore and opted instead for religious dogma. It was well-written, but I couldn't help feeling quite disappointed by the end. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Daniel Roy | 1/15/2014

    " It's a fine book, but it's more clever than it is interesting, I find. The characters are uninspiring, and it feels more like a Medieval alternate history novel than a real SF story for the most part of the novel. Didn't create much of a lasting impression. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 David | 1/8/2014

    " Much better advertisement for Catholicism than Brideshead Revisited! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Neil Benson | 12/30/2013

    " A fabulous novel with a prescient vision that makes it essential reading for anyone interested in science fiction. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Abby | 12/6/2013

    " Thank you to Professor Karen for assigning this book to my sci-fi English class in college. I never would have found it if it wasn't for you, and its amazing. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Alyssa | 12/4/2013

    " Maybe I didn't pay enough attention since I listened to the Audible version while sewing & cleaning but for me this was just an okay book. As soon as you start to know a character everything changes & there is a whole new set of characters - not quite my cup of tea. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Mary Warner | 10/19/2013

    " Great original and classic post-apocalyptic story. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Coyotejoe2 | 10/9/2013

    " good book, kind of makes you think..... "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Denise | 9/21/2013

    " One of the original "after the big one" novels. I thought it was wonderful when I first read it, and I was disappointed when I recommended it to someone recently who thought it was terrible. So maybe it doesn't age well. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Terry | 9/9/2013

    " Sad but really Interesting read, particularly part 1. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ann M | 6/25/2013

    " It's written as three novellas that take place in the same abbey, centuries apart. The monks try to make sense of the past, making clearly wrong assumptions. It's well done. Unlike much sci fi, it starts out slowly, then builds to a great ending. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Justin Chamberlain | 6/3/2013

    " Good, but not great post-apocalyptic fiction. Full of interesting pseudo-historical twists. Intriguing basic premise... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 N | 6/9/2012

    " I think this has to be one of the best books I've ever read. Miller hypothesizes a world where literacy has been demonized. Following a period of time where books were collected and destroyed, a group of monks dedicates their lives to protecting what writing remains. Goes nicely with Fahrenheit 451. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ann Stawski | 5/18/2012

    " One of my favorite books. I thank Mrs. Cupertino for sharing this with me so many years ago! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Ted | 5/4/2012

    " An early classic in the post-nuclear holocaust genre. I have read the book two or three times in the last 50 years. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michael Hokanson | 3/20/2012

    " The first part was the best. I was really hoping the rest would be about discovering things in the ruins of society. Still a good book though. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rick | 10/9/2011

    " Story has three main parts. Loved the first one. Liked two and three. Very differnt style and interesting concept. Holds up well even though written in 50s. "

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About the Author

Walter M. Miller, Jr., (1923–1996) enlisted in the Army Air Corps a month after Pearl Harbor. He spent most of World War II as a radio operator and tail gunner, participating in over fifty-five combat sorties, including the controversial destruction of the Benedictine abbey at Monte Cassino, the oldest monastery in the Western world. Fifteen years later he wrote A Canticle for Leibowitz.

About the Narrator

Tom Weiner, a dialogue director and voice artist best known for his roles in video games and television shows such as Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Transformers, is the winner of eight Earphones Awards and Audie Award finalist. He is a former member of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.