Somniloquy

Thoughts on Christian fiction

C.S. Lewis’s Perelandra August 9, 2009

Perelandra (Space Trilogy, #2) Perelandra by C.S. Lewis

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Perelandra, the second book in C.S. Lewis’s trilogy, chronicles the adventures of Dr. Ransom on the planet of Perelandra, otherwise known as Venus. Taking his knowledge and understanding from his adventures in Malacandra (in Out of the Silent Planet) of the spiritual levels of life, human and otherwise, he departs for an assignment on another alien planet. Although he has no details on what he is to do upon reaching the planet, he goes with complete conviction that it is the right course of action and that the Oyarsa, or supreme spirit being of Malacandra, has Ransom’s best interests at heart. On Perelandra, Lewis recreates the Biblical story of temptation in the Garden of Eden with Ransom acting as advocate for “Eve,” the female figure that inhabits that world. Ransom himself goes through many trials before the story’s end.

The storytelling in this novel is, of course, superb. The world that Lewis creates is fascinating and thought-provoking. He deftly weaves Biblical story and theology into Ransom’s adventures and applies them to the universe and its inhabitants at large. He manages to stretch the readers’ minds and wrap them around ideas that are much greater than ourselves. Our God is truly God of the universe. Lewis emphasizes that we do play an important role in God’s creation but we could also play just a part within a larger scope of God’s creations. The Bible is about humanity and its history with God. Who is to say what other creatures God has created to have relationships with Himself?

Of course, Lewis has written this story as fiction. Interestingly, he ends the first book with his character writing it as a fictional account about Ransom’s space adventure. This is apparently due to Ransom’s insistence that readers would not believe the story as true and would reject it. According to Ransom, if the story were written as a fictional account, those readers who would accept the account as true would see past the fictional facade and see the truth about the story. It can make your head spin if you let it. So in this series, Lewis has written a fictional story. Or do we readers “in the know” know better?

Although I really liked this story and am glad to have read it, I have to admit that some passages were a bit hard to get through. Speeches by the physicist character and certain speeches by the “eldila”, or spirit beings, can get a bit heady. However, I am still committed to reading the final book in the series, That Hideous Strength, and will post a review on that when read. I do recommend this book to those who are up for a fantastical journey and are willing to work through a few philosophical passages.

View all my reviews >>

 

C.S. Lewis’s Out of The Silent Planet July 7, 2009

Out of the Silent Planet (Space Trilogy, Book 1) Out of the Silent Planet by C.S. Lewis


My review


rating: 5 of 5 stars
I really liked this book. It is the first of a trilogy, and I am eager to read the rest of the story.

In this story, Dr. Ransom is on a “walking tour” of the countryside when he is kidnapped and taken into space to a planet called Malacandra. There he escapes and discovers many things about others, himself, and the parallels and differences between the alien planet and Earth.

Lewis does an amazing job keeping all of the elements of the storyline running smoothly along with his always spectacular descriptions that drop the reader into the story. I had heard about this book several times and am so glad to have it on my Read bookshelf!

View all my reviews.

 

Review of C.S. Lewis’s Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold June 26, 2009

Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold by C.S. Lewis


My review


rating: 5 of 5 stars
Wow. What a crazy story. Okay, it’s based on the Greek myth of Cupid and Psyche. But Lewis really turns the story on its head with the main character. You live in her head and read every thought that goes through her brain. She is very much fallible, yet passionate and strong.

I have to admit that, at first, I had a hard time getting into the story. A few reasons that that was true may have been that 1) I have only read the Narnia chronicles from Lewis’s works before, 2) I had just finished reading The Visitation by Frank Peretti, which takes place in modern times, and 3) I’ve been pressed for time in reading multiple books concurrently.

Once I got to the second chapter, I got in a rhythm with the book. The main character is a woman named Orual, first daughter to Trom, King of Glome. Her mentor is a Greek slave called the Fox, whom she calls “Grandfather.” Together they rear Orual’s younger half-sister Istra, whom they call “Psyche” between themselves.

Royalty, in this story, are considered to have divine blood in them, making them related to gods. In this strange and pain-filled tale, the heroine learns a great deal about life in a world entangled with mysterious and seemingly capricious gods as she ages and pens her history, what she calls her “complaint against the gods,” beginning with her mother’s death to when she herself dies.

This is definitely worth a read. Although it has a dark undercurrent throughout the whole story, Lewis weaves in bits of light and joy–just enough to brighten the story–and masterfully ties up all story elements by the end.

View all my reviews.

 

 
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.