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Perelandra [Hardcover]

C. S. Lewis
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (40 customer reviews)

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Book Description

June 1990 Space Trilogy
In the second novel in C.S. Lewis's classic science fiction trilogy, Dr Ransom is called to the paradise planet of Perelandra, or Venus, which turns out to be a beautiful Eden-like world. He is horrified to find that his old enemy, Dr Weston, has also arrived and is putting him in grave peril once more. As the mad Weston's body is taken over by the forces of evil, Ransom engages in a desperate struggle to save the innocence of Perelandra...
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Review

'Thrilling.' Sir Hugh Walpole 'Remarkable ... a rare power of inventive imagination.' Times Literary Supplement --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

Clive Staples Lewis was born in Belfast in 1898. He was a fellow and tutor in English Literature at Magdalen College, Oxford, and later was Professor of Medieval and Renaissance Literature at Cambridge University, where he remained until his death in 1963. He wrote numerous books of literary criticism and on Chistianity, the best-known being ‘The Screwtape Letters’, as well as four novels for adults.

Lewis (known as Jack to his friends) and his good friend J.R.R. Tolkien, the author of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, were part of the Inklings, an informal writers’ club that met at a local pub to discuss story ideas. Lewis’s fascination with fairy tales, myths and ancient legends, coupled with inspiration from his childhood, led him to write the seven Chronicles of Narnia. These were his only works for children, and they have become acknowledged classics of children’s literature. The best-known of these, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, began with a picture in Lewis’s head, at the age of 16, of a faun carrying an umbrella and parcels in a snowy wood. It is now being made into a film by Walden Media, due for release in the latter part of 2005.

