Perelandra (Space Trilogy, Book discount outlet online sale 2) sale

Perelandra (Space Trilogy, Book discount outlet online sale 2) sale

Perelandra (Space Trilogy, Book discount outlet online sale 2) sale
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The second book in C. S. Lewis''s acclaimed Space Trilogy, which also includes Out of the Silent Planet and That Hideous Strength, Perelandra continues the adventures of the extraordinary Dr. Ransom. Pitted against the most destructive of human weaknesses, temptation, the great man must battle evil on a new planet -- Perelandra -- when it is invaded by a dark force. Will Perelandra succumb to this malevolent being, who strives to create a new world order and who must destroy an old and beautiful civilization to do so? Or will it throw off the yoke of corruption and achieve a spiritual perfection as yet unknown to man? The outcome of Dr. Ransom''s mighty struggle alone will determine the fate of this peace-loving planet.

Review

The New York Times Mr. Lewis has a genius for making his fantasies livable.

Commonweal Writing of the highest order. Perelandra is, from all standpoints, far superior to other tales of interplanetary adventures.

The New Yorker If wit and wisdom, style and scholarship are requisites to passage through the pearly gates, Mr. Lewis will be among the angels.

Los Angeles Times Lewis, perhaps more than any other twentieth-century writer, forced those who listened to him and read his works to come to terms with their own philosophical presuppositions.

About the Author

C.S. Lewis was a professor of medieval and Renaissance literature at Oxford and Cambridge universities who wrote more than thirty books in his lifetime, including The Screwtape Letters, The Chronicles of Narnia, and Mere Christianity. He died in 1963.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.

Chapter 1

As I left the railway station at Worchester and set out on the three-mile walk to Ransom''s cottage, I reflected that no one on that platform could possibly guess the truth about the man I was going to visit. The flat heath which spread out before me (for the village lies all behind and to the north of the station) looked an ordinary heath. The gloomy five-o''clock sky was such as you might see on any autumn afternoon. The few houses and the clumps of red or yellowish trees were in no way remarkable. Who could imagine that a little farther on in that quiet landscape I should meet and shake by the hand a man who had lived and eaten and drunk in a world forty million miles distant from London, who had seen this Earth from where it looks like a mere point of green fire, and who had spoken face to face with a creature whose life began before our own planet was inhabitable?

For Ransom had met other things in Mars besides the Martians. He had met the creatures called eldila, and specially that great eldil who is the ruler of Mars or, in their speech, the Oyarsa of Malacandra. The eldila are very different from any planetary creatures. Their physical organism, if organism it can be called, is quite unlike either the human or the Martian. They do not eat, breed, breathe, or suffer natural death, and to that extent resemble thinking minerals more than they resemble anything we should recognise as an animal. Though they appear on planets and may even seem to our senses to be sometimes resident in them, the precise spatial location of an eldil at any moment presents great problems. They themselves regard space (or "Deep Heaven") as their true habitat, and the planets are to them not closed worlds but merely moving points -- perhaps even interruptions -- in what we know as the Solar System and they as the Field of Arbol.

At present I was going to see Ransom in answer to a wire which had said "Come down Thursday if possible. Business." I guessed what sort of business he meant, and that was why I kept on telling myself that it would be perfectly delightful to spend a night with Ransom and also kept on feeling that I was not enjoying the prospect as much as I ought to. It was the eldila that were my trouble. I could just get used to the fact that Ransom had been to Mars...but to have met an eldil, to have spoken with something whose life appeared to be practically unending....Even the journey to Mars was bad enough. A man who has been in another world does not come back unchanged. One can''t put the difference into words. When the man is a friend it may become painful: the old footing is not easy to recover. But much worse my growing conviction that, since his return, the eldila were not leaving him alone. Little things in his conversation, little mannerisms, accidental allusions which he made and then drew back with an awkward apology, all suggested that he was keeping strange company; that there were -- well, Visitors -- at that cottage.

