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Re: What was Lewis's best book?

PostPosted: 20 Aug 2010, 19:12
by archenland_knight
Alright, I finally voted. For me, the choice has always been between Perelandra and Till We Have Faces.

I finally voted TWHF. The "tiebreaker" for me was that TWHF stands alone, whereas Perelandra really needs for you to have read another book, Out Of The Silent Planet, to get the full impact. Don't get me wrong. OoTSP is an awesome book too. In fact, if one of the choices had been "OoTSP and Perelandra published in a single volume", I would probably still be making up my mind.

If you throw THS in with OoTSP and Perelandra though, my choice quickly goes to TWHF. I just didn't like THS nearly as well as the other two books in that series. If published in a single volume with them, I feel it would bring down the series.

Something I have observed about both THS and The Sliver Chair, though. For most Lewis fans, each of those books is either the best of it's series, or the worst of it's series. I've never seen anyone rate SC as, say #3 among the CoN books. It's always #1 or #7. (My oldest son refused to finish it.) Seldom anywhere in between. The same is true of THS. No one rates THS in between OoTSP and Perelandra. Either it's by far the best book of the series, or significantly inferior to the other two. Never anything in between.

And, does it seem to you that however a person rates SC in CoN, they will rate THS the same way in the Space Trilogy? It seems that way to me, but maybe my "sample population" is too small.

It surprises me though, that on a forum for adult fans of C.S. Lewis, LWW is beating the stuffing out of The Screwtape Letters. I'm not trying to be critical. I'm just saying I'm surprised.

I wonder, with enough research, could we learn how to construct personality profiles of people simply by evaluating the way in which they rank Lewis' work?

Re: What was Lewis's best book?

PostPosted: 21 Aug 2010, 07:50
by galion
I'm an exception to that. I regard THS as an interesting failure - absolutely fascinating, but ultimately a failure - but I have no particular feelings one way or another about SC. Mind you, I have to make a confession - I'm not really a Narnian ... :lipssealed: