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Just as readers have been transfixed by the stories, characters, and deeper meanings of Lewis's timeless tales in The Chronicles of Narnia, most find this same allure in his classic Space Trilogy. In these fantasy stories for adults, we encounter, once again, magical creatures, a world of wonders, epic battles, and revelations of transcendent truths.

Perelandra, the second novel in Lewis's science fiction trilogy, tells of Dr. Ransom's voyage to the paradise planet of Perelandra, or Venus, which turns out to be a beautiful Eden-like world. He is horrified to find that his old enemy, Dr. Weston, has also arrived and is putting him in grave peril once more. As the mad Weston's body is taken over by the forces of evil, Ransom engages in a desperate struggle to save the innocence of Perelandra!

Topics: Dark, Angels, Trilogy, Speculative Fiction, Allegory, Christianity, Space Travel, Adventurous, Inspirational, and Inklings

Published: HarperCollins on Apr 3, 2012
ISBN: 9780062196934
List price: $6.99
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This allegory will definitely make you think about Creation and the Fall of man in a new light even if you don't agree with everything written. C S Lewis is an amazing thinker and author. read more
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An amazing sequel to 'out of the silent planet'. while OSP was fictional with a hint of philosophy and religion, in this book, both are blatant and natural all at the same time. Ransom arrives on the fairly young planet of Venus (whereas Mars was at it's end and Earth is in it's middle to find a strange environment, and one living being. The Eve (the queen, the mother) of Venus, who has lost Adam (the king, the father. the search is going fine until the devil shows up and Ransom must protect the mother from sinning as eve did, and not get killed.read more
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I'm sorry to say that this was real work for me to get through...i enjoyed 'out of the silent planet' but this had very little story and much expostulation....too much! The simpleton in me reads for entertainment and mostly story entertains me. The constant connections to Biblical and theological theories of creation, good vs. evil, etc. just made me feel like i was studying philosophy and religion in school, not reading a novel. I did, however enjoy the actual world of Perelandra...definitely some interesting ideas there that were fun to visualize.......so now the big question....do i read part 3 of the trilogy???? Stupid question...of course i will.....i'm one of those....if it's on the shelf, i'll read it!!!read more
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In the second volume of C. S. Lewis' allegorical science-fiction trilogy, Elwin Ransom is sent by the ruler of Mars to Venus, or, as it's called Perelandra. Ransom discovers that Venus has a society at the beginning: it's Garden of Eden state, with free floating islands drifting on a sweetwater ocean populated with mythical and strange creatures.He meets that's world Eve, called Tinidril, and discovers his adversary, Weston, who is actively working to corrupt the Venusian society by encouraging Tinidril to do the one thing forbidden by Maleldil (the God character): sleep on the Fixed Land.Ransom and Weston battle for the future of this world and its inhabitants, which is made more complex when Weston becomes the subject of demon possession.While the story may sound a bit fantastic (and it is quite allegorical, acting as a sort of commentary on Dante and Milton), Lewis considered this volume the best of all his works, which would probably make it a must read for a true fan of Lewis.For everybody else: It's worth reading if you enjoyed Out of a Silent Planet, and worth looking into if you liked Narnia, Screwtape, or any of Lewis' other fiction.read more
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Perelendra is a bit of a rollercoaster ride. It gets off to a rocky start with an unnecessary and heavy-handed first-person parable about maintaining faith despite doubts and fears, but once the story moves on to Ransom's adventures it gets more interesting. The basic arc of the story becomes fairly obvious from early on, but suspense isn't really the point here. The theological debates between Ransom, the Queen of Perelandra, and "Weston" alternate between deadly boring and wonderfully insightful, with a slight lean toward the latter.Both the world of Perelandra and the story that go with it are much less intricately crafted than in the previous book, and the theological skeleton shows through more clearly. As a result I often felt like I was being beaten over the head with the point, which isn't something you want your reader to feel. To the novel's credit, whenever I started to get bored or annoyed enough that I was considering skimming the rest of it or putting it down, something awesome would happen or a really good point would be made, and things would get interesting again.In the end, it didn't live up to Out of the Silent Planet but it was still worth reading, and good enough to make me want to continue on to That Hideous Strength.read more
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Ugh! The story started off so slowly, but it was book two of what's a trilogy. By the time the suffering was nearly unbearable, I was 1/3 of the way done with the book...so I struggled on. It ended up much more exciting and really redeemed itself...and then ended with such a sermon that I'm dreading the final book. I've read a lot of Lewis' work and have generally enjoyed it, but this one if only I had known...I would have never started this trilogy since the first book wasn't that impressive and certainly not good enough to outweigh my dislike for this one. Maybe the last will redeem.read more
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About a profesor who travels into space, and lands on venus by the means of an extra-terrestrial representaion of God. I thought it was a good book, well written and descriptive. The book only seems to lack a transition between scenes and chapters. Overall, however, I enjoyed it very much for its creativity and penatrating line of thought. It would be confusing to read this book without reading Out of the Silent Planet first.read more
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This is the second book in the "Space Trilogy" that began in Out of the Silent Planet. I've seen the titles on several science fiction recommendation lists, and the books are considered classics of the genre, but if you've read the first two books, it's evident that what Lewis wrote was consciously un-science fiction. That's not simply because of the liberties taken with science--pretty much all science-fiction writers do that. Einstein's theory of Relativity tells us nothing can exceed the speed of light, and our science tells us any inhabitable planets are years and years away at that top speed, but it doesn't stop such contrivances as "hyper-drive" and "warp drive." Nor is it so much that this isn't so much fiction about science and technology as it is Christian allegory. Early on in Out of the Silent Planet I thought it obvious these books have much more in common with Milton or Swift than Verne or Wells. That's only underlined in this novel which is basically a Paradise Lost set on Venus, with the "Green Lady" as an unfallen Eve and Weston from the previous novel in the role of