As I plodded along the empty, unfenced road which runs across the middle of Worchester Common I tried to dispel my growing sense of malaise by analysing it. What, after all, was I afraid of? The moment I had put this question I regretted it. I was shocked to find that I had mentally used the word "afraid." Up till then I had tried to pretend that I was feeling only distaste, or embarrassment, or even boredom. But the mere word afraid had let the cat out of the bag. I realised now that my emotion was neither more, nor less, nor other, than Fear. And I realised that I was afraid of two things -- afraid that sooner or later I myself might meet an eldil, and afraid that I might get "drawn in." I suppose every one knows this fear of getting "drawn in" -- the moment at which a man realises that what had seemed mere speculations are on the point of landing him in the Communist Party or the Christian Church -- the sense that a door has just slammed and left him on the inside. The thing was such sheer bad luck. Ransom himself had been taken to Mars (or Malacandra) against his will and almost by accident, and I had become connected with his affair by another accident. Yet here we were both getting more and more involved in what I could only describe as inter-planetary politics. As to my intense wish never to come into contact with the eldila myself, I am not sure whether I can make you understand it. It was something more than a prudent desire to avoid creatures alien in kind, very powerful, and very intelligent. The truth was that all I heard about them served to connect two things which one''s mind tends to keep separate, and that connecting gave one a sort of shock. We tend to think about non-human intelligences in two distinct categories which we label "scientific" and "supernatural" respectively. We think, in one mood, of Mr. Wells'' Martians (very unlike the real Malacandrians, by the bye), or his Selenites. In quite a different mood we let our minds loose on the possibility of angels, ghosts, fairies, and the like. But the very moment we are compelled to recognise a creature in either class as real the distinction begins to get blurred: and when it is a creature like an eldil the distinction vanishes altogether. These things were not animals -- to that extent one had to classify them with the second group; but they had some kind of material vehicle whose presence could (in principle) be scientifically verified. To that extent they belonged to the first group. The distinction between natural and supernatural, in fact, broke down; and when it had done so, one realised how great a comfort it had been -- how it had eased the burden of intolerable strangeness which this universe imposes on us by dividing it into two halves and encouraging the mind never to think of both in the same context. What price we may have paid for this comfort in the way of false security and accepted confusion of thought is another matter.

"This is a long, dreary road," I thought to myself. "Thank goodness I haven''t anything to carry." And then, with a start of realisation, I remembered that I ought to be carrying a pack, containing my things for the night. I swore to myself. I must have left the thing in the train. Will you believe me when I say that my immediate impulse was to turn back to the station and "do something about it"? Of course there was nothing to be done which could not equally well be done by ringing up from the cottage. That train, with my pack in it, must by this time be miles away.

I realise that now as clearly as you do. But at the moment it seemed perfectly obvious that I must retrace my steps, and I had indeed begun to do so before reason or conscience awoke and set me once more plodding forwards. In doing this I discovered more clearly than before how very little I wanted to do it. It was such hard work that I felt as if I were walking against a headwind; but in fact it was one of those still, dead evenings when no twig stirs, and beginning to be a little foggy.

The farther I went the more impossible I found it to think about anything except these eldila. What, after all, did Ransom really know about them? By his own account the sorts which he had met did not usually visit our own planet -- or had only begun to do so since his return from Mars. We had eldila of our own, he said, Tellurian eldils, but they were of a different kind and mostly hostile to man. That, in fact, was why our world was cut off from communication with the other planets. He described us as being in a state of siege, as being, in fact, an enemy-occupied territory, held down by eldils who were at war both with us and with the eldils of "Deep Heaven," or "space." Like the bacteria on the microscopic level, so these co-inhabiting pests on the macroscopic permeate our whole life invisibly and are the real explanation of that fatal bent which is the main lesson of history. If all this were true, then, of course, we should welcome the fact that eldila of a better kind had at last broken the frontier (it is, they say, at the Moon''s orbit) and were beginning to visit us. Always assuming that Ransom''s account was the correct one.

A nasty idea occurred to me. Why should not Ransom be a dupe? If something from outer space were trying to invade our planet, what better smoke-screen could it put up than this very story of Ransom''s? Was there the slightest evidence, after all, for the existence of the supposed maleficent eldils on this earth? How if my friend were the unwitting bridge, the Trojan Horse, whereby some possible invader were effecting its landing on Tellus? And then once more, just as when I had discovered that I had no pack, the impulse to go no farther returned to me. "Go back, go back," it whispered to me, "send him a wire, tell him you were ill, say you''ll come some other time -- anything." The strength of the feeling astonished me. I stood still for a few moments telling myself not to be a fool, and when I finally resumed my walk I was wondering whether this might be the beginning of a nervous breakdown. No sooner had this idea occurred to me than it also became a new reason for not visiting Ransom. Obviously, I wasn''t fit for any such jumpy "business" as his telegram almost certainly referred to. I wasn''t even fit to spend an ordinary week-end away from home. My only sensible course was to turn back at once and get safe home, before I lost my memory or became hysterical, and to put myself in the hands of a doctor. It was sheer madness to go on.

