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Monday, July 12, 2010

Out of the Silent Planet

I've known for a while now that it is imperative for me [and everyone else on this planet with a mind for reading] to read Lewis's Space Trilogy.
It goes like this:

Widely-Read Person: "You know C.S. Lewis's Space Trilogy, of course."
Un-Widely-Read Me: "I know of them, but I haven't read them. Are they good, then?"

W-R P: "'Good'! If you haven't read them yet, you must instantly go to the nearest bookshop and buy the whole set. They're masterpieces. I would lend you my copies but I can't spare them; I'm reading them for the sixtieth time at the moment."

U-W-R M: [shamed, and bewildered] "Oh! I guess I should read them then.."
While staying at a friend's house in Auckland, I spied Out of the Silent Planet [I would underline the title/italicize it, but something's wrong with this computer. When I italicize things the words transform into Arabic equivalents].

With some trepidation and curiosity I drew it out, and began to read. To be horribly cliche, I couldn't put it down. It sort of attached itself to my hand even when I was trying to sleep. The pages remained open and [though I wrestled with them] I couldn't close the book. At some point during the early hours of the morning, I fell asleep; in the morning I woke up and commenced reading.

It's a great book. It 'takes you into a whole new world' to use yet another cliche phrase. Lewis's attention to fascinating detail is there, and the way he describes these details is so powerful: it engages your senses.
It takes you into a new world [or to be precise, an old but drastically different world] through the imagery that Lewis uses. He paints with words, and his colours are cool, not warm, and full of light.

Recently I borrowed Perelandra from a friend. I'm excited. I hope it will be as good, or better than OotSP.
What do you like about science fiction?

- Lydie


Blogger Siminy said...

Perelandra is, to put it frankly, awesome! I think you shall enjoy it very much so.

1:39 am  
Blogger FR said...

If Un-Widely-Read You has heard of this but not read it, what does that make me? I've never heard about these books before. But the way you describe it, I might just have to read them.

12:06 pm  
Blogger surrationality said...

i read Perelandra when still a little too young, perhaps... left the book feeling distinctly disorientated. :P
Maybe it was trying to imagine every single (gorgeously) described strange creature that did it...

But it was probably also the very palpable sense of darkness in the Devil's personification here. it was chilling to the core.

1:51 am  
Blogger Lydz said...

I can imagine that would happen! There's so much vividly described detail here, even reading it myself it's tricky to get your mind around it.
That is what I like about Lewis though: he makes you envisage a whole new world and a corollary of ideas.
I haven't got to the Devil yet.. btw, have you read the Screwtape Letters?

9:24 pm  
Blogger Lydz said...

I'm liking it at the moment Siminy!
You really should read them FR, since they introduce to you to a whole different way of thinking about the world and even about our christianity. Seriously, it's making me think differently about God already. In a good way.. :)

9:26 pm  

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