Monday, April 16, 2012

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

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

Completion Date: April 2, 2012
Reason for Reading: Participate in the TLC Blog Tour.
Just as readers have been transfixed by the stories, characters, and deeper meanings of Lewis’s timeless tales in The Chronicles of Narnia, most find this same allure in his classic Space Trilogy. In these fantasy stories for adults, we encounter, once again, magical creatures, a world of wonders, epic battles, and revelations of transcendent truths. 
Out of the Silent Planet is the first novel in C. S. Lewis’s classic science fiction trilogy. It tells the adventure of Dr. Ransom, a Cambridge academic, who is abducted and taken on a spaceship to the red planet of Malacandra, which he knows as Mars. His captors are plotting to plunder the planet’s treasures and plan to offer Ransom as a sacrifice to the creatures who live there. Ransom discovers he has come from the “silent planet”—Earth—whose tragic story is known throughout the universe!
When I was younger I was transfixed by C.S. Lewis and all that his books represented. I still remember my grandmother giving me a gift card for the book store and me rushing out to get a collected edition of the Chronicles of Narnia. It has given me great excitement to see him regain popularity for newer generations through movie versions and re-releases of his books. The thing is that as much as I have enjoyed him over the years, I have never read any of his adult novels. When I read Laura Miller's The Magician's Book: A Skeptic's Adventures in Narnia she mentioned The Cosmic Trilogy and I was determined to read it, but it took me this long to actually start it.

One genre I am always slacking in is science-fiction, so I was very happy when I was offered this book for a TLC Blog Tour. I have been doing a lot better with the genre this year, but sometimes I need a push. And actually, a reminder that this trilogy even existed. When I hear Lewis I think of Narnia and Mere Christianity (because I own it and haven't read it...). I have to admit that I have so ignored Lewis' adult books that I didn't even know what this trilogy was about. For me, it is a grown-up Narnia set in space. Mars to be exact. Dr. Ransom is the main character who has been abducted and taken in a space ship by two other men to aid in their plans for the planet. The book still deals with the unexpected, good vs. evil, magical creatures, and then a large part of it is about class structure. As I have been reading a lot of books set in the early part of the 20th-century I couldn't help being intrigued by how Lewis manages to tackle it in space of all places. It is basically a matter of Dr. Ransom attempting to make sense of this strange new world.

I found myself very intrigued by this book. There is no question that Lewis is a great author, but I have found myself reading Narnia differently now that I am older and not enjoying the experience quite as much as I did when I was younger. With this trilogy, I am experiencing it for the first time as an adult, and I know Lewis; so I know what to expect and where my expectations should lie. Was I a bit worried I wouldn't like the religious aspects that were sure to appear? Of course. As a child I read Narnia as a children's fantasy series, but as an adult I noticed all sorts of religious aspects I never paid attention to before. My point is that I was worried how it would affect my reading seeing all these things with my first reading. I am not sure if I am making any sense, but anyway, I need not have worried. I am very interested to see the direction in which the other two books in the trilogy go. I am also happy that I have taken a chance and have another way to experience Lewis.

Thanks to TLC Book Tours for thinking of me!

The Cosmic Trilogy:
Out of the Silent Planet
That Hideous Strength

Other Tour Stops:

Friday, April 6th: Just One More Paragraph
Wednesday, April 11th: Reflections of a Bookaholic
Monday, April 16th: The Written World
Tuesday, April 17th: GeekMom
Wednesday, April 18th: Hooked on Books
Thursday, April 19th: Melody & Words
Monday, April 23rd: The Road to Here
Wednesday, April 25th: Wyoming Girl *turned* Coastie Wife
Thursday, April 26th: Creative Madness Mama
Friday, April 27th: Calico Critic
Monday, April 30th: Working for the Mandroid


  1. Like you, I loved Lewis as a kid and continue to love him still, but have never read any of his adult books. This one sounds very interesting! Great review Kelly! I think I have to get my hands on it!

    1. I hope you enjoy it, Heather! I am looking forward to the rest of the trilogy.

  2. So love C. S. Lewis, so love Narnia. I'm reading The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe to my class now, after lunch every day, and at 2:00 as I turn the last page of the chapter there's a resounding, "NO!!!"

    One can't help loving C. S. Lewis, I think.

    You bring up so many good points, though, about coming to his work as an adult and perhaps having a preformed opinion in the back of one's mind. I've never really tried this series, though I've thumbed through them on several occasions. I don't generally turn to Sci-fi, for one thing. But, you've inspired me. Surely I'll read this sooner rather than later.

  3. I read these when I was a young teen (way way way too young I think) and I don't think I understood them at all. I was all Narnia crazy and my dad had these and so I read them thinking they were pure space travel adventures. I should revisit them. Chances are, I might "get" them now. You should try his Screwtape Letters.

  4. I read this one when I was twelve or so, and it kind of burned itself on my brain (not a bad thing). It was one of the first books I read that really drove home the point that there can be alien ways of being in the world.

  5. I had so no idea he wrote sci-fi.
    I've still not finished the Narnia books. I liked the first but not as much as I expected. Maybe you need to read them as a child first.

  6. I read this one a couple years ago and was fascinating to see this new side of Lewis. Like you, I'd read Narnia and a few of his other books, but this sci-fi trilogy has a very different feel. I read Perelandra shortly after this one, but haven't read That Hideous Strength yet! It's on my MUST list for this year.

  7. I loved the Narnia series when I was younger but don't recall ever hearing about this one. I will have to check it out.

  8. I'm glad that this book surprised you in a good way!

    Thanks for being on the tour.

  9. I had the same experience with the Narnia books that you did - fond, fond memories but a different experience as an adult. I don't know why I've never read this series - if it has your stamp of approval, I'll give it a try!


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