I was now coming to the end of the heath and going down a small hill, with a copse on my left and some apparently deserted industrial buildings on my right. At the bottom the evening mist was partly thick. "They call it a Breakdown at first," I thought. Wasn''t there some mental disease in which quite ordinary objects looked to the patient unbelievably ominous?...looked, in fact, just as that abandoned factory looks to me now? Great bulbous shapes of cement, strange brickwork bogeys, glowered at me over dry scrubby grass pock-marked with grey pools and intersected with the remains of a light railway. I was reminded of things which Ransom had seen in that other world: only there, they were people. Long spindle-like giants whom he called Sorns. What made it worse was that he regarded them as good people -- very much nicer, in fact, than our own race. He was in league with them! How did I know he was even a dupe? He might be something worse...and again I came to a standstill.

The reader, not knowing Ransom, will not understand how contrary to all reason this idea was. The rational part of my mind, even at that moment, knew perfectly well that even if the whole universe were crazy and hostile, Ransom was sane and wholesome and honest. And this part of my mind in the end sent me forward -- but with a reluctance and a difficulty I can hardly put into words. What enabled me to go on was the knowledge (deep down inside me) that I was getting nearer at every stride to the one friend: but I felt that I was getting nearer to the one enemy -- the traitor, the sorcerer, the man in league with "them"...walking into the trap with my eyes open, like a fool. "They call it a breakdown at first," said my mind, "and send you to a nursing home; later on they move you to an asylum."

I was past the dead factory now, down in the fog, where it was very cold. Then came a moment -- the first one -- of absolute terror and I had to bite my lips to keep myself from screaming. It was only a cat that had run across the road, but I found myself completely unnerved. "Soon you will really be screaming," said my inner tormentor, "running round and round, screaming, and you won''t be able to stop it."

There was a little empty house by the side of the road, with most of the windows boarded up and one staring like the eye of a dead fish. Please understand that at ordinary times the idea of a "haunted house" means no more to me than it does to you. No more; but also, no less. At that moment it was nothing so definite as the thought of a ghost that came to me. It was just the word "haunted." "Haunted"..."haunting"...what a quality there is in that first syllable! Would not a child who had never heard the word before and did not know its meaning shudder at the mere sound if, as the day was closing in, it heard one of its elders say to another "This house is haunted"?

At last I came to the cross-roads by the little Wesleyan chapel where I had to turn to the left under the beech trees. I ought to be seeing the lights from Ransom''s windows by now -- or was it past black-out time? My watch had stopped, and I didn''t know. It was dark enough but that might be due to the fog and the trees. It wasn''t the dark I was afraid of, you understand. We have all known times when inanimate objects seemed to have almost a facial expression, and it was the expression of this bit of road which I did not like. "It''s not true," said my mind, "that people who are really going mad never think they''re going mad." Suppose that real insanity had chosen this place in which to begin? In that case, of course, the black enmity of those dripping trees -- their horrible expectancy -- would be a hallucination. But that did not make it any better. To think that the spectre you see is an illusion does not rob him of his terrors: it simply adds the further terror of madness itself -- and then on top of that the horrible surmise that those whom the rest call mad have, all along, been the only people who see the world as it really is.

This was upon me now. I staggered on into the cold and the darkness, already half convinced that I must be entering what is called Madness. But each moment my opinion about sanity changed. Had it ever been more than a convention -- a comfortable set of blinkers, an agreed mode of wishful thinking, which excluded from our view the full strangeness and malevolence of the universe we are compelled to inhabit? The things I had begun to know during the last few months of my acquaintance with Ransom already amounted to more than "sanity" would admit; but I had come much too far to dismiss them as unreal. I doubted his interpretation, or his good faith. I did not doubt the existence of the things he had met in Maxs -- the Pfifltriggi, the Hrossa, and the Sorns -- nor of these interplanetary eldila. I did not even doubt the reality of that mysterious being whom the eldila call Maleldil and to whom they appear to give a total obedience such as no Tellurian dictator can command. I knew what Ransom supposed Maleldil to be.

