Monday, June 11, 2012

30 Day Book Challenge! Day 9: Hate/Love

"Remember that Truth depends not upon your seeing it, and believe as you saw when your sight was at its best. For then you saw that the Truth was beyond all you could see." - Annals of a Quiet Neighbourhood

Thus ends my quotations at present from George MacDonald's book. As you may suppose, I enjoyed it immensely and found in it some great food for thought - I do not think I quite see eye-to-eye with this great Scottish pastor in several areas. But we need books like that, you know? To challenge us to know and see and explain what we do believe. This is definitely a book I will pick up again a year or so from now to re-read!


Day 9: What is a book you thought you wouldn't like, but ended up loving?

I think this is a trick question - don't you? Who ever curled up on the sofa with a mug of tea and a book they didn't think they would like? (Unless it be a textbook, in which case...chances are, if you didn't think you would like it, you didn't.) I certainly never did. My answer, therefore, is to a slightly different question, following the good advice of my mother: {in regard to essay questions} "If you don't know the answer, just write everything you know about everything related to it. You may hit upon some - if not all - the main points the original question was looking for." (If anyone's wondering, it works!)

I have decided here to name a book that, although I was sure to like for the author's sake, was from a genre I was not entirely certain was my "type". It certainly isn't - but this book still became an instant favorite.

That Hideous Strength sounds  nothing like a book I would read, does it? Yet, following closely after my completing a WorldView course, it sucked me right in and held me for the whole of the ride until dropping me off at the final page with a sense of amazement at all we - for C.S. Lewis is such an author that you feel like you wander through the pages of his book with him - had accomplished; it gave me brain food for days and weeks afterward.

The third of Lewis' space trilogy (and the first I ever read), That Hideous Strength is one of those books with a plot and point so simple, you can summarize it internally in a single feeling - yet it is simultaneously so complicated, one feels quite lost when asked to verbally describe it. Perhaps someone who has read it more than once could do it better - but as of yet, I have not. It is, I suppose, a contemporary, futuristic, end-times sort of fairytale.

"The circle in the library usually consisted of Feverstone, the Fairy, Filostrato, and - more surprisingly - Straik....[The Deputy Director] had never spoken to Mark since the humiliating interview in his study, and Mark learned from the Fairy that he was still out of favor. 'The Old Man will thaw in time,' she said. 'But I told you he didn't like people to talk about leaving.'"

There. I have just tried for the past half hour to explain the story in a way I like, and I cannot. I shall simply have to leave it at this: in this end-of-the-world sort of tale, there are, as in all fairy tales, the Good Guys and the Bad Guys. The Good Guys are of one mind; they agree and work together for the upholding of truth. The Bad Guys work together toward a common outward goal, but each member of the inner circle believes that he will accomplish a different end. The scientist, who worships Science, believes the end will be the greatest scientific breakthrough ever to come to pass. The mystic believes he will at last be able to communicate with the unseen, and worship the spirits. The materialist believes that the world can and will be overtaken and ruled properly after this show of power. And the list goes on! Essentially, C.S. Lewis masterfully weaves a tale showing how all who are not for Christ are against him and will have the same end - regardless of what they believe to be the right or what they foresee as being the end. I know no other way to explain this story, but I do know I need to read it again, and highly recommend that you read it as well!

1 comment:

Lauren said...

I'm glad you posted this, because more than once since our conversation on this book I've tried to recall which book of the trilogy you loved, and have gone back and forth. Now, when I have a time to read this, I can come back and make sure I read the correct one! (-;