Tag Archive for book review

A Canticle for Leibowitz: how history can repeat itself

a canticle for leibowitz

Title: A Canticle for Leibowitz
Author: Walter M. Miller
Year published: 1960
Genre: Post-apocalyptic, far
Threat: Nuclear holocaust.
Two words: Epic cycle.

 

 

 

 

 

Winner of the 1961 Hugo Award for Best Science Fiction novel, this is vast and scope and profound in its message. Spanning centuries of story, it is a literary tome that has been compared with many of the greats (such as Evelyn Waugh and Graham Greene) for its insights into the human condition. The only novel published by Miller, it remains in print half a century after publication, and is as true now as ever.  Read more

Z for Zachariah: two people, one valley

z for zachariah

Title: Z For Zachariah
Author:Robert C. O’Brien
Year published: 1974
Genre: Post-apocalyptic (near), young adult/drama.
Threat: Nuclear holocaust, nerve gas.
Two words: Tense adolescence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Z for Zachariah is often bandied as a children’s post-apocalyptic book, concerning a young lady’s survival after a nuclear holocaust. Indeed, it was partially finished by O’Brien’s daughter, released only after his death, and it’s a text at least previously studied in schools. Something you read and reread and pick apart in class until you find it mind-numbingly banal. But there’s a reason it was worthy studying, and it’s a perfectly mature tale – it’s a great character study, with a purposefully subtle story. Read more