Thursday, October 15, 2009
What I just finished reading yesterday
This is the third book of C.S. Lewis's Space Trilogy: That Hideous Strength
Overall impression: Not a bad read at all. Not great, but enjoyable.
The tone of the book is vastly different from that of its predecessors, Out of the Silent Planet and Perelandra. Where the events of the first two books take place on Mars and Venus, respectively, everything that happens here happens on Earth. It's a classic battle between good and evil, but the evil is disguised as a vast new government entity (called the National Institute of Co-ordinated Experiments, or N.I.C.E. -- get it?) that threatens to take over post-WWII England with political manipulations and engineered revolutions. (On second thought, maybe a vast government entity is not such a good disguise at all.) The diabolical plots fail, of course, when Ransom and his cohorts get a little help from a revived Merlin who takes away the language from the evil ones, and England survives their machinations while the main character, Mark, discovers the love for his wife he had never before realized.
In any case, I think the writing here is much better than in the previous two books, and if you were to decide to choose just one title from the Space Trilogy to read, forsaking the others, I would suggest this one. It's a bit outlandish in parts, and overall it's fairly predictable (I don't know how much that would be true in the mid-1940s, though), but not bad if you are a Lewis fan.