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Out of the Silent Planet [Paperback]

C. S. Lewis
4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)

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Book Description

3 July 2000

The first novel in C.S. Lewis’s classic sci-fi trilogy which tells the adventure of Dr Ransom who was kidnapped and transported to another planet.

Dr Ransom is a Cambridge academic who is captured whilst on a walking tour and forced into a spaceship by two men. With them he flies to Malacandra (Mars) . There he escapes his captors and discovers an amazing range of rational creatures on the planet, and in addition, spiritual creatures. Through the story of the Malacandrans, spiritual truths concerning the planet Earth are uncovered.

Lewis tells the tale with a wealth of imagination and sense of adventure, drawing out the realities of good and evil, God and the devil from the fantasy.

Product details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins; New edition edition (3 July 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0006281656
  • ISBN-13: 978-0006281658
  • Product Dimensions: 19.2 x 13 x 1.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,503,676 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

CLIVE STAPLES LEWIS (1898-1963) was one of the intellectual giants of the twentieth century and arguably one of the most influential writers of his day. He was a fellow and tutor in English Literature at Oxford University until 1954 when he was unanimously elected to the Chair of Medieval and Renaissance English at Cambridge University, a position he held until his retirement. He wrote more than thirty books, allowing him to reach a vast audience, and his works continue to attract thousands of new readers every year. His most distinguished and popular accomplishments include Mere Christianity, Out of the Silent Planet, The Great Divorce, The Screwtape Letters, and the universally acknowledged classics, the Chronicles of Narnia. To date, the Narnia books have sold over 100 million copies and been transformed into three major motion pictures.

Product Description


"The New Yorker" If wit and wisdom, style and scholarship are requisites to passage through the pearly gates, Mr. Lewis will be among the angels. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From the Back Cover

There was no sound of pursuit. Ransom dropped down on his stomach and drank, cursing a world where cold water appeared to be unobtainable. Then he lay still to listen and to recover his breath. His eyes were upon the blue water. It was agitated. Circles shuddered and bubbles heaved and a round, shining, black thing like a cannon-ball came into sight. Then he saw eyes and mouth – puffing mouth bearded with bubbles. More of the thing came up out of the water. It was gleaming and black… Ransom lay perfectly still, pressing his body as well down into the weed as he could, in obedience to a wholly theoretical ideas that he might thus pass unobserved.

In the first novel of C.S. Lewis's classic sci-fi trilogy, Dr Ransom, a Cambridge academic, is kidnapped and transported to another planet. His captors are plotting to plunder the planet's treasure, and plan to offer Ransom as a sacrifice to the rational creatures they have found there. Ransom discovers he has come from the only 'silent planet' and the tragic story of Earth is known throughout the universe…

