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on 12 March 2017
Bought this for a friend. I wouldn't be without these books at home, as I have loved them for years. Those who liked the Narnia series as youngsters will love Lewis's adult fiction.
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on 10 September 2017
Good but very small print
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on 22 April 2002
This is a great book which I would recommend to anyone. At first I found Lewis' style of writing hard to grasp, but I soon tuned into it and after that I couldn't put this trilogy down.
Lewis really brings the creation story, the end times and what God thinks of mankind to life through this allegory. I can honestly say that reading these books has made me look at the world and God in a very different way.
It's a great story as well and very gripping at times. His descriptions of the landscapes and characters are brilliant.
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on 2 April 2008
Out of the Silent Planet
C.S. Lewis

This is the first book in C.S. Lewis's amazing Space Trilogy. These books are far less known than Lewis's Narnia series or even his Mere Christianity or The Screwtape Letters, yet it is just as good as any of those writings and goes to show the versatility of Lewis as an author.

This first book begins with our hero, Dr. Ransom, out for a walking tour in the countryside, dressed in that shabby way for which professors are renowned. His foes are his former schoolmates Devine and Weston. These men believe they need a human sacrifice, and by capturing Ransom they have their victim, for they have made a spaceship and are taking Ransom to Malacandra the red planet.

Once on Mars, Ransom escapes his captors, meets many species, and finds out that on Mars there has been no `Fall' and Ransom from Earth or the Silent Planet is a bit of an oddity. People from earth are considered to be `bent' in nature, from the original sin of the fall.

Follow Ransom as he treks across a strange world, and must find the courage to risk it all to save not only an alien race, but also, possibly his own soul.

This is a first book in an amazing series. Try it - you won't be disappointed.

C.S. Lewis

This is the second book in C.S. Lewis's amazing Space Trilogy. This book was written as a sequel to the immensely popular Out of the Silent Planet but Lewis also wrote it so that the story can stand on its own. So if you haven't read the first you can start here.

This book takes place some time after the first, but we are not sure how long. Ransom has received a summons to Venus, a planet that is just beginning its inhabited life. This planet's `Adam' and `Eve' are on the planet and they must choose to obey God or to reject his law and face a `fall' as has happened on earth.

Ransom must face his old foe Weston, and try to save a planet from great evil. Can he navigate this watery planet; can he negotiate the intricacies of human weakness, temptation and corruption? Can he conquer himself and help others to learn obedience?

This is a great creation story. Try it - you won't be disappointed.

That Hideous Strength
C.S. Lewis

This is the third and final book in C.S. Lewis's amazing Space Trilogy. This book was written as a sequel to the immensely popular Out of the Silent Planet and Perelandra but Lewis also wrote it so that the story can stand on its own. So if you haven't read the first, you can start here.

That Hideous Strength, unlike the first 2 books in this series, where Ransom leaves earth and fights evil in space and on other planets, the battle in this book takes place on earth.

Ransom must lead a group of faithful believers against National Institute for Coordinated Experiments or N.I.C.E., an organization that believes that Science can solve all of humanity's problems. He must battle the people in this organization, super aliens trying to invade and control earth and use its population against other planets and against God.

On top of all of that, Merlin has arisen from his long sleep and has arisen in England's time of greatest need. But the question is, who will find him first - N.I.C.E. or Ransom and his team? The fate of the world, and possibly the universe, rests on this question.

Lewis called this story an adult's fairy-tale. It is a mix of sci-fi and fantasy, and a book that will keep your attention as you raptly turn the pages to find out where Lewis will lead you.
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on 8 October 2012
C. S. Lewis's series for adults (sadly, there are only three of these, not seven like THE CHRONICLES OF NARNIA) combine the several elements that make of this phenomenal writer: scholar and literary critic, story teller, Christian, myth-maker, and several others. Even his friendship with Tolkien comes into play on this one.

Just like NARNIA, Lewis approaches the cosmos with a Christian mindset. Lewis wanted to give the general public, in the "guise of romance", an essentially Christian world in an imaginative universe. Lewis invokes much of his skills as a scholar by adopting a medieval mindset throughout the entire trilogy. Lewis the social commentator, which we must often encounter in his nonfiction, shows up here in THS.

Before I continue, I should address this perceptual problem the term "Space Trilogy" perpetuates. The term "Science Fiction" is rather a misnomer for this trilogy. While C. S. Lewis invokes science fiction, only the first novel OSP is a true (in the conventional sense) science fiction work. PERELANDRA and THS, while dealing with SF themes, are not really as such.

The first book, OUT OF THE SILENT PLANET, is the most SF of the three, and also the least satisfactory. The story is excellent, with Lewis using medieval influences to develop a Christian world view in a science fiction setting. Tolkien said in one of his letters (its in LETTERS OF J. R. R. TOLKIEN, one of the early ones), it is simply not long enough. It is a nice story of Ransom being kidnaped and then dealing with the Martian landscape. Yes, some of the science is dated but Lewis is more concerned with other themes to worry about "scientific credibility." Although some have said the characterization is flat, for those thirsty for SF this is the best of the three.

