Bookmark: C. S. Lewis

Part of our Read-a-Thon 2010 highlight posts.

When most people think of C. S. Lewis, his Narnia series is usually what comes to mind first. Or perhaps The Screwtape Letters. But today I want to draw attention to what are definitely my favorite Lewis books: his science fiction trilogy.

These are written for advanced readers, as the style of writing is so deep and thought-provoking, and Lewis does not attempt to smooth over the badguys. Evil is portrayed as what it is. But I still recommend these very, very highly. Every time I read them I find something new.

And just because they’re thought-provoking, don’t think they’re boring! Every book has plenty of action and suspense written in the older style. They stretch the imagination while exciting interest. And, best of all, on multiple occasions they have inspired me anew and afresh to marvel over how amazing our God is. Read the rest of this entry »

C. S. Lewis’ Letters to Children

Here on Incredibooks, we generally review fiction, rate the books we’re reviewing, and give summaries. In a first for me, I’m doing none of those. I felt that this one deserved a review, even if it doesn’t fit into our self-proclaimed rules.

This book is a delightful collection of letters that C. S. Lewis wrote to children. It starts with one of his early letters to his goddaughter and ends with a letter he wrote the day before he died. Rounding out the book is a short biography of Lewis’ childhood, an introduction by Douglas Gresham, and a child’s bibliography of C. S. Lewis.

Full of insights into the Narnia series that you may have wondered about, answered from Lewis’ own pen. And other little tidbits C. S. Lewis tells us about himself are fun as well, giving a feel of the time period and his thoughts on the events of the day. As a bonus, for you aspiring writers out there, many of the letters include some tips. A must-read for all Lewis fans.

That Hideous Strength

Our rating: *****

Mark Studdok’s love for his work, no, his love for being part of some important proceeding, has kept him away from home so much that his wife, Jane, is regretting ever marrying him. She has begun having very disturbing dreams, which are interfering with her goal of remaining a capable business woman. A company called the N.I.C.E. (National Institute for Coordinated Experiments) has made the college Mark works at an offer for a piece of land called “The Wood.” Mark joins the “progressive” side that wishes to sell the land, as the N.I.C.E.’s wish to bring their headquarters there would greatly benefit the college. So the land is sold and within days, workmen begin cutting down the wood, turning people out of their homes and generally creating havoc. What does Mark care? Lord Feverstone, another member of the college, (you may remember him as Doctor Divine from the first book) has offered him a job with the N.I.C.E. Mark accepts and finds himself engrossed in a dark world of intrigue, agendas, and a complete disregard for all humane feelings.
Meanwhile, Jane discovers that her dreams are actually coming true. She talks with a friend about it, who introduces her to a group of people dedicated to fighting the evil that the N.I.C.E. has brought about. But the group is small. How can it hope to succeed? They can do very little. Meanwhile, they wait, now doubting, now sure, while that Hideous Strength grows stronger.

I sat down to try and condense this amazing book into a summary and goodnight! It just doesn’t condense! That was the gist of it, but there’s so much more. Mark discovers that the N.I.C.E. is actually run by dark forces, and… Whew, it makes a tingle run up my spine just to think about it. This is a great book. As a warning, if you don’t handle mad scientist well, be careful with this story. There are some pretty detailed descriptions of the absolutely disgusting results of an experiment on a dead man. The N.I.C.E. is all about getting rid of red tape and being allowed to do whatever it wants to do. This is not in any way a “light and fluffy” storyline, but it’s hard to put down. The Meeting in the first chapter might bog you down, but don’t worry—it picks up quickly after that.


Our rating: ****

Picking up right where Out of the Silent Planet leaves off, Perelandra finds Dr. Ransom preparing to go to space again. But this time, he’s headed for Venus (or Perelandra). Once he lands, Ransom discovers that Perelandra is a newly created world which still exists in a Eden-like innocence. However, this new created state won’t last forever, especially when Professor Weston shows up once again. Ransom must stop Weston from corrupting Perelandra before it’s too late.

I normally think of C. S. Lewis as the guy who wrote Narnia. Big misconception. He wrote much more, and this particular trilogy is just as good. I found that Perelandra dragged a bit at the beginning and end, but picked up in the middle enough to compensate for that. Some bits of the story are quite funny, although not nearly enough to leave you in stitches the whole way through. I must mention that I have enjoyed the third and final book, That Hideous Strength much more than the first two. But as I’ve always experienced with Lewis’ books, this one’s a definite keeper.

Out of the Silent Planet

Our rating: ****

This fantastical book starts off with a bang when Ransom, the hero of the story, is kidnapped by two scientists, who force him on a spaceship they have created and whisk him away to Malacandra, the red planet. On the trip, Ransom finds out that they believe he is to be a sort of a human sacrifice for an unknown terror. Upon arriving, though, he manages to escape and sets off on the journey of a lifetime.

Lewis’ descriptions of Malacandra are absoultely mind-boggling. Little things that turn what you know as reality to something quite… well, different. Nothing seems the same. The plot is good, and continues to draw you in until the climax. Out of the entire trilogy, though, I liked this one the least. But it sets the stage for the other two, and is certainly not a waste of time.