Surely that was the cottage. It was very well blacked-out. A childish, whining thought arose on my mind: why was he not out at the gate to welcome me? An even more childish thought followed it. Perhaps he was in the garden waiting for me, hiding. Perhaps he would jump on me from behind. Perhaps I should see a figure that looked like Ransom standing with its back to me and when I spoke to it, it would turn round and show a face that was not human at all....

I have naturally no wish to enlarge on this phase of my story. The state of mind I was in was one which I look back on with humiliation. I would have passed it over if I did not think that some account of it was necessary for a full understanding of what follows -- and, perhaps, of some other things at well. At all events, I can''t really describe how I reached the front door of the cottage. Somehow or other, despite the loathing and dismay that pulled me back and a sort of invisible wall of resistance that met me in the face, fighting for each step, and almost shrieking as a harmless spray of the hedge touched my face, I managed to get through the gate and up the little path. And there I was, drumming on the door and wringing the handle and shouting to him to let me in as if my life depended on it.

There was no reply -- not a sound except the echo of the sounds I had been making myself. There was only something white fluttering on the knocker. I guessed, of course, that it was a note. In striking a match to read it by, I discovered how very shaky my hands had become; and when the match went out I realised how dark the evening had grown. After several attempts I read the thing. "Sorry. Had to go up to Cambridge. Shan''t be back till the late train. Eatables in larder and bed made up in your usual room. Don''t wait supper for me unless you feel like it -- E. R." And immediately the impulse to retreat, which had already assailed me several times, leaped upon me with a sort of demoniac violence. Here was my retreat left open, positively inviting me. Now was my chance. If anyone expected me to go into that house and sit there alone for several hours, they were mistaken! But then, as the thought of the return journey began to take shape in my mind, I faltered. The idea of setting out to traverse the avenue of beech trees again (it was really dark now) with this house behind me (one had the absurd feeling that it could follow one) was not attractive. And then, I hope, something better came into my mind -- some rag of sanity and some reluctance to let Ransom down. At least I could try the door to see if it were really unlocked. I did. And it was. Next moment, I hardly know how, I found myself inside and let it slam behind me.

It was quite dark, and warm. I groped a few paces forward, hit my shin violently against something, and fell. I sat still for a few seconds nursing my leg. I thought I knew the layout of Ransom''s hall-sitting-room pretty well and couldn''t imagine what I had blundered into. Presently I groped in my pocket, got out my matches, and tried to strike a light. The head of the match flew off. I stamped on it and sniffed to make sure it was not smouldering on the carpet. As soon as I sniffed I became aware of a strange smell in the room. I could not for the life of me make out what it was. It had an unlikeness to ordinary domestic smells as great as that of some chemicals, but it was not a chemical kind of smell at all. Then I struck another match. It flickered and went out almost at once -- not unnaturally, since I was sitting on the door-mat and there are few front doors even in better built houses than Ransom''s country cottage which do not admit a draught. I had seen nothing by it except the palm of my own hand hollowed in an attempt to guard the flame. Obviously I must get away from the door. I rose gingerly and felt my way forward. I came at once to an obstacle -- something smooth and very cold that rose a little higher than my knees. As I touched it I realised that it was the source of the smell. I groped my way along this to the left and finally came to the end of it. It seemed to present several surfaces and I couldn''t picture the shape. It was not a table, for it had no top. One''s hand groped along the rim of a kind of low wall -- the thumb on the outside and the fingers down inside the enclosed space. If it had felt like wood I should have supposed it to be a large packing-case. But it was not wood. I thought for a moment that it was wet, but soon decided that I was mistaking coldness for moisture. When I reached the end of it I struck my third match.

I saw something white and semi-transparent -- rather like ice. A great big thing, very long: a kind of box, an open box: and of a disquieting shape which I did not immediately recognize. It was big enough to put a man into. Then I took a step back, lifting the lighted match higher to get a more comprehensive view, and instantly tripped over something behind me. I found myself sprawling in darkness, not on the carpet, but on more of the cold substance with the odd smell. How many of the infernal things were there?

