5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Surface fantasy is framework for peak into human heart.
Lewis' "The Great Divorce" is a book that I have owned for years but only recently read. I don't know why it took me so long, but now that I have read it I want to read it again all the more. I guess that is a sign of a good book. Many of you reading this review are no doubt familiar with Lewis the philosopher, theologian, writer, and speaker. Suffice to say he...
Published on Oct. 2 2002 by Andy Williamson
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Very difficult to understand
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.
Published 3 months ago by Carley
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Hardness of Heaven,
This review is from: Great Divorce (Paperback)Unlike some of Lewis' other books ("The Pilgrim's Regress", or "The Chronicles of Narnia"), "The Great Divorce" is not allegory but rather a well crafted and metaphorical dream of the nature and ethos of heaven and hell and the reasons people will one day find themselves in either one or the other. In this beautifully imagined story, Lewis develops one of the main ideas of his famous essay/sermon, The Weight of Glory, namely that the often imagined airy and opaque spiritual realm is a truer and "harder" reality than that of this physical/material world (which is really a kind of shadow land, like a pencil sketch rendering of a landscape compared to being in the actual place). When the narrator arrives in heaven (or in the waiting space of heaven) he finds that the grass cuts his feet and when he goes to find relief in a stream, he is carried away on the surface of the current he tries to wade in to. Falling cones and acorns would pass right through him if they fell on him, not because they are ethereal and "soft" but because in the realm of glory, they are so much harder and real than unglorified and as yet unperfected humanity. New arrivals in heaven are but a shadow of what they were always meant to be and which the redeemed will one day become.
Lewis also explores the idea that people who are in hell are there because they choose to be and, even if given the opportunity to leave, they would not for they refuse to humble themselves and hand over the reigns of their lives to Another. The narrator/dreamer in the story overhears several conversations between people already in heaven and the recent arrivals who are given a day pass out of hell to visit their loved ones in a type of intermediate place. The believers attempt to talk their loved ones into surrendering up their self-centeredness for the Lordship of the Master which will allow the visitors to permanently remain in heaven with them but every excuse is given for not doing so (ranging from the petty excuses of people who once knew a Christian who was a hypocrite to scholarly self-important pride).
This is a thought provoking and beautiful book, in my opinion one of Lewis's best, and that is truly saying something.
5.0 out of 5 stars If you like C.S. Lewis . . .,
This review is from: Great Divorce (Paperback). . . like I do, I strongly suggest We All Fall Down, by Brian Caldwell. Like Lewis, Caldwell takes an intellectual aproach to the concept of Christianity. His novel is very much in the vein of The Screwtape Letters and The Great divorce. I highly recomend it for discriminating Christian readers.
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best books by Lewis,
This review is from: Great Divorce (Paperback)The Great Divorce is one of a kind, indeed. Like that of his Screwtape Letters, it is a fantasy book, but based on a real belief in the Truth - Christianity and everything therein. C.S. Lewis definitely wrote a lot on Christianity (his apologetics), but this relatively small book puts those beliefs and convictions into a real story and situation. We are not necessarily expected to believe in the story as the Truth about the afterlife, though it is probably a good guess, but we are to realize that it is very hard to let ourselves go, to let God rip and peel off the black soot from our shoulders. I highly recommend it for anyone either strong or weak in their faith. It is also a great piece of literature for those athiest-postmodern people out there!
5.0 out of 5 stars Nonbelievers will enjoy this read - my favorite book,
This review is from: Great Divorce (Paperback)I don't happen to be a believer in a higher power, Christian or otherwise, but I thoroughly enjoyed this bus ride from the very first page. C.S. Lewis' writing is contemporary and hits a nerve. The story is about the the great divide between heaven and hell but I was drawn to the character studies. Lewis was a psychologist, self-taught no doubt, by being a keen observer of his fellow travelers. A voracious reader I rarely have time to re-read a book but, I've picked up this one several times; you'll never forget the story. It's the kind of book you can open at any page and have a good read. He shows you that it's the little character flaws that keep you small, and feeling good about yourself. And little they are, but powerful. I promise you won't be disappointed. This book is a fairy tale for adults (definitely not for children). It didn't change my views about re4ligion, but it changed me.