the serpent--and it's very Miltonian in the way he attempts to subvert her. But then all great science fiction has its underlying message. You can't read Isaac Asimov's Naked Sun or Robert Heinlein's The Moon is a Harsh Mistress or even Scott Westerfeld's Specials without being aware of a message, even if it's much more blatant in Lewis.Part of Lewis' message though is against the humanistic thrust of science fiction itself. In the last book, Ransom spoke of the purpose of the book as "a change-over from the conception of Space to the conception of Heaven." This book talks of the very idea and dream of space exploration, particularly as envisioned in science fiction, as opening "a new chapter of misery for the universe." There's an anti-Reason and anti-science streak in Lewis--and Christianity--I've always found unattractive very evident here. And at times I found his Christian polemic eye-rolling. Especially early on when one absurdity of the doctrine of bodily resurrection is pointed out to Ransom and he counters with this idea of the "trans-sexual." (Admittedly, a lot of the giggle-worhiness of the moment comes from a contemporary meaning of the term Lewis could not have anticipated.) I see Ransom's arguments as much as a sophistry as those of Weston. (Much of Weston's cant is strikingly contemporary--when he rants against "dualism", I can't help but think of a friend's tirade against "binaries.") Like another reviewer though, I did find it disconcerting that Lewis--or at least Ransom--feels violence is a great resolution to a conflict when you're losing an argument. In other words, for all that so many have pointed me to him as a Christian apologist with a brain who would appeal to an intellectual, I don't find Lewis convincing.So why did I keep reading anyway despite all I found dreary, unappealing and unconvincing? Well, partly because I do want to read the conclusion, That Hideous Strength, because I hear it deals with Arthurian legend. But there's also that I have no doubt when I'm reading him that Lewis is a first rate writer with a first rate mind. He's a pleasure to read, despite his didacticism. And you know, I've seen Lewis accused of racism and sexism in Narnia. I thought that a bum rap even while reading Narnia for several reasons, but it's only cemented in my mind that's wrongheaded reading these two books. The first book stands as a great refutation and repudiation of racism and imperialism to my mind, and the books stand out to me as the anti-thesis of xenophobia, with imaginative alien worlds that stand very much in contrast to more paranoid scenarios of alien beings. It's evident--and all the more resonant knowing the first book was published in 1938 and this one in 1944--that Lewis very much does not believe color or shape matters. Lewis might be an Englishman and in many ways conservative--that doesn't make him a Kipling. And while I can see a patriarchal thrust to the "Green Lady" and her King... Well, admittedly, I might not feel that way if I hadn't read Paradise Lost recently and noted all the ways Milton ground the very idea of Eve being an equal into dust... but in contrast Lewis doesn't come across as misogynistic to me given this book is practically, Paradise Retained, Or Milton Fan Fiction.So, yes, a superbly written and at times thought-provoking (even if at times hair-pulling) book worth the reading, even if it lacks the charm of the Narnia books. And a short, fast paced read too.read more
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I adore this version of the story of Adam and Eve. Lewis makes the planet of Perelandra truly come alive. He also presents a vivid image of evil in the Devil, whose behavior really IS the type of thing that would drive a person crazy!read more
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So great! Lewis' thought screams from the pages of this book, as it does from "Out of the Silent Planet" (As of this writing, I have yet to read "That Hideous Strength," but it's next.) Just for the allegorically and dialogically _nonfiction value_ of this book alone (that is, nonfiction content in the form of symbolism and commentary by the narrator or conversation between fictional characters), it is an exceedingly worthy read!read more
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Perelandra (1943), is book 2 in the Space Trilogy series by C. S. Lewis. Out of the Silent Planet (1938) is the first book, and That Hideous Strength (1945) is the last book. Like the fiction Lewis wrote for children, Perelandra is full of symbolism, and certain spiritual themes run throughout the story -- "struggle between good and evil and the consequences of rebellion against God's laws." Ransom is a college professor who has traveled to Mars or Malacandra where he met creatures besides the Martians. There he met the eldila, which are spiritual beings much like what we think of when we think of angels. Now, the Oyarsa of Malacandra (the great eldil ruler) has come to Earth or Tellus to ask Ransom for help. It seems that Evil is planning an attack on Venus or Perelandra. The attack is to come in the form of temptation, not war. Perelandra is still a young planet and is only inhabited by a King and Queen who live in a perfect world where they know no sorrow or pain. It is much like the paradise of Adam and Eve before the Fall. That's what Ransom is charged with doing though he doesn't know it until he gets there. He must stop them from making the same mistake as the first people on Earth. Much of the story of Ransom on Venus is the description of the planet, which is a series of floating islands with a golden sky.Ransom isn't the only person from Earth who makes the trip to Perelandra. He's followed there by Weston, who's also an academic. However, Weston is the antithesis to Ransom. He's a scientist and has no ethical qualms about using science in the name of progress no matter what the cost. Weston is primarily concerned with interplanetary conquest. He sees the inhabitants of these other worlds as savages. Weston's philosophy about good and evil is that they're one in the same. According to him, what Ransom calls God is what we are striving for and what Ransom calls the Devil is the energy or force that pushes us towards what we desire. (This is what Lewis was saying in the Narnia series when the Calormenes say that Tash and Aslan are the same thing just called by different names.) Weston is eventually taken over by Evil and begins trying to convince the Queen of Perelandra that Maleldil (God) wants her to disobey him. There is one commandment that He has given her and the King and that is that they may not spend the night on the fixed lands. He doesn't give them any reason for this taboo. He simply wants them to obey out of faith and love. Weston's arguments are difficult to rebut because they always contain just enough truth to make sense to the Queen. He takes what is good and perverts it to his own needs and desires. (Again this is directly out of the philosophy of Lewis who believes that evil doesn't exist in and of itself, but rather is a perversion of good.)Perelandra is full of symbolism, but it's not simply Christian fiction. It's a story of good vs. evil in all its forms. The book is well-written and makes the reader stop and think about things in a new way. I highly recommend this one to everyone who likes a good story.read more