I was just preparing to rise again and hunt systematically round the room for a candle when I heard Ransom''s name pronounced; and almost, but not quite, simultaneously I saw the thing I had feared so long to see. I heard Ransom''s name pronounced: but I should not like to say I heard a voice pronounce it. The sound was quite astonishingly unlike a voice. It was perfectly articulate: it was even, I suppose, rather beautiful. But it was, if you understand me, inorganic. We feel the difference between animal voices (including those of the human animal) and all other noises pretty clearly, I fancy, though it is hard to define. Blood and lungs and the warm, moist cavity of the mouth are somehow indicated in every Voice. Here they were not. The two syllables sounded more as if they were played on an instrument than as if they were spoken: and yet they did not sound mechanical either. A machine is something we make out of natural materials; this was more as if rock or crystal or light had spoken of itself. And it went through me from chest to groin like the thrill that goes through you when you think you have lost your hold while climbing a cliff.

That was what I heard. What I saw was simply a very faint rod or pillar of light. I don''t think it made a circle of light either on the floor or the ceiling, but I am not sure of this. It certainly had very little power of illuminating its surroundings. So far, all is plain sailing. But it had two other characteristics which are less easy to grasp. One was its colour. Since I saw the thing I must obviously have seen it either white or coloured; but no efforts of my memory can conjure up the faintest image of what that colour was. I try blue, and gold, and violet, and red, but none of them will fit. How it is possible to have a visual experience which immediately and ever after becomes impossible to remember, I do not attempt to explain. The other was its angle. It was not at right angles to the floor. But as soon as I have said this, I hasten to add that this way of putting it is a later reconstruction. What one actually felt at the moment was that the column of light was vertical but the floor was not horizontal -- the whole room seemed to have heeled over as if it were on board ship. The impression, however produced, was that this creature had reference to some horizontal, to some whole system of directions, based outside the Earth, and that its mere presence imposed that alien system on me and abolished the terrestrial horizontal.

I had no doubt at all that I was seeing an eldil, and little doubt that I was seeing the archon of Mars, the Oyarsa of Malacandra. And now that the thing had happened I was no longer in a condition of abject panic. My sensations were, it is true, in some ways very unpleasant. The fact that it was quite obviously not organic -- the knowledge that intelligence was somehow located in this homogeneous cylinder of light but not related to it as our consciousness is related to our brains and nerves -- was profoundly disturbing. It would not fit into our categories. The response which we ordinarily make to a living creature and that which we make to an inanimate object were here both equally inappropriate. On the other hand, all those doubts which I had felt before I entered the cottage as to whether these creatures were friend or foe, and whether Ransom were a pioneer or a dupe, had for the moment vanished. My fear was now of another kind. I felt sure that the creature was what we call "good," but I wasn''t sure whether I liked "goodness" so much as I had supposed. This is a very terrible experience. As long as what you are afraid of is something evil, you may still hope that the good may come to your rescue. But suppose you struggle through to the good and find that it -also is dreadful? How if food itself turns out to be the very thing you can''t eat, and home the very place you can''t live, and your very comforter the person who makes you uncomfortable? Then, indeed, there is no rescue possible: the last card has been played. For a second or two I was nearly in that condition. Here at last was a bit of that world from beyond the world, which I had always supposed that I loved and desired, breaking through and appearing to my senses: and I didn''t like it, I wanted it to go away. I wanted every possible distance, gulf, curtain, blanket, and barrier to be placed between it and me. But I did not fall quite into the gulf. Oddly enough my very sense of helplessness saved me and steadied me. For now I was quite obviously "drawn in." The struggle was over. The next decision did not lie with me.

Then, like a noise from a different world, came the opening of the door and the sound of boots on the door-mat, and I saw, silhouetted against the greyness of the night in the open doorway, a figure which I recognized as Ransom. The speaking which was not a voice came again out of the rod of light, and Ransom, instead of moving, stood still and answered it. Both speeches were in a strange polysyllabic language which I had not heard before. I make no attempt to excuse the feelings which awoke in me when I heard the unhuman sound addressing my friend and my friend answering it in the un-human language. They are, in fact, inexcusable; but if you think they are improbable at such a juncture, I must tell you plainly that you have read neither history nor your own heart to much effect. They were feelings of resentment, horror, and jealousy. It was in my mind to shout out, "Leave your familiar alone, you damned magician, and attend to Me."

What I actually said was, "Oh, Ransom. Thank God you''ve come."