5.0 out of 5 stars Pondering the perspective of heaven,
This review is from: Great Divorce (Paperback)First I have to admit that I have not read much CS Lewis. Given his reputation as one of the premiere Christian writers of the last century I recently purchased a small stack of his signature series books. The Great Divorce is the first one I have read, and I was truly amazed by its simple, yet complex message.
This book is powerful fiction with enough theology to put the gears of your mind into overdrive. In my opinion Lewis addresses two key questions in The Great Divorce - Is there a difference between heaven and hell? And, does God truly give us the freewill to decide our own eternal destination? Lewis really makes the reader ponder these two "deep" topics, and think about why certain "types" of people may have more difficulty choosing heaven over hell.
I won't give away Lewis' conclusions, but instead I will highly recommend this book to anyone looking for a short, but powerful book. If you are a Christian you should definitely add this to your reading list. Lastly, if you are not a Christian, don't be afraid to read it. Lewis was a great writer by anyone's standards, and his "theology" is subtle enough to be enjoyed by anyone.
5.0 out of 5 stars LOVED it!,
This review is from: Great Divorce (Paperback)Great book...It is fiction but written like nonfiction in the sense that you will still learn from it a great deal...will give you a new perspective of heaven and of God. I loved it and would definitely recommend it!
5.0 out of 5 stars Theological Triumph,
This review is from: Great Divorce (Paperback)The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis is a theological triumph. Narrated by the character George MacDonald(a fantasy writer who resides dead in hell) Mr. MacDonald in this story gets the unique opertunity to go from Hell to Heaven via a bus trip. Where he can then decide to stay in Heaven if he wished. It is to the reader's surprise that most of the travelers on the bus trip choose to go back to Hell instead of staying in Heaven. it is a lesson in the concept of human hunger and thirst. In Heaven your thirst is satisfied, but in Hell you may continue to thirst. A true modern day lesson of the nature of sin and sinners. The message of this book is portrayed strictly and carefully. Extremely detailed and exact. The narrators description is one we will all recongnize, he describes the vises and sin we all suffer from in everyday life. He goes to great pains to inflict the read with a personable feeling while reading. Lewis' talent for relaying the flaws of humanity back to humanity is clearly shown in this book.
5.0 out of 5 stars Delightful "Fantasy",
This review is from: The Great Divorce (Paperback)What a delightful little book! I think Lewis' fiction works often reveal more profound truths than his philosophical/theological ones. If you are bold enough to consider this subtle work as more than a piece of fiction, it could challenge the way you see your being in relation to God and "eternity." I would highly recommend reading this book in tandem with "Lilith" by George MacDonald...another amazing perspective on "reality" and the concept of being.
5.0 out of 5 stars One Of The Best Books I've Ever Read,
By A Customer
This review is from: Great Divorce (Paperback)This book is unforgettable -- both comforting and disconcerting. The narrator, together with a busload of damned souls, takes an allegorical trip into Heaven (or at least, into the Shadow of its Valley). Here he discovers that Heaven is for all souls who truly want it, but at the price of giving up all there is of Hell within them. This price proves too high for many of the damned, who prefer to return to Hell. The thing is, many of these pitiful and lost souls who choose damnation are very much like all of us.
A wonderful cautionary tale. Don't miss this one!
4.0 out of 5 stars A Fun Read,
This review is from: Great Divorce (Paperback)I could not put this fictional story down. The story representing heaven and hell is short but captivating. The numerous characters in the book reject the offer to heaven and give excuses that are really excuses people give for rejecting heaven while they are on earth. I must admit that there were parts of the story that I did not understand, but the basic premise was obvious and interesting.
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Great Divorce by C S Lewis (Paperback - Jan. 25 2001)
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