Having read most (though not quite all…yet) of CS Lewis’ fiction works, I enjoyed his reply to a letter from a girl named Meredith who apparently asked what his “most representative book was:
“Which of my books do I think most “representational”? Do you mean (a.) Most representative, most typical, most characteristic? or (b.) Most full of “representations” i.e. image. But whichever you mean, surely this is a question not for me but for my readers to decide. Or do you mean simply which do I like best? Now the answer w[oul]d be Till We Have Faces and Perelandra.” (from C.S. Lewis: Letters to Children, p. 95.)
Till We Have Faces and Perelandra are two of my favorite CS Lewis’ fiction works. For those unfamiliar with these (i.e. they haven’t made a Narnia film about them yet), here’s a brief tease to get you to buy it.
Till We Have Faces is probably the most “grown-up” of Lewis’ fiction. It is essentially a re-telling of the Greek myth of Cupid and Psyche–don’t worry if you are unfamiliar with it! I didn’t even know it was based on anything the first time I read it and still loved it. As Lewis points out in Pilgrim’s Regress, he viewed the Christian faith as the fulfillment of all the longings and pictures celebrated by Paganism. This is one of the major points of the book (in my opinion), but it is filled with other ideas and beautiful moments as well.
Perelandra is the second book of Lewis “Space Trilogy”, which begins with Out of the Silent Planet and ends with That Hideous Strength. While some may call these (especially the first two books) a sort of “Narnia for adults,” I (and more importantly, Lewis himself) would disagree. The tales of Dr. Ransom and his trips to other planets are good in their own right, and Perelandra is my favorite, as well. We’ve all imagined perhaps what life in the Garden of Eden before the Fall was like, what we would have done in that situation, how it might have been avoided…well, Lewis imagined this as well and creates a fanscinating world for this thought to develop on the planet Perelandra.
So if you enjoy good story-telling and/or like C.S. Lewis, here are his two favorite fiction books for you. They may even have a copy at the local library if you are lucky. (I also really like The Horse and His Boy, and my wife’s favorite is The Magician’s Nephew.)