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That Hideous Strength (Scribner Classics) Hardcover – Deluxe Edition, October 1, 1996
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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.
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By the time Mark Studdock arrives at Belbury, he is a confirmed brown-nose with considerable experience in pursuing his life's ambition: joining the esoteric Inner Circle of whatever. It is striking, then, how much difficulty he has in the NICE even determining who is in this group. Feverstone, Filostrato, Hardcastle, and Straik, for instance, all confide to him that their own respective purviews are of the institute's essence, while various other departments are peripheral or merely for public consumption. By the end of the book, the chaos proclaims that none of these figures, nor anyone else, is effectively in charge.
In this respect, Lewis brilliantly anticipated insights that the late William Stringfellow would articulate in the 1960s and 70s: that institutions are among the contemporary world's most characteristic manifestations of the demonic "powers and principalities" mentioned in the Bible. They inevitably take on lives of their own and go off the rails. Eventually they justify any and all means towards the end of their own survival and hegemony. They enslave and "deplete the personhood of" every human being involved with them-- even (and perhaps especially) those who imagine that they are in control.Read more ›
This book is Lewis at his satirical best--an uppercut landed to the jaw of secular, anti-family, "post-christian" society.
What is particularly striking about this book is who Lewis fingers as the advance-guard for the evil that sadly dominates on Earth, ever trying to extend its power: a bunch of place-seeking, ethics-free, jive-talking academics who have long left any pretense to reason and science behind. Instead, they are driven by a misguided altruism that manifests itself, ultimately, as complete misanthropy.
In this regard, Lewis must be regarded as prescient. Anyone who has spent any time in American academia will immediately sympathize with the plight of the characters in the book who *dare* to stand up to the censorial, elitist, marxist/leninist, anti-religion, pro-death agenda so prevalent among the "progressive" leadership of the university. Lewis had these people's number fifty years ago.
In short, this book is a fun read and though couched in humorous terms, is deadly serious at its core.
The main characters are a young couple who got married out of love and are finding it hard going in "the real world". The wife, Jane, has an unusual ability to 'dream true' and when her dreams start applying to her own life, she finds it unsettling. Her husband, Mark, a young don (or professor) is no help; he's too wound up in college politics (and some very loathesome friends) and the possibility of a job with a new scientific foundation to pay much attention to her.
The story really begins moving when the foundation, called Belbury, begins moving in on everyday life. But, as always with Lewis, there is a moral opposite ready to stand against Belbury; in it, we find an old friend and several new ones.
This book is astonishingly accurate about where society is now -- as with some of Lewis' other observations (Screwtape's toast to the college comes to mind), it's hard to remember that Lewis wrote them nearly 50 years ago -- they're that close to current events and modern society.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
An outstanding story that closely parallels today's progressive political climate where big government is challenging freedom of religion and God.Published 12 days ago by Evan Francis
This is the third and best book of C.S. Lewis' trilogy about Dr. Ransom. Though aspects of the other two stories are mentioned, it isn't necessary to have read them to enjoy this... Read morePublished 17 days ago by deborah
Easily my favorite fiction series of all time. Don't miss reading this.Published 18 days ago by Robert D Duerksen
Bought for someone who had the first one in the set and loves all things C.S. Lewis. Good reading as usual.Published 20 days ago by MommaL
The final book in Lewis' Space Trilogy does not disappoint. After following Ransom, the protagonist, in Out of the Silent Planet and Perelandra, the reader is caught up into the... Read morePublished 20 days ago by Michael Beil
I didn't like this one as much as the previous books in the series. I felt like I had to push through it a little more than the others and the plot got a little more out there -... Read morePublished 1 month ago by whitwo
By far the most interesting of the trilogy...a fun read, but somewhat old-fashioned in style. High hilarity at the banquet when Merlin sets the gift of gab.Published 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
cs lewis is incredible! I didn't even know he had a space trilogy, and it is definitely one of my top favorite reads of all time!Published 2 months ago by Joey