The Dark Tower and Other Stories

( 11 )

Overview

“‘Of course,’ said Orfieu, ‘the sort of time-travelling you read about in books—time-travelling in the body—is absolutely impossible.’”

So begins The Dark Tower, a captivating novella that continues the adventures of Dr. Elwin Ransom after the events of Out of the Silent Planet, the first novel is Lewis’s Space Trilogy. In Orfieu’s office at Cambridge University, five men gather to witness the breach of space-time through the chronoscope, a telescope that looks not just into ...

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Overview

“‘Of course,’ said Orfieu, ‘the sort of time-travelling you read about in books—time-travelling in the body—is absolutely impossible.’”

So begins The Dark Tower, a captivating novella that continues the adventures of Dr. Elwin Ransom after the events of Out of the Silent Planet, the first novel is Lewis’s Space Trilogy. In Orfieu’s office at Cambridge University, five men gather to witness the breach of space-time through the chronoscope, a telescope that looks not just into another world, but into another time. Also included are "After Ten Years," Lewis’s retelling of Menelaus’s battle for Helen, "The Man Born Blind," the story of a man who after gaining sight for the first time in his life learns about the relative nature of reality, and three other short stories. A necessary anthology for fans of futuristic fiction, this collection cements Lewis’s place in the science fiction canon.

“A superb storyteller.” –Anthony Burgess

A collection of Lewis's complete shorter fiction, including two previously unpublished works.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780156027700
  • Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
  • Publication date: 1/6/2003
  • Pages: 168
  • Sales rank: 505,755
  • Product dimensions: 5.30 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

C. S. (Clive Staples) Lewis (1898-1963), one of the great writers of the twentieth century, also continues to be one of our most influential Christian thinkers. A Fellow and tutor at Oxford until 1954, he spent the rest of his career as Chair of Medieval and Renaissance English at Cambridge. He wrote more than thirty books, both popular and scholarly, inlcuding The Chronicles of Narnia series, The Screwtape Letters , The Four Loves , Mere Christianity and Surprised by Joy .

Biography

C. S. Lewis was famous both as a fiction writer and as a Christian thinker, and his biographers and critics sometimes divide his personality in two: the storyteller and the moral educator, the "dreamer" and the "mentor." Yet a large part of Lewis's appeal, for both his audiences, lay in his ability to fuse imagination with instruction. "Let the pictures tell you their own moral," he once advised writers of children's stories. "But if they don't show you any moral, don't put one in. ... The only moral that is of any value is that which arises inevitably from the whole cast of the author's mind."

Storytelling came naturally to Lewis, who spent the rainy days of his childhood in Ireland writing about an imaginary world he called Boxen. His first published novel, Out of the Silent Planet, tells the story of a journey to Mars; its hero was loosely modeled on his friend and fellow Cambridge scholar J.R.R. Tolkien. Lewis enjoyed some popularity for his Space Trilogy (which continues in Perelandra and That Hideous Strength), but nothing compared to that which greeted his next imaginative journey, to an invented world of fauns, dwarfs, and talking animals -- a world now familiar to millions of readers as Narnia.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, the first book of the seven-volume Chronicles of Narnia, began as "a picture of a Faun carrying an umbrella and parcels in a snowy wood," according to Lewis. Years after that image first formed in his mind, others bubbled up to join it, producing what Kate Jackson, writing in Salon, called "a fascinating attempt to compress an almost druidic reverence for wild nature, Arthurian romance, Germanic folklore, the courtly poetry of Renaissance England and the fantastic beasts of Greek and Norse mythology into an entirely reimagined version of what's tritely called 'the greatest story ever told.'"

The Chronicles of Narnia was for decades the world's bestselling fantasy series for children. Although it was eventually superseded by Harry Potter, the series still holds a firm place in children's literature and the culture at large. (Narnia even crops up as a motif in Jonathan Franzen's 2001 novel The Corrections). Its last volume appeared in 1955; in that same year, Lewis published a personal account of his religious conversion in Surprised by Joy. The autobiography joined his other nonfiction books, including Mere Christianity, The Screwtape Letters, and The Great Divorce, as an exploration of faith, joy and the meaning of human existence.

