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Perelandra (Space Trilogy, Book 2) Paperback – April 8, 2003
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Attention Science Fiction Fans
Man vs. machine, humans vs. aliens, paranormal activities – discover the best of science fiction with these collectible books. Learn More.
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The New York Times Mr. Lewis has a genius for making his fantasies livable.
Commonweal Writing of the highest order. Perelandra is, from all standpoints, far superior to other tales of interplanetary adventures.
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.
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6 1.5-hour cassettes --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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I just finished reading all three of CS Lewis' Space Trilogy back-to-back (published in 1938, 1943, and 1945) over the past few weeks. First caution, don't start with the 3rd book in the trilogy. The trilogy is a masterpiece, but jumping into the 3rd book will seriously shortchange what you will understand if you read all three in order. Second caution, don't start with the 2nd book in the trilogy. The series geometrically builds the cast, plot, and stakes book-by-book. A shortcut only shortchanges you. That said, this magnificent trilogy builds a fictional setting of interlocking stories that culminate, in the third, by illustrating that hideous strength which Lewis later describes in the tiny prose book: The Abolition of Man (1947). My interest in reading the trilogy after reading The Abolition of Man was piqued by the first of the seven (highest-quality HD) video lecture series on C. S. Lewis, all of which are presented free and streaming: just google "Hillsdale College C. S. Lewis lecture one" and enjoy this incredibly generous series. For the purpose of this book review, and for your greatest enjoyment, don't go past video lecture one and its Q&A session, but go from there to read The Abolition of Man (one-hour read), then the space trilogy in order. After you're done, return to the free lecture series 2 through 7. In this order you'll maximize enjoyment of this banquet, without any spoilers.
Nonetheless, it's a fun story.
With C.S. Lewis, it's always fun to look for the theology, and the allegorical symbolism. I didn't find it to be as powerful here as I did in Narnia. Where Narnia has many direct references to Christ and his sacrifice for us, the allegory here deals more with what it means to be human (or hnau as the hrossa call it) as well as the fallen and violent nature of man.
Of course, you could throw all that aside and just read a good adventure on another planet, and it definitely delivers on that level.
I look forward to seeing where the story goes in the next two volumes. It should be fun.
On the whole, not quite as compelling as Out of the Silent Planet (Cosmic Trilogy), but only on account of the sometimes ham-fisted theological digressions - certainly not on grounds of richness of invention