The Sparrow is a novel about a remarkable man, a living saint, a life-long celibate and Jesuit priest, who undergoes an experience so harrowing and profound that it makes him question the existence of God. This experience--the first contact between human beings and intelligent extraterrestrial life--begins with a small mistake and ends in a horrible catastrophe.
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In 2019, humanity finally finds proof of extraterrestrial life when a listening post in Puerto Rico picks up exquisite singing from a planet which will come to be known as Rakhat. While United Nations diplomats endlessly debate a possible first contact mission, the Society of Jesus quietly organizes an eight-person scientific expedition of its own. What the Jesuits find is a world so beyond comprehension that it will lead them to question the meaning of being "human." When the lone survivor of the expedition, Emilio Sandoz, returns to Earth in 2059, he will try to explain what went wrong... Words like "provocative" and "compelling" will come to mind as you read this shocking novel about first contact with a race that creates music akin to both poetry and prayer.From the Publisher:
This is one of my favorite books of all time, EVER!!!! And I'm not just saying that because I work here at Ballantine/Fawcett and I have to. Being in the editorial department, there are always way too many books to read and way too little time to do it in. That's why when I first overheard one of my colleagues raving about this book to someone, I didn't give it a second thought. While it's nice to know at least a little something about the current books on our list (no small feat), this book had never caught my eye as something I'd be interested in. But after the millionth time I'd heard my cohort extolling the virtues of this book to anyone who would listen, I figured I would give it a shot.
I started reading it on my vacation, and it's a good thing, because I couldn't put it down to do anything else! I'm not quite sure what I can say about it that will do it justice, because it can be viewed so many different ways by different people----it's beautiful, ugly, sad, optimistic, and intensely compelling all at the same time. Suffice it to say that it's one of those once-in-a-lifetime books that just makes you stop and sit-up and think about things that you've never given second thought to before.
-----J. Rendon, Editorial Assistant
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