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Alister McGrath paints a picture of the life of C. S. Lewis that ignites my curiosity and allows me to appreciate the writings of Lewis even more! I found that I was making excuses to do things that allowed me to finish this book over the last three days. I have loved Lewis's writings for years, but have never known the back story which makes me think I will have to re-read Lewis and once again enjoy the expansion of my logic, desire, curiosity, and imagination. McGrath, a well known theologian and academic, looks in depth at all available C. S. Lewis books, journals, letters and what others who knew Lewis wrote and comes away with his own cohesive understanding of Lewis and his writings. He also frequently makes note of the historical context and things that were going on in England which shaped the course of Lewis' life. Lewis' complicated relationship with his father (in which he at times deceived him), his conversion from Atheism to Christianity, his unexpected falling in love with a dying woman who seems to have orchestrated meeting Lewis and their subsequent common law marriage are documented with clarity and precision. Also each book that Lewis wrote is placed in the context of Lewis' journey through life. I think Lewis is able to articulate so clearly the human experience because he was: so honest with himself, a genius, and came to faith later in life. Just like someone who learns how to do something innately hard for them, later in life, will likely be a better teacher, Lewis learns about humility in the context of being a grown up self-focused man. In the context of his adult life, he learns to merge the critical analytical life which governs what he believes, with the inner workings of his powerful imagination which through the conquest of his desire culminates in finding the True Myth which all myths point at, namely Jesus Christ.
13 of 14 people found this review helpful
Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?
If said friend were a) a reader of fantasy, b) an inquisitive Christian, c) a lover of biographies, or d) a deep thinker, then yes, absolutely. And all my friends fall into at least one of those categories.
What was one of the most memorable moments of C. S. Lewis - A Life?
One of the biography's foci is C.S. Lewis's conversion to Christianity, and the telling of that story contains many memorable moments, including a conversation about mythology between C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien that not only influenced Lewis's spirituality but also prefigured both writers' major works of fantasy.
What about Robin Sachs’s performance did you like?
Sachs's stately performance embodies the erudite world of Oxford academia that serves as the backdrop for most of the book. Sachs should also be commended for pronouncing most of the book's arcane and foreign literary terms correctly, no easy feat.
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
As a long-time reader of Lewis's work, and of the medieval literature that was so central to his intellectual development, I found many moments in the biography quite moving, even those that most readers would probably pass over. The descriptions of some of Lewis's epiphanies about Narnia will probably resonate with most readers.
Any additional comments?
This audiobook features an interview with the author preceding the book itself. After the biography's conclusion, we're treated to two recordings of Lewis himself at his deep-timbres lecturing best. Both the book itself and the audio edition are masterful additions to the corpus of C.S. Lewis research.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful
A great sweep of the life and influence of CS Lewis, providing important cultural and academic scenery to the story too. A must read for this interested in Lewis and I found myself inspired to read more of his books too!
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
If you could sum up C. S. Lewis - A Life in three words, what would they be?
Unexpected, thorough and insightful
What other book might you compare C. S. Lewis - A Life to, and why?
I recently listened to a biography of Stalin and both the CS Lewis book and the Stalin book are good at weaving the story of these men into what was going on in the world at the time.
What does Robin Sachs bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?
He brings a calm, quiet but steady voice which adds to the character of Lewis.
If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?
More to him than you thought
Any additional comments?
CS Lewis was a genius who led a complicated and often difficult life. His writings both Christian and other were often exceptional and his ability to communicate well with others who are much less intelligent than he was is what makes him stand out. A promise in his early years shaped a lot of his life unexpectedly. I would thoroughly recommend this book and many others that Lewis wrote himself.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful