Lewis has a way of tricking you into thinking you are simply reading a fantastic narrative, when in reality he is causing you to explore some very deep thoughts. Nowhere is this more evident, than in the second volume of his science fiction trilogy: Perelandra.
In the simplest of terms, Perelandra is the tale of a man’s journey to Venus. Lewis uses this plot to explore a giant “what if” and see what it might have been like in the very beginning of creation before sin had entered the picture. The very nature and operation of temptation and sin is seen, and not in the way we are used to seeing it. We do not see the effects and consequences of sin. We see how temptation works in a world where only the potential for sin exists.
We also see one of the most effective and creepy embodiments of evil depicted in literature. This is supposedly Lewis’ simplification and commentary on Milton’s Paradise Lost. If you have to choose one of these two books to read, Perelandra is infinitely more readable.
Shortly after Perelandra was written, the movie rights were sold, but a film version has never been made. That is not hard to understand, considering most of your cast would have to be stark naked for the duration, and the only clothed character would be a walking corpse! Not to mention the fact that until a couple of years ago, the visuals would have been impossible to bring to the screen.
If you have never read this book, and remain unconvinced, just give the first chapter a shot. It is a rare instance where Lewis himself is in the story, and his description of very realistic spiritual warfare he encounters on a dusky walk in the country is brilliant.
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