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Perelandra (Space Trilogy #2)

3.97  ·  Rating Details ·  29,079 Ratings  ·  1,465 Reviews
When Perelandra first appeared--it is now, by popular demand, being once more made available in hard cover--Leonard Bacon wrote in The Saturday Review of Literature: "Mr. Lewis is beyond question one of the most exciting and satisfactory writers who has come to the surface out of the maelstrom of these turbulent times. That he should have done so is not to be wondered at. ...more
Hardcover, 222 pages
Published 1978 by Macmillan Publishing Co., Inc (first published 1944)
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"James, does the name 'Perelandra' mean anything to you?"

"Yes, I believe so. Poetic name for the planet Venus. Inhabited by two analogues of Adam and Eve, living in a state of prelapsarian bliss. All sounds rather pleasant."

"Very good, James. However, we've received intelligence that SMERSH have infiltrated an agent, who is going to try to tempt the Eve-analogue. We want you to stop him."

"Well, as a boy, I always did enjoy stealing the odd apple."

"Don't be flippant, James."

"I find it's the most
5.0 stars. I thought this was an AMAZING book. After liking Out of the Silent Planet, this novel blew me away. The theme of the book is a re-telling of the "Fall" of Adam and Eve using Venus (called Perelandra) as the setting. You can tell that C. S. Lewis was really "feeling" the prose as he wrote this and his passion for the work was evident throughout. I thought it read like lush poetry that was both powerful and emotional.

I was deeply impressed by this story and now look forward to reading
Douglas Wilson
Sep 21, 2015 Douglas Wilson rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
Great. Also read in January of 1990. And also read in April of 2009. Also read in January of 1985. Also read in July of 1980. Listened to it again on audio in 2015.
Charles H
Aug 15, 2007 Charles H rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
Perelandra is the second of C.S. Lewis's space trilogy. In that universe, it is the name of the planet Venus - a beautiful sinless planet with life at its dawn. Perelandra is a passionate and fierce ocean world with awesome storms, golden sunlight, millions of floating islands, and critters to inhabit them. On Perelandra live only two sentient creatures: the King and the Queen. They rule the world as Adam and Eve. A philologist named Ransom is sent from Earth as God's representative with an unkn ...more
Aug 20, 2011 Michael rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It is difficult to write a review about “Perelandra”. There is so much that could be said that it is hard to know where to begin. Its story is so rich, the imagery so beautiful, the underlying themes so profound and complex, its theology so full that no summary can do it justice. I would rather simply encourage everyone to read it and let each discover its joys for themselves. But since there is no reason for anyone to merely take my word for it, I will do my best to support my recommendation.

Sep 11, 2012 Kathryn rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2009, reread-books, 2000, 2012
I re-read this book (the second book in the Space Trilogy) for at least the second time as the September selection for my Sci-Fi Fantasy Book Club (meeting on the evening of September 11, 2012). It seems that every time I read this book (which is much more theology and fantasy than it is science fiction) that I like it more.

The main character from Out of the Silent Planet, Dr. Elwin Ransom, returns once again in this book; he is sent to the planet Perelandra (Venus) by the Oyrasa of Malacandra (
Kat  Hooper
Sep 19, 2012 Kat Hooper rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
Originally posted at FanLit.

Perelandra is the second volume of C.S. Lewis’s SPACE TRILOGY and I liked it even better than Out of the Silent Planet, its predecessor. Cambridge professor Dr. Elwin Ransom is back on Earth and has told his friend Lewis about the adventures he had on the planet Mars and the supernatural beings he met there. When Ransom explains that there’s an epic battle between good and evil, that the planet Venus is about to play an important part, and that he’s been called to Ven
Nicholas Kotar
Oct 19, 2016 Nicholas Kotar rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Whatever you might think of the quality of the currently popular fantasy books, comic books/movies, and long-form TV offerings, one thing is for sure. Dark and grim is king right now.

Of course, judging by the news, there are good reason for this. Things are not going so well in places like Ukraine, Syria, Iraq. This election is more a cheap reality show than the choosing of the leader of the free world. Suicides and drug use are on the rise. There are few heroes to look up to, and most of our w
Jun 15, 2013 Alex rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
"In the name of The Father, The Son, and The Holy Ghost, here goes--I mean, Amen!" --Dr. Ransom, before throwing a rock in Satan's face.

