That Hideous Strength: (Space Trilogy, Book Three)
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That Hideous Strength: (Space Trilogy #3)

3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  16,288 ratings  ·  800 reviews
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.

That Hideous Strength i...more
ebook, 368 pages
Published April 3rd 2012 by HarperOne (first published December 1945)
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Stephen
FIRST: A complaint from a member of my reading group who read the book ONLY because of the very cool bear on the cover: Photobucket

In defense of Mr. Angry Bear, I must agree that while the giant, kick-ass bear on the cover may not be exactly false advertising, it is certainly in the category of misleading...similar to beer commercials telling you "drink this beer and hot people will be all over you” when the reality is closer to “drink enough of our beer and you will think the people all over you are real...more
Mandy Stigant
I finished it while 30,000 feet in the air. It was a night-time flight, and after I finished the last page i set it down, turned to look out the window and while my mind wandered and mulled on what i had just experienced with the book, I saw that we were skirting to the side of a storm. The lightning was bouncing from cloud to cloud and it wasn't unlike my thoughts and the way my heart felt; I was elated, and I couldn't think of anywhere I'd rather be when I finished that book -- short of outsid...more
Lisa (Harmonybites)
I have a love/hate relationship with C.S. Lewis. There's a lot I admire in his writing but enough I deplore in his worldview that even though I keep being drawn to his works, I can't call him a favorite. I mostly loved The Screwtape Letters and Narnia, which I read as an adult, adored Till We Have Faces (my favorite Lewis work), was moved by his book A Grief Observed and found Mere Christianity and the first two books in the Space Trilogy interesting. There was only one book by him until this on...more
Fr.Bill M
This is Lewis' best treatment of sex, and probably the best treatment of sex by anyone, cast in the form of a novel. It is sooooooooo retro on the modern scene that it will either shock or outrage most folks who read it for the first time in the modern context.

It is also some of the funniest stuff i've ever read in my life. Only a few paragraphs into a scene near the end of the book, which draws on the goings on at Babel, when the languages were confused -- well, it set off a laughing fit that l...more
Chris
Years ago I read this book and was disappointed with it, as probably many readers are, because I expected the third part of the Space Trilogy to be more...well...spacey. However, having now reread it separately, without any connection to the previous two books, I have to say that I have a much higher opinion of it now than I did then. I read the book with 1984 on my mind, and it is the relationship between the two books that is compelling.

The most disorienting thing about the book is the lack of...more
John
I've read "That Hideous Strength" several times, and it always has been my favorite of C.S. Lewis' space trilogy. But this time through, it captivated me in a way that it never has before. Only C.S. Lewis, with his combination of brilliance, scholarly knowledge, writing ability, wit and Christian world view, could have written this book.
It is Lewis' most satirical book, even more so than "Screwtape Letters." It is probably his most sophisticated fiction work with the exception of "Till We Have F...more
Emilia P
Aug 09, 2007 Emilia P rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everybody and their mom
Shelves: real-books, churrrch
That Hideous Strength is the final book in the C.S. Lewis's Ransom trilogy. The first two books find Ransom on Mars and then Venus, exploring their flora and fauna,meeting their inhabitants and speaking with their eldils, which are somewhere between the planets spiritual essence and its guardian angel..while we discover how (the Christian) God works on other planets.

This third book finds Ransom back on earth, preparing for an interplanetary response to the threat of apocalypse, which is about to...more
Alicia
I wrote my college essay on this book as it had the most profound influeI wrote my college essay on this book as it had the most profound influence on me in my teenage years. But that's not to say that it's a book aimed at young people. C.S. Lewis is known as a Christian writer and it's true that there are elements of Christianity in this book, as well as some very conservative ideas about women, I might add! But that's not what the book is really about. The hideous strength that Lewis writes ab...more
Julie Davis
As with the other two books in C.S. Lewis's "space trilogy" I found this one difficult to get into and, yet, once I got past the indefinable point where it was no longer a struggle, I couldn't read it fast enough. Consequently this was a 24-hour book for me. It is a testament to Lewis's imagination and writing skill as to how different all three of the books are in this trilogy, while simultaneously all carrying out the same basic theme. No wonder J.R.R. Tolkien loved them.

Speaking of Tolkien, I...more
Kat  Hooper
Originally posted at FanLit. Come visit us!
http://www.fantasyliterature.com/revi...

"Nature is the ladder we have climbed up by. Now we kick her away."

That Hideous Strength is the final volume of C.S. Lewis’s SPACE TRILOGY. This story, which could be categorized as science fiction, dystopian fiction, Arthurian legend, and Christian allegory, is different enough from the previous books, Out of the Silent Planet and Perelandra, that you don’t need to have read them, but it may help to vaguely famil...more
Brandy Painter
Brilliant! Brilliant! Brilliant! How many times can I use that word or one of its synonyms in describing anything written by C.S. Lewis? Not enough. This book, the third in the Space Trilogy, is the best of the three.

