The Fellowship

  • by Philip Zaleski, Carol Zaleski
  • Narrated by John Curless
  • 26 hrs and 31 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

A stirring group biography of the Inklings, the Oxford writing club featuring J. R. R. Tolkien and C. S. Lewis.
C. S. Lewis is the 20th century's most widely read Christian writer and J. R. R. Tolkien its most beloved mythmaker. For three decades they and their closest associates formed a literary club known as the Inklings, which met weekly in Lewis' Oxford rooms and a nearby pub. They read aloud from works in progress, argued about anything that caught their fancy, and gave one another invaluable companionship, inspiration, and criticism.
In The Fellowship, Philip and Carol Zaleski offer the first complete rendering of the Inklings' lives and works. Lewis maps the medieval mind, accepts Christ while riding in the sidecar of his brother's motorcycle, becomes a world-famous evangelist and moral satirist, and creates new forms of religiously attuned fiction while wrestling with personal crises. Tolkien transmutes an invented mythology into a breathtaking story in The Lord of the Rings while conducting groundbreaking Old English scholarship and elucidating the Catholic teachings at the heart of his vision. This extraordinary group biography also focuses on Charles Williams, strange acolyte of Romantic love, and Owen Barfield, an esoteric philosopher who became, for a time, Saul Bellow's guru. Romantics who scorned rebellion, fantasists who prized sanity, Christians with cosmic reach, the Inklings sought to revitalize literature and faith in the 20th century's darkest years - and did so.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A Thorough Moving Tribute

Absolutely fascinating read for devotees of the Oxford phenomenon. I have read several biographies of the key members- Lewis, Tolkien, Williams,etc -but not until filling out the edges with the stories of how they interacted together did I appreciate the joyfulness, intellectual depth and spiritual searching that came from these timely friendships. I have to admit that whilst thoroughly enjoying the intellectual stimulation of following the various paths of philosophy and debate, I also found myself moved to tears a few times! A Great balance of their humanity... and beyond.
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- M. J. Palmer

Expands the horizons of the Inklings

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

If my friend was interested and had read Lewis and Tolkien, yes. For the uninitiated, this study may be too dense and scholarly.


Who was your favorite character and why?

Not a character, but a central figure, JRR Tolkien, as I have always admired his devotion to the making of the "legendarium" as a storehouse of tales for our age, from another...


What about John Curless’s performance did you like?

He handles the personalities emerging in the Zaleskis' telling well. He modulates his voice to suit the mood, and over 20+ hours, engages the reader in an intellectual investigation


If you were to make a film of this book, what would the tag line be?

The Inklings: more than beer at the Bird and the Baby


Any additional comments?

The Zaleskis' respect our intelligence. They understand the worlds that Lewis, Tolkien, Owen Barfield and Charles Williams created, and they critique them evenly and fairly, while remaining sympathetic to their anti-modernist credo and their surprising pop culture impact.

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- John L Murphy "Fionnchú"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 06-03-2015
  • Publisher: Recorded Books