Item description for Out of the Silent Planet (Space Trilogy, Book One) by C. S. Lewis...
Overview Dr. Ransom is abducted to the eerie red planet, Malacandra, where his escape and flight endanger both his life and his chances of ever returing to Earth
Publishers Description Written during the dark hours immediately before and during the Second World War, C. S. Lewis's Space Trilogy, of which "Out of the Silent Planet" is the first volume, stands alongside such works as Albert Camus's "The Plague" and George Orwell's "1984" as a timely parable that has become timeless, beloved by succeeding generations as much for the sheer wonder of its storytelling as for the significance of the moral concerns. For the trilogy's central figure, C. S. Lewis created perhaps the most memorable character of his career, the brilliant, clear-eyed, and fiercely brave philologist Dr. Elwin Ransom. Appropriately, Lewis modeled Dr. Ransom after his dear friend J. R. R. Tolkien, for in the scope of its imaginative achievement and the totality of its vision of not one but two imaginary worlds, the Space Trilogy is rivaled in this century only by Tolkien's trilogy The Lord of the Rings. Readers who fall in love with Lewis's fantasy series The Chronicles of Namia as children unfailingly cherish his Space Trilogy as adults; it, too, brings to life strange and magical realms in which epic battles are fought between the forces of light and those of darkness. But in the many layers of its allegory, and the sophistication and piercing brilliance of its insights into the human condition, it occupies a place among the English language's most extraordinary works for any age, and for all time. "Out of the Silent Planet" introduces Dr. Ransom and chronicles his abduction by a megalomaniacal physicist and his accomplice via space ship to the planet Malacandra. The two men are in need of a human sacrifice and Dr. Ransom would seem to fit the bill. Dr. Ransom escapes upon landing, though, and goes on the run, a stranger in a land that, like Jonathan Swift's Lilliput, is enchanting in its difference from Earth and instructive in its similarity.
Citations And Professional Reviews Out of the Silent Planet (Space Trilogy, Book One) by C. S. Lewis has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Wilson Fiction Catalog - 01/01/2010 page 506
Wilson Fiction Catalog - 01/01/2000 page 404
Wilson Senior High Core Col - 01/01/2002 page 623
Wilson Fiction Catalog - 01/01/2006 page 567
Wilson Senior High Core Col - 01/01/2007 page 784
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Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.56" Width: 6.47" Height: 0.82" Weight: 0.9 lbs.
Release Date Oct 1, 1996
Series Space Trilogy
Series Number 1
ISBN 0684833646 ISBN13 9780684833644
Availability 0 units.
More About C. S. Lewis
C.S. Lewis was a professor of medieval and Renaissance literature at Oxford and Cambridge universities who wrote more than thirty books in his lifetime, including The Screwtape Letters, The Chronicles of Narnia, and Mere Christianity. He died in 1963.
C. S. Lewis was born in 1898 and died in 1963.
C. S. Lewis has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about Out of the Silent Planet (Space Trilogy, Book One)?
Welcome to Mars! May 11, 2008
I originally read this book back in high school where my naive self was only familiar with Narnia and those wiley devils of the Screwtape Letters. I knew the man could do a twist of fantasy, but Lewis surprised me with this beginning book that could only be called a religious science fiction experience. Two scientists differing in their view on faith are transported to another, close planet to discover it was never how Earth imagined it. Lewis writes much more adult than he did with Narnia and is able to scrape real characters out of everyone. His gift for creating brand new worlds is retained and I was enchanted by the spiritual and secular aspects he put into what could also be simply a great adventure story.
Clever sci-fi AND a compelling allegory! May 10, 2008
Elwin Ransom, an Oxford don and an ardent philologist, is enjoying a solitary cross country ramble on his vacation when he encounters Professor Devine, a long-time acquaintance from his student days at Oxford, and Weston, a somewhat distracted and grumpy, reclusive individual. Weston is, in fact, a physicist who has secretly built a space craft in which he and Devine plan to return to Mars (Malacandra, in the native Martian populace's language) with nefarious ideas of plunder and planetary domination. As part of their plan, they drug and kidnap Ransom to take him along as a sacrificial peace offering to the native population.
On the face of it, a beautifully written Out of the Silent Planet has a simple classic sci-fi plot and can certainly be enjoyed at this level. But virtually every reader will recognize that Lewis' work probes far more deeply than that. His strongly held Christian beliefs, never far from that surface plot, are apparent in his criticism of human prejudice and greed. It is also clear that he holds extremely strong views against notions of eugenics and the then universally held belief in the natural supremacy of western white civilization as compared, for example, to aboriginal populations elsewhere in the world. Even though his allegorical tale goes so far as to include a version of angels and an archangel, the story never becomes preachy, odious or whiny.
Astute long-time readers of science fiction are always on the alert for errors of scientific fact. So Lewis may be mildly criticized for making a fundamental error in how gravity would work aboard a space craft but this certainly detracts in no way from the quality of his story. To the contrary, I thought he earned top marks and high praise for crafting, for example, a startlingly accurate description of the appearance of the sky in the transition zone from atmosphere to space at extremely high altitudes (at a time, of course, when space travel was at best a twinkle in scientists' eyes). I also noted a single quite astonishing comment that seemed to predict Einstein's work on cosmology, travel at light speed and relativity ... "But if the movement were faster still ... in the end, the moving thing would be in all places at once." His brief exposition on linguistics and the possibility of a universal syntactical structure of languages was also fascinating without being distracting or pedantic.
For fans of soft sci-fi, Out of the Silent Planet will provide a smorgasbord of delights - alien characters and personalities, philosophy, ethics, survival in a potentially hostile environment and descriptions of alien flora and fauna that are near poetic in their beauty and majesty. I'm looking forward to reading the next novels in his masterwork trilogy, "Voyage to Venus" and "That Hideous Strength".
A Fine Piece of Literature Apr 27, 2008
This is one of my favorite C.S. Lewis books, I've read it twice and I still love it,to label it as mere scifi is an insult, it is a terrific book with a unique storyline that explores the nature of humanity and our role in universe. Wonderfully written, just great!
A Good Read Apr 15, 2008
Although I somewhat knew the basic plot of the book before I read it I still found it a pleasant read. Lewis tells a pretty good sci-fi story of a kidnapped man named Ransom finding his way around Malacandra (Mars). The wonder and awe expressed by Ransom in the book is almost worth the read in and of itself. The 'joyful cosmology' of seeing space as the ancients did, calling them the 'heavens' is shown to be superior to the modern notion that space is just cold dead hostile nothingness. This is contrasted with the 'joyless cosmology' of Weston who accepts some half-baked social darwinist philosophy. The aliens were also quite interesting, although I think that Lewis could have done more with the sorns. The hross were cool though.
This was a good start to the trilogy.
Thought Provoking Portrayal of Societal Strictures Apr 4, 2008
A crisply written delving into the Western humanoid psyche. Lewis's unparalleled imagination weaves a thought provoking portrayal of our societal strictures - themes as apropos today as when originally published in 1938.