That Hideous Strength deals with a Britain on the verge of dystopia. An organization known as the N.I.C.E. is moving to take over the nation and its strength will usher in the hideousness referred to in the title. Like in most dystopian novels there is a small group of individuals w...more
John E. Branch Jr.
First, a reminiscence. I continue to be surprised by my mother, though she died three years ago. She gave at least one volume of this trilogy to me when I was a young adolescent and finally gave the third to me some 40 years later, at Christmas 2000. I imagine she understood that, insofar as they're allegorical, Lewis's Narnia books derive from a formerly great literary tradition, but she knew as well that they were meant for children; she had no interest in them herself (that I can recall) and...more
Ken Garrett
This is one of my favorite Lewis books. For some reason, I've read the Space Trilogy three times, and have never been able to make it through the Narnia Chronicles.... must have been the talking beavers, and Santa Claus showing up in the movie...
Anyway, I esp. enjoy That Hideous Strength for its exploration of the appeal and deception of the "inner ring," of leadership/popular individuals, etc., and the insatiable desire that most people have for getting into it, in any given social construct. S...more
ladydusk
I read this on Kindle.

I really enjoyed this book. There was so much that Lewis had to say and show.

The evil was really evil, and the layers were peeled back slowly, slowly to the final climax. The evil is so evil it doesn't seem possible to defeat.

The good was really good. Waiting, abiding, sojourning, trusting God. That's generally a good plan.

I love, love, love that Lewis solves SciFi problems grounded in history. In Out of the Silent Planet he used Classical Astronomy. Here we see historical...more
Michael
The reader who comes to “That Hideous Strength” for the first time after reading “Out of the Silent Planet” and “Perelandra” could be excused for wondering how it fits in with the rest of the Space Trilogy. It bears little resemblance to its companion volumes. There is no journey through space, no exploration of strange, beautiful worlds, and no alien races. Dr. Ransom, far from being the central character, is absent from the first third of the book, Lewis makes no appearance at all, and nowhere...more
Sally
That Hideous Strength is an amazing book. Although I read it as a young person, I did not have the wisdom to understand or appreciate what Lewis was saying. His depiction of those who make Science their god and what that worship will mean for our future was horrifying.

There are several archetypes presented: the man who cares for nothing but power, and is willing to do anything to have it; the scientist who is so consumed with knowledge that he loses sight of ethics; the intellectual who sees Ma...more
Jacob Aitken
This is easily human literature's finest hour. CS Lewis, in what is easily his masterpiece, gets in one's face about the reality of the New World Order and of the possibilities of real, effective Christian resistance to it.

But the true evil is not democracy. It is diabolical, to be sure, and monarchy is definitely to be preferred, but the true battle takes place on "the unseen world."

Lewis puts "spiritual warfare" in a rather direct, most uncomfortable light. Christians piously prat about spir...more
Abe Goolsby
This is a very relevant book for our times. It's also C.S. Lewis. Those two factors alone make it a more-or-less mandatory read – and one that is virtually guaranteed to be above average, at least. I do have to say, however, that I did not find it nearly so enjoyable to read as Lewis' very best fiction (which would be Perelandra and Till We Have Faces, in my opinion).

While I embrace with satisfaction the overall trajectory of the narrative – cold, calculating rationalistic-materialism on the one...more
Katie
This is a review for the entire Space Trilogy:

I guess these books fall into the “Science Fiction” category, since they involve interplanetary travel. But it’s a misnomer to call it the Space Trilogy - the books are based on the idea that Space - what we think of as a cold vacuum - is a rich, vibrant, more-than-real world filled with life. And that’s just the start - there are so many other interesting concepts about the universe (spiritual and physical), explored in the series.

In the first two b...more
Oliver
The last book of C.S. Lewis' Space or Cosmic Trilogy, it is also markedly different in style and theme from the previous two, and the main character from the previous two books, Ransom, doesn't even show up until a few chapters into the book. Though interplanetary forces are involved, all the action takes place on Earth. As well, the story is written as "a modern fairytale for grownups."

Indeed, on the surface we get a simple, almost mundane, tale of a young couple and the choices each person ma...more
Linda
Loved this book from the first time I read it - perhaps because it's less about the wonders of space, and more about the Earth. Love the slow breakdown of Jane's feminism in the face of real masculinity, love the breakdown that leads to the rebuilding of Mark's character, and the friendly squabbling of the Logres group. I always wonder how many scenes of campus politics led Lewis to so amazingly describe the confusion that helps vile groups like N.I.C.E. exist, claiming to help mankind as they s...more
Stephen
Mark Studdock is a newly married sociologist who has been given the opportunity of a lifetime; the chance to work with a promising and ambitious new research institute setting up shop in his sleepy home of Edgestow. Mark likes to rub shoulders with the progressive element within the college, and the idea of working with people whose dream is to offer to the world rational solutions to social problems -- well! That's too good an opportunity to pass. Alas for Mark, good intentions mask fouler ones...more
Brittany Petruzzi
I think I'm in the minority among my friends in thinking this is not nearly as good as 'Perelandra,' mostly because of the weight of it and just how much Lewis packs in. It feels more like a philosophical/theological treatise than a novel, whereas 'Perelandra' gets the reader to primarily side emotionally with the theological and philosophical truths contained within and is, therefore, more successful as a work of fiction.

