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That Hideous Strength: (Space Trilogy, Book Three) (The Space Trilogy 3) [Kindle Edition]

C. S. Lewis
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (230 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $16.00
Kindle Price: $7.59
You Save: $8.41 (53%)
Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers

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Book Description

Just as readers have been transfixed by the stories, characters, and deeper meanings of Lewis's timeless tales in The Chronicles of Narnia, most find this same allure in his classic Space Trilogy. In these fantasy stories for adults, we encounter, once again, magical creatures, a world of wonders, epic battles, and revelations of transcendent truths.

That Hideous Strength is the third novel in Lewis's science fiction trilogy. Set on Earth, it tells of a terrifying conspiracy against humanity. The story surrounds Mark and Jane Studdock, a newly married couple. Mark is a sociologist who is enticed to join an organization called N.I.C.E., which aims to control all human life. Jane, meanwhile, has bizarre prophetic dreams about a decapitated scientist, Alcasan. As Mark is drawn inextricably into the sinister organization, he discovers the truth of his wife's dreams when he meets the literal head of Alcasan, which is being kept alive by infusions of blood. Jane seeks help concerning her dreams at a community called St. Anne's, where she meets their leader—Dr. Ransom. The story ends in a final spectacular scene at the N.I.C.E. headquarters where Merlin appears to confront the powers of Hell.

Editorial Reviews


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

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.

From the Publisher

11 1.5-hour cassettes

Product Details

  • File Size: 602 KB
  • Print Length: 394 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0684833670
  • Publisher: HarperOne (April 3, 2012)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006L8768O
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #44,847 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
80 of 88 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Powers, principalities, and gnostics June 15, 2006
Having enjoyed this novel again and again for a generation, I believe that it is prophetic and even more relevant today than when it was written. Now that recent filmings of Lord of the Ring and the first Narnia book have delighted critics and the public alike, is it too much to hope for a high-quality cinematic version someday of _That Hideous Strength_? Lewis would be most pleased, I daresay, if any such adaptation were set in our own time, because we need its messsage now.

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.
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81 of 98 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pugnacious ending to a fine trilogy July 15, 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
C. S. Lewis wraps up his "Space Trilogy" right back on planet Earth where it is up to a cadre of ordinary folks, mythical beings, and brute beasts to thwart the forces of supreme wickedness. With the assistance of the Director--a man familiar to readers of the previous two books in the trilogy--this strange collection of characters is pitted against a vaguely-familiar, propaganda-driven totalitarian regime ironically called by the acronym NICE.
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.
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74 of 90 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eldils and Merlin and bears oh my! November 18, 2000
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Silly heading, but nobody reads them anyway. I think. The third and last book in the trilogy (you did read the others, right?) and about as far from science fiction as you can possibly get . . . there's a definite shift, Lewis seems to be bringing in more fantasy and religious allegorical elements as the series continued, with the end result here. The tale is subtitled "A Fairy Tale for Grown-Ups" and that's what it boils down to. If you're like me, you'll have read this right after reading the other two books (which were great, by the way) and you'll be immediately confused. Instead of focusing on the nifty Dr Ransom, you get a young couple Mark and Jane. Jane's having weird dreams that keep coming true and Mark isn't really paying attention because he's trying to get into the political "circles" as the local university where he works. However, little does he know that evil is lurking there and the folks are plotting some very dark things. Herein comes the good guys and after being introduced to lots o' supporting characters, some of which are interesting, some less so, you finally meet the man himself: Ransom. The problem I have, and this has been said elsewhere, is that he's apparently the "Pendragon" (but also the Fisher King . . . weren't they two different people?) but there's absolutely no explanation as to how that happened. Lewis probably figured it wasn't important and not relevant to the story itself, heck, Ransom's discussion of how he inherited the mantle of the Pendragon is basically tossed off in one sentence. The first half of the book mostly focuses on the college and the dread blokes there, but when Ransom and company shows up finally, things get very trippy indeed. Read more ›
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Timeless cautionary tale. June 11, 1997
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Many fans of Lewis' work rate this least of the Space Trilogy books; it lacks "Out of the Silent Planet"'s wonder and "Perelandra"'s lyricism. However, for a look at where a situationally-moral, rationalist, humanist society is bound to wind up, it is priceless.

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.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars What a terrible conclusion to a good series
What a terrible conclusion to a good series. The plot is slow and tedious, the story is weighed down by too many characters - many of whom are practically worthless to get to know,... Read more
Published 22 days ago by agentx216
5.0 out of 5 stars The first two books in this trilogy are good, but only if you really...
I first read this book as a teenager and later as an adult and it still made sense to me, but in completely different ways at both points in my life. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Judy
4.0 out of 5 stars Oblique for most Evangelical Readers, but Life Changing if You Take...
THAT HIDEOUS STRENGTH (THS) is the most oblique book of the space trilogy. I read it in high school because I thought I should. I never got it. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Jeri Massi
5.0 out of 5 stars Hiden battle of staying right and true
C. S. Lewis describes a major battle that all Christians will face during the their life following God. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Charles Wilson
5.0 out of 5 stars From Space to Earth
That Hideous Strength, the third book in C. S. Lewis’s Space Trilogy is not much like the previous two books, Out of the Silent Planet and Perelandra. Read more
Published 1 month ago by David Hoffman
3.0 out of 5 stars Slow read.
I like Lewis writing and characters. This book was a slow read, as were parts of the other two Space Trilogy books. Read more
Published 1 month ago by bruce
5.0 out of 5 stars Lewis is always Five Stars.
Read Lewis. Re-read Lewis. Enjoy The Space Trilogy in order, regardless of what Tollers thought of it. Think. Grow. Then read Lewis and re-read Lewis.
Published 1 month ago by Sharon N. Siebold
5.0 out of 5 stars There is no bad Lewis
If you haven't read C.S. Lewis's Space Trilogy then it's time. Though I'm not a big fan of science fiction I have reread these books over and over. Read more
Published 2 months ago by Mimi
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome
Best SF ever. The Chronicles of Narnia were my favorite books as a child, and these are my favorite as an adult. Ancient Celtic legends, Space ships, and Christianity. Loved it.
Published 2 months ago by Mirae
5.0 out of 5 stars C.S. Lewis, author of Space Trilogy
I recommend this book, the whole trilogy, with great enthusiasm. The themes explored are compelling, with characters you grow to care for, especially in this, the last of the... Read more
Published 2 months ago by Nancy Casey
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More About the Author

Clive Staples Lewis (1898-1963) was one of the intellectual giants of the twentieth century and arguably one of the most influential writers of his day. He was a Fellow and Tutor in English Literature at Oxford University until 1954, when he was unanimously elected to the Chair of Medieval and Renaissance Literature at Cambridge University, a position he held until his retirement. He wrote more than thirty books, allowing him to reach a vast audience, and his works continue to attract thousands of new readers every year. His most distinguished and popular accomplishments include Mere Christianity, Out of the Silent Planet, The Great Divorce, The Screwtape Letters, and the universally acknowledged classics The Chronicles of Narnia. To date, the Narnia books have sold over 100 million copies and been transformed into three major motion pictures.

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