--This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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First Sentence
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. Read the first page
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Most helpful customer reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantasy/Sci-Fi with a higher message July 3 2004
Format:Paperback
C. S. Lewis is one of those few writers whose works will be read, studied, and enjoyed 100, 200, 500 years after his death. He is both a fantastic story-teller and a brilliant philosopher--thus, his works deal with both the mundane and the sublime, often at the same time.
Perelandra is a good example of Lewis's ability to tell a good story while getting a higher point across. The second installment in his celebrated Space Trilogy (make sure you read "Out of the Silent Planet" first) finds his hero, Ransom, swept away from Earth again on a mysterious mission to the planet Perelandra. Without giving too much of the story away, Ransom finds himself given the seemingly impossible task of preventing evil from Earth from polluting the pristine, unearthly paradise of Perelandra. To carry out this mission, Ransom finds himself grappling, both intellectually and physically, with a force of pure evil.
Let the reader beware: Perelandra is written in a more archaic style than we are used to today, and thus may be a difficult read for someone with a short-attention span. For a reader with an expansive imagination and a patient love for detailed descriptive writing, the book is a treasure and will be highly enjoyed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Certainly the most beautiful read of them all Sept. 25 2001
Format:Paperback
When I say 'all,' I am merely referring to the antecedent and latter of the three books that compose Lewis' famed 'Space Trilogy.' I had never considered myself to be a fan of science fiction; however, as I am a fan of Lewis, it was nearly obligatory that I read his famous 'Space Trilogy.' I found myself approaching the first book, 'Out of the Silent Planet,' with a marginal amount of reluctance. But, as I ventured further and further into the core of the book, my heart instantly grew fond of the ever-mesmerising style which has made Lewis a master of the pen. Although very impressed and delighted with 'Planet,' what awaited me within the pages of 'Perelandra' was nothing short of literary bliss. Writing himself into the story as a friend of Dr. Elwin Ransom, Lewis captivates his audience after mere pages as he travels to Ransom's own home. What commences after he arrives is perhaps Lewis' most beautiful work in print. As Dr. Ransom travels to a second distant planet, Perelandra, we (the audience) are assaulted with pellucid imagary and chilling realities that are not easily shaken after the last page is turned. 'Perelandra' is a world of fantasy; a world of fantasy which personafies the struggle of good and evil and offers a lucid and tangible potrayal of the Fall of Man. A MUST read for any science-fiction or Lewis connoisseur. A thrilling book and a truly delightful read!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Even Better than the First! Oct. 10 2001
Format:Paperback
In Perelandra, Dr. Ransom continues his interplanetary travels, this time to Venus (Perelandra). Unlike his previous adventure, this one has him sent intentionally, on a mission. The sights and sensations that greet Ransom on Perelandra are described with the beautiful imagery characteristic of Lewis's writings. Floating across the Venetian seas on mobile islands, Ransom encounters one of the two human residents of this shrouded planet. Soon after his arrival, however, a sinister force arrives on Perelandra in the form of Weston, the scientist from the previous book. The encounters and conversations following between Weston, Ransom, and the Queen are a fascinating image of what the temptation in the Garden of Eden may have been like. Also, the discourses given in this portion of the book are deeply thought-provoking. For these reasons and for the excellent suspense, I highly recommend Perelandra.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Still Enjoyable And Insightful After Many Reads July 16 2001
Format:Paperback
This is the second volume of Lewis's space trilogy (begun in Out Of The Silent Planet and ending with That Hideous Strength) and an excellent one it is. People talk about the books being readable independently, but you'll get more out of them if you read them in their proper order. Lewis has a particular knack for imagining and describing how things would look to a person who had never seen them before, what in effect a "pure experience" would be like the moment when the sensation is trying to become perception, and a knack as well for reaching between soul and spirit to describe the inner subtle workings of human nature at a level most of us are normally unaware of until someone like Lewis describes them to us. The result makes for enjoyable reading, particularly in the context of a trip to another planet. Here Dr. Ransom is sent off by heavenly powers to Venus where another earthman, possessed of some diabolic force, is intent on bringing about the downfall of that race. Ransom is there to stop it. The story of the Original Sin is retold with imaginative variety, and the book has a particularly and undeniably Christian bent which may well affect the reaction of non-Christian readers. Lewis does a lot of philosophizing in this text, but not as much as in the final volume, That Hideous Strength, which is for that reason and others the weakest of the three. But here he is still at the height of his powers and in control of them.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Floating on an ocean of bliss April 4 2001
Format:Paperback
Lewis' Ransom trilogy (OUT OF THE SILENT PLANET, PERELANDRA and THAT HIDEOUS STRENGTH) ought to be read with his THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS, if only to get the "inside track" of how the possessed (or rather, dispossessed) Dr. Weston plans to handle the coming human population on the watery planet of love.
And a literal planet of love it is. Since love has its own innocence (which includes ignorance, unfortunately) it is a ripe target for the "Bent Eldil" (i.e., Satan) who has already corrupted Thulcandra (as Earth was named before the Fall).
Lewis brilliantly reinterprets traditional Christian mythology in his system of planetary trials. Malacandra (Mars) was never tempted and never fell; Earth was tempted and fell (but never had an advocate), and now Venus is being tempted --- but the Devil doesn't have a free field this time. The innocent Queen of Perelandra at least gets to listen to Ransom's arguments against the nature of evil.
Another of Lewis' strengths is that he "de-romanticizes" evil, making it an unpleasant, unintelligent malignance bloating itself on sheer nastiness (Ransom following the trail of flayed-but-living Venusian frogs to the possessed shell of Weston is quite chilling). It is an unforgettably repellant portrait of the Devil and his kin.
All of Lewis' re-imaginings of medieval superstition are equally brilliant and coherent, and they almost distract the reader from the sheer loveliness of the new world and its inventive life-forms. Think of the charm of VOYAGE OF THE DAWN TREADER translated into adult terms, and you'll get the idea.
It seems to me that Lewis might have based the central idea of this book on "The Tale of the Indian" in Maturin's MELMOTH THE WANDERER.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Philosophical
Narnia books are better- but these are definitely thought provoking. The question is: where are we going with our "progress"?
Published 4 months ago by Karen Toepp
5.0 out of 5 stars Lewis's favorite novel he ever wrote, his own version of PARADISE...
Though not as well known as Lewis's Narnia novels, he also wrote a series of three novels, featuring Elwin Ransom as the main protagonist, in the late 1930s and early to mid 1940s. Read more
Published on Sept. 1 2012 by Mike London
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book
This is the second book in C.S. Lewis's amazing Space Trilogy. This book was written as a sequel to the immensely popular Out of the Silent Planet but Lewis also wrote it so that... Read more
Published on Sept. 11 2006 by Steven R. McEvoy
1.0 out of 5 stars Stick with the original
'Out of the Silent Planet' is excellent, and the only decent book in the trilogy. It stands alone, so don't feel the need to read the other two books. Read more
Published on July 5 2004 by F.
2.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful description but preachy and tedious
I loved "Out of the Silent Planet" and "That Hideous Strength". The only reason I didn't put down "Perelandra' halfway through was because I wanted to... Read more
Published on Jan. 11 2002 by Danielle J. Whittaker
5.0 out of 5 stars Perelandra (A New Beginning).
Perelandra is a magnificently documented and narrated story of the beginnings of the new world. The descriptions of the surroundings around the entire planet made me feel as if I... Read more
Published on Sept. 18 2001 by Scott Hay
3.0 out of 5 stars Good fantasy work with Christian parallels
This is the second book in C.S. Lewis' popular Space Trilogy about the adventures of Dr. Ransom of Cambridge, which includes "Out of the Silent Planet,"... Read more
Published on Aug. 12 2001 by Carl A. Redman
5.0 out of 5 stars Fun AND allergorical
That wacky C.S. Lewis, thinking he can stick Christian ideals and
beliefs into a science-fictional setting. What gall. You know what
the funny part is? Read more
Published on Nov. 14 2000 by Michael Battaglia
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