Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Book Review: Out Of The Silent Planet by C.S. Lewis


Every so often I buy a book that sits on myself for years before I get the urge to read it. Something possesses me to buy these books that wait patiently for me to read them. Many years ago a friend of mine recommended C.S. Lewis' book Out Of The Silent Planet which I gladly bought, but then never left my shelf. I love Lewis' work from the Narnia Chronicles to his more religious works. I found it hard to get excited about reading a sci-fi novel written by Lewis. He's a brilliant writer, but if this book is unknown to the average reader then how good could it possibly be? Science fiction is hard to pull off. I finally read it. I wasn't dispointed by what I read. Granted it isn't as much fun as the Lion, The Witch, & The Wardrobe, or as intellectually probing as The Screw Tape Letters. Yet I was still drawn by the fact that Lewis uses almost every literary genre at his disposal to share the Christian entic with the reading public. This novel is no exception having the story of life on Mars mirror that of a type of heaven where all creatures comes to worship a God like being while communally using their various gifts for the common good. Sounds almost communistic. This was a much denser novel theologically speaking than his others and it drabs at times, but his poetic descriptions of the landscape and alien life makes up for it in such a rich beauty that is rarely seen in science fiction. Another short coming of the book is it felt awfully short. The drama and action stopped short to the point where I wondered, "That's it?" It is a worthwhile read as a unique representation of his work. I would't necessarily recommend it and do not think you would be outright missing out if you didn't. There are 2 other books in the series which makes me wonder if the other books make up for the short comings of this book.

posted by Out Of Jersey | 10:53 AM

8 Comments:

Blogger Logan Bennett said...

Hmmm I have never heard of this book, I will try to go and pick it up, and maybe the other two books that go along with it also

11:27 AM  
Blogger Eddo said...

I have only read Mere Christiany and the Narna Chronicles by Lewis. I have always wanted to read his other works, but I just never broke down and bought them.

I prefer Dean Koontz, Greg Iles, Patterson, and Frank Peretti because they are so dang interesting. However, I hear the other books by Lewis are fascinating and you learn something about Christianity at the same time. So I need to pick them up.

11:53 AM  
Blogger The Cubicle Reverend said...

Logan,
Seriously, if you miss it it's no big deal. Is it a good read, sure, but it is more philosophy then story. I gave up on Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged for that very reason.

Eddo,
I'd recommend "Screwtape Letters" before this one. You get the best of both worlds in that case. Fictitious letters from a demon to his nephew on how to keep a man from knowing Christ.

12:06 PM  
Blogger The Cubicle Reverend said...

Logan,
Seriously, if you miss it it's no big deal. Is it a good read, sure, but it is more philosophy then story. I gave up on Ayn Rand's Atlas Shrugged for that very reason.

Eddo,
I'd recommend "Screwtape Letters" before this one. You get the best of both worlds in that case. Fictitious letters from a demon to his nephew on how to keep a man from knowing Christ.

12:07 PM  
Blogger mack said...

This summer I went to Oxford. I went to the Eagle and Child Pub where CS Lewis met with Tolkien and Williams and the other Inklings. I went to Clive Staples' church and home. As I walked in his garden I collected a couple of petals that now sit dried beside the computer to remind me that wisdom and beauty are the stuff of normal beings... we just need to be fully whomever we are, and wisdom and beauty will follow along, especially after we write one really uninspired work in an otherwise wonderous career.

12:41 PM  
Blogger Gerald said...

The second book in the series, Perelandra is a "don't miss." It's one of my favorite books and the best in the trillogy.

4:35 PM  
Blogger The Cubicle Reverend said...

Mack,
Good point, I shouldn't let this one bland novel necessarily cloud my judgment on the greater body of his work. I'd love to get over there and check out Lewis sights.

Gerald,
Good to see you back. I plan on reading the other books more for the fact I want to see what happens in the other books than anything. So if it stinks I know who to blame.

5:44 AM  
Blogger Carmel said...

Love CS Lewis, will have to check it out! Thanks

12:49 PM  

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