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Out of the Silent Planet (Space Trilogy,…

Out of the Silent Planet (Space Trilogy, Book 1) (edition 1996)

by C. S. Lewis (Author)

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8,385134638 (3.85)217
In the first book of C.S. Lewis's legendary science fiction trilogy, Dr. Ransom is kidnapped and spirited by spaceship to the mysterious red planet of Malandra. He escapes and goes on the run, jeopardizing both his chances of ever returning to Earth and his very life. First published in 1943, this classic interplanetary fantasy continues to delight readers around the world. Written during the dark hours immediately before and during the Second World War, C.S. Lewis's Space Trilogy, of which Out of the Silent Planet is the first volume, stands alongside such works as Albert Camus's The Plague and George Orwell's 1984 as a timely parable that has become timeless, beloved by succeeding generations as much for the sheer wonder of its storytelling as for the significance of the moral concerns. For the trilogy's central figure, C.S. Lewis created perhaps the most memorable character of his career, the brilliant, clear-eyed, and fiercely brave philologist Dr. Elwin Ransom. Appropriately, Lewis modeled Dr. Ransom after his dear friend J.R.R. Tolkien, for in the scope of its imaginative achievement and the totality of its vision of not one but two imaginary worlds, the Space Trilogy is rivaled in this century only by Tolkien's trilogy The Lord of the Rings. Readers who fall in love with Lewis's fantasy series The Chronicles of Narnia as children, unfailingly cherish his Space Trilogy as adults; it, too, brings to life strange and magical realms in which epic battles are fought between the forces of light and those of darkness. But in the many layers of its allegory, and the sophistication and piercing brilliance of its insights into the human condition, it occupies a place among the English language's most extraordinary works for any age, and for all time. Out of the Silent Planet introduces Dr. Ransom and chronicles his abduction by a megalomaniacal physicist and his accomplice via space ship to the planet Malacandra. The two men are in need of a human sacrifice and Dr. Ransom would seem to fit the bill. Dr. Ransom escapes upon landing, though, and goes on the run, a stranger in a land that, like Jonathan Swift's Lilliput, is enchanting in its difference from Earth and instructive in its similarity.… (more)
Title:Out of the Silent Planet (Space Trilogy, Book 1)
Authors:C. S. Lewis (Author)
Info:Scribner (1996), Edition: Reprint, 160 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:kv, science fiction

Work details

Out of the Silent Planet by C. S. Lewis (Author)

  1. 31
    That Hideous Strength by C. S. Lewis (atrautz)
  2. 20
    Perelandra by C. S. Lewis (atrautz, KayCliff)
  3. 21
    The Dark Tower and Other Stories by C. S. Lewis (Sylak)
    Sylak: Once you've read every book C.S. Lewis published read this one for one last treat.
  4. 10
    The Shadow and Night by Chris Walley (legendaryneo)
    legendaryneo: This is another Christian space trilogy, and one of the best series I've ever read.
  5. 11
    Between Planets by Robert A. Heinlein (markusnenadovus)
    markusnenadovus: Lewis is great, but Heinlein does better SF

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» See also 217 mentions

English (128)  Swedish (2)  Spanish (1)  Italian (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Norwegian (1)  All languages (134)
Showing 1-5 of 128 (next | show all)
Wow. I loved this book. I feel as though I was there myself.

Spoilery thoughts here:

75-year-old book spoiler alert! LOL ( )
  CiaraCat | Jan 9, 2020 |
Synopsis: Ransom is kidnapped and taken to another planet where he is to be given to the aliens who inhabit it, presumably as a sacrifice to their primitive Gods. Ransom escapes his captives and explores the planet.

My Rating:


I didn't enjoy this book but I felt it was well written. C S Lewis is a great author and his stories are creative. This one just wasn't for me.

This book was extremely slow and detailed about things such as the flora and fauna of the planet. I was bored through much of that though once Ransom starts interacting with the aliens I was engaged. I liked the parts of the book where he was interacting with the aliens and learning about their culture.

The rest of this book was extremely descriptive which just isn't engaging for me. Lewis clearly had done research and it was clear that Ransom is an educated character who has a background in science. For the time this was written C S Lewis got a surprising amount right about space travel and science stuff (as far as I can tell).

This plot was interesting and could have been really awesome if the book had moved faster and had more going on. This book feels more like a travelogue of the planet than a story.

If you loved Narnia this probably isn't for you. I loved the story of Narnia though so much about it was sparse. There was enough content to make the book interesting and entertaining but not to drag.

On the other hand, if you really like books that explore strange settings this book might be right up your alley.

