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Thread: Outof the Silent Planet/Series

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Anybody read Out of the Silent Planet? I have yet to read it, though it is on the list. My brother loved it, and is almost through with the series.

If anybody has read it, please let me know if I should buy the book and add it to my library, or if it is only worth borrowing from my brother. Though I think I already know the answer.

Please discuss away.

Oh! btw. I believe this is the series CSL wrote at the same time JRRT wrote the LOTR. I haven't read anything about their relationship though.

I thought this was worthy of its own thread, so here it is.
Yes I have read the series, also known as C.S. Lewis's 'space trilogy'. It is comprised of Out of the Silent Planet - (Mars); Perelanda - (Venus); and That Hidious Strength - (Earth). I recomend you obtain them from your library or purchase them if your pocket book runneth over.

You can always just get the first one to see if you like it, but be forewarned that you won't want to wait for the second if you didn't get it with the first. I found the third book a trifle dark and ugly, but it was supposed to be, and it makes for a good horror story as well as having a good ending. I just loaned my boxed set of paperbacks to my foot surgeon.
Thank you.

I will get my hands on them.
There's a mystery to what it is that makes certain works of art, books in this case, move one's heart most. It's something other than innate quality. I'm intermittently in this community because I especially love Tolkien. I've read "Lord of the Rings" dozens of times. But actually the "Silmarillion" is my favorite book and "Leaf by Niggle" my favorite story. I don't think that's the common attitude. Anyway, I'm getting around to that "That Hideous Strength" is one of my favorite books ever. I'm not comfortable recommending it, though. I know more people who liked "Out of the Silent Planet" and "Perelandra" and didn't like "That Hideous Strength." A lot of people.

All three have a religious subtext. "Perelandra" more than "Out of the Silent Planet" and "That Hideous Strength" most of all. In all, Lewis is capable of depicting extraordinary beauty, completely alien in the first two and more earthly and quite distinctly English in the last. It's true that "That Hideous Strength" is often very dark. Lewis is capable more than anyone I can think of of depicting real Evil. There are characters in it that make my skin crawl.

Tolkien didn't like Lewis' depictions of evil. He didn't disagree with them: he felt that it was a wrong thing to concentrate on, that such things should be turned away from. He was particularly upset that Lewis dedicated "The Screwtape Letters" to him (Tolkien). "The Screwtape Letters" are a series of letters written by one devil to his devil nephew. It's not obscene or anything, but after I finished reading it, I felt sort of dirty. Lewis really does do Evil well.

So "That Hideous Strength" has that same repellant depiction of evil and is arguably sexist and anglo-centric. But it contains a vision of, for me, wonderful goodness and joy. It is, as I say, one of my favorite books. My experience with others leads me to think that it probably won't be one of yours.
I agree with practically everything that Shaya says, except that I am currently part of the way through that hideous strength, so I can't quite give a verdict. I personally loved out of the silent planet and although I found perelandra (or voyage to venus) quite heavy in places I managed to plod through it and I loved it.
I would have to say that I did not enjoy That Hideous Strength. I love Out of the Silent Planet and the character Ransom, particularly how the reader gets to see Ransom’s thought process as he figures out the language of the- is it Hrossa? Something like that… And I enjoyed Perelandra. But I did not understand a lot of THS, and it really seemed to drag on. However, I have not read the books in a while and should probably give them another try… once I finish reading all the other books that I haven’t read yet and need to. It might be a while…
I read all three when I was between 16 and 18 years old; I remember immensely enjoying Out of the Silent Planet and Perelandra, and I remember plodding through That Hideous Strength and coming out of it as out of a nightmare -- with not a real clear picture in my head of the story or the point of it.

Later on I re-read them all and found out that the third one wasn't so bad as I had previously thought: I just had to stop reading it with the purpose of "getting to the part where Ransom and the eldil show up again" -- and enjoy the introduction of new characters and etc. (In this manner, I actually understood what was going on when Ransom & co. DID show up again... making it a much more enjoyable story).

A few years ago, a friend of mine gave me a birthday gift of all three books in a new hardcover edition I hadn't seen before -- where on earth he found the edition and how on earth he found the money in his pocketbook is beyond me -- but what a gift! Smile Smilie They are quite good, I have just finished reading OotSP again and I love the images... sorns.... incredibly tall & skinny mountains.... sorns.... pfifftriggi (what a name for a sentiant species!)
Looks like a pretty consistent experience for most of us. I liked Out of the Silent Planet the most, and That Hideous Strength the least. But, being young and desperate to play the mature grown man, I pretended to like That Hideous Strength better, because it just seemed like what a grown man should like better - more mundane (no pun intended) and relevant to everyday life. I definitely thought that Out of the Silent Planet was the most dynamic, exciting, exotic, and well-structured of the three. The setting of Perelandra started out exotic, but to me the setting plateaued quite early. I especially like considering the comparison between Lewis' conception of Mars and Venus vs. our scientifically acquired conceptions. There are some interestingly subtle similarities. As a general comment regarding the trilogy, growing up in a very religious family, the biblical influences (and alegory) were quite obvious (of course Perelandra exhibits this ostensibly, if I remember correctly; I don't remember the other two books being quite as blatant).