Copyright © 1922 by Charles Scribner''s Sons

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Richard E. J. Burke
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Lewis lecture one" and enjoy this incredibly generous series
Reviewed in the United States on October 8, 2017
I rate this book 5-stars in context as the second book of the trilogy. I wrote a 5-star Goodreads review of C. S. Lewis'' entire space trilogy when I completed the 3rd book "That Hideous Strength." Here is that Goodreads review: WHICH FOLLOWS: I just finished... See more
I rate this book 5-stars in context as the second book of the trilogy. I wrote a 5-star Goodreads review of C. S. Lewis'' entire space trilogy when I completed the 3rd book "That Hideous Strength." Here is that Goodreads review: WHICH FOLLOWS:
I just finished reading all three of CS Lewis'' Space Trilogy back-to-back (published in 1938, 1943, and 1945) over the past few weeks. First caution, don''t start with the 3rd book in the trilogy. The trilogy is a masterpiece, but jumping into the 3rd book will seriously shortchange what you will understand if you read all three in order. Second caution, don''t start with the 2nd book in the trilogy. The series geometrically builds the cast, plot, and stakes book-by-book. A shortcut only shortchanges you. That said, this magnificent trilogy builds a fictional setting of interlocking stories that culminate, in the third, by illustrating that hideous strength which Lewis later describes in the tiny prose book: The Abolition of Man (1947). My interest in reading the trilogy after reading The Abolition of Man was piqued by the first of the seven (highest-quality HD) video lecture series on C. S. Lewis, all of which are presented free and streaming: just google "Hillsdale College C. S. Lewis lecture one" and enjoy this incredibly generous series. For the purpose of this book review, and for your greatest enjoyment, don''t go past video lecture one and its Q&A session, but go from there to read The Abolition of Man (one-hour read), then the space trilogy in order. After you''re done, return to the free lecture series 2 through 7. In this order you''ll maximize enjoyment of this banquet, without any spoilers.
42 people found this helpful
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Cindy Rinaman Marsch
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
What a Series Ought to Be
Reviewed in the United States on December 1, 2015
This is my favorite of the space trilogy, because Lewis uses his considerable talents to reimagine a familiar story. It''s experimental and combines the mythic, the theological, the speculative, and science fiction, with some fairy tale as well, and everyday humor and... See more
This is my favorite of the space trilogy, because Lewis uses his considerable talents to reimagine a familiar story. It''s experimental and combines the mythic, the theological, the speculative, and science fiction, with some fairy tale as well, and everyday humor and political commentary. We''ve got a thriller, too, and artistic contemplation of the Beautiful and Pure. So much going on! I''d call this the artist''s book of the three, with the first the everyday citizen''s work and the third the scientist/philosopher/prophet''s work. Lewis sets the ground work in Out of the Silent Planet (Space Trilogy) , flies into realms of imagination with PERELANDRA, and brings it all heavily (and heavenly) home in That Hideous Strength (Space Trilogy, Book 3) . You might find one title appeals to you particularly, but allow the others to stretch your imagination and speculation. The variety here is what a book series OUGHT to have, not just reiterations of the same story over and again. The three novels combine to give a story as complex as the universe we inhabit.
58 people found this helpful
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Cast iron fan
2.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Kindle version problems
Reviewed in the United States on December 15, 2019
The 2 stars are for the Kindle version. The text of the book I give 5 stars. This is the third or forth time I have read the Space Trilogy and am always amazed at how profound it is. As to this version, it was not at all formatted for the Kindle. Throughout there were... See more
The 2 stars are for the Kindle version. The text of the book I give 5 stars. This is the third or forth time I have read the Space Trilogy and am always amazed at how profound it is.
As to this version, it was not at all formatted for the Kindle. Throughout there were breaks within paragraphs. Almost all special characters or unique fonts were missing. One needed to use significant imagination to understand what was intended. It was like the early of scanning documents for OCR. All of the letters were on the page but not at all how the author intended them. Books 1 and 3 were correctly formatted and a pleasure to read. This one took way too much work.
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Madeline
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A world that overcomes the Tempter
Reviewed in the United States on October 16, 2020
With his amazing literary skills, C.S. Lewis tells the tale in his second installment, of a world who is faced with the greatest question we make on a daily basis. Will we listen to the authority whose desires are always conveniently shrouded in half truths, or will we... See more
With his amazing literary skills, C.S. Lewis tells the tale in his second installment, of a world who is faced with the greatest question we make on a daily basis. Will we listen to the authority whose desires are always conveniently shrouded in half truths, or will we listen to the ultimate authority who desires good for us, even when those things may not look good to us.

