Source: Sacramento Library
Rating: 8 out of 10
Challenge: Dewey’s 24-Hour Readathon
Synopsis (from the product description): The second book in C. S. Lewis’s acclaimed Space Trilogy, 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?
Overall Impression: I love what CS Lewis does with Christianity in his literature. In Perelandra, instead of creating a pure allegory of the Adam and Eve story, he takes the same basic framework and posits what might have happened if Eve had never succumbed to the snake’s temptation. By far, the most interesting and compelling part of this book was the dialogue between The Lady (the Eve character) and Weston (Satan). The arguments that Weston puts forth trying to convince The Lady to walk in her own way could have convinced anyone. He played to her beauty, to potential martyrdom and sacrifice, to her desire to please God. I thought that Lewis did a great job expanding upon the short dialogue in the Bible to show what Eve may have struggled with when tempted by Satan. I also thought that Satan’s tactics against Ransom were very realistic — just wearing him down until he had no strength left. How often do we feel this way?
For some reason, though, this book was hard for to me to get through in places. This is partly Lewis’s writing — it can be fairly dense at times. I was also tired and not feeling so well. I think this will definitely be a reread at some point — I’d love to listen to it on audio (if it even exists in that format).
Positives: Lewis expands upon and changes up a very familiar story, and in the process creates a very beautiful science fiction tale.
Negatives: Lewis is…Lewis. Some readers might find his writing a little hard to understand.
Other books I’ve read by CS Lewis:
The Horse and His Boy (review)
The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe
The Magician’s Nephew
Out of the Silent Planet (review)
Prince Caspian (review)
The Problem of Pain (review)
The Silver Chair (review)
Till We Have Faces (review)
Voyage of the Dawn Treader (review)
Other blogger opinions:
Living Apologetics: “He spends forever in descriptions and other lengthy passages that don’t contribute much to moving the plot along. Being essentially impatient, I struggle with that.”
Booknotes by Lisa: “Perelandra is full of symbolism, but it’s not simply Christian fiction. It’s a story of good vs. evil in all its forms.”
Honey and Locusts: “It’s truly one of the greatest pieces of literature I’ve read from any genre; it’s a shame it’s not more well-known!”