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The Dark Tower

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The Dark Tower and Other Stories by C.S. Lewis

Suggested from: Me

Rating (out of 5): 4.5

Genre: Science Fiction (and others)

I randomly came across this book in a Thrift Store, and was intrigued because I had never heard of it before even though I pride myself in being pretty well versed in all things C.S. Lewis. Reading this book was a complete and utter tease, and left me almost upset.

Along with some short stories, there are two long-ish stories in this book which were the beginnings of books that were left unfinished. The Dark Tower and After Ten Years.

The Dark Tower was originally supposed to be the sequel to C.S. Lewis’ Science Fiction trilogy, coming after Out of the Silent Planet. He started The Dark Tower, but eventually wrote Perelandra instead. Perelandra is one of my all time favorite books and I believe the best fiction book written by C.S. Lewis, but oh how I wish that the Dark Tower was completed. According to the Preface written by a friend of C.S. Lewis’, Lewis mentioned The Dark Tower to his writing buddies The Inklings (a group of friends, including J.R.R. Tolkien), but eventually told them he was unable to write more and never finished.  The man who wrote the preface found a large stack of papers of C.S. Lewis’ at his house shortly after Lewis’ death and beginning of The Dark Tower, as well as the other stories in this book, were among the papers. Portions of the story are missing, and this and other stories in the book stop before finishing. While it is incomplete, I believe The Dark Tower is one of C.S. Lewis’ greatest stories of all time. In it Ransom, his character from his Science Fiction series, is approached by some colleagues about a breakthrough one of them has had where a parallel universe have been discovered and can be viewed.

After Ten Years is a story about Helen and Menelaus after the fall of Troy, starting with the Trojan Horse event. This was must less to my appeal, but very well written.

There is one other short story in the book that really caught my attention. It is called The Man Born Blind and tells about a man who was born blind, but gains his sight back, and is struggling with seeing “light”, that infamous thing that everyone spoke of while he was blind, but which he cannot understand now that he can see.

I feel so cheated that The Dark Tower was left unfinished, and I wish so much that this amazing story was finished. Part of me wishes that another author would pick up where Lewis left off and complete such a fascinating tale. I will always wonder how Lewis would have finished the story, and it will bug me the rest of my life. But I’m happy I got to read it and at least get a glimpse of such a mind stretching, neat, indescribably fascinating story.

Favorite Excerpts/Line

– He kept this eyes off Helen. What should his eyes say to hers? Yet how could they say nothing?

– For that dim and mostly comfortable picture of a future which hovers before most men’s eyes had vanished.

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Written by tinkypears

January 18, 2013 at 4:46 pm

Posted in Book Review

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