Tuesday, March 27, 2007

Out Of The Silent Planet (Book Review)

"They were astonished at what he had to tell them of human history--of war, slavery and prostitution.

"It is because they have no Oyarsa," said one of the pupils.
"It is because every one of them wants to be a little Oyarsa himself," said Augray.
Out Of The Silent Planet
By C. S. Lewis
Page 102

If you're expecting The Chronicles of Narnia type book, this one is far from it. Even so, Out of the Silent Planet is a must read for C. S. Lewis fans. He's brilliant, of course, with a story telling approach that is just masterful. The fact that he has knowledge of the Almighty God is very evident throughout his writing.

Dr. Ransom, the main character, is in fact (or based upon, one might say) J.R.R. Tolkien, one of his dearest friends and a member of The Inklings. They would have to be close friends as only such friends could talk to each other like they did at the end of this book. You'll have to read it for yourself--I'm not giving it away.

Speaking of the conclusion. This was a little odd. Not the ending one might have been looking for but satisfying nonetheless. I think it is expected from Lewis to finish this adventure the way he did, leaving it open for book two.

The book is a little slow to begin with (intellectual writers seem to take this approach). I do not know what a megalomaniacal physicist is. His writing and ever-developing plot, however, kept me reading on? His description of another realm is vivid and fun, new life forms are wonderful, loveable and to be honored. When it all comes together at the end, with one short sentence, it is revealed where they are and who these beings would be, you'll feel as brilliant as C.S. Lewis was.

It is definitely a study of the human condition and our need for a Saviour. This is done without preaching, which is most excellent I would suspect (I talk like that once in a while, sorry). On further review I will point you to the praise for Lewis written in The New Yorker which says the following . . .

"If wit and wisdom, style and scholarship are requisites to passage through the pearly gates, Mr. Lewis will be among the angels."

And from the Los Angeles Times . . .

"Lewis, perhaps more than any other twentieth-century writer, forced those who listened to him and read his works to come to terms with their own philosophical presuppositions."


Sam Gamgee said...

The next one's my favorite. Not just my favorite of the trilogy, but my favorite of all of Lewis's fiction!

The GateKeeper said...

Really! I'm looking forward to reading it.