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That Hideous Strength

ISBN: 9780062196941
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Logos Edition

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Just as readers have been transfixed by the stories, characters, and deeper meanings of Lewis’ 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.

That Hideous Strength is the third novel in Lewis’ science fiction trilogy. Set on Earth, it tells of a terrifying conspiracy against humanity. The story surrounds Mark and Jane Studdock, a newly married couple. Mark is a sociologist who is enticed to join an organization called N.I.C.E., which aims to control all human life. Jane, meanwhile, has bizarre prophetic dreams about a decapitated scientist, Alcasan. As Mark is drawn inextricably into the sinister organization, he discovers the truth of his wife’s dreams when he meets the literal head of Alcasan, which is being kept alive by infusions of blood. Jane seeks help concerning her dreams at a community called St. Anne’s, where she meets their leader—Dr. Ransom. The story ends in a final spectacular scene at the N.I.C.E. headquarters where Merlin appears to confront the powers of Hell.

In the Logos edition, this volume is enhanced by amazing functionality. Important terms link to dictionaries, encyclopedias, and a wealth of other resources in your digital library. Perform powerful searches to find exactly what you’re looking for. Take the discussion with you using tablet and mobile apps. With Logos Bible Software, the most efficient and comprehensive research tools are in one place, so you get the most out of your study.

Get this book as part of The C.S. Lewis Collection today!

Top Highlights

“They would say,’ he answered, ‘that you do not fail in obedience through lack of love, but have lost love because you never attempted obedience.’” (Page 145)

“This was the first thing Mark had been asked to do which he himself, before he did it, clearly knew to be criminal. But the moment of his consent almost escaped his notice; certainly, there was no struggle, no sense of turning a corner. There may have been a time in the world’s history when such moments fully revealed their gravity, with witches prophesying on a blasted heath or visible Rubicons to be crossed. But, for him, it all slipped past in a chatter of laughter, of that intimate laughter between fellow professionals, which of all earthly powers is strongest to make men do very bad things before they are yet, individually, very bad men.” (Page 127)

“Why you fool, it’s the educated reader who can be gulled. All our difficulty comes with the others. When did you meet a workman who believes the papers? He takes it for granted that they’re all propaganda and skips the leading articles. He buys his paper for the football results and the little paragraphs about girls falling out of windows and corpses found in Mayfair flats. He is our problem. We have to recondition him. But the educated public, the people who read the highbrow weeklies, don’t need reconditioning. They’re all right already. They’ll believe anything.’” (Pages 97–98)

“Vision—the power of dreaming realities—is sometimes hereditary,’ said Miss Ironwood.” (Page 63)

“This is the courtesy of Deep Heaven: that when you mean well, He always takes you to have meant better than you knew. It will not be enough for always. He is very jealous. He will have you for no one but Himself in the end. But for tonight, it is enough.” (Pages 226–227)

In his usual polished prose, the author creates an elaborate satiric picture of a war between morality and devilry.

The New Yorker

C. S. Lewis

Clive Staples Lewis (29 November 1898 – 22 November 1963) was one of the intellectual giants of the twentieth century and arguably one of the most influential writers of his day. He was a Fellow and Tutor in English Literature at Oxford University until 1954, when he was unanimously elected to the Chair of Medieval and Renaissance Literature at Cambridge University, a position he held until his retirement. He wrote more than thirty books, allowing him to reach a vast audience, and his works continue to attract thousands of new readers every year. His most distinguished and popular accomplishments include Out of the Silent PlanetThe Great Divorce, The Screwtape Letters, and the universally acknowledged classic Mere Christianity. Read more about his life and legacy.


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  1. Larry Craig

    Larry Craig


    What a disappointment! This could have been reduced by 2/3 and lost nothing in content. No, I haven't finished it yet. Lewis always comes on strong at the end, but almost all of this so far has been wearisome, tedious reading with no actual benefit. Like pages and pages of needless details, of forgettable characters, and a confusing plot. Clyde Kilby has a book about Lewis' writings that gives a detailed plot summary. Good thing, because I would have been lost without that.
  2. Patrick



    What a terrible conclusion to a good series. The plot is slow and tedious, the story is weighed down by too many characters - many of whom are practically worthless to get to know, and is such a deviation from the other two that if it were not for about 10% of the book - I would not have known this was part of the Space Trilogy. It takes so long to get to the actual storyline for this book and the development of two of the main characters is about as interesting as listening to the description of paint drying. The story does not flow well and the jumps in locations and characters, plus a boring storyline, make following along difficult. None of the great philosophy or fun dialog is in this one like the other two. The conclusion to the series doesn't feel on par with the other two nor is it even close to epic as what was hinted in the previous two. There are no interesting characters in this book and there is hardly enough in here to classify it as science fiction. The book cover is more interesting than the actual story. If you liked the other two in the series and feel like you absolutely need to finish the trilogy, please trust me on this...you are missing nothing. You may find yourself, like me, just constantly looking how much left you have to finish before you can be done with it - not a good outlook for a book. Final Grade - D-
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