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This is the continuation from the book "Out of the Silent Planet". I did not enjoy the second part of this trilogy as much as the first. The story is told in an awkward manner in the third person. The entire "Space Trilogy" from Lewis has very Christian themes and whereas the religious imagery was subtle in the first book, it becomes overwhelming in the second. I will likely read the last installment just to see how it ends but I was not so impressed with Perelandra.read more
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Perelandra I liked least of the three stories. The narrator is an unnamed friend of Ransom and the story is presented in the same fashion as The Time Machine by H. G. Wells--a sort of before and after snapshot of the hero on his mysterious journey as witnessed by the narrator, with the journey then being told from beginning to end (note: he acknowledges the influence of H. G. Wells in an introductory note to the first book). This time the religious themes were central and overpowering and, by the end, obnoxious. The most hysterical part of the book was the preface, which stated that all characters in the book are fictitious and not at all allegorical, no sir. I can only assume this protest was directed to critic and friend J. R. R. Tolkein. This time Ransom is transported magically by the supernatural powers he encountered in the first book to Venus (or Perelandra). Perelandra is a newer world, just as Mars was far older than Earth, its history almost at its end, a perfect floating garden world of new and innocent life with the first Man (missing until the end) and first Woman. Ransom meets the first Woman and is soon joined by Weston who travels by spaceship. It is the story of Eden anew, with Weston possessed by the Devil, come to tempt the Woman to break the only rule, and Ransom representing the forces of good to keep her on the true path. This book was all about superlatives--the fruits were the tastiest ever, the scents the most intoxicating ever, the birdsong the most haunting ever--you get the idea. The only things I really liked about this book in the end were the descriptions of the floating islands on a water world and a single line about the nature of love.**SPOILER ALERT**The Devil speaks to the Queen incessantly, laying siege to her reason and her emotions with so many arguments and stories to convince her to break that one rule to prove her independence and free will, just as the Creator really wants, and somehow Ransom cannot find the flaws in the arguments or otherwise counter the Devil. What gets me is that the Devil is going around killing and maiming all the plants and animals within reach every time her back is turned, so she never sees his evil actions firsthand, but still the evidence must be lying around to be tripped over. The animals must be learning fear, another source of indirect evidence. And yet the Queen never figures it out and Ransom never appears to point it out. Instead, he decides the only way to vanquish evil is to kill it. So they have a titanic struggle one day when the Queen is sleeping, here there, and everywhere. He ultimately wins, but then must struggle his way back to the surface from the pit of darkness where he ended up (not subtle, is it?). And when he gets out he finds the King and Queen and the supernatural powers of Mars and Venus waiting to congratulate him on saving Venus for the proper dawning of a new age. And then there's a pages long sermon, after which Ransom gets back into his capsule and is shipped back to Earth. I take issue with the basic premise that killing is the solution to a fundamental problem, that dialogue or guided personal experience accomplish nothing. And the pages and pages of religious exposition about the divine plan and how every species and everyone is both central and not central presented as some sort of communal soliloquy--yuck. That is not something that carries forward the plot of a novel and the quotation marks don't make it dialogue.read more
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This was my second favorite in the series. In it, Ransom, the main character, is taken to the planet Perelandra. Here he discovers a perfect world that is in danger of being corrupted like our own world. Ransom's mission: Save Perelandra.The scenery is vivid and compelling. The face of evil--frightening. The story--amazing.Lewis inserts himself into the story which amused me thoroughly.The book led me to realize my inability to fathom how far we've fallen.read more
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Before he wrote "Til we have faces" Lewis considered this to be his best book. This is the Adam and Eve story retold as a science fiction fantasy, with the emphasis on fantasy.read more
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This second book in the Ransom Trilogy is an “Edenic” tale, showing how a new world avoided “The Fall” with a little help from an “ambassador” from the Fallen Planet. It is a wonderful story imaginatively told. I loved the floating islands—sometimes in our lives it seems difficult to “go with the flow!”read more
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A lovely and harrowing rethink of the Adam and Eve story, set on Venus, by Christian author C. S. Lewis. This, the second of his famous Space Trilogy, is the best of the three books, in terms of cohesiveness and economy and theme . . . and relevant invention. The imagined world of Venus, or "Perelandra," is grand, exotic; the tale of good versus evil compelling . . . though perhaps Lewis's theology doesn't quite do justice to the possibilities here.The ending made Aldiss and Amis (one or the other or both, according to one or the other . . . I think Aldiss, in "Billion Year Spree") a little queasy, what with its psalm singing and all. But it seems perfect to me. An odd end to a novel, yes, but apt for this one.This does what sf is supposed to do: open up the world to its core reality, and surprise us. "Perelandra" surprises.read more
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A wonderful, wonderful book. One of my favorite. Apparently it was one of Lewis' favorites, too. In part an allegory for the Christian salvation experience.read more
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All respect, but I seriously doubt Lewis had Verne in mind at all. He had a much more active and wild imagination than Verne ever did. Where Verne wrote about things that could possibly exist as a combination of things that already exist, Lewis pushes the limits of human understanding and reasoning, trying to describe a whole different universe than the one we've known.And anyways, as far as adventure goes, we'll have to disagree there too. It doesn't have the modern thriller sort of Dan Brown action on every page. But the newer editions of the whole Space Trilogy have an essay by Lewis in the preface explaining masterfully what a fairy tale is and why it holds the appeal that it does, and that this is a fairy tale for adults.read more
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This second book in Lewis's science fiction trilogy continues to deal with temptation in the new world of Perelandra. While I have a problem with his Christian preaching (yes, even in a SciFi) Lewis's prose is true to life - I found it easy to believe in his world.read more
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This is the seconf of three books in a series, the first called "Out of the Silent Planet" (Mars). The story line is miniscule and hidden behind armies of expository and imaginative paintings. Little action; blithely frlat characterization, and just not that good.read more
