CBR9 Review #83

Out of the Silent Planet by C.S. Lewis

It’s a little surreal to be touring Spain while reading a trippy and bizarre space allegory by C.S. Lewis, but that’s where a big portion of June found me. If this review is a bit incomprehensible, then you’ll know why. I’ve heard of the Space Trilogy but never read it until my library offered up all THREE books in one ebook. Naturally, I borrowed it. [Sidenote: I absolutely panicked about twelve days in Spain, so I had my librarian help me figure out Overdrive, Hoopla, and Axis 360, so that I could download up to 17 books on my Nook. And of course, we spent most of our time on glorious—albeit hot and sweaty—walking tours or sleeping from sheer exhaustion, so I got a fraction of the reading done that I intended.]

Dr. Erwin Ransom is tricked and kidnapped by colleagues Devine and Weston, where they take him on a spaceship to a new planet, Malacandra (Mars). There, Ransom escapes and strikes up an acquaintance with the inhabitants of the land. He particularly is puzzled and entranced by the elendil, who are spiritual but not embodied. Because this is a Christian allegory, Lewis makes much of the elendil and Ransom’s growing faith, particularly in light of Devine’s and Weston’s treachery.

This was a strange book. I have not much to say about it, because I am still processing so much of what I read. Even though this is a space book, it’s much less science fiction in nature and much more spiritual allegory in its focus. I think. I appreciated what Lewis was doing, but in some ways, this book was more obscure than his apologetics endeavors or the Chronicles of Narnia series (for which a re-read is also due).


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