Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Book Review: Out of the Silent Planet

Out of the Silent Planet. C.S. Lewis. 1938. 224 pages. [Source: Bought]

First sentence: The last drops of the thundershower had hardly ceased falling when the Pedestrian stuffed his map into his pocket, settled his pack more comfortably on his tired shoulders, and stepped out from the shelter of a large chestnut-tree into the middle of the road.

Premise/plot: When Dr. Ransom (the Pedestrian in the first sentence) intervenes in a private squabble, he gets more than he bargained for. The story begins with him looking for a place to stay the night--a place that is nearby since he's already walked a long way. He is looking for a night's stay when he overhears a boy protesting loudly against two men. The boy claims the men mean him harm, mean to lock him up in a shed, I believe. Ransom intervenes, and, to add another creepy element into the mix, he recognizes one of the men from his university days! The men now mean him--not the boy--harm. It's no shed that he'll be locked up in--after he's drugged--but a spaceship. The three will go to the planet Mars--aka Malacandra. Ransom doesn't know their plans for him, but he overhears enough to fear them more than the unknown planet. He does know that it's populated, however. And that, for better or worse, he's to be given to the aliens.

My thoughts: Out of the Silent Planet is science fiction, adult science fiction. (Though there's no reason why teens couldn't enjoy this as well.) I'd not read it before, and, I'm definitely glad I finally got around to it. I found myself shouting at Ransom several times in this one. Like at the beginning when he meets the two strangers. Even though he's heard a super-creepy conversation, he shows absolutely no caution at all. NO one is expecting me; no one knows where I am or where I might be or where I might be going; no one will miss me because they have no idea when I'll be back. After voluntarily giving them this information, he accepts a drink from them!

Because it is C.S. Lewis expect some philosophy interwoven in the story.

Favorite quotes:
  • "The love of knowledge is a kind of madness" (55)
  • "A pleasure is full grown only when it is remembered" (73)
  • "When you and I met, the meeting was over very shortly, it was nothing. Now it is growing something as we remember it. But still we know very little about it. What it will be when I remember it as I lie down to die, what it makes in me all my days till then--that is the real meeting. The other is only the beginning of it." (73)
  • "And how could we endure to live and let time pass if we were always crying for one day or one year to come back--if we did not know that every day in a life fills the whole life with expectation and memory and these are that day?" (74)
  • "Bent creatures are full of fears." (122)

© Becky Laney of Operation Actually Read Bible

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Lewis always makes me think, his fiction as well as his non-fiction.