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I read Out of the Silent Planet, the first book in C.S. Lewis's Space Trilogy, last year and enjoyed it, awarding it four stars, but I found this one a lot less to my taste. While Out of the Silent Planet had theological elements they were not overpowering and I enjoyed the picture which Lewis created of Malacandra (or Mars). But in Perelandra, while the world building still caught my interest, large sections of the book are devoted to theological arguments which most definitely did not. And the absence of women from the narrative seen in Out of the Silent Planet changes in Perelandra to a portrayal of women as subservient and almost childlike. So not a hugely successful read, and disappointing given my reaction to the first book and the fact that C.S. Lewis's Narnia books were some of my favourite reads from childhood.Elwin Ransom, the philologist and Cambridge don who is the unlikely hero from Out of the Silent Planet, is again the main character in Perelandra. Sent to Perelandra (or Venus) by the Oyassa (or ruler) of Mars to carry out an unnamed task he finds himself in a watery world, where initially the only 'land' seems to be provided by large floating islands made of vegetation. Large and beautiful floating islands with flowers and trees and woods and birds and animals, which all rush up and down the huge waves which surge around the oceans of Venus. Rather than being wholly alone as he had feared, Ransom eventually meets a green-skinned 'human', referred to throughout as the 'lady', and eventually comes to realise that she and the 'king' are the only two intelligent beings on the planet. Biblical references come thick and fast: it is soon clear that Perelandra is a picture of Paradise before the Fall, and the 'king' and the 'lady' are the Adam and Eve of another world. But temptation soon arrives, in the form of the scientist Weston, Ransom's enemy from Out of the Silent planet, whose endless conversations with the 'lady' bring the planet to the brink.There is very little plot and most of the book deals with the temptation of the 'lady'. Theological arguments are not really my thing, but if they're well argued I'm prepared to give them a go: these just seemed flawed at times and to have noticeable holes in them. And I felt the allegories would have worked better if they had just been a little more subtle, these were just so obvious. In a similar way to his Narnia books, Lewis uses characters and creatures from various mythologies in this novel, and tries to tie them all together. I felt that in a children's book that was acceptable, but here he seems to be trying to create an allegory of an overarching theology, so why only use Western mythology? Isn't that a little Eurocentric?So overall not a brilliant book for me.read more
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My favourite of the Space Trilogy.read more
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The second book in CS Lewis's Space Trilogy. This is a retelling of the temptation and fall of man - evil is invasive and persistent, and in some respects never finished, but goodness and sacrifice can hold them off. The book raises interesting questions about the understanding of the Incarnation and Christ's sacrifice for other beings, and just how far God's power and love extendread more
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Not quite as good as Out of the Silent Planet, but much better than That Hideous Strength. The initial arrival on Venus is the best part for me.read more
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Like the first book in his space trilogy, I was fascinated by the character of Ransom and his interactions with people on another planet. Despite the fact this is purely fantasy (it takes place on Venus), the religious allegory compelled me for many reasons, mostly because I enjoyed seeing an alternate take of the Christian creation story. The end left me just as satisfied as Out of the Silent Planet, but what was great in this book made what was bad in the final installment of this trilogy all the more apparent.read more
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Part two of Lewis' space trilogy, Perelandra, is an interesting science fiction tale from the forties which incorporates the Christian worldview into the story. (Actually, that was the first volume. In this one, Christianity is integral to the plot.) Dr. Ransom, is transported to the planet Venus (Perelandra, to the natives) on a mission from God. The bent eldil (angel) from Earth is mounting an invasion and Dr. Ransom is called up to stand against him. Of course, Ransom has to spend a considerable time gawking at the alien scenery first, and then take an occasional break to engage in philosophical discussions. (I find it amusing when characters in stories start philosophising. It's kind of like finding technical flubs in a movie--you're instantly pulled out of the fanatasy world and become aware of the storyteller.) But all in all, it's a nice litlle book. Check it out, but make sure you read the first book in the trilogy, Out of the Silent Planet, first.--J.read more
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This is the most elegant of the space trillogy, Lewis inserts his message blatantly but without any irritation on the part of the reader. Beautiful prose, fascinating story.read more
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This book was better than the first one in the Space Trilogy. You don't need to read Out of the Silent Planet in order to understand what is happening in this one but it helps with the background. In this book, the main character from the first book, Dr. Ransom, travels to Venus (also known as Perelandra) to help confront temptation. An interesting twist on the Fall of Man/Garden of Eden story from the Bible. If you don't like a lot of description about the various landscapes, creatures, plants and oceans of Venus, this book may get a little long winded. Overall, I liked it even though it was a little weird.read more
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In the second volume of Lewis's Space Trilogy, Dr. Ransom travels to Venus to play his part in the foundation of a new world.This little book has a lot going for it. It's written in an elegant and simple style that works well with the subject matter. Perelandra, (Venus), is nicely realized and described. The book presents a thorough exploration of its topic, examining the issues at hand from several different angles. And yet, I just couldn't get into it. I think it's because it's incredibly Christian in its outlook. While the first volume, (OUT OF THE SILENT PLANET), explored universal theological themes, this one demands that the reader know a fair amount about the Christian creation myth. I found the allegory almost overwhelming. This isn't a novel so much as a vehicle for the author's ideas about spiritual development.Of course, this isn't necessarily a bad thing. It's just not what I particularly wanted to read. I'd recommend it to those with an interest in theology and Christian allegory, but others may not find it as satisfying.read more
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This allegory will definitely make you think about Creation and the Fall of man in a new light even if you don't agree with everything written. C S Lewis is an amazing thinker and author.
