Book Review: Out of the Silent Planet by C.S. Lewis

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Out of the Silent Planet by C.S. Lewis (The Space Trilogy #1) / ★★★☆☆

Summary: Ranson is kidnapped from Earth and brought the Malacandra, where he is to be used as a human sacrifice. He escapes and instead befriends the creatures of the planet- until the men who kidnapped him turn violently against them.

“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.”

Genre: Sci-fi

Plot

C.S. Lewis does this thing while I’m reading his books that makes me feel like I’m slogging through deep, mystifying waters, but the moment I reach the end and see the larger picture I think “Oh! That was brilliant.”

It took my three months to get through this 158 page book, the smallest book I’ve read this year. If a friend hadn’t told me to read it, I probably would have abandoned it, but I’m glad I made it all the way through. The reason this book has three stars was because this book is…deep, and its slow, and I slogged through the middle portion of it. My eyes skimmed over a lot of the explanatory world-building, but perhaps someone who enjoys aliens and sci-fi would have felt more involved in this book than I did. However, I really liked the ending, the allegorical nature of the story, and I loved the way it was framed. I didn’t see the “plot twist” at the end at all (though, again, someone more experienced with sci-fi might have have), and I loved it.

This book also had a fantastic element of dry wit to it. It would always crop up when I didn’t expect it, and it was nice to have during the rather slow, meandering story. I thought it provided a nice balance to the otherwise rather serious and involved nature of this book.

Characters

I really liked the main character, Ransom, and he was what immediately pulled me into this book. His narration was witty, curious, and kind, and I think had this book been told by a different point of view, I would have found this book more of a slog than I did.

Writing

C.S. Lewis’ writing is, and always has been, rather too dense for me, and I’ve never read anything of his speedily. But he ALWAYS gets me when I don’t expect it with a quote or a a moment that captures some wordless truth, one that always hits me in the chest and really makes me think. Lewis knows how to use words, and even though I find them a bit slow to get through, he shapes them beautifully.

Was I satisfied?

This book was slow for me to get through, I slogged through it for three months, but in the end Lewis hit me with the ending and I fell for the allegorical nature of his story. As always.

 

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9 thoughts on “Book Review: Out of the Silent Planet by C.S. Lewis

  1. Hi Steph! I’m Giana. My blog name is gianashow. I’m new here. Anyhow, I like your book review of this book. It makes me want to read it all over again! I look forward to reading more of your blogs and reviews.
    BTW-Can you read my blog post and comment? Thanks!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I’d never even heard of this one, so thanks for enlightening me! 🙂 I only recently read the full Narnia series for the first time. This book sounds quite interesting and profound. Adding to my TBR list!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: November Wrap Up & Meeting Maggie Stiefvater | Lost: Purple Quill

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