That Hideous Strength

That Hideous Strength

A Modern Fairy-tale for Grown-ups

Book - 1996
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Written during the dark hours immediately before and during the Second World War, C. S. Lewis's Space Trilogy, of which That Hideous Strength is the third volume, stands alongside such works as Albert Camus's The Plague and George Orwell's 1984 as a timely parable that has become timeless, beloved by succeeding generations as much for the sheer wonder of its storytelling as for the significance of its moral concerns. For the trilogy's central figure, C. S. Lewis created perhaps the most memorable character of his career, the brilliant, clear-eyed, and fiercely brave philologist Dr. Elwin Ransom. Appropriately, Lewis modeled Dr. Ransom on his dear friend J. R. R. Tolkien, for in the scope of its imaginative achievement and the totality of its vision of not one but two imaginary worlds, the Space Trilogy is rivaled in this century only by Tolkien's trilogy The Lord of the Rings. Readers who fall in love with Lewis's fantasy series The Chronicles of Narnia as children unfailingly cherish his Space Trilogy as adults; it, too, brings to life strange and magical realms in which epic battles are fought between the forces of light and those of darkness. But in the many layers of its allegory, and the sophistication and piercing brilliance of its insights into the human condition, it occupies a place among the English language's most extraordinary works for any age, and for all time.
In That Hideous Strength, the final installment of the Space Trilogy, the dark forces that have been repulsed in Out of the Silent Planet and Perelandra are massed for an assault on the planet Earth itself. Word is on the wind that the mighty wizard Merlin has come back to the land of the living after many centuries, holding the key to ultimate power for the force that can find him and bend him to its will. A sinister technocratic organization that is gaining force throughout England, N.I.C.E. (the National Institute of Coordinated Experiments), secretly controlled by humanity's mortal enemies, plans to use Merlin in their plot to "recondition" society. Dr. Ransom forms a countervailing group, Logres, in opposition, and the two groups struggle to a climactic resolution that brings the Space Trilogy to a magnificent, crashing close.
Publisher: New York :, Scribner Classics,, 1996.
Edition: First Scribner Classics edition.
ISBN: 9780684833675
Branch Call Number: SCF LEWI
Characteristics: 380 pages ; 25 cm


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Feb 01, 2017

At times,exciting and interesting and at times, densely and impenetrably didactic to a degree that has no place in a work of fiction!

Jan 31, 2017

The conclusion to CS Lewis' Space Trilogy brings the series back to Thulcandra, the Silent Planet, home of the Bent One, known to its inhabitants as Earth. For the first time, Elwin Ransom is not the main character, though he is still a vital part of the story, his time in Perelandra has made him more than ever an image of Christ, the Fisher-King, the wounded but undying leader of Logres, keeper of the wisdom that came out of the West from the Numinor that was. The focus now passes to a young married couple. Jane Studdock is struggling, as newlyweds do, to come to terms with the changes marriage brings, trying to be a good wife without surrendering her independence while coping with a husband who is now less attentive (and who seems more ordinary) than he was when he was a suitor - she is also experiencing increasingly vivid and terrifying dreams that may be more than dreams. Her husband, Mark, is working hard to do what, he believes, good husbands do - get ahead in the world. He has already secured a spot among the progressive clique guiding the future of Bracton College, and he is even being considered for membership in the National Institute for Coordinated Experiments. The N.I.C.E. is where the future of the world is being determined, to join is to become one of the directors of human destiny, and the price for entry is merely his soul.

That Hideous Strength is a fictional exploration of Lewis' observations from The Abolition of Man with an overlay of Charles Williams' neo-Platonic mysticism. The result resembles an urban fantasy equivalent of Brave New World. Unlike Huxley, however, Lewis' talent for memorable characters fills his world with colorful figures including the sadistic policewoman Miss Hardcastle, a friendly bear named Mr Bultitude, and the reawakened wizard Merlin. Combined with Lewis' customary intelligence and insight into human nature, this makes That Hideous Strength a very good book indeed.

Oct 21, 2016

Less about Dr. Ransom, and more about the others who surround him, those who are good and those who are, well, not so very good. Really interesting (I stayed up WAY too late trying to finish it) and more real than the other two. It seems to hit closer to home. Absolutely amazing.

Apr 21, 2015

I have read the Space Trilogy before, but this is the title I keep rereading. In fact, it led me to an essay of his that I included in my master's thesis on retributive justice. I highly recommend it.

Dec 13, 2012

Probably the heaviest one of the Space Trilogy.

euclid13 Aug 13, 2012

SPLENDID. I have read this trilogy several times. They stand among the best.


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Oct 21, 2016

Coarse Language: The word d--- is used throughout the book, mostly by the "bad guys."


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