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An amazing sequel to 'out of the silent planet'. while OSP was fictional with a hint of philosophy and religion, in this book, both are blatant and natural all at the same time. Ransom arrives on the fairly young planet of Venus (whereas Mars was at it's end and Earth is in it's middle to find a strange environment, and one living being. The Eve (the queen, the mother) of Venus, who has lost Adam (the king, the father. the search is going fine until the devil shows up and Ransom must protect the mother from sinning as eve did, and not get killed.
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I'm sorry to say that this was real work for me to get through...i enjoyed 'out of the silent planet' but this had very little story and much expostulation....too much! The simpleton in me reads for entertainment and mostly story entertains me. The constant connections to Biblical and theological theories of creation, good vs. evil, etc. just made me feel like i was studying philosophy and religion in school, not reading a novel. I did, however enjoy the actual world of Perelandra...definitely some interesting ideas there that were fun to visualize.......so now the big question....do i read part 3 of the trilogy???? Stupid question...of course i will.....i'm one of those....if it's on the shelf, i'll read it!!!
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In the second volume of C. S. Lewis' allegorical science-fiction trilogy, Elwin Ransom is sent by the ruler of Mars to Venus, or, as it's called Perelandra. Ransom discovers that Venus has a society at the beginning: it's Garden of Eden state, with free floating islands drifting on a sweetwater ocean populated with mythical and strange creatures.He meets that's world Eve, called Tinidril, and discovers his adversary, Weston, who is actively working to corrupt the Venusian society by encouraging Tinidril to do the one thing forbidden by Maleldil (the God character): sleep on the Fixed Land.Ransom and Weston battle for the future of this world and its inhabitants, which is made more complex when Weston becomes the subject of demon possession.While the story may sound a bit fantastic (and it is quite allegorical, acting as a sort of commentary on Dante and Milton), Lewis considered this volume the best of all his works, which would probably make it a must read for a true fan of Lewis.For everybody else: It's worth reading if you enjoyed Out of a Silent Planet, and worth looking into if you liked Narnia, Screwtape, or any of Lewis' other fiction.
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Perelendra is a bit of a rollercoaster ride. It gets off to a rocky start with an unnecessary and heavy-handed first-person parable about maintaining faith despite doubts and fears, but once the story moves on to Ransom's adventures it gets more interesting. The basic arc of the story becomes fairly obvious from early on, but suspense isn't really the point here. The theological debates between Ransom, the Queen of Perelandra, and "Weston" alternate between deadly boring and wonderfully insightful, with a slight lean toward the latter.Both the world of Perelandra and the story that go with it are much less intricately crafted than in the previous book, and the theological skeleton shows through more clearly. As a result I often felt like I was being beaten over the head with the point, which isn't something you want your reader to feel. To the novel's credit, whenever I started to get bored or annoyed enough that I was considering skimming the rest of it or putting it down, something awesome would happen or a really good point would be made, and things would get interesting again.In the end, it didn't live up to Out of the Silent Planet but it was still worth reading, and good enough to make me want to continue on to That Hideous Strength.
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Ugh! The story started off so slowly, but it was book two of what's a trilogy. By the time the suffering was nearly unbearable, I was 1/3 of the way done with the book...so I struggled on. It ended up much more exciting and really redeemed itself...and then ended with such a sermon that I'm dreading the final book. I've read a lot of Lewis' work and have generally enjoyed it, but this one if only I had known...I would have never started this trilogy since the first book wasn't that impressive and certainly not good enough to outweigh my dislike for this one. Maybe the last will redeem.
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About a profesor who travels into space, and lands on venus by the means of an extra-terrestrial representaion of God. I thought it was a good book, well written and descriptive. The book only seems to lack a transition between scenes and chapters. Overall, however, I enjoyed it very much for its creativity and penatrating line of thought. It would be confusing to read this book without reading Out of the Silent Planet first.
