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  • Perelandra

  • Ransom Trilogy, Book 2
  • Written by: C. S. Lewis
  • Narrated by: Geoffrey Howard
  • Length: 7 hrs and 47 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (138 ratings)

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Perelandra

Written by: C. S. Lewis
Narrated by: Geoffrey Howard
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Publisher's Summary

Perelandra is a planet of pleasure, an unearthly, misty world of strange desires, sweet smells, and delicious tastes, where beasts are friendly and naked beauty is unashamed, a new Garden of Eden, where the story of the oldest temptation is enacted in an intriguingly new way. Here, in the second part of the trilogy, Dr. Ransom's adventures continue against the backdrop of a religious allegory that, while it may seem quaint in its treatment of women today, nonetheless shows the capability of science to be an evil force tempting a ruler away from the path that has produced a paradisiac kingdom.

©1944 Clive Staples Lewis (P)2000 Blackstone Audiobooks

What the critics say

"Geoffrey Howard's skilled narration keeps the listener riveted. His scholarly handling of the text minimizes characterization, while easily distinguishing the players. Howard's respect for the subject matter equals Lewis's own and entices the listener to address serious questions of temptation and morality." (AudioFile)

What listeners say about Perelandra

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

The Mythic to Understand Life

A delightful sequel to Out of the Silent Planet. It seems to give me an awakened hunger for I don’t know what. The use of mythic language especially in the final chapter, seemed to pull back a curtain to give me a glimpse of the meaning of my world around me. This will take multiple hearings to extract what I hope from it

1 person found this helpful

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Absolutely fantastic novel

It was a great novel, great story. This novel can function as a stand alone, but it does flow from the first book.

It is a retelling is paradise lost so it should be read within that framework. Lewis explores the psychological battle of sin and evil. Ransom is raw and real.

1 person found this helpful

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Hope-inducing Imagination

Perelandra’s world-building filled my imagination and helped me stay hopeful in the midst of a difficult time. I want to live in a world like this.

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I enjoyed this book

Love this book, it was wonderful getting to relive it again after years since I read the physical book.

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Wow is all I got

captured even by the old reading and narrator from page one and the climax and adventure took me everywhere it wanted me to go... need to save this title and listen again and again

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It is a good book.

It is a spiritual book with a mysterious plot. It is a bit strange at the beginning but at the end it makes sense. This book is for people that like sci-fi. It is probably suitable for 10 years olds + because the bad guy gets possessed.

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    3 out of 5 stars

More religious allegory than science fiction.

I love C S Lewis. His prose beautiful and poetic. This novel is written in this beautiful style. However, the theme of this story did not appeal to me much. It is a religious allegory of the book of Genesis; of Eve and Adam. The last chapter was particular painful to listen to as it went on for great lengths about the glory of God. Great book for theological enthusiasts. Not for me though. I was hoping for good ‘ol science fiction.

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A book about possibilities

Great story about what life might have been like had we not sinned. The idea of Original Sin is core to any understanding of this book. What a creative mind C. S. Lewis must have to had to attempt such a work. The dialoguing with evil is a brilliant piece of writing. I guess that should be no surprise considering he also authored The Screwtape Letters. Haven't read the 3rd book in the series yet, but I look forward to it. I won't be picking it up immediately though. Need some time to let the content of this sit. It is more than a page turner type of story. More than accessible enough for those even without much background in theology/ philosophy.

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Deep and Rich

This is a deep work of fiction, with CS Lewis’s characteristic pattern of allegory and meaning underneath it all. I’ll need to read this again.

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Great work

This novel is my favorite from the author. I loved the parallels with our modern habits and the subtle criticism of our shortcomings. All that is coupled with deep, but easily digested underlying theology. I strongly recommend and also recommend listening to the first novel of the trilogy (though it has a completely different, yet just as potent effect on the soul)

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Tim
  • 2005-05-17

An Insightful Look at the Nature of Temptation

In contrast to the scoring by other reviewers, I felt that this was the strongest book in what is commonly known as "The Space Trilogy". Lewis' examination of the nature of temptation is truly fascinating as we consider how someone who may not fully realize the ramifications of disobedience can be easily misled by a clever tempter.

One of the strongest images that remains with me after listening to this book is the portrayal of Satan. One comes away with a greater understand of the hideous joy he derives from torturing, deceiving and harming creation after reading some rather grotesque scenes within the book.

Although the book does start slow (which is the case in all 3 books in the trilogy), it is a VERY worthy read and has become one of my favorites among Lewis' works of fiction. IMHO it ranks up there with "The Great Divorce" as one of Lewis' best.

The Narrator is also SUPERB!

60 people found this helpful

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  • Jim "The Impatient"
  • 2016-12-07

THE MAGICAL MYSTERY TOUR

YOU MAKE ME OLDER MORE QUICKLY THAN I CAN BARE
This is one of those books were people say, "I don't normally read this kind of book, but I liked this one." That means it is not for the normal Sci-Fi Lover. This has lots of flowery descriptions. This is either too deep for me or it is a poser.

I WAS YOUNG YESTERDAY

29 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 2008-02-20

Beautifully Crafted

I have listened to about 40 audio books and this one has pushed me to write a review.

I have never met a more insidious creature as one found in Perelandra. The "unman" character will chill you to the bone. He is worth meeting.

Lewis has the gift of building complex concepts residually for even the most ubiquitous experience so that sentence after sentence you find yourself understanding some concept through so many angles and metaphors that you will be surprised that your mind can even hold that much at one time.

