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The SparrowIn 2019 humanity finally finds proof of extraterrestrial life when a listening post in Puerto Rico picks up exuisite singing from a planet that will come. I had picked this up years ago due to all the terrific reviews but when I started it since it involves priests and such I thought it was going to be a Christian book So I'm really glad that a group decided to read this because it is NOT a yah yah Christian book at all I would instead call it a spiritual book in that the journey involves time old uestions of faith of God of religion of humanity And altho most of the main characters are indeed Jesuits and so many uestions and approaches do involve Catholicism they were universal And very very beautiful After I was done I read that the author had left the Catholic church at age 15 and after 20 years of aetheism found herself re examining uestions of values ethics morality and religion upon the birth of her child She found her drawn to Judaism and convertedAnd that makes alot of sense in that The Sparrow does speak about religion but in a completely open tolerant way You can also be an aetheist and derive much insight into the nature of what drives us toward spirituality to begin with And that morality and goodness has its place even outside any type of established religionThis was also one of the best first contact books because The Sparrow is far than just a uestion of what God is or isn't but so a fascinating study of anthropology Of both humans and aliens As a matter of fact I'm sorry I started this review even discussing the religious aspect because I would say the anthropology approach and insight is just as strong if not even a stronger force in the bookWhich also makes a ton of sense since the author was an anthropolistAnd I can not ignore the fact that the characters were some of the most complex likable and developed you can find in any bookI liked this book so much I immediately started reading its seuel Children of God upon completion The Sparrow itself is very much a stand alone book but I was so engrossed with Emilio I HAD to know what happened to himHmm I might make this book a 5

Mary Doria Russell ¶ 7 Download

Rson scientific expedition of its own What the Jesuits find is a world so beyond comprehension that it will lead them to uestion what it means to be huma. What is a life worth living and what is a life wasted and why What is worth dying for what is worth living for and why What shall I teach my child to value and what shall I urge that child to avoid and why What am I owed by others and what do I owe others and why Each human culture provides a different set of answers to those uestions but deity is nearly always embedded in the Why The above uote is from Mary Doria Russell in her Afterword of this brilliant novel I think they sum up perfectly the very same uestions that I found myself grappling with while reading this Russell certainly won’t give you any answers to these uestions but she will give you plenty of intellectual food for thought I admit to lying awake many nights in the past pondering the uestions of the universe but of late I knew the answers would not come so I set aside such contemplation Russell managed to reawaken such reflections I won’t get into the details of the plot; just suffice to say that on the surface The Sparrow is about a first contact made with another planet It appears to be a science fiction novel; therefore non lovers of the genre may mistakenly steer away from this However this is so much than the introduction to an alien species Sure we have the opportunity to meet these but in reality it isn’t all that different from making contact with another culture; albeit one that is completely unfamiliar to us More than a physical journey the characters in this novel are on a spiritual journey The character development is superb Father Emilio Sandoz is a Jesuit priest but wait don’t run away uite yet He is someone that you will not be able to get out of your head once you see his soul bared to you in all of its most human components The way the novel is structured we are taken back and forth in time from post mission to the preparation for the mission as well as to the mission itself We know from the outset that Emilio Sandoz is tormented and my heart broke for him What could possibly have happened to this man that has turned him into such a tortured human being Aside from Emilio Sandoz there are a number of other characters that are a pleasure to get to know Perhaps my two favorites were Anne and George in their sixties and happily married Anne doesn’t buy into the whole idea of a God but that doesn’t stop her from sustaining a valuable and close friendship with Emilio The two are sounding boards for each other’s beliefs and doubts and their conversations are priceless Anne is very spirited and her thoughts on marriage are another source of wisdom for any reader that is so inclined to glean a bit thought about this institution as well At one point she says People change Cultures change Empires rise and fall Shit Geology changes Every ten years or so George and I have faced the fact that we have changed and we’ve had to decide if it makes sense to create a new marriage between these two new people Anyone with a spouse can likely relate to this I know it certainly made me consider my own relationship I could carry on about this for uite some time but I don’t think I can really do the book justice There is a lot to ponder here My mind is beginning to spin into those dizzying heights that leave me feeling rather breathless and inarticulate Much like the feeling I get when my son drags me onto some of those terrifying yet thrilling rollercoaster rides that he is wild for All I can say is that you don’t have to be a religious person to read this book You don’t have to be a science fiction devotee But if you have ever stopped to consider what is out there that is bigger than yourself and what role we as humans play in this universe then you might want to give some serious thought to reading this book For my part I am not done with Father Emilio Sandoz’s journey and will continue on with Children of God the seuel to this one We need not choose one kind of majesty forsaking all others

