February 11, 2014


As I said in the last entry, I wanted to wait until That Hideous Strength arrived before I reviewed the other two books in the Space Trilogy. However, it hasn't arrived as yet and I grew impatient. :-) Therefore, I bring to you 2 reviews plus a preview! Yay!!

Out of the Silent Planet saw our hero (although you wouldn't think of him as such at first) kidnapped and taken to a planet called Malacandra (to inhabitants of Tellus or Earth this would be Mars). He escapes his captors and on his journey across this entirely foreign land where he meets the planet's inhabitants, learns their language (he's a philologist), and adapts to their way of living we discover there's mischief afoot. This isn't simply an exploratory mission for his captors. One is determined to make riches from the planet's precious stones while the other seeks to find a new world for humanity to inhabit. What will Ransom do to stop them? <cue tense music>

Perelandra begins with Ransom back at home in England where he has revealed the entirety of his adventures to the author of the tales (we're made to believe this is a factual story disguised as science fiction by C.S. Lewis himself). There's a new mission that has been given to Ransom which involves him traveling through space once again except this time it's to Perelandra (that's Venus if you're curious). He's told nothing more about his trip except it's vital that he goes and he may or may not return to Tellus after the mission's completion. Once there he meets a beautiful Green Lady (this is her title for the majority of the book which is why I've capitalized it) who lives on ever moving lands on the water's surface. She is not yet "grown" which means that she has much to learn from this stranger (and he from her as it turns out). Things seem idyllic until they have a visitor from Ransom's past. If it wasn't apparent in the book which preceded this one Lewis has cleverly created a sci-fi/fantasy novel which illustrates the ultimate struggle between Good and Evil. Ransom directly battles with the 'Bent One' (aka the Devil) for the spiritual welfare of not only the Green Lady but the entire body of people which are soon to populate the planet. Will he succeed? <ominous fade to black>

So suffice it to say, I'm quite intrigued to see what the last book in the trilogy will bring for our hero (you see why he's a hero now right?).

I decided to start in on a two-in-one by one of my favorite mystery authors (or really he's just a favorite) Rex Stout. Some of you may have heard of him but for those who haven't he's the creator of the world's greatest (and I think first) armchair detective, Nero Wolfe. However, in my opinion (and in many others) it's Wolfe's confidential assistant, Archie Goodwin, that Stout really triumphed. A character worthy of being called a 'literary triumph', Goodwin fairly leaps off of the pages. The two-in-one that I picked up includes two cases: The Rubber Band  and The Red Box. The first of these has so many moving parts and so many characters that even though I'm about 75% of the way through I haven't the foggiest notion of whodunit (I generally never know until the very end though so don't put all of your eggs in my basket). A beautiful woman, a murder, accusations of larceny, and a Marquis round out the story and keep the reader on their toes bracing for what might happen next. The second mystery is about a red box...full of cyanide laced sweets. Who poisoned the candies and who's next?!