Perelandra is a planet of pleasure, an unearthly, misty world of strange desires, sweet smells, and delicious tastes, where beasts are friendly and naked beauty is unashamed, a new Garden of Eden, where the story of the oldest temptation is enacted in an intriguingly new way. Here, in the second part of the trilogy, Dr. Ransom's adventures continue against the backdrop of a religious allegory that, while it may seem quaint in its treatment of women today, nonetheless shows the capability of science to be an evil force tempting a ruler away from the path that has produced a paradisiac kingdom.
©1944 Clive Staples Lewis; (P)2000 Blackstone Audiobooks
"Geoffrey Howard's skilled narration keeps the listener riveted. His scholarly handling of the text minimizes characterization, while easily distinguishing the players. Howard's respect for the subject matter equals Lewis's own and entices the listener to address serious questions of temptation and morality." (AudioFile)
Computer Programmer and Worship Leader. Have enjoyed reading since my mom got me hooked on Nancy Drew and Agatha Christie prior to my teen years. My brother got me hooked on audio books after I started having a longer commute to work. Love a variety of genres.
In contrast to the scoring by other reviewers, I felt that this was the strongest book in what is commonly known as "The Space Trilogy". Lewis' examination of the nature of temptation is truly fascinating as we consider how someone who may not fully realize the ramifications of disobedience can be easily misled by a clever tempter.
One of the strongest images that remains with me after listening to this book is the portrayal of Satan. One comes away with a greater understand of the hideous joy he derives from torturing, deceiving and harming creation after reading some rather grotesque scenes within the book.
Although the book does start slow (which is the case in all 3 books in the trilogy), it is a VERY worthy read and has become one of my favorites among Lewis' works of fiction. IMHO it ranks up there with "The Great Divorce" as one of Lewis' best.
The Narrator is also SUPERB!
Perelandra is one of my favorite C.S. Lewis books. Even though it is the second book in a trilogy, I think it stands on it's own merits as a great work. I read it before reading the other two books in the trilogy. Perelandra will cause you to pause and think about your own existence as Lewis examines the struggle between good and evil at the dawn of creation. This is a must read.
I have listened to about 40 audio books and this one has pushed me to write a review.
I have never met a more insidious creature as one found in Perelandra. The "unman" character will chill you to the bone. He is worth meeting.
Lewis has the gift of building complex concepts residually for even the most ubiquitous experience so that sentence after sentence you find yourself understanding some concept through so many angles and metaphors that you will be surprised that your mind can even hold that much at one time.
Do not worry about book 1 and 3 of the series. They are not as good.
Tied for the best.
It's not a character-based story, so this is a tough question. If pressed, I'd say the green woman of Venus, who represents pre-fall/pre-sin humanity. A fantastically beautiful depiction of what was, could, and ought to be--but unfortunately isn't status quo.
Very similar to his reading of Out of the Silent Planet (the first of this "space trilogy").
I chuckled at parts, felt heartbreak and nearly teared up at parts, but mostly was engrossed in awe.
C. S. Lewis is a more than competent allegorical storyteller. Read his works and be changed.
I'm the managing editor of the Fantasy Literature blog. Life's too short to read bad books!
Perelandra is the second volume of C.S. Lewis’s SPACE TRILOGY and I liked it even better than Out of the Silent Planet, its predecessor. Cambridge professor Dr. Elwin Ransom is back on Earth and has told his friend Lewis about the adventures he had on the planet Mars and the supernatural beings he met there. When Ransom explains that there’s an epic battle between good and evil, that the planet Venus is about to play an important part, and that he’s been called to Venus to do some unknown task, Lewis begins to worry about his friend. Yet he decides to help him get to Venus anyway, so Ransom goes and eventually returns to tell his tale, which Lewis has transcribed for us.
Venus is gorgeous — a lush conglomerate of archipelagos where the land floats on top of the water, so that walking on it is like walking on a waterbed. The sky is full of stunning colors that Ransom has never seen before; exotic trees delight the eye and yield delicious fruit. Other than the strange but friendly animals, Ransom seems to be alone in this world — until he sees a beautiful naked woman waving from a neighboring island. When he finally meets her, he discovers that evil lurks in this seemingly perfect world.
If you were able to ignore the Christian allegory in Out of the Silent Planet, you won’t be able to do so in Perelandra — it’s a parallel version of humanity’s awakening in the Garden of Eden and Eve’s temptation to sin. Evil is trying to gain a foothold and Ransom suddenly realizes what it would mean to bring “the knowledge of good and evil” into a sinless paradise. Ransom discovers that the Biblical admonition to resist temptation may be a spiritual truth on Earth, but at this time on Venus it’s a real physical battle and he has been sent to fight it, both with words and fists.
C.S. Lewis, a lover of words and mythology, writes beautifully about the alien paradise of Venus and the possibility that what is myth in one world might be truth in another. He also has much to say about good and evil, sin and obedience, madness and sanity, loneliness and companionship, science and the supernatural, predestination and free will, the nature of God and man, and humanity’s purpose in the universe. Some readers will accuse Lewis of preachiness, I’m sure, and that’s something that usually annoys me, but though Ransom’s introspections go on a little too long, I found it impossible to resist the beauty, logic, and concision of his philosophizing.
I listened to Geoffrey Howard narrate Blackstone Audio’s version of Perelandra which is just under 8 hours long. Mr. Howard narrates rather than performs the story, which I think is suitable. I’ll certainly be listening to him read the concluding volume: That Hideous Strength.
Originally posted at FanLit.
I haven't read the print version. It's possible that some of the philosophical arguments would be easier to follow in print but it's also possible that some people would prefer to skip them entirely.
It's a science fiction version Garden of Eden. The descriptions of a completely imagined planet including flora and fauna were astounding. Does god WANT our disobedience?
Geoffrey Howard's performance was clear,precise and fascinating.
The second in this series Lewis decides to get serious. While spinning a great and imaginative story he delves into the Garden of Eden. How was Eve tempted, what was it like for Eve, What did she think after seeing herself for the first time in a mirror. Of course the story actually takes place on Venus, but all the illusions are there. In my opion only CS Lewis can get into the mind of Satan better than anyone. A fantastic story on every level,
Yes, I would most certainly recommend to a friend. Although, C.S. Lewis is best known for his essay works and Narnia, his science fiction saga is almost as enlightening, is thought provoking and very entertaining. He was a brilliant thinker and writer.
A war between good and evil, Godliness versus Godlessness.
An incredibly inspiring and creative story that both captured my imagination and caused me to think deeply about life as we know it in this fallen world.
This book was my favorite in the series. It is something of a speculative account of what might have happened in Eden under different circumstances. I've listened to it twice now, and recommend it for any Christian. The story line has a lot of great thought provoking material on pleasure, obedience, self deception, spiritual warfare, God's sovereignty and man's choices, and many other topics. A lot of it comes in dialog between the Lady, Ransom, and Weston. The narrator does a nice job. The book is engaging and well written, though a little dated, because it was pretty early for SciFi. This series is not as fun as the Narnia series, but has more theology and Christian philosophy. It was sometimes challenging to think about what Lewis was teaching at the same time as following the story, but well worth it.
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