Christopher's Reviews > Out of the Silent Planet

Out of the Silent Planet by C.S. Lewis
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's review
Apr 12, 2015

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bookshelves: science-fiction, fiction
Read in September, 2010

To start things off I have to say that I love C.S. Lewis. I loved the Screwtape Letters, I loved Mere Christianity and I have read most of the Chronicles of Narnia. But this is a bit of a head scratcher. It's not that the story is bad. Quite the opposite in fact: it is a very interesting story and shares many similarities with the classic sci-fi of Jules Verne and H.G. Wells. The problem for me, and one of the problems I've always had with Lewis, is that he is too smart for his own good. There is hardly any wonder or amazement in the character of Dr. Ransom at being on a new and strange planet. Both the character and the author treat Malacandra and its inhabitants as something to be analyzed and dissected rather than as something to awed about, like what you find in the Narnia tales. Not only that, but the postscript at the end kind of deflates everything as the character writes to the author saying that there were other senses, emotions and tales that the author left out that could have made the story better. Well, if Lewis, who is already a great writer, could have written all of these into the story, why didn't he do that? Certainly it would have made the tale more interesting and boosted the somewhat minuscule page count (158 in my edition). In the end, it's an interesting that tale that is weighed down too much by Lewis' brilliance.
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