The Great Divorce
C.S. Lewis’ The Great Divorce is a classic Christian allegorical tale about a bus ride from hell to heaven. An extraordinary meditation upon good and evil, grace and judgment, Lewis’s revolutionary idea in the The Great Divorce is that the gates of Hell are locked from the inside. Using his extraordinary descriptive powers, Lewis’ The Great Divorce will change the way we t...more
You meander past endless shuttered and decrepit storefronts advertising nothing anyone would ever possibly want or need...
...to find yourself joining a long queue that is forming in a dark, gloomy side street.
You wait and wait, not knowing for what earthly reason you are there, among a crowd of obnoxious and surly rivals for the front of the line.
Where are we? ...more
I suppose that many who read this will already know that I'm a Christian. I won't belabor it, if you're interested I'm happy to discuss if you don't want to I won't push my thoughts on you.
This is a very readable book and while I suppose the Christian aspects will be obvious it is also possible to simply read the book as a novel. ...more
In it, Lewis reacts to moral relativism (the Marriage of Heaven and Hell) by suggesting that “you cannot take all luggage with you on all journeys; on one journey even your right hand and your right eye may be among the things you have to leave behind.” He astutely notes that the “great divorce” of good and evil is utterly voluntarily. And he does so by conjuring up this simple tale of a bus ride from a ghostly, ...more
“The Great Divorce” is a didactic novel and the premise though intriguing is not always interesting. Some “ghosts” board a bus in Hell and make their way to a portion of Heaven (although it does not seem to be “in” Heaven proper. What follows are a bunch of conversations that the narrator overhears. As mentioned, the story is didactic in tone, but when Mr. Lewis hits a strong point, it is a kick in the pants. This text is a thinking ...more
C. S. LEWIS: Hello there. I'm C. S. Lewis.
ROB: What is this place?
C. S. LEWIS: Why, this is heaven, of course. You can tell because everything here is so Real, and so joyous. The earth you knew was but a collection of dim shado ...more
My favorite part is when he describes a woman who has chosen heaven but whose husband refuses to give up the little devil sitting on his shoulder and ultimately chooses to return to hell. The narrator asks how ...more
This review is for the audiobook. My son introduced me this recording; he listens to it on autoplay. Julian Rhind-Tutt is one of the best narrators I have heard and this book is a perfect place for his talents with so many personalities and characters taking the stage.
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In this reread much more stuck with me. I could definitely see parallels with Lewis's other works, particularly The Last Battle -- like the Dwarfs that refuse to see the new Narnia, and in Till We Have Faces -- with Orual's possessive love of Psyche. There's a bit of Miracles and Mere Christianity in here too.
I realize now that this one really needs to be treated as a dream, or a thought experiment, in a completely different way than his apologetics, devotional works, or other fic ...more
A few of my favorite quotes...
"There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, 'Thy will be done,' and those to whom God says, in the end, 'Thy will be done'."
"You cannot love a fellow creature fully till you love God."
"Every na ...more
Obviously, no one has actual answers for the ...more
I do believe that artists have a responsibility to get theology as right as they can, even in their fiction, but I think that there is a significant difference between The Shack and Lewis's The Great Divorce. Whereas Young's novel really seemed to be promoting the theology behind it, The Great Divorce should not be read as proposing the way that Heaven and Hell really are. (Lewis himsel ...more
Actual ratings 4.25 ...more
13 November 2011
Even though he does have some strange ideas, I always enjoy reading a book by C.S. Lewis, and this book is no exception. The Great Divorce is actually an excellent exploration of the nature of heaven and hell and is about a man who finds himself in 'hell'. The this work hell is a huge city that appears empty, and that is because nobody can stand living with anybody else so they constantly move out to the fringes of the city. As such the idea of meeting up with famou ...more
(or how to obtain infinite joy by abandoning your-self)
This book is truly one of Lewis’ masterpieces. Lewis tells a parable of a bus ride from heaven to hell in order to show us why people choose hell. Lewis is not saying that somebody, once in hell, have a chance for “do-overs.” Lewis is showing us why some people, even suffering in hell, when (hypothetically) offered a chance to get out, would still choose hell over heaven.
In this book Lewis comes very close to the ancient Eastern view of the ...more
2014: In this brief and beautiful allegory, Lewis takes us on a tour of heaven and hell, where we learn about our powers to choose between self and salvation.
This was a great book to read in conjunction with Milton's Paradise Lost.
2013: also a great book to lay alongside Dante's Divine Comedy. ...more
The Great Divorce tells of a journey of souls from the grey town, which we soon see represents Hell, to a wide open space of meadows, rivers and mountains. Yet when the people disembark they are dismayed. They now appears as Ghosts and all the vegetation is dense and tough in a way that makes movement difficult and, at times, dangerous. And ...more
This book reminds me a bit of his book, "Pilgrim's Regress", and John Bunyan's book too. It follows that sort of pattern- wandering in a strange land, meeting allegorical people, having philosophical conversations with angels and men ...more
- reading the "tvtropes" page of this book does help
- the story isn't long, and comfortably easy and quick a read
- preface is essential to read before the main text
- the story gives a nod to many writers Lewis had read (starting with being inspired by William Blake, of course); one early scifi short story is mentioned as an influence, but no one has been able to indentify it by name
- the description o ...more
Picked this up on a whim last night and couldn't put it down! The fastest I've read a book in months.
In true C.S. Lewis fashion, this book was equal parts cozy comfort read by the fire, cup of tea in hand, and deep philosophical discussion in a university library. Thought-provoking and complex yet approachable in the way only Jack can manage.
The perfect way to start my year. It altered my perspective and gave me a lot to ponder as we a ...more
|C.S. Lewis book club forming in Seattle||2||25||May 16, 2021 10:11AM|
|religion without preaching||12||123||May 16, 2021 10:10AM|
|What character reminds you of yourself and why?||6||62||May 16, 2021 10:10AM|
|Mighty DR JB! You have done it again. He restored my broken marriage||3||3||May 16, 2021 10:09AM|
|Time||1||3||Feb 13, 2020 06:13AM|
|Christian Goodrea...: The Great Divorce, by C. S. Lewis||52||160||Nov 29, 2018 07:07PM|
Clive Staples Lewis was one of the intellectual giants of the twentieth century and arguably one of the most influential writers of his day. He was a Fellow and Tutor in English Literature at Oxford University until 1954. He was unanimously elected to the Chair of Medieval and Renaissance Literature at Cambridge ...more