This one was actually a re-read. I’ve read this book a number of times and something fresh strikes me every time. This story is Lewis’s striking contribution to “Prophetic” fiction–on par with 1984, Atlas Shrugged, Fahrenheit 451, etc… It’s actually the final installment of his “space” trilogy including Out of a Silent Planet and Paralandra (both great stories on their own but very different stories). Anyway, the story takes place in England shortly after the 2nd World War pans back and forth between the efforts of a shadowy institution–menacingly flexing its influence in government, media, and academia–to plunge the world into a totalitarian dystopia and the small, eclectic band of underdogs fiercely struggling to save it. All these pivot on young couple trying to balance their urbane, progressive aspirations with the inescapable nuances of human affection.
Honestly, only Lewis could pull off a story like this–and he does so brilliantly! The story touches on everything from social relationships to politics to philosophy to Arthurian legend ultimately producing a rich picture of God’s simple, undeniable goodness and our various reflections of that. One of my all time favorite books, this one is great by itself or as the capstone to the trilogy. I recommend simply reading through it as a narrative your first time, then linger over each aspect later. Great story, fascinating insight–deep, rich, unnervingly familiar, and thoroughly enjoyable.