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The Sparrow () is the first novel by author Mary Doria Russell. It won the Arthur C. Clarke . Danny got a cold in when I started the book, and I noticed the name Sandoz on the medicine label and thought it sounded good. The Sparrow book. Read reviews from the world's largest community for readers. In , humanity finally finds proof of extraterrestrial life when. Editorial Reviews. Review. In , humanity finally finds proof of extraterrestrial Book 1 of 2 in The Sparrow Series (2 Book Series).

The Sparrow Book

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An enigma wrapped inside a mystery sets up expectations that prove difficult to fulfill in Russell's first novel, which is about first contact with an extraterrestrial. Intrigued, and in an unusually good financial situation, I decided to pick the book up on Kindle. In hindsight, I feel like the Matt Damon thing was a warning sign. Praise. “A startling, engrossing, and moral work of fiction.”—The New York Times Book Review “Important novels leave deep cracks in our beliefs, our prejudices.

As the friendship of this little group grows, and as Jimmy prepares to bow gracefully away from the sparking attraction between Sophia and Emilio, the unbelievable happens. Jimmy discovers music coming from somewhere near Alpha Centauri, about four light years away.

With that discovery, this motley group of friends takes the first step on a journey that will change their lives for better and for worse. The Society for Jesus, with the wealth and missionary zeal of the Catholic Church at its back, will undertake what no government or corporation wants to: sponsoring a manned spacetrip to Rakhat, the source of this interstellar music.

Joined by several other Jesuits who are masters of diverse disciplines, the circle of friends embarks on a mission that will show them amazing joys, utter loss, and the hope that only faith can support. Intelligent and emotional, The Sparrow is one of the most stunning works of speculative fiction in recent years.

It plainly examines the gamut of human emotions, from the plumbless depths of lifelong love to the most harrowing guilt that can only come from causing the life of one you love to end.

In Emilio, Russell brings to life a future Job, a man whose beliefs are put to excruciating tests. This is not a novel for the faint of heart; it is one for those who want more than anything for that core of themselves to be found strong. Emilio has kept his end of a bargain that he made with God, and he feels betrayed.

I wanted to look at that aspect of theology. But if you read Torah, you realize that God has a lot to answer for.

God is a complex personality. I wanted to explore that complexity and that moral ambiguity. God gives us rules but those are rules for us, not for God. How did you follow up the story?

I wrote a sequel to The Sparrow titled Children of God. Emilio Sandoz goes back to Rakhat, but only because he has no choice.

God is not done with him yet. What was the toughest thing about writing the sequel? The fact that there are so many people who are passionate about the original characters and care so much about the issues. Writing a sequel was a real high-wire act.

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I had to break new ground. I hope that I have done that but it has not been an easy trick to pull off.

Children of God explores what happens to the people on Rakhat because Emilio Sandoz was there. There are children born because of him, and children are always revolutionary.

Things that we would put up with ourselves can become intolerable when we see our children forced to face the same circumstances. What do you want readers to get out of this book? This is one of my favorite books of all time, EVER!!!! Being in the editorial department, there are always way too many books to read and way too little time to do it in.

Rendon, Editorial Assistant. Join Reader Rewards and earn your way to a free book! Join Reader Rewards and earn points when you purchase this book from your favorite retailer. Read An Excerpt. Literary Fiction Historical Fiction Category: Literary Fiction Historical Fiction.

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The Sparrow

Buy the Ebook: Add to Cart. About The Sparrow 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: Also in The Sparrow Series.

Also by Mary Doria Russell. See all books by Mary Doria Russell. Product Details.

Inspired by Your Browsing History. Related Articles. In the year , only one of the crew, the Jesuit priest Emilio Sandoz, survives to return to Earth, and he is damaged physically and psychologically. The story is told with parallel plot lines, interspersing the journey of Sandoz and his friends to Rakhat with Sandoz's experiences upon his return to Earth. Sandoz grew up in La Perla , a poor neighborhood, and joined the Jesuits as a teenager.

After several stints at Jesuit missionaries around the world, he returns to Puerto Rico. Several of his close friends and co-workers, people with a variety of unique skills and talents, have seemingly coincidental connections to Arecibo. One of them, a gifted young technician, was the first to hear the transmissions; another, Sofia Mendes, a Turkish Jewish artificial intelligence specialist, has the connections and aptitude to obtain a spacecraft and help pilot the mission.

Sandoz, who has often struggled with his faith, becomes convinced that only God's will could bring this group of people with the perfect combination of knowledge and experience together at the moment when the alien signal was detected.

The Sparrow

Sandoz and his friends, along with three other Jesuit priests, are chosen by the Society of Jesus to travel in secret to the planet, using an interstellar vessel made with a small asteroid.

Upon reaching Rakhat, the crew tries to acclimatize themselves to the new world, experimenting with eating local flora and fauna , then making contact with a rural village, inhabited by a peaceful tribe of vegetarian gatherers , the Runa. Though clearly not the singers of the radio broadcasts, the Earthlings settle among the Runa and begin to learn their language, known as Ruanja, and culture.

Although Sandoz struggles with his attraction to Sofia, he finds greater spiritual meaning in his interactions with the Runa. The crew transmits all their findings via computer uplink to the asteroid-ship in orbit. One day, in an attempt to retrieve supplies from their landing vehicle for a sick crew member, the landing vehicle runs short of the fuel needed to safely return to the asteroid ship, and the crew must face the reality that they may never return to Earth.These seemingly innocent actions and accompanying cultural misunderstandings precipitate an outbreak of violence.

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. As the friendship of this little group grows, and as Jimmy prepares to bow gracefully away from the sparking attraction between Sophia and Emilio, the unbelievable happens.

Book Review: The Sparrow

I know it certainly made me consider my own relationship. View all 16 comments. The Sparrow tackles a difficult subject with grace and intelligence. Download our Spring Fiction Sampler Now.

DANILO from Wisconsin
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