Title: Out of the Silent Planet
Author: C.S. Lewis
Series: The Space Trilogy, Book #1
Length: 178 pages
My Rating: 5/5
My husband insisted for years that I needed to read C.S. Lewis’ Space Trilogy and he was absolutely correct. I did need to read them. Badly. This past winter, Amazon had a massive Kindle sale for the whole set of books and my husband alerted me to the reduced prices. I snatched them up. Unfortunately, I’d been so busy with other books that I didn’t get the chance to start reading C.S. Lewis’ adult sci-fi series until a few weeks ago. As soon as I started reading Out of the Silent Planet, knew I had picked up something of immense importance and worth.
I have always favored fantasy novels over science-fiction stories, but over the last few years I’ve tried to delve into more of the latter. Now that I’ve devoured the first of The Space Trilogy, I know that I will be reading more science-fiction in the years to come. I loved this book. There are so many beautiful phrases and descriptions of space, the distant planet Malacandra, and the species Ransom (the main character) finds there. But I’m getting ahead of myself. I’d best give you a descriptive blurb before I go on:
Out of the Silent Planet introduces Dr. Ransom and chronicles his abduction by a megalomaniacal physicist and his accomplice via space ship to the planet Malacandra. The two men are in need of a human sacrifice and Dr. Ransom would seem to fit the bill. Dr. Ransom escapes upon landing, though, and goes on the run, a stranger in a land that, like Jonathan Swift’s Lilliput, is enchanting in its difference from Earth and instructive in its similarity.
Ransom is a careful, scholarly man who is very angry about being kidnapped and forced onto a space ship. However, because he is also a wise man, he has sense enough to know his fate is sealed and he approaches Malacandra (upon landing) with a mingled curiosity, wonder, and awe. A squabble arises after the three men arrive on the planet and by a twist of fate, Ransom ends up fleeing the others and seeking safety in a valley filled with strange vegetation and even stranger creatures. There he meets many wondrous beings and ends up being sent on a perilous journey.
If you’ve read my book reviews before, you’ll know I’m not a huge fan of spoilers, so I won’t give them here. Just suffice it to say that you should absolutely read this book if you haven’t already and if you’re still not convinced, check out these gorgeous Lewis-crafted quotes from the novel:
- “The love of knowledge is a kind of madness.”
- “And how could we endure to live and let time pass if we were always crying for one day or one year to come back–if we did not know that every day in a life fills the whole life with expectation and memory and that these are that day?”
- “And I say also this. I do not think the forest would be so bright, nor the water so warm, nor love so sweet, if there were no danger in the lakes.”
- “But Ransom, as time wore on, became aware of another and more spiritual cause for his progressive lightening and exultation of heart. A nightmare, long engendered in the modern mind by the mythology that follows in the wake of science, was falling off him. He had read of ‘Space’: at the back of his thinking for years had lurked the dismal fancy of the black, cold vacuity, the utter deadness, which was supposed to separate the worlds. He had not known how much it affected him till now-now that the very name ‘Space’ seemed a blasphemous libel for this empyrean ocean of radiance in which they swam. He could not call it ‘dead’; he felt life pouring into him from it every moment. How indeed should it be otherwise, since out of this ocean all the worlds and all their life had come? He had thought it barren: he now saw that it was the womb of worlds, whose blazing and innumerable offspring looked down nightly even upon the earth with so many eyes-and here, with how many more! No: Space was the wrong name.”
- “A pleasure is full grown only when it is remembered. You are speaking, Hmán, as if pleasure were one thing and the memory another. It is all one thing.”
I am very much looking forward to diving into Perelandra, the sequel to Out of the Silent Planet. As soon as I finish Juliet Marillier’s Son of the Shadows, I’ll immediately jump in to the second of The Space Trilogy!
Here’s where you can find the book:
Out of the Silent Planet
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