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This is the second book in the "Space Trilogy" that began in Out of the Silent Planet. I've seen the titles on several science fiction recommendation lists, and the books are considered classics of the genre, but if you've read the first two books, it's evident that what Lewis wrote was consciously un-science fiction. That's not simply because of the liberties taken with science--pretty much all science-fiction writers do that. Einstein's theory of Relativity tells us nothing can exceed the speed of light, and our science tells us any inhabitable planets are years and years away at that top speed, but it doesn't stop such contrivances as "hyper-drive" and "warp drive." Nor is it so much that this isn't so much fiction about science and technology as it is Christian allegory. Early on in Out of the Silent Planet I thought it obvious these books have much more in common with Milton or Swift than Verne or Wells. That's only underlined in this novel which is basically a Paradise Lost set on Venus, with the "Green Lady" as an unfallen Eve and Weston from the previous novel in the role of the serpent--and it's very Miltonian in the way he attempts to subvert her. But then all great science fiction has its underlying message. You can't read Isaac Asimov's Naked Sun or Robert Heinlein's The Moon is a Harsh Mistress or even Scott Westerfeld's Specials without being aware of a message, even if it's much more blatant in Lewis.Part of Lewis' message though is against the humanistic thrust of science fiction itself. In the last book, Ransom spoke of the purpose of the book as "a change-over from the conception of Space to the conception of Heaven." This book talks of the very idea and dream of space exploration, particularly as envisioned in science fiction, as opening "a new chapter of misery for the universe." There's an anti-Reason and anti-science streak in Lewis--and Christianity--I've always found unattractive very evident here. And at times I found his Christian polemic eye-rolling. Especially early on when one absurdity of the doctrine of bodily resurrection is pointed out to Ransom and he counters with this idea of the "trans-sexual." (Admittedly, a lot of the giggle-worhiness of the moment comes from a contemporary meaning of the term Lewis could not have anticipated.) I see Ransom's arguments as much as a sophistry as those of Weston. (Much of Weston's cant is strikingly contemporary--when he rants against "dualism", I can't help but think of a friend's tirade against "binaries.") Like another reviewer though, I did find it disconcerting that Lewis--or at least Ransom--feels violence is a great resolution to a conflict when you're losing an argument. In other words, for all that so many have pointed me to him as a Christian apologist with a brain who would appeal to an intellectual, I don't find Lewis convincing.So why did I keep reading anyway despite all I found dreary, unappealing and unconvincing? Well, partly because I do want to read the conclusion, That Hideous Strength, because I hear it deals with Arthurian legend. But there's also that I have no doubt when I'm reading him that Lewis is a first rate writer with a first rate mind. He's a pleasure to read, despite his didacticism. And you know, I've seen Lewis accused of racism and sexism in Narnia. I thought that a bum rap even while reading Narnia for several reasons, but it's only cemented in my mind that's wrongheaded reading these two books. The first book stands as a great refutation and repudiation of racism and imperialism to my mind, and the books stand out to me as the anti-thesis of xenophobia, with imaginative alien worlds that stand very much in contrast to more paranoid scenarios of alien beings. It's evident--and all the more resonant knowing the first book was published in 1938 and this one in 1944--that Lewis very much does not believe color or shape matters. Lewis might be an Englishman and in many ways conservative--that doesn't make him a Kipling. And while I can see a patriarchal thrust to the "Green Lady" and her King... Well, admittedly, I might not feel that way if I hadn't read Paradise Lost recently and noted all the ways Milton ground the very idea of Eve being an equal into dust... but in contrast Lewis doesn't come across as misogynistic to me given this book is practically, Paradise Retained, Or Milton Fan Fiction.So, yes, a superbly written and at times thought-provoking (even if at times hair-pulling) book worth the reading, even if it lacks the charm of the Narnia books. And a short, fast paced read too.
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I adore this version of the story of Adam and Eve. Lewis makes the planet of Perelandra truly come alive. He also presents a vivid image of evil in the Devil, whose behavior really IS the type of thing that would drive a person crazy!
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So great! Lewis' thought screams from the pages of this book, as it does from "Out of the Silent Planet" (As of this writing, I have yet to read "That Hideous Strength," but it's next.) Just for the allegorically and dialogically _nonfiction value_ of this book alone (that is, nonfiction content in the form of symbolism and commentary by the narrator or conversation between fictional characters), it is an exceedingly worthy read!
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Perelandra (1943), is book 2 in the Space Trilogy series by C. S. Lewis. Out of the Silent Planet (1938) is the first book, and That Hideous Strength (1945) is the last book. Like the fiction Lewis wrote for children, Perelandra is full of symbolism, and certain spiritual themes run throughout the story -- "struggle between good and evil and the consequences of rebellion against God's laws." Ransom is a college professor who has traveled to Mars or Malacandra where he met creatures besides the Martians. There he met the eldila, which are spiritual beings much like what we think of when we think of angels. Now, the Oyarsa of Malacandra (the great eldil ruler) has come to Earth or Tellus to ask Ransom for help. It seems that Evil is planning an attack on Venus or Perelandra. The attack is to come in the form of temptation, not war. Perelandra is still a young planet and is only inhabited by a King and Queen who live in a perfect world where they know no sorrow or pain. It is much like the paradise of Adam and Eve before the Fall. That's what Ransom is charged with doing though he doesn't know it until he gets there. He must stop them from making the same mistake as the first people on Earth. Much of the story of Ransom on Venus is the description of the planet, which is a series of floating islands with a golden sky.Ransom isn't the only person from Earth who makes the trip to Perelandra. He's followed there by Weston, who's also an academic. However, Weston is the antithesis to Ransom. He's a scientist and has no ethical qualms about using science in the name of progress no matter what the cost. Weston is primarily concerned with interplanetary conquest. He sees the inhabitants of these other worlds as savages. Weston's philosophy about good and evil is that they're one in the same. According to him, what Ransom calls God is what we are striving for and what Ransom calls the Devil is the energy or force that pushes us towards what we desire. (This is what Lewis was saying in the Narnia series when the Calormenes say that Tash and Aslan are the same thing just called by different names.) Weston is eventually taken over by Evil and begins trying to convince the Queen of Perelandra that Maleldil (God) wants her to disobey him. There is one commandment that He has given her and the King and that is that they may not spend the night on the fixed lands. He doesn't give them any reason for this taboo. He simply wants them to obey out of faith and love. Weston's arguments are difficult to rebut because they always contain just enough truth to make sense to the Queen. He takes what is good and perverts it to his own needs and desires. (Again this is directly out of the philosophy of Lewis who believes that evil doesn't exist in and of itself, but rather is a perversion of good.)Perelandra is full of symbolism, but it's not simply Christian fiction. It's a story of good vs. evil in all its forms. The book is well-written and makes the reader stop and think about things in a new way. I highly recommend this one to everyone who likes a good story.