The second book in C.S. Lewis' "Space Trilogy" was overall better than the first. My one caveat for tackling this trilogy is to prepare yourself for some hardcore contemplation of Christianity and its relationship to outer space--it's definitely not for everyone, but I'm enjoying it. Perelandra sees Dr. Ransom traveling to Venus (which is actually called Perelan
David Mosley
May 15, 2016 David Mosley rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Read in the following years:
2010 (January 31)
2012 (23-25 April)
2013 (29-31 March)
2014 (2-6 August)
2015 (19-27 August)
Julie Davis
Sep 05, 2014 Julie Davis rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just as with Out of the Silent Planet, I found the beginning of the book fairly uninviting. However, also just as in that book, having the audio helped me past that to the point where I was amazed at C.S. Lewis's imagination in the world of Perelandra. Simply astounding. I am also caught up in the story for its own sake and also, I must admit, because I keep thinking of how much J.R.R. Tolkien liked these books. It is almost a companion piece for The Lord of the Rings. Same deep world view, diff ...more
This is my second time reading this book. This was much more difficult to get through than the previous book of this series, Out of the Silent Planet. Some very long segments where the reader feels like they are suffering through the prolonged struggles with the main protagonist. A number of unbelievable moments where the magnatude of Ransom's struggle is downright terrifying. A bit wordier than the previous book and was easy to put down in that it didn't urge the reader on; but difficult to pic ...more
Mar 30, 2008 Alana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
When I was a senior in high school, I decided to do my author paper on C. S. Lewis and choose to specifically emphasize this book. Of the three books in the space trilogy, this one would be my favorite. I love how Lewis takes a look back at what the garden of Eden might have been like while still avoiding being allegorical. I love how he throws in huge theological truths in a more understandable story form. There are points where I would differ from him theologically, but that does little to det ...more
Dec 03, 2011 Trice rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: scifi-fantasy, 2011, audio
Maybe it's the audio version or maybe it's the timing, but this time around - my 2nd through the book - there are some thoughts that are really connecting at every level, in particular the horror of the Unman and of the Fallen and the understanding of the joy and freedom found in obedience to the one true God.

The one thing that's bothered me so far is that in a couple places Lewis almost seems to imply that we shouldn't be pushing for greater scientific understanding, or for space exploration. T
Mike (the Paladin)
My favorite of the trilogy. Excellent.

This gives a sort of retelling allegorically of the Genesis story, but with a difference. This book is (in my opinion) more than simply well written. It is in its way inspired. Personally I also find it the best in the (C.S.Lewis space Trilogy) series story wise.

If you have read the first in the series (Out of the Silent Planet) then you've already met "Ransom" and been introduced to the allegorical "pictures" or names used to represent God. Here Lewis takes
David Gregg
So great! Lewis' thought screams from the pages of this book, as it does from "Out of the Silent Planet" (As of this writing, I have yet to read "That Hideous Strength," but it's next.) Just for the allegorically and dialogically _nonfiction value_ of this book alone (that is, nonfiction content in the form of symbolism and commentary by the narrator or conversation between fictional characters), it is an exceedingly worthy read!

--UPDATE February 15, 2012--
I really want to read this particular b
Y.K. Willemse
Jan 19, 2016 Y.K. Willemse rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Five stars for the world building alone. C. S. Lewis had incredible ability to put himself in a completely foreign situation. The plot was sterling too, with a stirring face off between good and evil.
I just lost track of the last hour(?) or so of my life. I spent it finishing this book, totally immersed in the world and the words and the beauty of this story. Actually, if I think about it, I've lost track of a lot of time since I started this book.

It's taken me far too long to get to this book. Over 15 years ago, having grown up on Narnia and having recently become obsessed with Mere Christianity, I decided to read the first book in this trilogy. I started it, forgot about it, moved on with
Absolutely amazing, life-changing book. Full of beautiful descriptions in tightly packed prose, built to hold great philosophical questions, all inside of science-fiction. I really felt it deserved quiet, meditative surroundings in order for the reader to properly take in all the ideas. I often grew impatient and frustrated because I wanted to finish it in this sort of surrounding, but I could never have that while reading for college.

While I can see how some readers might feel bogged down with
Oct 11, 2010 Amy rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
It was good and gave me a lot to think about, you can tell its by the same author as Narnia :D

Perfection is not an easy thing to grasp hold of. The very notion of good seems completely unfathomable, much less flawlessness. What might the world have been like before sin? What would it be like to think and live in absolute innocence?
C.S. Lewis takes a stab at these questions and more in his fascinating sequel to “Out of the Silent Planet” and second book in the “Space Trilogy”, with “Perelandra
Fred Warren
Oct 26, 2010 Fred Warren rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
C.S. Lewis’ Perelandra is my favorite Christian science fiction novel. It’s the second book in his celebrated Space Trilogy, which chronicles the adventures of British philologist (language expert) Edwin Ransom as he travels between Earth, Mars, and Venus and discovers his fate is inextricably connected with events both physical and spiritual on all three worlds.