The only fault of this book, is that it reads at less than 200 pages, when so much is left about this perfect world that we could have had. But then, how do you describe infinite perfection and beauty in a world such as ours, that chose pain, suffering, and evil over those offered to us.

Perelandra is a perfect read for all people!
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T
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
My favorite book and my favorite book about providence
Reviewed in the United States on December 19, 2020
Unusual headline, probably -- but this is the thing: Lewis was a great author of fiction, but his fiction means more than meets the eye. I pose that this book is actually a treatise on God''s providence situated in a science-fantasy universe. Besides being highly... See more
Unusual headline, probably -- but this is the thing: Lewis was a great author of fiction, but his fiction means more than meets the eye. I pose that this book is actually a treatise on God''s providence situated in a science-fantasy universe. Besides being highly entertaining, thought-provoking, witty, and beautiful, you''ll learn more about God''s providence and the idea of right and wrong from this book than you will from any Christian theology text. And I know -- I went to seminary. Happy reading!
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Michael Kelley
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Masterful
Reviewed in the United States on January 13, 2021
C.S. Lewis was truly a masterful storyteller. Re-reading the trilogy after about six or seven years, it is still just as gripping and powerful as the first time I read it. Lewis is truly one of those great writers that no matter how often you come back to a story, you''ll... See more
C.S. Lewis was truly a masterful storyteller. Re-reading the trilogy after about six or seven years, it is still just as gripping and powerful as the first time I read it. Lewis is truly one of those great writers that no matter how often you come back to a story, you''ll see new things each time. Although this second book in the Ransom Trilogy is typically regarded as merely a retelling of the Genesis story if Adam and Eve had not fallen, it is not that by any means. As Aslan would say, "Things never happen the same way twice," and Ransom muses on this fact while he wonders why he was brought to Venus. Temptation is certainly a strong theme, but the overarching theme is one of wonder at God''s creation.
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Daniel
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
A Good (but different) return to the Space Trilogy
Reviewed in the United States on August 1, 2014
Still trudging through this second novel in the Space Trilogy. First, I loved "Out of the Silent Planet". Naturally I immediately searched for and purchased the following books in the series and began digging into Perelandra as soon as I could. What happened next... See more
Still trudging through this second novel in the Space Trilogy.

First, I loved "Out of the Silent Planet". Naturally I immediately searched for and purchased the following books in the series and began digging into Perelandra as soon as I could. What happened next was almost completely unexpected, however. I began noticing that my interest in the story was waning and I then found myself pushing to read on just to reach the next chapter - and this is where I am at in writing this review.

I want to be fair, not only to C.S. Lewis, but also to his avid fans (me being one of them). The book is well-crafted, the prose is excellent as expected from Lewis'' writing, and the characters and settings are vibrantly detailed and imaginative as ever.

For some reason the pacing of the book and perhaps the setting and the fact that some of the elements of traveling into space and visiting an odd place have lost the magic or newness so-to-speak, and, subsequently, I have found myself less interested and captivated by the story. Perhaps this is also because the first book of the series was a complete mystery to me and had more (or at least seems like it did) sci-fi-esque elements? Regardless of what the reason is, I just cannot find myself being able to say that I love this second chapter in the Space Trilogy. I will attempt to finish it at some point in order to be able to carry on to That Hideous Strength and, if nothing else, be able to say that I have read through the complete trilogy - but for the time being, I''ll be somewhat forcing myself to do so.

I am sure some would completely disagree with me and think me insane for only giving Perelandra 4/5 stars - and others may be thinking it quite appropriate. I suppose this is the nature of personal opinion on such matters.

