100 Book Challenge—Book #3: Out of the Silent Planet by C. S. Lewis
Since I first began as a philology major at the University of Dallas, people have been telling me I need to read Lewis’ Space Trilogy, which features a philologist (based on my own dear John Ronald Reuel Tolkien) as the main character. I, of course, wanted to read the book, but as a philology major (and later a philology major in exile), I never had the time. Deacon Mike Brooks, my high school youth minister and mentor, insisted that I read it. Daddy bought it for me for Christmas in 2010, but I didn’t get a chance to crack it open until Christmas break 2011. Then, I accidentally left it at home when I came back to Indy and I couldn’t finish it until Hannah brought it to me on my birthday (thanks, Han, you’re a life saver!).
Of course, I loved it. I mean, how could I not love something Lewis wrote? I especially enjoyed the philological ramblings and I seriously would love to know more about the language on Malacandra. Lewis’ language for the book, Old Solar, was fun, though not as complex as the ones Tolkien derived for his world (although, I’m not an expert in Old Solar, so maybe it is. It’s curiously like Latin in its grammar, particularly its pluralization).
Yet, in addition to my own language-geekness, I dearly loved the myth and the story. There was a sort of implicit, not exactly spoken but talked around, explanation of original sin that reminds me greatly of what one finds in The Silmarillion. And when I came to the end and discovered that the “silent planet” was in fact our own, it was quite a revelation.
Lewis did not disappoint me in this one. It’s easy enough to read and enjoyable. I highly recommend it.