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The Sparrow (Ballantine Reader's Circle) (Paperback)

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    (Speculative Fiction - Sc)


    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

    About the Author

    Mary Doria Russell has been called one of the most versatile writers in contemporary American literature. Widely praised for her meticulous research, fine prose, and compelling narrative drive, she is the New York Times bestselling and award-winning author of The Sparrow, Children of God, A Thread of Grace, Dreamers of the Day, Doc, and Epitaph. Dr. Russell holds a Ph.D. in biological anthropology. She lives in Lyndhurst, Ohio.

    Praise For…

    Excerpts from reviews of Mary Doria Russell's The Sparrow

    "It is science fiction brought back to the project with which it began in
    the hands of a writer like Jules Verne: the necessity of wonder, the hope
    for moral rectitude, and the possibility of belief."


    "Russell's debut novel...focuses on her characters, and it is here that
    the work truly shines. An entertaining infusion of humor keeps the book
    from becoming too dark, although some of the characters are so clever that
    they sometimes seem contrived. Readers who dislike an emphasis on moral
    dilemmas or spiritual quests may be turned off, but those who enjoy
    science fiction because it can create these things are in for a real

    --Science Fiction Weekly

    "The Sparrow tackles a difficult subject with grace and

    --San Francisco Chronicle

    "The Sparrow is an incredible novel, for one reason. Though it is
    set in the early twenty-first century, it is not written like most science
    fiction. Russell's novel is driven by her characters, by their complex
    relationships and inner conflicts, not by aliens or technology."

    --Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

    "It is rare to find a book about interplanetary exploration that has this
    much insight into human nature and foresight into a possible future."

    --San Antonio Express News

    "Two narratives--the mission to the planet and its aftermath four decades
    later--interweave to create a suspenseful tale."

    --The Seattle Times

    "By alternating chapters that dramatize Sandoz's tough-love interrogation
    with flashbacks to the mission's genesis, flowering, and tragic collapse,
    The Sparrow casts a strange, unsettling emotional spell, bouncing
    readers from scenes of black despair to ones of wild euphoria, from the
    bracing simplicity of pure adventure to the complicated tangles of
    nonhuman culture and politics.--The smooth storytelling and gorgeous
    characterization can't be faulted."

    --Entertainment Weekly

    Product Details
    ISBN: 9780449912553
    ISBN-10: 0449912558
    Publisher: Ballantine Books
    Publication Date: September 8th, 1997
    Pages: 432
    Language: English