Author ~ C.S. Lewis
Pages ~ 160 (paperback)
Memorable Quotes: “The love of knowledge is a kind of madness.”
“And how could we endure to live and let time pass if we were always crying for one day or one year to come back–if we did not know that every day in a life fills the whole life with expectation and memory and that these are that day?”
Oooh, there are so very many good quotes!! XD
Favorite Character: Hmm…I do love Ransom, but I don’t know if he’s my favorite. Favorites are difficult, and it’s been a while since I read this book!
Summary: In the first novel of C.S. Lewis’s classic science fiction trilogy, Dr Ransom, a Cambridge academic, is abducted and taken on a spaceship to the red planet of Malacandra, which he knows as Mars. His captors are plotting to plunder the planet’s treasures and plan to offer Ransom as a sacrifice to the creatures who live there. Ransom discovers he has come from the ‘silent planet’ – Earth – whose tragic story is known throughout the universe…
(Thanks to Goodreads!)
I Rate It: 5/5 Stars ~*~ My bookshelf would be empty without it!
If you’re a brave soul who doesn’t mind a sometimes tricky read and is looking for a sci-fi adventure in book form, look no further!
This book starts out with an average Joe of a guy, though with a name like Ransom how average can he be? But by the rest of his description, a professor of philology at Cambridge, he seems just like a normal man. Certainly not the kind of man that would end up on the adventure he soon finds himself caught up in.
He’s traveling by foot (touring the English Midlands) and looking for a place to spend the night. He finds a place owned by a Professor Weston, and also sees an old schoolfellow by the name of Devine—a man whom he always disliked. The men had yet to notice him when he hears a struggle from somewhere nearby. Hurrying around to see what is wrong, Ransom finds the two men trying to force a young man (of a rather dull mind) into some sort of structure that was on the property. He intervenes and sends the boy back home to his mother–we had seen her earlier, for just a short while, worrying about her son and asking Ransom to fetch him from Weston’s property where he worked. Weston, a wickedly smart man, had some ulterior motives as he invited Ransom in for a drink.
The man ends up drugged and when he finally stirs again he finds himself in what he discovers to be a spherical sort of room. It has a large window in it from which he watches what took him a long time to figure out was space itself. Though he doesn’t know it yet, Ransom is headed towards the planet of Malacandra; on a very different trip than the one he had set out on prior to the beginning of this book.
It takes them quite some time to reach the planet, but he is by no means relieved when they finally do so. Weston and Devine have, apparently, discovered this creature that they seem to want to offer Ransom to; he had heard their plans, though, and has brought a knife along onto the planet and is planning to escape as soon as he can. As soon as they leave their ship, Ransom is confused by the obvious lodgings that he finds, but soon realizes that they are nothing more than structures built by his captors on a previous visit. One of the men has made the trip to gather up the bountiful gold on the planet; the other has another purpose that is far more philosophical.
The terrible creature that the men wanted to hand Ransom over to, a Sorn, is seen not long after arriving on Malacandra; it’s a terrifying creature that is impossibly tall. The man gets his chance to escape, though, and runs for hours. He observes that the mountains are incredibly tall and thin, as are the trees; everything is a different color than expected, but in a beautiful sort of way. Eventually he realizes that the force of gravity on this planet is far less than it is on Earth, which makes his trip a great deal easier.
He soon comes across another creature, this one being far kinder in appearance though still frightening. It’s a Hross; this creature is also tall, but unlike the previously encountered Sorn, it is furry and seems very gentle. It resembles something like an otter, really; with a “glossy coat, liquid eye, sweet breath and the whitest teeth.” In fact, it actually begins speaking to Ransom…in a language which he doesn’t speak. But he is quickly able to decipher what it is telling him (he is a professor of philology) and discovers that this thing’s name is Hyoi. He joins Hyoi’s village and lives there for several months; he learns all about Malacandra and the species that live there. In addition to the Seroni, there are also Eldila and Pfifltriggi (yes, that is what they’re called…gotta love C.S. Lewis!). And something called Oyarsa, which doesn’t make sense, but he apparently knows everything and has existed for a very long time.
Sadly, there is an accident, the details of which I shan’t go into—I don’t want to give it all away. But it results in Ransom going to find this above mentioned Oyarsa. The thought of doing so terrifies him, but what has happened has given him no choice.
It is a beautiful book full of breathtaking descriptions and things that I wish really did exist. The imagination of C.S. Lewis will never cease to astound me! And, even in all of the fiction, he mentions other religious type ideas that are interesting, too!
Happy reading, friends!