It wasn't for me but my brother, who I buddy read with, loved it. He will be continuing on with the series though I don't think I will. ( )
  authorjanebnight | Nov 15, 2019 |
Writing: 4.5; pretty good writing overall from C. S. Lewis, better than the Narnia I've read thus far (Magician's Nephew).
Theme: 4.0; Ransom, a doctor, is lured into a gathering consisting of an old schoolmate, Devine, and a fellow doctor, Weston, believing it to be a scientific experiment -- until he learns that he is part of the experiment. He is captured to be live bait and a human sacrifice to a colony of bizarre alien creatures on Malacandra before surprising happenings transform Ransom's perception of the predicament.
Content: 5.0; nothing overtly objectionable, aside from a few violent scenes.
Language: 4.0; surprisingly, the book consists of about 10 uses of profanity, a shock considering Lewis's Christian beliefs and standards.

The first book in his acclaimed Space Trilogy, C. S. Lewis presents the story of Doctor Ransom, a physicist, as he is trekking along a country road before stumbling upon an old schoolmate, Devine, and another doctor, Weston, who are able to convince him to join them in a mission concerning science, and this immediately gets Ransom's attention. He agrees, only to learn that he won't be helping in the experiment; he's part of it. The two capture him and he soon learns that he will be a human sacrifice to the alien locals on a distant world, Malacandra (Mars in our terminology). Upon his arrival, Ransom is able to escape the grasp of his captors and eventually runs into the locals, learning that they are not all bent on destruction; they just want to protect their home from the invaders (Devine and Weston), who wish to preserve the human race by immigrating them to a new world. The book has an interesting concept, and the fact alone that C. S. Lewis, known for his brilliance in the Narnia books and other works concerning Christian theology, wrote a sci-fi trilogy should be enough to get anyone excited. However, I felt that the book itself didn't play out as expected, and at times it was rather boring, being mostly absent of action sequences (not always a deal breaker mind you, I just felt it could've just a bit more lightening up). Another critique I have of the book is the extensive use of vulgarity found in the volume. For being such a short book (only about 180 pages in my copy), it used a number of profanities early on, but it slacked off and used only one or two more in sparsity towards the end. A rather unfortunate circumstance for a Christian author, so hopefully he doesn't continue this trend in his other volumes. All in all, I found this book interesting and entertaining, but it could've used with a bit more "meat" to the story, but I'm sure it picks up; it is just the first part after all, and it's a short one at that. Recommended for fans of Mr. Lewis and science fiction, with this criticisms in mind. ***September 7, 2019*** ( )
  DarthTindalus | Oct 7, 2019 |
Writing: 4.5; Theme: 4.0; Content: 5.0; Language: 4.0; Overall: 4.0; This was the first in the classic Space Trilogy from C. S. Lewis and the first that I have read. The story begins when Dr. Ransom is kidnaped by crazy physicist (Weston) and his accomplice (Devine). They transport him via spaceship to the planet Malacandra with the plan to use him as a needed human sacrifice. Upon arrival, Ransom escapes and meets many interesting characters upon the Malacandrian planet. With the help of the foreign beings he is transported back to Earth with Weston and Devine under his control. This was an interesting book, but didn't match up to my expectations. It also had about 10 or so uses of vulgarity (which was surprising due to the fact of Lewis's Christian testimony). Recommend. ***September 7, 2019*** (Read with Jonathan) ( )
  jntjesussaves | Sep 28, 2019 |
Stumbling upon his old schoolmate Devine and a physicist named Weston, Ransom is brought along on a voyage to Mars - or, as the natives call it, Malacandra - in this examination of first contact and humanity.

I first read this book probably when I was college age, before I started keeping track of my reading and reviewing every book. I remember my mom telling me that she hadn't liked the trilogy much, but liking it pretty well overall. I picked it up again having recently read Mere Humanity, an exploration by professor Donald T. Williams in the ways what it means to be human is explored in primarily C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien's works. So I confess on this reread, I was paying particular attention to what it means to be human or a moral, rational species even if inhuman. Not a lot happens in terms of plot, but it does delve into what it might mean if there is intelligent life elsewhere from a Christian worldview, that perhaps hasn't been "bent" to evil as humans are. Though it could stand on its own, I think it ends up laying a lot of the groundwork further explored in Perelandra and That Hideous Strength. ( )
  bell7 | Jun 16, 2019 |
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» Add other authors (24 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lewis, C. S.Authorprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Chu, KaiCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Craft, KinukoCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Howard, GeoffreyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kannosto, MattiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Koven, BrookeDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nielsen, CliffCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Symancyk, BernardCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To my brother W. H. L. a life-long critic of the space-and-time story
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The last drops of the thundershower had hardly ceased falling when the Pedestrian stuffed his map into his pocket, settled his pack more comfortably on his tired shoulders, and stepped out from the shelter of a large chestnut-tree into the middle of the road.
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