Lewis's final work of fiction, Till We Have Faces, came out in 1956. Its chilly critical reception and poor early sales disappointed Lewis, but the book's reputation has slowly grown; Lionel Adey called it the "wisest and best" of Lewis's stories for adults. Lewis continued to write about Christianity, as well as literature and literary criticism, for several more years. After his death in 1963, The New Yorker opined, "If wit and wisdom, style and scholarship are requisites to passage through the pearly gates, Mr. Lewis will be among the angels."

Good To Know

The imposing wardrobe Lewis and his brother played in as children is now in Wheaton, Illinois, at the Wade Center of Wheaton College, which also houses the world's largest collection of Lewis-related documents, according to The Christian Science Monitor.

The 1994 movie, Shadowlands, based on the play of the same name, cast Anthony Hopkins as Lewis. It tells the story of his friendship with, and then marriage to, an American divorcee named Joy Davidman (played by Debra Winger), who died of cancer four years after their marriage. Lewis's own book about coping with that loss, A Grief Observed, was initially published under the pseudonym N. W. Clerk.

Several poems, stories, and a novel fragment published after Lewis's death have come under scrutiny as possible forgeries. On one side of the controversy is Walter Hooper, a trustee of Lewis's estate and editor of most of his posthumous works; on the other is Kathryn Lindskoog, a Lewis scholar who began publicizing her suspicions in 1988. Scandal or kooky conspiracy theory? The verdict's still out among readers.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Clive Staples Lewis (real name); Clive Hamilton, N.W. Clerk, Nat Whilk; called "Jack" by his friends
    1. Date of Birth:
      November 29, 1898
    2. Place of Birth:
      Belfast, Nothern Ireland
    1. Date of Death:
      November 22, 1963
    2. Place of Death:
      Headington, England

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 11 )
Rating Distribution

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(7)

4 Star

(3)

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(1)

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Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 29, 2011

    Good collection but poor formatting

    C.S. Lewis was an amazing writer and I am very impressed by his material. Unfortunately, I am not so impressed by this e-book. The book is rife with misspellings, odd punctuation, capitalization that does not belong, and just plain poor formatting. There are errors in spelling of the sort that seem to generate from digitization through scanning: transposition of letters such as F for L, and randomly placed letters or punctuation, among others.
    3 stars only for the poor formatting, which sadly seriously distracts from the excellent writing.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 8, 2000

    great collection of lewis' work

    Most of the stories in this collection can be found elsewhere. What makes this collection a treasure is the two incomplete novels, The Dark Tower and After Ten Years, both of which are well written enjoyable stories that I wish I could read the end to. also included are several other excellent stories by lewis. A definite must have for any sci-fi fan.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 20, 2011

    an amazing book

    i was astonished when i stumbled upon this book. i have enjoyed c.s. lewis's writing style for years and this is one of his most thought provoking works since the space trilogy.

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  • Posted December 21, 2010

    ...

    I read this book for my Encounters with Literature class. There is a lot of criticism about whether C.S. Lewis actually wrote any of these stories though, since this was published after his death and was supposedly "discovered" by his secretary, Walter Hooper. But it is recognized as being written by C.S. Lewis regardless, and either way, The Dark Tower is very interesting, and so is some of the short stories in it -- "The Shoddy Lands" probably being my favorite.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 4, 2008

    Dark Tower

    I loved this book! But was so mad that there was no end...he seemed to stop at the most interesting part! But it was still well worth it. I had the hardest time finding it again after I first read it though.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 19, 2000

    Best Book Ever

    I loved this book so much,I started the Dark Tower Orthadox.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 26, 2011

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    Posted July 3, 2011

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    Posted June 30, 2012

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    Posted January 28, 2011

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 27, 2010

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