Monday, June 28, 2010

Out of the Silent Planet by C.S. Lewis

Title: Out of the Silent Planet
Author: C.S. Lewis
Rating: ☆☆☆(☆☆)
3/5 Stars

I am a huge fan of C.S. Lewis.

It's really just that simple. I love the books he wrote and I love the point of view he represented. He is one of the most recognized Christian authors and, to my mind, the most important. Lewis didn't just blindly write about faith. He didn't try to club people over the head with Christianity. He wasn't hateful towards members of other faiths, nor was he completely unquestioning of his own faith. Lewis used fantasy and science fiction to examine his faith, to experiment with the idea of God in magical worlds or in far off planets. I admire him greatly for his intelligent religious viewpoints. I believe that a lot of modern day Christians could really learn a thing or two from Lewis, because faith should constantly be reexamined and questioned if it's ever going to progress in the way that science has. Personally, I would do just about anything to see Lewis go head to head in a battle of words with the illustrious author and atheist, Phillip Pullman. Their respective fantasy series have essentially done the same thing: examined the concept of God in terms of multiple worlds, generated through fantasy naratives. Lewis projects Christian idealogies throughout his worlds, while Pullman smashes them.

Wow, definitely getting away from myself there, but the point is, I really admire Lewis and what he has to say, which is why I picked up Out of the Silent Planet. In terms of the message of the book, I was as happy as I've ever been with his work. The story definitely had a hidden Christian manifesto, similar to the Chronicles of Narnia series. However, I'm not sure if I really connected with the surface plot. I've never been that into retro science fiction, and this was certainly retro. I did enjoy seeing an author address the problem of language on other planets, and the questions of survival. Often, characters luck out in discovering that the natives eat the same things as we do here on Earth and they happen to speak the same language! Wow! Not in this book. Lewis did a great job depicting the linguistic difficulties that Dr. Ransom (the protagonist) might have suffered. But, like I said, the plot itself just wasn't exciting enough for me. The descriptions were beautiful, but they didn't make things move along very quickly.

Despite my disinterest with the plot, I will most likely pick up the sequels. They're great books to have in my arsenal, especially since I love Lewis so much.

ISBN: 978-0743234900
Price: $14.00, paperback
Pages: 160

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