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4.7 out of 5 stars77
4.7 out of 5 stars
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on November 3, 2015
One of my favourite pieces from C.S. Lewis. A serious and perceptive venture into why people would end up in Hell or Heaven.
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on October 24, 2015
Good yarn, only took an hour to read. A stab at explaining how most people have no idea about what heaven and hell are.
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on September 17, 2014
Très instructive, on peut voir que Lewis a bien pense son analogie de l'enfer pour répondre à des questions difficile!
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on August 2, 2014
A master piece of thought about what Heaven and Hell are like !
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on July 16, 2014
Quite fascinating dream about haven and hell CSL had
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C. S. Lewis is one of the best-known Christian writers and apologists. His works have made a huge impact on generations of readers, and have brought Christian thought and doctrines to many who otherwise would not have shown any interest in them. In “The Great Divorce” he tackles one of the darkest topics in all of Christian doctrine: the topic of Hell.

C. S. Lewis’ views and writings were always to a large extent designed to shake up the comfortable complacency of the society around him. This particularly holds for the Christians who were all too happy to give up the hard and sometimes uncomfortable tenants of their faith and embrace the ever more libertine ethos of the modern culture. Two of the most salient points that Lewis is trying to get across in “Great Divorce” are 1. Hell is real, and 2. Hell is not just reserved for the most egregiously evil people. Chances are, if you are a Christian today you’ll get more criticism and ridicule for the belief in these two points than almost any other tenants of Christianity.

This book more resembles “The Screwtape Letters” than any of the other of Lewis’ apologetic works. “The Great Divorce” showcases Lewis’ narrative skills and imagination, in addition to his deep theological insights. Presenting a clear and convincing vision of the afterlife can be exceedingly challenging. Most literary and artistic attempts fall short, as the picture they paint more often than not end up being cheesy and sentimentalist. This could be one of the reasons why today it’s much more likely to see the afterlife depicted in humorous cartoons or with a heavy dose of irony – those tropes help shield the author from potential ridiculing. Authors who manage to depict the afterlife in a convincing and profound ways – Dante, Milton – are almost invariably the giants of arts and literature. No one will ever put Lewis in the same category as those giants, but nonetheless he manages to depict a very believable and thought-provoking vision of what Hell is all about. It’s a vision that is in many ways at odds with most theological schools of thought – something that is mentioned quite explicitly in the book in fact – but it’s not entirely incompatible with them. This book will not please either a very strict fundamentalist Protestant or a punctiliously scrupulous Catholic, but for almost everyone else it will be a neat exercise in theological speculation. In fact, it’s much more than that – “The Great Divorce” is a powerful reminder of the Last Things and a call for all of us to a life of holiness. That’s, ultimately, what lays behind all of theological speculations on Heaven and Hell.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 19, 2013
I read this book as part of a book club for the summer. I was not familiar with C.S. Lewis's work. I found this book overwhelmingly difficult to understand. On the surface it's an interesting take on Heaven & Hell, but underneath trying to understand the symbolism and the true message I found to be impossible without the input of my book club friends.
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on July 18, 2013
C.S. Lewis is an excellent storyteller (as I already knew from the Chronicles of Narnia); this book does not disappoint! Not so much about heaven & hell, but about how people may choose to go one way or the other. Pulled me in right from the beginning, and the ending really surprised me! I'd recommend this for anyone.
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on June 16, 2013
I really like CS Lewis. I especially liked the Great Divorce as it combines a nice story line with a lot to think about. It is very readable, and I have gone back to it a few times over the years for a re-read.
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on January 5, 2013
I have read much of C.S. Lewis writings and I would say that this is one of my favorite books. Although I read a lot I prefer the shorter books and for this reason this is one of my favorites. It is short yet rich. I recommend this book.
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