Do not worry about book 1 and 3 of the series. They are not as good.

27 people found this helpful

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Rodney
  • 2008-06-01

Perelandra stands on its own.

Perelandra is one of my favorite C.S. Lewis books. Even though it is the second book in a trilogy, I think it stands on it's own merits as a great work. I read it before reading the other two books in the trilogy. Perelandra will cause you to pause and think about your own existence as Lewis examines the struggle between good and evil at the dawn of creation. This is a must read.

18 people found this helpful

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  • Katherine
  • 2012-09-19

The Garden of Eden on Venus

Perelandra is the second volume of C.S. Lewis’s SPACE TRILOGY and I liked it even better than Out of the Silent Planet, its predecessor. Cambridge professor Dr. Elwin Ransom is back on Earth and has told his friend Lewis about the adventures he had on the planet Mars and the supernatural beings he met there. When Ransom explains that there’s an epic battle between good and evil, that the planet Venus is about to play an important part, and that he’s been called to Venus to do some unknown task, Lewis begins to worry about his friend. Yet he decides to help him get to Venus anyway, so Ransom goes and eventually returns to tell his tale, which Lewis has transcribed for us.

Venus is gorgeous — a lush conglomerate of archipelagos where the land floats on top of the water, so that walking on it is like walking on a waterbed. The sky is full of stunning colors that Ransom has never seen before; exotic trees delight the eye and yield delicious fruit. Other than the strange but friendly animals, Ransom seems to be alone in this world — until he sees a beautiful naked woman waving from a neighboring island. When he finally meets her, he discovers that evil lurks in this seemingly perfect world.

If you were able to ignore the Christian allegory in Out of the Silent Planet, you won’t be able to do so in Perelandra — it’s a parallel version of humanity’s awakening in the Garden of Eden and Eve’s temptation to sin. Evil is trying to gain a foothold and Ransom suddenly realizes what it would mean to bring “the knowledge of good and evil” into a sinless paradise. Ransom discovers that the Biblical admonition to resist temptation may be a spiritual truth on Earth, but at this time on Venus it’s a real physical battle and he has been sent to fight it, both with words and fists.

C.S. Lewis, a lover of words and mythology, writes beautifully about the alien paradise of Venus and the possibility that what is myth in one world might be truth in another. He also has much to say about good and evil, sin and obedience, madness and sanity, loneliness and companionship, science and the supernatural, predestination and free will, the nature of God and man, and humanity’s purpose in the universe. Some readers will accuse Lewis of preachiness, I’m sure, and that’s something that usually annoys me, but though Ransom’s introspections go on a little too long, I found it impossible to resist the beauty, logic, and concision of his philosophizing.

I listened to Geoffrey Howard narrate Blackstone Audio’s version of Perelandra which is just under 8 hours long. Mr. Howard narrates rather than performs the story, which I think is suitable. I’ll certainly be listening to him read the concluding volume: That Hideous Strength.
Originally posted at FanLit.

12 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Bryan
  • 2008-12-31

Very good

This book was my favorite in the series. It is something of a speculative account of what might have happened in Eden under different circumstances. I've listened to it twice now, and recommend it for any Christian. The story line has a lot of great thought provoking material on pleasure, obedience, self deception, spiritual warfare, God's sovereignty and man's choices, and many other topics. A lot of it comes in dialog between the Lady, Ransom, and Weston. The narrator does a nice job. The book is engaging and well written, though a little dated, because it was pretty early for SciFi. This series is not as fun as the Narnia series, but has more theology and Christian philosophy. It was sometimes challenging to think about what Lewis was teaching at the same time as following the story, but well worth it.

6 people found this helpful

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  • Fr. Joseph
  • 2020-05-04

Lewis's finest example of depth and creativity.

This isn't as lovable as Narnia or witty as Screwtape, but the insight into the human psyche and heart was just as impactful. Ransom continues to show is mettle and strength of moral character as he travels through Venus. Lewis's description of evil is both on point and creepy. This is meant for slow reading, to be equally enjoyed and pondered.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Bob D
  • 2019-10-07

A story for the ages

I first read this book 50 years ago. This reading brings this timeless story back fresh and new.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Devin
  • 2012-11-06

Entertaining, insightful, theological? I want more

Where does Perelandra rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Tied for the best.

Who was your favorite character and why?

It's not a character-based story, so this is a tough question. If pressed, I'd say the green woman of Venus, who represents pre-fall/pre-sin humanity. A fantastically beautiful depiction of what was, could, and ought to be--but unfortunately isn't status quo.

Have you listened to any of Geoffrey Howard’s other performances before? How does this one compare?

Very similar to his reading of Out of the Silent Planet (the first of this "space trilogy").

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

I chuckled at parts, felt heartbreak and nearly teared up at parts, but mostly was engrossed in awe.

Any additional comments?

C. S. Lewis is a more than competent allegorical storyteller. Read his works and be changed.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Debra F
  • 2011-12-13

Take a bite Eve.

Would you consider the audio edition of Perelandra to be better than the print version?

I haven't read the print version. It's possible that some of the philosophical arguments would be easier to follow in print but it's also possible that some people would prefer to skip them entirely.

What did you like best about this story?

It's a science fiction version Garden of Eden. The descriptions of a completely imagined planet including flora and fauna were astounding. Does god WANT our disobedience?

What about Geoffrey Howard???s performance did you like?

Geoffrey Howard's performance was clear,precise and fascinating.

4 people found this helpful