I still love this and have returned to it more than once.
Zack Mollhagen
What an amazing piece of fiction. C.s. Lewis was a master of savvy prose and this novel is no different. Like in his nonfiction works, Lewis uses a mixture of apologetics and wit to capture the reader's imagination. It was one of those novels which completely engrossed me in its' world. I found myself thinking of the characters when I wasn't reading it, and oblivious to the world around me when I was reading it. I'm only sorry that it was over so soon...
Douglas Wilson
Stupendous. Just great, and also read in January of 1990. Also read in May of 2009. Also read in June of 1985. Also read in July of 1980.
Star Shining Forever
Apr 24, 2014 Star Shining Forever rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Christians, scientists, youth & adults
And the Space Trilogy is brought to a magnificent close!

Unlike the other two in the series, this book is not the narrator recounting the adventures of Ransom in a strange world. This story takes place on our own planet. The battle comes to us, and ironically enough is brought on by our own doing.

The heroes of the story are Mark and Jane Studdock, a married couple who are not close. Their paths diverge early in the story, but both are soon to become part of the cosmic struggle that ensues. Mark...more
Matt
There are moments of violence in "Hideous Strength" that would make Lewis'little Narnian creatures cringe in horror. Stephen King would smile in approval. Again I ask, "How did C.S. Lewis get away with this as a 'Christian' writer?" Again I'm so thankful that he did. Apart from a slow start that can be expected from many a 1900's English novel, "Hideous Strength" picks up the disturbing thread of interplanetary conquest by evil first laid out in "Silent Planet," and carries it through to the gru...more
Bob
This is a very interesting book. From my perspective it could have been entitled "Ideas Have Consequences". A short excerpt from near the end of the book makes this clear:

"Was there a single doctrine practiced at [place where great evil occurred] which hadn't been preached by some lecturer at [local college]? Oh, of course, they never thought anyone would act on their theories! No one was more astonished than they when what they'd been talking of for years suddenly took on reality. But it was th...more
Tori
Written for book club:

Having not cared for either Out of the Silent Planet or Perelandra, the first two books in the trilogy, I hesitated to start C.S. Lewis' That Hideous Strength. However, this book was pleasantly surprising. It was nothing like the other two. It is twice as long and its plot is not based on traveling to different planets. Everything takes place on earth.
Instead of planetary travel, it is about a society called NICE. The world thinks this society is for the betterment of mank...more
Felix Dance
This book sucks. Sure, Lewis’ Narnia books were awesome (apart from that shockingly blatant Proselytizing one, The Last Battle, in which all the characters either become good ‘Christians’ or die horrible deaths) but this one fell flat. Badly flat. It’s the third installment of the Cosmic Trilogy (beginning at Out of the Silent Planet and continuing with Paralandra) but I haven’t read the earlier books, despite spending the eight months since I bought this one in Java searching for its predecesso...more
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The Ending... 9 123 Apr 12, 2012 06:27PM  
  • All Hallows' Eve
  • Planet Narnia: The Seven Heavens in the Imagination of C.S. Lewis
  • Phantastes
  • The Ball and the Cross
  • Christian Mythmakers: C.S. Lewis, Madeleine L'Engle, J.R.R. Tolkien, George MacDonald, G.K. Chesterton, Charles Williams, Dante Alighieri, John Bunyan, Walter Wangerin, Robert Siegel, and Hannah Hurnard
  • The Silver Hand (The Song of Albion, #2)
  • The Quotable Lewis
  • Notes from the Tilt-A-Whirl: Wide-Eyed Wonder in God's Spoken World
  • The Tolkien Reader
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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...
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (Chronicles of Narnia, #1) The Chronicles of Narnia (Chronicles of Narnia, #1-7) The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (Chronicles of Narnia, #3) The Magician's Nephew (Chronicles of Narnia, #6) Prince Caspian (Chronicles of Narnia, #2)

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“There are a dozen views about everything until you know the answer. Then there's never more than one.” 102 likes
“Don't you like a rather foggy a in a wood in autumn? You'll find we shall be perfectly warm sitting in the car."
Jane said she'd never heard of anyone liking fogs before but she didn't mind trying. All three got in.
"That's why Camilla and I got married, "said Denniston as they drove off. "We both like Weather. Not this or that kind of weather, but just Weather. It's a useful taste if one lives in England."
"How ever did you learn to do that, Mr. Denniston?" said Jane. "I don't think I should ever learn to like rain and snow."
"It's the other way round," said Denniston. "Everyone begins as a child by liking Weather. You learn the art of disliking it as you grow up. Noticed it on a snowy day? The grown-ups are all going about with long faces, but look at the children - and the dogs? They know what snow's made for."
"I'm sure I hated wet days as a child," said Jane.
"That's because the grown-ups kept you in," said Camilla. "Any child loves rain if it's allowed to go out and paddle about in it.”
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