Thread: Outof the Silent Planet/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.
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.
I will get my hands on them.
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.
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! 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!)