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This is the continuation from the book "Out of the Silent Planet". I did not enjoy the second part of this trilogy as much as the first. The story is told in an awkward manner in the third person. The entire "Space Trilogy" from Lewis has very Christian themes and whereas the religious imagery was subtle in the first book, it becomes overwhelming in the second. I will likely read the last installment just to see how it ends but I was not so impressed with Perelandra.
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Perelandra I liked least of the three stories. The narrator is an unnamed friend of Ransom and the story is presented in the same fashion as The Time Machine by H. G. Wells--a sort of before and after snapshot of the hero on his mysterious journey as witnessed by the narrator, with the journey then being told from beginning to end (note: he acknowledges the influence of H. G. Wells in an introductory note to the first book). This time the religious themes were central and overpowering and, by the end, obnoxious. The most hysterical part of the book was the preface, which stated that all characters in the book are fictitious and not at all allegorical, no sir. I can only assume this protest was directed to critic and friend J. R. R. Tolkein. This time Ransom is transported magically by the supernatural powers he encountered in the first book to Venus (or Perelandra). Perelandra is a newer world, just as Mars was far older than Earth, its history almost at its end, a perfect floating garden world of new and innocent life with the first Man (missing until the end) and first Woman. Ransom meets the first Woman and is soon joined by Weston who travels by spaceship. It is the story of Eden anew, with Weston possessed by the Devil, come to tempt the Woman to break the only rule, and Ransom representing the forces of good to keep her on the true path. This book was all about superlatives--the fruits were the tastiest ever, the scents the most intoxicating ever, the birdsong the most haunting ever--you get the idea. The only things I really liked about this book in the end were the descriptions of the floating islands on a water world and a single line about the nature of love.**SPOILER ALERT**The Devil speaks to the Queen incessantly, laying siege to her reason and her emotions with so many arguments and stories to convince her to break that one rule to prove her independence and free will, just as the Creator really wants, and somehow Ransom cannot find the flaws in the arguments or otherwise counter the Devil. What gets me is that the Devil is going around killing and maiming all the plants and animals within reach every time her back is turned, so she never sees his evil actions firsthand, but still the evidence must be lying around to be tripped over. The animals must be learning fear, another source of indirect evidence. And yet the Queen never figures it out and Ransom never appears to point it out. Instead, he decides the only way to vanquish evil is to kill it. So they have a titanic struggle one day when the Queen is sleeping, here there, and everywhere. He ultimately wins, but then must struggle his way back to the surface from the pit of darkness where he ended up (not subtle, is it?). And when he gets out he finds the King and Queen and the supernatural powers of Mars and Venus waiting to congratulate him on saving Venus for the proper dawning of a new age. And then there's a pages long sermon, after which Ransom gets back into his capsule and is shipped back to Earth. I take issue with the basic premise that killing is the solution to a fundamental problem, that dialogue or guided personal experience accomplish nothing. And the pages and pages of religious exposition about the divine plan and how every species and everyone is both central and not central presented as some sort of communal soliloquy--yuck. That is not something that carries forward the plot of a novel and the quotation marks don't make it dialogue.
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This was my second favorite in the series. In it, Ransom, the main character, is taken to the planet Perelandra. Here he discovers a perfect world that is in danger of being corrupted like our own world. Ransom's mission: Save Perelandra.The scenery is vivid and compelling. The face of evil--frightening. The story--amazing.Lewis inserts himself into the story which amused me thoroughly.The book led me to realize my inability to fathom how far we've fallen.
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Before he wrote "Til we have faces" Lewis considered this to be his best book. This is the Adam and Eve story retold as a science fiction fantasy, with the emphasis on fantasy.
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This second book in the Ransom Trilogy is an “Edenic” tale, showing how a new world avoided “The Fall” with a little help from an “ambassador” from the Fallen Planet. It is a wonderful story imaginatively told. I loved the floating islands—sometimes in our lives it seems difficult to “go with the flow!”
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A lovely and harrowing rethink of the Adam and Eve story, set on Venus, by Christian author C. S. Lewis. This, the second of his famous Space Trilogy, is the best of the three books, in terms of cohesiveness and economy and theme . . . and relevant invention. The imagined world of Venus, or "Perelandra," is grand, exotic; the tale of good versus evil compelling . . . though perhaps Lewis's theology doesn't quite do justice to the possibilities here.The ending made Aldiss and Amis (one or the other or both, according to one or the other . . . I think Aldiss, in "Billion Year Spree") a little queasy, what with its psalm singing and all. But it seems perfect to me. An odd end to a novel, yes, but apt for this one.This does what sf is supposed to do: open up the world to its core reality, and surprise us. "Perelandra" surprises.
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A wonderful, wonderful book. One of my favorite. Apparently it was one of Lewis' favorites, too. In part an allegory for the Christian salvation experience.
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All respect, but I seriously doubt Lewis had Verne in mind at all. He had a much more active and wild imagination than Verne ever did. Where Verne wrote about things that could possibly exist as a combination of things that already exist, Lewis pushes the limits of human understanding and reasoning, trying to describe a whole different universe than the one we've known.And anyways, as far as adventure goes, we'll have to disagree there too. It doesn't have the modern thriller sort of Dan Brown action on every page. But the newer editions of the whole Space Trilogy have an essay by Lewis in the preface explaining masterfully what a fairy tale is and why it holds the appeal that it does, and that this is a fairy tale for adults.
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This second book in Lewis's science fiction trilogy continues to deal with temptation in the new world of Perelandra. While I have a problem with his Christian preaching (yes, even in a SciFi) Lewis's prose is true to life - I found it easy to believe in his world.