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
36 of 36 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Silently 26 Feb 2006
C.S. Lewis is best known for his classic fantasy series The Chronicles of Narnia. But he's in his best form in the sprawling Space Trilogy. And the first volume "Out of the Silent Planet" is a solid, dreamy slice of imaginative science fiction with deep philosophical underpinnings.
Philologist (studies languages) Dr. Ransom is on a walking tour of England when he encounters a former despised schoolmate, Devine. Things take a nasty turn after Devine and his accomplice Weston drug Ransom, and load him onto a spaceship. Over the course of a month's interstellar travel, Ransom learns that they are travelling to the planet Malacandra (Mars) -- and worst, he's destined to be a human sacrifice.
Ransom manages to escape after they land, and finds himself alone in an alien world. He soon is taken in by the otterlike hrossa, and learns that there are three sentient species on Malacandra: the peaceful poetry-loving hrossa, the workaholic pfifltriggi, and intelligent seroni. When a hross friend of Ransom's is killed by the murderous humans, he sets out to find the mysterious, powerful Oyarsa, who might be able to help him and stop his kidnappers.
"Out of the Silent Planet" is no space opera. Lewis avoids most of the tendencies of typical sci-fi in favor of a more H.G. Wells approach. Big fleshy plants, sentient otters, decreased gravity and petrified forests really give it the feeling of another planet without using cheap tricks.
The most striking idea of "Planet" is the people who populate it -- three dissimilar species, who work together and have no problems like war, starvation, lies, power-lust or any of the other problems that human beings have.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Awe-inspiring! You'll love it! 14 Jun 2000
By A Customer
I'm 15, and the instant I picked this book up I couldn't put it down. This isn't one of those corny sci-fi books written for kids with unintelligent creatures that walk around eating everything in sight. It does give a person something to think about. The scenery and creatures living on Malachandra are quite different than any species imaginable. Lewis describes everything with great detail, so you aren't sitting in the dark on what you are supposed to be picturing. Lewis twists science with beliefs in a very remarkable way, and you will definately see things in a differant light when you are through. An interesting aspect is that in the end, he gets across that there truly was a "Ransom," and that he wrote to Lewis on the subject because he believed that he really was to Malachandra. This is an overall inspiring book to read, and you will really enjoy it.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An amazing adventure. 3 Nov 2000
Once again, I have fallen in love with a book by C.S. Lewis. "Out of the Silent Planet" takes its place alongside "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe", "Till We Have Faces", "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader", "Mere Christianity", "The Great Divorce", "The Screwtape Letters", and "The Last Battle" as books Lewis has written that I believe everyone should read.
I am astounded by Lewis' creative imagination. The planet of Malacandra is a profound idea expressed beautifully. I do not wish to go into too many details because discovery is the real joy in reading this book. However, I must say that Ransom is one of Lewis' most complex and compelling (if somewhat ambiguous) protagonists; and therefore...one of my favorites.
I thoroughly enjoyed Out of the Silent Planet. I sincerely encourage you to acquire this book and read it. It is an amazing adventure.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Beautiful 20th Century Parable 7 Aug 2007
Lewis is a writer of consummate prose which flows effortlessly across the pages. One could read this not knowing that Lewis was a friend and contemporary of Tolkien, as well as being a devoted Christian and, as I once did, find it simply enjoyable and beautiful as a work of fiction.
Lewis' work (in which can be included the Narnia Chronicles) gain a far greater depth when considered in the light of Lewis' Christianity. The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, for instance, replays the crucifixion when Aslan (to all intents and purposes the Christ figure) allows himself to be sacrificed for the sake of an innocent, and is subsequently resurrected.
Here, Lewis goes farther back into Christian Theology to the time of the fall of Lucifer.
The novel starts in an England of the Nineteen Thirties where the philologist Professor Ransom is on a walking holiday and finds himself without a place to stay for the night.
Turning up at a large country house he finds to his surprise an old schoolmate, Devine, who invites him to stay, after introducing him to his colleague, Weston.
After dinner, Ransom finds himself unnaturally sleepy, only to awaken on board what he finally realises to be a space ship, en route to another world.
Ransom is made to work during the journey, and finally overhears his captors' plans. They intend to hand Ransom over to the natives of the planet, who wish to sacrifice him.
Upon landing, Ransom gets a brief glimpse of the natives, tall gangly creatures with long fingers and heads like inverted cones, the creatures Devine calls `Sorns'.
Ransom takes his chance and escapes into the strange jungles of Malacandra, the planet we know as Mars.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Good v evil on a cosmic scale
Disclaimer :CS Lewis wrote his space trilogy decades before space travel became a reality. For his generation the notion that afterall there could be sentiment beings on Mars and... Read more
Published 22 days ago by Tweedledum
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Every thing great thanks.
Published 27 days ago by Stephanie Patton
5.0 out of 5 stars A delightful book, but all C.S. Lewis books are too expensive as...
This is a delightful book and a great read. Unfortunately, the sellers do not have the approach that C. S. Read more
Published 1 month ago by G. R. Hunt
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Good parallel to the Christian history of the fall of mankind.
Published 2 months ago by Geoff H-T
5.0 out of 5 stars A Revelation
This trilogy will come as a revelation to anyone who only associates C S Lewis with Narnia.
The basic premise has been used by many authors,, but rarely to such good effect. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars Weird and somewhat dated sci-fi
This is the first book in Lewis' Cosmic trilogy and it is a weird mixture of Verne-ish scif-fi and religio-magickal realism. Very different and quite well-written, but quite dated. Read more
Published 3 months ago by Jan Patrik SahlstrÝm
5.0 out of 5 stars Lewis at his bristling best
There are many highlights tontine writing of C S Lewis, but in fiction the space trilogy tops all. There is a sophistication in the storytelling here that seriously outstrips the... Read more
Published 5 months ago by Gerard Kelly
5.0 out of 5 stars Wierdly exhilarating
For a book published in 1938 it's weirdly refreshing and exhilarating. Written in clear and accessible language it does not feel dated at all. Read more
Published 6 months ago by A. Halfacre
5.0 out of 5 stars positive review of out of the silent planet
I really liked the product. It was in good condition and it was as described by the selling. I would buy with them again.
Published 7 months ago by Katarin
5.0 out of 5 stars Subtly challenging & highly imaginative - in the best ways!
Forgetting just how intelligent Lewis is, this was a wonderful refresher into the imagination of such a great writer. Read more
Published 7 months ago by EKMCronin
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