In Perelandra, Ransom is transported to Venus, “Perelandra,” a world of vast oceans and floating islands. There he meets Tinidril, a be
C.S. Lewis was a ‘contexualist’, that is, he very much saw, put and took things in their given context. As such, to properly appreciate the second of his Space Trilogy, Perelandra, it’s important to set the novel within the time period in which it first came to be.

Perelandra was published in 1943 when England had been at war for 4 long years and still had 2 more ahead of her, not to mention years of recovery after that. ‘A Voyage to Venus’ – as it is sometimes subtitled – was designed for a ver
Jonathan Christ
Oct 04, 2013 Jonathan Christ rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This was everything I wanted it to be, and everything it needed to be. Have you ever asked yourself how the narrative of human religion, specifically Christianity, would apply to sentient species in other galaxies, should they inevitably exist in the infinite universe? If human religion is indeed the universal Truth, how would it coalesce with other races, creation stories and cultures on different planets? For example, is God becoming Man on Earth an event mirrored in the local races and narrat ...more
Jan 12, 2016 Rogan rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A beautiful dance of argument and imagery. He puts you into a whole new world with imagery and pulls you right back down to your own life with his arguments. Not many writers can do that, regardless of their views. C.S. Lewis is truly a genius with language and scripture. He was able to blend themes from his other books and christen them into this masterpiece. It challenged me like The Screwtape Letters, and encouraged me like Narnia. It brought to life the truth of the war zone that is Earth; a ...more
What in the blazes did I just read. It was a very strange story. It turned my head inside out and sideways. Please let the final part of the trilogy be better.
Jonathan McIntosh
Feb 16, 2013 Jonathan McIntosh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
A Puritan like John Owen writes a theological treatise "On Sin and Temptation."
When it comes time for Lewis to write on the nature of sin and temptation he gives us a story.
What comes out of this story, however, is such insight and wisdom about the nature of sin, desire, covetousness and satisfaction.
The closing speeches in the last chapter are filled with such beauty they are almost overwhelming. You will come away with deep awe of and amazement at the person of Christ and the plan of our great
Apr 09, 2008 RØB rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This second installment seemed much more philosophical, much more dense, much more cerebral, and ultimately much more obviously Christian-themed than OUT OF THE SILENT PLANET. It was also longer, but the events therein were no less interesting. Much more reflective, I think. Almost more a treatise than a novel. It contains some moments of genuine horror, and others of sublimity. I'll be interested to see what THAT HIDEOUS STRENGTH is all about...
Zack Rock
Feb 04, 2009 Zack Rock rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
BOOOOOOOOORING. Ransom goes UP a on a wave, Ransom goes DOWN on a wave, he goes UP on a wave, he goes DOWN on a wave, and after 75 pages of this it's no wonder I'm nauseous.
Ben De Bono
I liked Perelandra about as much as I disliked Out of the Silent Planet. Lewis more than makes up for the vast shortcomings of the first book with one of his most thoughtful novels. This is less adventure story and more philosophical treatise.

To get the most out of Perelandra, I would recommend a few preliminary readings. At a minimum read Paradise Lost and Lewis' Preface to Paradise Lost. Reading The Divine Comedy, The Discarded Image, and Mere Christianity would also do a lot to set the stage
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CLIVE STAPLES LEWIS (1898–1963) was one of the intellectual giants of the twentieth century and arguably one of the most influential writers of his day. He was a Fellow and Tutor in English Literature at Oxford University until 1954. He was unanimously elected to the Chair of Medieval and Renaissance Literature at Cambridge University, a position he held until his retirement. He wrote more than th ...more
More about C.S. Lewis...

Other Books in the Series

Space Trilogy (3 books)
  • Out of the Silent Planet (Space Trilogy, #1)
  • That Hideous Strength (Space Trilogy, #3)

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“Whatever you do, He will make good of it. But not the good He had prepared for you if you had obeyed him.” 202 likes
“Be confident small immortals. You are not the only voice that all things utter, nor is there eternal silence in the places where you cannot come.” 52 likes
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