*Update: I finished Perelandra today and must say that somewhere near the latter half-way mark of the book the story began to pick up and I once again found myself intrigued and it difficult to put the book down. There was still several pages here and there that I quickly skimmed through, but for the most part the latter half of the book was, at least to me, far more enjoyable than the first. With that said, I still hold fast to my 4/5 rating for the second entry in the Space Trilogy, but I am now more optimistic about starting the final entry, "That Hideous Strength".
5 people found this helpful
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Alex hegerfeld
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Entertainment while developing your worldview
Reviewed in the United States on March 10, 2016
CS Lewis combines deep philosophy, with a touch a poetry, and an extremely engaging story to create unique works like Out of the Silent Planet and Perelandra. I''ve only been reading his books for about a year now, and they''re like no other author I''ve read to this point.... See more
CS Lewis combines deep philosophy, with a touch a poetry, and an extremely engaging story to create unique works like Out of the Silent Planet and Perelandra. I''ve only been reading his books for about a year now, and they''re like no other author I''ve read to this point. I would strongly recommend the entire space trilogy.
14 people found this helpful
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J0n G
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Theology rather than science fiction
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on April 15, 2020
The author of the Narnia books, a Christian academic, was much preoccupied with theology, with the "problem of pain" and with ways of demonstrating the difference between Good and Evil. In books such as the Screwtape Letters he embarks on very long debates between imaginary...See more
The author of the Narnia books, a Christian academic, was much preoccupied with theology, with the "problem of pain" and with ways of demonstrating the difference between Good and Evil. In books such as the Screwtape Letters he embarks on very long debates between imaginary voices, in the hope of educating the reader. The trilogy of which this book is the second volume cannot be regarded as science fiction as most readers understand science fiction. Many readers who are looking for an exciting story or for the same spellbinding narrative that they found in the Narnia books, will be disappointed. The stilted language reminiscent of Tolkein reads like a translation from some foreign language. It is intended to convey the idea that our hero, Ransom, is speaking in Old Solar, a language that is not known to us on Earth and seems to lack the richness of expression of our own language so the author uses many metaphors to convey his meaning. It can at times be an effort to follow the author''s train of thought. If you have strong spiritual leanings, if you are wrestling with your faith or looking for the meaning of life, the trilogy may be very much to your taste.
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Clive369
5.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Great book if you like a good story
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on October 16, 2019
Great story which is really well written. C S Lewis has a fantastic imagination. Never knew he was a sci-fi writer. Save yourself time and buy all 3 books in this trilogy at once because they are all excellent.
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Julian Skidmore
3.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Touchdown on Perelandra
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 26, 2012
Although the weakest book in the trilogy, Perelandra''s worth reading for the sake of setting the context for Lewis''s rip-roaring finale: "That Hideous Strength". I usually really enjoy C. S. Lewis''s books and had been looking forward to reading the Cosmic Trilogy...See more
Although the weakest book in the trilogy, Perelandra''s worth reading for the sake of setting the context for Lewis''s rip-roaring finale: "That Hideous Strength". I usually really enjoy C. S. Lewis''s books and had been looking forward to reading the Cosmic Trilogy for a while. For a pre-satellite era space story Lewis'' science-fantasy plot is a good approach - it''s better to make things obviously unrealistic, than be made irrelevant by actual developments in astronomy. And some things in the book are really excellent; I really like the method Lewis uses to transport his central character to Venus and he certainly demonstrates his creative imagination for a world of which almost nothing was known in the 1940s and comes up with a number of rich ideas for its environment, echoed in some sense in Stephen Baxter''s book Flood. Yet there are a few ways I think the book falls short. Too often Lewis seems to fall in love with his own abstract prose, it''s like a verbal version of Disney''s Fantasia in places. In other areas Lewis is too directly theological - I think he could have expressed his thinking in the context of the story better, as he did for "Out of The Silent Planet". I also think there are a few plot holes with the Queen of Perelandra and finally I think he lets the politics of WWII affect the resolution of the book. Nevertheless, it''s worth reading if nothing else, for setting the scene for the last book in the series, which is much, much better :-) !
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Philip Bedford-Smith
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
What would happen to a new Garden of Eden on another planet?
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on May 31, 2021
This was an interesting exploration of the theology behind the Garden of Eden story. A space traveller from Earth appears and tries to tempt the Queen of this planet with new challenges. The science fiction element is unrealistic, just a literary device.
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R. Rowland
4.0 out of 5 starsVerified Purchase
Lewis''s Garden of Eden
Reviewed in the United Kingdom on November 29, 2014
I read this in school and liked the story, despite it''s being completely inaccurate from a scientific perspective. The original title was Voyage to Venus, so maybe the new title allows one to imagine a strange new planet, somewhere else?
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