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Mary Doria Russell

Autor(a) de The Sparrow

9+ Works 16,288 Membros 1,025 Críticas 110 Favorited

About the Author

Image credit: Courtesy of the author


Obras por Mary Doria Russell

The Sparrow (1996) 7,706 exemplares
Children of God (1998) 2,996 exemplares
A Thread of Grace (2005) 2,122 exemplares
Doc (2011) 1,416 exemplares
Dreamers of the Day (2008) 1,094 exemplares
Epitaph (2015) 548 exemplares
Rakhat 3 exemplares
2000 1 exemplar

Associated Works

A Canticle for Leibowitz (1955) — Introdução, algumas edições11,735 exemplares


Conhecimento Comum



Ellen (ebt1002) Reads On in 2016 - Chapter 10 em 75 Books Challenge for 2016 (Outubro 2016)
!/4 way through THE SPARROW and am already blown away em Science Fiction Fans (Maio 2014)


I was intrigued by why the writer of two terrific science fiction novels (The Sparrow and its sequel Children of God) would turn to writing what appears on the surface to be just a Western: set in the Kansas township of Dodge in the 1880s, featuring people like Doc Holliday, Wyatt Earp and Bat Masterton. But in fact, Doc adheres much more closely to historical reality than 99% of ‘Westerns’ and could be seen simply as a devoted character study and only lightly-fictionalised biography of Doctor John Henry Holliday.

The novel begins with this arresting opening: “He began to die when he was twenty-one...”

Born in Georgia just prior to the Civil War and growing up in its aftermath, Holliday studies to become a dentist, but contracts tuberculosis and is sent West to try to take advantage of the drier air. Here he supplements his meagre income from his dental practice by becoming a card sharp.

Russell’s depiction of the unromantic reality of the ‘Wild West’ and the ravages of tuberculosis on Holliday appear to be well-researched and clearly described. The range of characters around him, including real-life figures the Earp brothers; the prostitute Kate Harony; Bob Wright, the outfitter making himself a fortune; and many others, are supplemented by imagined characters such as Father Alexander von Angensperg, a Jesuit bringing the Gospel to the Native Americans.

Throw into this mix the mystery surrounding the death of a young mixed-race man who Holliday had been mentoring, and you have a fascinating novel.
… (mais)
davidrgrigg | 175 outras críticas | Mar 23, 2024 |
This is the sequel to The Sparrow, which I read earlier this year. The Sparrow tells the harrowing tale of what happened to the Jesuit-sponsored mission to Rakhat, a newly-discovered planet in the Alpha Centauri system. In particular, The Sparrow revealed the awful physical and spiritual torment of the priest Emilio Sandoz, which came about because of a fundamental misunderstanding of the alien civilisation the expedition encountered. It’s a very dark, thought-provoking book.

The sequel offers a kind of redemption, as Sandoz, slowly recovering from his shattering experiences, is eventually forced by the Church authorities to return to Rakhat, bitterly against his will—he is, in fact, kidnapped and taken on board the spacecraft while unconscious. The

trip to Rakhat is at a good percentage of the speed of light, lasting only six months for the travellers, but many years will pass on Earth—and on Rakhat—during the voyage.

Russell deals with this travel-time gap very intelligently and does not try to fudge its consequences. Because of this gap in time, Sandoz is torn permanently away from the loving relationship he had begun to establish with a divorced woman and her young daughter on Earth. The inter-personal conflicts with the others on the new expedition who have been complicit in Sandoz’ kidnapping are therefore very sharp and bitter.

When Sandoz arrives back on Rakhat, many years have passed there, too. What he discovers is that the earlier expedition triggered unforeseen, wide-ranging revolutionary consequences. The second expedition thus returns, essentially, to a different world. What has happened during their absence is slowly revealed in flash-backs through the viewpoint of a lone survivor of the first expedition (of whose survival Sandoz has been ignorant), and the viewpoints of a number of the alien species caught up in the changes brought about by the earlier expedition.

This bloody revolution, for which he is partially responsible, presents Sandoz with a new set of ethical dilemmas. Ultimately he finds himself needing to defend, with his life, the very species which had been the source of his torment on the first expedition. And in doing so, place himself against the fierce opposition of someone he once loved.

Like The Sparrow, the sequel is engrossing, unputdownable reading, and you complete it with a sigh, unable to get it out of your head for several days afterwards.
… (mais)
davidrgrigg | 124 outras críticas | Mar 23, 2024 |
Jesuits in space! I am so glad I decided to revisit this speculative/Sci-Fi classic. Extraterrestrial life is discovered on a nearby galaxy and the “Society of Jesus” organizes an expedition to visit the planet. It is no surprise, that is does not go as planned. There is so much to chew on, in this novel, which touches on the struggles of religious faith, family dynamics and the dangers of colonization. It is also populated with engaging characters, that you will not soon forget. This was my introduction to MDR and it made me an instant convert. I may visit the sequel Children of God at some point too.… (mais)
msf59 | 405 outras críticas | Mar 20, 2024 |
I had some trouble with this one, largely because the writer had, at least in this book, a "good writer, poor storyteller" problem. Russell is obviously a skilled writer in that she knows how to use her words, and she came up with an interesting idea and interesting characters to use them on. Her problem was she didn't know when, or how, to stop. The Sparrow really should have been a novella rather than a novel. Reading it was like being in a movie and thinking, "well, this is nice but when is it going to be over?".… (mais)
BooksCatsEtc | 405 outras críticas | Mar 5, 2024 |


1990s (1)


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