Larry's Reviews > Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life

Surprised by Joy by C.S. Lewis
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's review
Aug 09, 12

Read in August, 2012

To tell you the truth I don't know what I expected when I began reading this book. I knew of Lewis first as the author of the Narnia Chronicles, and a wonderful weaver of fantasy. I also knew he was or is considered a theologian or at the very least a Christian Apologist; the term theologian from reading this book I wonder if he would have accepted. I wanted to know what could take such an admirable mind(that much I did know-- was of his brilliance) and change it from a stance as atheism once resovled, to recognize himself as such and move to the opposite end of the spectrum, Christianity.

Rating this book is almost a personal experience that I shudder at describing because my views on "spirituality" are personal. I do not wish to prosthyltize others with my subjectiviy on a subject that I myself out of "blamed cussedness"(as Lewis described) to impose on others something I may get out of this book that they make question the veracity of, it being as I said based on one man's spiritual journey. So what I may find "speaks to the heart of the matter," or more aptly to my "heart," is to others readers pure nonsense. That is for you the reader to decide if you choose to read this book.

He does tell his early life, and while relevant to the shaping of his philosophy and ultimatly conversion from an intellectual stand-point to one of faith, it is candid. It doesn't leave out a thing! I mean I believe if Lewis practiced Confession as some faiths, even Protestant do, I don't believe he would leave out an iota of detail. If anything his honest to a fault picture of school life left me admonishing myself not to judge others. I must admit, I almost put the book down, not due to any fault of Lewis, so much as reading his other apologetic works and regarding him in such high esteem. But even St. Paul known to persecute Christians with a sharp blade, traded it in for the wisdom of a keen mind to do good. So, remembering this, I had to remember the dangers of placing one held in high esteem by me to divine standards. Had I set this book down, I would have made a grave error in missing out on the nature of Lewis' belief system, which is the question that made me desire to read this book in the first place.

I honestly gave it a 4 star review for subjective reasons, others must pass judgement on this book for the better or worse themselves, that is not for me to say. I myself intend to add this book to my library as a keeper to reread. Others may discard it with as much joy as I (forgive me)covet mine.
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