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This is the seconf of three books in a series, the first called "Out of the Silent Planet" (Mars). The story line is miniscule and hidden behind armies of expository and imaginative paintings. Little action; blithely frlat characterization, and just not that good.
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I read Out of the Silent Planet, the first book in C.S. Lewis's Space Trilogy, last year and enjoyed it, awarding it four stars, but I found this one a lot less to my taste. While Out of the Silent Planet had theological elements they were not overpowering and I enjoyed the picture which Lewis created of Malacandra (or Mars). But in Perelandra, while the world building still caught my interest, large sections of the book are devoted to theological arguments which most definitely did not. And the absence of women from the narrative seen in Out of the Silent Planet changes in Perelandra to a portrayal of women as subservient and almost childlike. So not a hugely successful read, and disappointing given my reaction to the first book and the fact that C.S. Lewis's Narnia books were some of my favourite reads from childhood.Elwin Ransom, the philologist and Cambridge don who is the unlikely hero from Out of the Silent Planet, is again the main character in Perelandra. Sent to Perelandra (or Venus) by the Oyassa (or ruler) of Mars to carry out an unnamed task he finds himself in a watery world, where initially the only 'land' seems to be provided by large floating islands made of vegetation. Large and beautiful floating islands with flowers and trees and woods and birds and animals, which all rush up and down the huge waves which surge around the oceans of Venus. Rather than being wholly alone as he had feared, Ransom eventually meets a green-skinned 'human', referred to throughout as the 'lady', and eventually comes to realise that she and the 'king' are the only two intelligent beings on the planet. Biblical references come thick and fast: it is soon clear that Perelandra is a picture of Paradise before the Fall, and the 'king' and the 'lady' are the Adam and Eve of another world. But temptation soon arrives, in the form of the scientist Weston, Ransom's enemy from Out of the Silent planet, whose endless conversations with the 'lady' bring the planet to the brink.There is very little plot and most of the book deals with the temptation of the 'lady'. Theological arguments are not really my thing, but if they're well argued I'm prepared to give them a go: these just seemed flawed at times and to have noticeable holes in them. And I felt the allegories would have worked better if they had just been a little more subtle, these were just so obvious. In a similar way to his Narnia books, Lewis uses characters and creatures from various mythologies in this novel, and tries to tie them all together. I felt that in a children's book that was acceptable, but here he seems to be trying to create an allegory of an overarching theology, so why only use Western mythology? Isn't that a little Eurocentric?So overall not a brilliant book for me.
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My favourite of the Space Trilogy.
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The second book in CS Lewis's Space Trilogy. This is a retelling of the temptation and fall of man - evil is invasive and persistent, and in some respects never finished, but goodness and sacrifice can hold them off. The book raises interesting questions about the understanding of the Incarnation and Christ's sacrifice for other beings, and just how far God's power and love extend
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Not quite as good as Out of the Silent Planet, but much better than That Hideous Strength. The initial arrival on Venus is the best part for me.
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Like the first book in his space trilogy, I was fascinated by the character of Ransom and his interactions with people on another planet. Despite the fact this is purely fantasy (it takes place on Venus), the religious allegory compelled me for many reasons, mostly because I enjoyed seeing an alternate take of the Christian creation story. The end left me just as satisfied as Out of the Silent Planet, but what was great in this book made what was bad in the final installment of this trilogy all the more apparent.
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Part two of Lewis' space trilogy, Perelandra, is an interesting science fiction tale from the forties which incorporates the Christian worldview into the story. (Actually, that was the first volume. In this one, Christianity is integral to the plot.) Dr. Ransom, is transported to the planet Venus (Perelandra, to the natives) on a mission from God. The bent eldil (angel) from Earth is mounting an invasion and Dr. Ransom is called up to stand against him. Of course, Ransom has to spend a considerable time gawking at the alien scenery first, and then take an occasional break to engage in philosophical discussions. (I find it amusing when characters in stories start philosophising. It's kind of like finding technical flubs in a movie--you're instantly pulled out of the fanatasy world and become aware of the storyteller.) But all in all, it's a nice litlle book. Check it out, but make sure you read the first book in the trilogy, Out of the Silent Planet, first.--J.
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This is the most elegant of the space trillogy, Lewis inserts his message blatantly but without any irritation on the part of the reader. Beautiful prose, fascinating story.
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This book was better than the first one in the Space Trilogy. You don't need to read Out of the Silent Planet in order to understand what is happening in this one but it helps with the background. In this book, the main character from the first book, Dr. Ransom, travels to Venus (also known as Perelandra) to help confront temptation. An interesting twist on the Fall of Man/Garden of Eden story from the Bible. If you don't like a lot of description about the various landscapes, creatures, plants and oceans of Venus, this book may get a little long winded. Overall, I liked it even though it was a little weird.
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In the second volume of Lewis's Space Trilogy, Dr. Ransom travels to Venus to play his part in the foundation of a new world.This little book has a lot going for it. It's written in an elegant and simple style that works well with the subject matter. Perelandra, (Venus), is nicely realized and described. The book presents a thorough exploration of its topic, examining the issues at hand from several different angles. And yet, I just couldn't get into it. I think it's because it's incredibly Christian in its outlook. While the first volume, (OUT OF THE SILENT PLANET), explored universal theological themes, this one demands that the reader know a fair amount about the Christian creation myth. I found the allegory almost overwhelming. This isn't a novel so much as a vehicle for the author's ideas about spiritual development.Of course, this isn't necessarily a bad thing. It's just not what I particularly wanted to read. I'd recommend it to those with an interest in theology and Christian allegory, but others may not find it as satisfying.
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