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Out of the Silent Planet – Not So Golden

Out of the Silent Planet

“Out of the Silent Planet” wasn’t for me.

If you’re an avid reader, chances are you have a favorite author or two. Have you ever read a book by one of your favorite authors and felt a little disappointed? That’s how I felt with C.S. Lewis’ “Out of the Silent Planet.” It was published in the U.S. in 1943 and is the first book in a series called Space Trilogy (book 2 being “Perelandra” (1943) and book 3 being “That Hideous Strength” (1945)). To give you a better picture, Lewis wrote The Lion, the Witch, and The Wardrobe in 1950. Don’t get me wrong, I love C.S. Lewis, but no matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t get into “Out of the Silent Planet.” To me, it felt evident that this was one of his first attempts at fiction.

The whole premise of the book is that Dr. Elwin Ransom is kidnapped by Mr. Dick Devine and Dr. Weston. He is taken on a spaceship and left on a planet with which he is not familiar. Throughout the book he observes the creatures and environment of the planet. He gets to know several of the creatures and discovers that Oyarsa (one of the planet’s royalty-like creatures) has sent from him while he was on planet Earth. Beyond that, I honestly didn’t understand much of the book. I would try to read it and my eyes would glaze over with complete boredom.

Before I had read the book, I was wondering why it had never been made into a movie. After I read the book, I could easily understand why! There wasn’t much adventure to me…it felt like Ransom was in “observation” mode the entire book and I just couldn’t get into it. If you are a die-hard C.S. Lewis fan and you’re up for the challenge, I say go ahead and read “Out of the Silent Planet.” If you are just looking for a good book (or series of books) to read by Lewis, then I would suggestion reading “The Chronicles of Narnia” instead.

Photo Credit: By NarniaFans.com

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  1. Tracie Weber
    December 8, 2013 at 5:42 pm

    Hi Scott!    Just read your review on Out of the Silent Planet.  I admit that this book isn’t a fast pace adventure… but it did have a theme.  Lewis is building up to the need for a “Ransom” because of corruption.  It is kind of like the fall in heaven with Satan.  The next book is what happens after that… a garden of Eden scenario and a bad guy who could corrupt it.  Ransom tries to stop him.  🙂   I think the books are like a sci-fi version of what happens when corruption destroys God’s perfect creation.  I never could finish the last book… it drags on and on forever without getting to any plot.  I like though the ideas of space travel would be like in the first two books before we had actually people in space.  Anyway… hope you are having a great weekend! Tracie

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