The second book, PERELANDRA, is something of a homage to one of Lewis's favorite, John Milton. It's a beautiful book, and raises the question of what exactly would happen if Adam and Eve had not fallen. Ransom is stripped, both physically and symbolically, having to rely on Maleldil (Jesus) to help him. And this time, instead of being kidnapped Maleldil sends Ransom there. Lewis does away with the problem of spaceships, having just angles take his protagonist there. The descriptions of the floating islands and Ransom's experience on Perelandra in the first section of the book before he meets The Green Lady, along with the ending section of THE LAST BATTLE from Narnia where they are in heaven, to me is the most beautiful passages that ever came from Lewis's pen. One fault that this novel does have it the ending seems to be rather preachy, but otherwise this is a first class novel, and for many readers this will be one of Lewis's most spiritually rewarding novels. Only in THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS does he deal so accurately and directly and with such psychologically insight on the problems of temptation and accountability.

The third book, THAT HIDEOUS STRENGTH, is longer that the first two combined. In Sayer's biography (I think it's Sayer - if not its in the Green-Hooper biography) a statement is made that THAT HIDEOUS STRENGTH is a Charles Williams novel written by C. S. Lewis, and having reading some Williams I now see why they say that. Tolkien felt William's influence spoiled it, with too much Arthurian mythology incorporated into it. I'm personally not a big fan of King Arthur stories, but this does give me a broader appreciation for them. Many readers may wonder why both sides have such an intense desire to obtain Merlin. Lewis assumes too much knowledge of the reader here. According to legend Merlin is an incubus, a child without a father. This book can be the most difficult of the three (although its still highly readable), because so much is going on, and it has been harshly criticized for the amount of material Lewis tried (unsuccessfully, some would argue) to cover in voicing his own social concerns. Another topic that concerns critics is Lewis's use of violence in THS. Lewis was invoking Dante throughout, but the real problem, as Downing says in PLANETS IN PERIL, that the transition between the modern satirical novel and that of mythology occurs to quickly here. Another fault THS has is the flat villains who can only be bad, and on the good side some of the characters have the same fault. Ransom never seems fully realised as a character as he did in the previous two novels. Ransom becomes much more idealised, whereas in the two previous books Ransom was just like the average sincere Christian man, with struggles and faults. Now, he is the leader and seems to be beyond reproach. After citing these faults, please do not come to the conclusion I do not like THS; far from that actually. This is my personal favorite of the three, despite the faults, and among my top top three that I most often return too of Lewis's fiction. You will notice I have given it much more space than the previous two novels in this review.

All in all, a good series by a great writer. Too bad C. S. Lewis doesn't have more fiction for adults than this and TILL WE HAVE FACES (although, of course, GREAT DIVORCE and PILGRIM'S REGRESS count too). All three are very well written. As far as THE DARK TOWER goes, ignore it is badly written Lewis imitation. Read Kathryn Linskoog's* LIGHT IN THE SHADOWLANDS: PROTECTNG THE REAL C. S. LEWIS, which is a revision of THE C. S. LEWIS HOAX. It casts everything concerning Walter Hooper in doubt, including that unfinished fourth Ransom novel. But that's a whole other review.

*She wrote the first book on the Narnia series, talking about the Christianity and theology of the series. C. S. Lewis read it himself and praised it highly. In fact, it was published even before THE LAST BATTLE found its way into the light of the book store. I haven't read it yet. It's THE LION OF JUDAH IN NEVER-NEVER LAND: THE THELOGY OF C. S. LEWIS IN HIS FANTASYS FOR CHILDREN
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VINE VOICEon 8 August 2010
Out of the Silent Planet

This is an intriguing story of one man's encounter with the intelligent alien life forms on the planet Malacandra, better known to us as Mars. Lewis is very good at creating an alien way of life and a totally different philosophical outlook from that of humans. The religious undertones are well handled and subtly done - those who do not wish to acknowledge that dimension can just treat this as a very good SF novel rather ahead of its time in terms of its treatment of otherness.


Perelandra started off quite dramatically, but soon transformed into a plotless spiritual tract. I have no problem with Lewis's philosophy as the underpinning to a story, as it was in Out of the Silent Planet, but not when it replaces the story as it did here. The scene, however, was set for a more exciting story in the concluding part of the trilogy, That Hideous Strength.

That Hideous Strength

This final part of the trilogy is longer than the first two put together. It's a bit of a mixed bag though with more good than bad, certainly much better than the largely tedious Perelandra. The first three quarters are exciting, with a growing sense of foreboding about the amorality of the Institute's activities, with interesting things to say about science and religion and subjective v. objective philosophical viewpoints. But the last 100 pages were somewhat disappointing with the plot being obscured with opaque and rather arbitrary cultural references and seemingly random and inexplicable happenings, leading to a rather unsatisfactory conclusion.
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on 18 February 2013
A great trilogy by a great author. There are several references to religion; and those not of a Christian or liberal outlook may be somewhat annoyed by this. The book still beats Dan Brown any day, IMHO.
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on 16 October 2012
This book was recommended by a friend and while sky ping I was able to order it on my phone. It arrived in a few days and I finished reading it before my friend. I loved this book xxx
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on 22 November 1998
Those who think C.S. Lewis only wrote children's fiction are in for a pleasant surprise. This is a marvellous Science Fiction trilogy. Some of the science may have been superceded, but the work nevertheless stands alongside "ancient" SF classics, like H.G. Wells.
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on 18 September 2014
this book was way over its time. With the imagination cs lewis gives the reader is unreal. a must have for the sci fi readers.
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