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Download The Sparrow 107 ↠ In 2019 humanity finally finds proof of extraterrestrial life when a listening post in Puerto Rico picks up exuisite singing from a planet that will come to be known as Rakhat While United Nations diplomats endlessly debate a possible first contact mission the Society of Jesus uietly organizes an eight person scientific expedition of its To be known as Rakhat While United Nations diplomats endlessly debate a possible first contact mission the Society of Jesus uietly organizes an eight pe. I've hit page 199 of 'The Sparrow' and the viscosity of the text is increasingBy page 12 I had a lot of hope for this book By page 88 I was really into the book and thinking there was a good chance this was a 4 or 5 star book At this point though I'm not sure I can summon enough conviction up to finish itRussell takes a gamble with her story of telling it from the beginning and end toward the middle and relies extremely heavily on foreshadowing It’s high risk techniue with a big payoff and while it is somewhat effective at first in generating interest in the story after about 130 pages of foreshadowing gloom and horror it gets really tiring It's like taking a bad page from some of the worst of Kurt Vonnegut's literary tics only where Vonnegut comes off as pretentious or even pandering Russell is coming off as being a bit of an amateur Even worse making the first third of your story foreshadowing with nothing happening is I think promising a payoff that is so large that I don't see at this point how she can deliver a sufficiently big twist or epiphany to justify itThere are a lot of things to like about this book its witty intelligent dialogue its ambition and its uality prose But the chief merit of the book so far is the sensitivity to human culture that Mary Doria Russell brings to her work Her skill and knowledge as an anthropologist shows and in particular she envisions the social fabric of the world of 2016 in a way that is believable and seems to be almost prescient The same easy believability cannot be said for almost any other aspect of her work Her characters are all little than caricatures with the sort of exaggerated easily identifiable physical features that you’d expect of characters in a comic book or role playing game The physicist is 6’6” and scarecrow thin The mathematician is a petite and impossibly beautiful ex prostitute The pilot is impossibly ugly and speaks such an exaggerated Texan slang that the portrayal is embarrassingly close to racism The main character Emilio is a roguishly charming and impossibly handsome Jesuit priest He’s essentially an agnostic that wants to believe who hubristically seizes on the mission to another world as a way to reconcile his own lack of faith in his God His chief sounding board and seemingly the author’s chief voice is Anne – a 64 year old silver haired but still sprightly sexual doctor and hostess who is always ready with wit and wine Both characters seem to be someone’s fantasy rather than real people and tellingly Anne’s husband George is the least well drawn and least independent of the central characters I'm finding it increasingly difficult to suspend my disbelief While I can easily believe the social developments that appear to have happened by 2016 it’s simply ludicrous to believe that by 2016 we will have sufficient in space infrastructure and technical process that a private organization will be able to mount an interstellar mission It seems highly unlikely that a technological civilization would be found orbiting our nearest neighbor It seems even unlikely that news of the discovery of said alien civilization would create only a small and passing sensation in the press or that any of the major world governments would simply allow such a singularly important event as contact with an alien species to be unregulated I mean I would think contact with a new sentient species would be perceived as a matter of the utmost delicacy given that the potential extinction of either species is on the line should matters go wrong But as Russell would have it the discovery of mankind’s first extraterrestrial neighbor generates somewhat less interest than the Y2K bugEually bad it seems impossible to me that supposedly excellent scientists would fail to develop contact protocols and would arrive at a distant planet inhabited by a sentient species with no clear idea what they intend to do This last one is for me the near mortal blow to the story Not only are no contact protocols developed and no plans made and no experiments scheduled and no egos bruised fighting over whose theoretical models should be attempted first but upon reaching the planet the team takes essentially no environmental precautions and stupidly starts sampling everything that looks remotely edible This uite unsurprisingly leads to the death of one of the crew This is a severe problem because we've been foreshadowing a tragedy the whole time and the author somewhat unsuccessfully has been trying to make the characters very sympathetic congenial and witty so that this tragedy will produce some sort of big emotional payoff when its elements are finally revealed In what amounts to the prologue chapter Russell voices what appears to be something of a thesis statement Through the thoughts of one of her most sympathetic characters she writes The mission he thought probably failed because of a series of logical reasonable carefully considered decisions each of which seemed like a good idea at the timeBut at this point I've not been seeing a lot of logical reasonable carefully considered decisions I'm seeing characters behaving like such complete buffoons that the vibe I'm getting is slasher film than tragedy and if they keep acting so foolishly I'm going to be rooting for their gruesome deaths before it’s all over Well I'm finally done with 'The Sparrow' For all that foreshadowing Russell ends up spoiling most of the 'twists' either explicitly or by inference long before the story is complete There isn't a really big epiphany at the end and the last thing she chooses to resolve seems almost anticlimactic to the point of unbelievablyJudged as a science fiction book or a non science fiction book this is a book with major flaws As a non science fiction book it's very difficult or impossible to have sympathy for the characters because their mistakes are in many cases so egregious and have so predictable of conseuences Some of the 'Mary Sue' isms which would be forgivable in a sci fi book are made to grate precisely because the author builds up how hyper competent the people are and then makes them jump through hoops of stupidity so as to achieve her tragic story goals The slasher movie vibe was palpable Ultimately it's difficult to believe that anyone considers Emilio that saintly Speaking as a religious person myself I never got the impression that Emilio was acting with divine guidance and never understood why anyone would have seen him as such His faith was childish in all the worst ways rather than all the better ones He seemed infected with Hubris projecting his hopes desires and needs on to God and then blaming God when his Emilio's plans didn't work out He never struck me as someone who walked with God or who had some spiritual gift the some real people have And I found it difficult to believe that Emilio who has lived such a hard brutal life if he had any faith would let simple Latin male machismo get in the wayAs a science fiction book the story fails for several reasons not the least of which is none of the participants seems to be particularly skilled in hard sciences The biology of the story was utterly unbelievable You can't move from one end of the country to the other much less to a foreign country without spending at least the first six weeks sick as your body builds immunity to local pathogens and your digestive tract accommodates new flora Yet these people go to a whole new world and don't show the slightest concern for the fact that they'll be encountering microorganisms wholly unlike anything they've ever encountered or that they'll be exposing the new world to the same Old world explorers didn't have a clue about the conseuences of expos