Science fiction is certainly a suitable medium for C.S. Lewis. He is able to combine his theological, philosphical and cultural explorations with a woScience fiction is certainly a suitable medium for C.S. Lewis. He is able to combine his theological, philosphical and cultural explorations with a wondrous creativity which successfully provokes readers to deeper thoughts on the matters he raises and their relevance to their life and world. This certainly isn't a case of "if you like Lewis' Narnia books you'll like his Space Trilogy (of which this is the first). I like both, but many who love Narnia would be disappointed to find that the characters in 'Out of the Silent Planet' are certainly not endearing and hardly developed at all and it is far less plot driven -- in fact it feels like a cross between the fantasy-storytelling of Narnia and Lewis' scholarly,theological works. Long passages of this book are without dialogue entirely and filled with observation, description and cultural exploration. I found it utterly fascinating. At times it reminded me a little of a PC adventure game I played in the early 90's by LucasArts called "The Dig". And at other times it reminded me of certain passages from Philip Pullman's "The Amber Spyglass". Admittedly, I haven't read a lot of science fiction, but when I read "Dune", I wasn't able to appreciate it very much -- in some ways the emphasis Dune places on cultural exploration was similar to Lewis' book, but Lewis was able to convey a sense of wonder, that I found to be almost completely absent from Herbert's world. I look forward to reading the following two books of the series....more
my dad read the narnia books to me when i was very young. i haven't read them since. it was a delightful, nostalgic and profound experience to read thmy dad read the narnia books to me when i was very young. i haven't read them since. it was a delightful, nostalgic and profound experience to read the magician's nephew again. i had only faint memories of the story -- more like impressions. but today i saw why it is such a classic and widely-loved book (well, the series certainly is, if not this book in particular). it was all so rich with levels of meaning and so graciously written (whatever that means... it just seemed like the right word to use :)
my favourite part was chapters 3-5 where digory and polly discover the Wood between the Worlds and visit the dying world of Charn. i loved the insightful descriptions of these settings.
i particularly enjoyed reading this old edition that we have. the pages are all yellow and it has that great old book smell. i look forward to reading the following books...more
i'm much more familiar with other adaptations of this story (there was an animated version, a BBC mini-series & and of course the 2005 feature fili'm much more familiar with other adaptations of this story (there was an animated version, a BBC mini-series & and of course the 2005 feature film by disney/walden directed by andrew adamson) than the original book itself. My dad did read all the Narnia books to me when i was young, but this is the only one that i remember quite well. I'm so glad i decided to read the original book as a grown-up.
i never quite liked the strong parallels between the central christian story and this tale. i would've preferred them to be woven into this story with more subtlety -- but the book is so widely loved, it seems this has not been a concern for too many people. and indeed i found this to be not so much of a concern reading Lewis' original text this time.
I was also not a great fan of the obvious cultural crossover between our world and Narnia (Father Christmas, turkish delight etc), but after reading 'The Magician's Nephew' (prequel) i now undertsand how this may have played out in Narnia's history and it doesn't concern me any longer.
Still, I think personally I prefer 'The Magician's Nephew' (and quite possibly some of the later books) to this on one. For me the Magician's Nephew had more examples of wondrous writing (it was actually the 6th book written in the series even though it is the first in story chronology... perhaps Lewis had refined his writing a little with each new volume).
I do like how Lewis will at times pause in the story to add a paragraph or so of narrator's explanation. it reminded me a little of Lemony Snicket's 'A Series of Unfortunate Events' -- though Snicket uses this device at much greater (and humorous) length :)
i look forward to continue reading the remaining 5 books -- all of which i don't remember the stories of :)
in many respects i found this a rather odd book. Lewis seemed to spend a lot of time on aspects that didn't drive plot or character development and thin many respects i found this a rather odd book. Lewis seemed to spend a lot of time on aspects that didn't drive plot or character development and then would sometimes rush through pivotal moments. Far less interesting material and i found the characters not nearly as likeable than in the previous two Narnia books (i skipped the horse and his boy to read (later) it in the order lewis wrote it in, even though in Narnia's chronology it came before prince caspian). but it did have moments of classic Lewis insight. I particularly liked chapters 9 & 10 and also the discourse between Aslan and Reepicheep and Aslan's comment to Caspian regarding his heritage, both in chapter 15. I have a feeling much will need to be at least somewhat revised in order to make this into an interesting film....more
an outstanding book. easily the best of the narnia books i've read so far. filled with adventure and discovery and depth of meaning. i gave up tryingan outstanding book. easily the best of the narnia books i've read so far. filled with adventure and discovery and depth of meaning. i gave up trying to pinpoint a favourite section. each new place the travelers visited was filled with wonder. Lewis really shows amazing creative vision in this volume. it has the potential to make a stunning film (due for release in 2010 -- so long to wait!) -- it should be many artists' dream come true to bring images to these words. the only minor flaw for me was a lack of development/growth for most of the characters & not really much plot was derived from interaction between them. overall it felt a little more episodic and not quite as much emphasis on an overarching story -- though it certainly was present. the thrust of the story was found in each new location the party visited -- and there was enough in this to keep me highly satisfied!...more
this story was kinda like narnia meets arabian nights. so far each narnia book has had quite a different feel. Lewis hasn't really told the same kindthis story was kinda like narnia meets arabian nights. so far each narnia book has had quite a different feel. Lewis hasn't really told the same kind of story twice.
this is also the first of the books (possibly the only one) which doesn't contain a crossover into our world (i'll have to see what happens in 'the last battle' which i haven't read yet).
chapter 11 was my favourite. i seem quite drawn to the passages which feature dialogue with Aslan. Lewis is often regarded as one of the greatest Christian thinkers in modern times and he certainly has been able to create a character that helps us understand Christ better....more