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C. S. Lewis - A Life: Eccentric Genius, Reluctant Prophet

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Very Good

The best biography I have read on Lewis by far.

posted by 6599943 on July 14, 2013

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

I thought this was an interesting book. I have read many books

I thought this was an interesting book. I have read many books by C.S. Lewis and enjoy his writing. Before reading this book, I was not aware of his close friendship with J.R.R. Tolkien, or that Lewis actually nominated Tolkien for the Nobel Prize in Literature. I wa...
I thought this was an interesting book. I have read many books by C.S. Lewis and enjoy his writing. Before reading this book, I was not aware of his close friendship with J.R.R. Tolkien, or that Lewis actually nominated Tolkien for the Nobel Prize in Literature. I was also not aware of the differing views on his relationship with his wife and the speculation on her motivation in their relationship. The author offered an entire chapter on the Narnia books, and I enjoyed his take on the back story of Narnia and the possible reasons behind the seven books. I also enjoyed this book because of the pictures of buildings in Oxford and Cambridge that I recognized from my travels in England. Overall an interesting book, but a little dry.

posted by J4Life5 on June 20, 2013

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  • Posted August 30, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    Fascinating! Unique! Informative! And ultimately┬┐engaging. I hav

    Fascinating! Unique! Informative! And ultimately—engaging. I haven’t finished this book yet, but what I have read, I love. What an interesting legacy.

    Most of us know who C.S. Lewis was—an author, intellectual, and (most importantly) Christian. I’m enjoying every moment (okay, well, there’s a slow moment or two…but it’s easy enough to skim over those few places…) of learning about this man’s life.

    Alister McGrath celebrates the 50th anniversary of this eccentric, revered, and unforgettable author’s death in an informative and captivating biography. Kudos.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 28, 2013

    Alister McGrath covered the life and works of C.S. Lewis in grea

    Alister McGrath covered the life and works of C.S. Lewis in great detail, including his flaws and controversial points as well as his superb visionary works that defend the faith and point to the art of communicating ideas and truth to all generations. The books discusses where he grew up, how his father hurt him, what happened in 1917 that added to the hurt, where he went in 1919, who became his cornerstone, and who supported him but died alone in a nursing home. It told what gave him financial security, what caused him to move from atheism to Christianity, what happened when his brother Warnie moved to Oxford, whom he encouraged in his writings who would help him rediscover his Christian faith, how knowing God helps an author, what two worlds Lewis saw, and who also moved significantly on a faith journey. What did the Inklings have in common and what did they do, how was Lewis a literary midwife, what role did Lewis play for BBC in World War II, what caused America to love Lewis, what other books would add to his devotees, what caused him heartbreak in his late 40's, what caused hostility to him at Oxford, and why did he feel isolated there? Why did he invent Narnia, what gave the Chronicles of Narnia such appeal, what happened in 1956 that was strange, when Joy became seriously ill, what did he do, what do Reflections on the Psalms and the Four Loves reflect, and what caused him major legal problems? All these questions and more are answered in this book. If you love Lewis' books, this book will help you understand the man behind the stories. It is so deep however that it is too long to be a fun read.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 14, 2013

    Very Good

    The best biography I have read on Lewis by far.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 5, 2013

    This is an extensive, thoroughly-researched book on the life of

    This is an extensive, thoroughly-researched book on the life of C.S. Lewis. Published in honor of the 50th anniversary year of his passing, Alister McGrath's book takes a chronological view. Combining known information, personal correspondence, literary works, and more, Mr. McGrath provides an extremely detail-oriented book that seems light on speculation and heavy on documented research.

    My opinion? I'm a fiction girl - light on the details, give me a story! This was truthfully a challenging book for me to "get into" and finish. However, in the end I am glad I started and did complete it, as I now have a much better understanding of this author as well as the time period and geography that are discussed. I have long enjoyed the Chronicles of Narnia books and was excited to pass them on to my daughter this past year. It was so interesting to learn more about the background and thought process behind that series, as well as his other works.

    I recommend this book.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 20, 2013

    I thought this was an interesting book. I have read many books

    I thought this was an interesting book. I have read many books by C.S. Lewis and enjoy his writing. Before reading this book, I was not aware of his close friendship with J.R.R. Tolkien, or that Lewis actually nominated Tolkien for the Nobel Prize in Literature. I was also not aware of the differing views on his relationship with his wife and the speculation on her motivation in their relationship. The author offered an entire chapter on the Narnia books, and I enjoyed his take on the back story of Narnia and the possible reasons behind the seven books. I also enjoyed this book because of the pictures of buildings in Oxford and Cambridge that I recognized from my travels in England. Overall an interesting book, but a little dry.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted April 29, 2013

    The story of a fascinating life.

    This is a readable and well-researched biography of one of our most important thinkers teachers and writers.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 19, 2013

    Readable, but not gripping I was concerned that this biography

    Readable, but not gripping


    I was concerned that this biography of Lewis would be too technical and border on unintelligible for the average reader. I was wrong, but neither is it a gripping biography (few are). The book methodically covers Lewis' life in detail, but unfortunately McGrath lacks Lewis' knack for being a master story-teller. A good resource for Lewis' life, but nothing extraordinary in the telling thereof. 

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 7, 2013

    C. S. Lewis grew up in Ireland until his mother passed away and

    C. S. Lewis grew up in Ireland until his mother passed away and his father sent him to England to boarding school. He hated the schools until he went to a private tutor. Then he went to the college he wanted to. He wanted to be a poet, but found his calling in writing books. Books about his life and a special series called the Lion, Witch and Wardrobe. He also became a University professor in England at a university he loved. He got married to an American woman who came to England to meet him because she was a writer, too. They got married and although she did pass away from cancer, they still had a good life together, leaving him her son from a previous marriage to take care of. After many books and papers written he passed away also with many honors. Today he is still idolized from many who still read and watch the Lion, Witch and Wardrobe series of movies and books.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 19, 2013

    CS Lewis: A Life was an in-depth look at CS Lewis┬┐ life and writ

    CS Lewis: A Life was an in-depth look at CS Lewis’ life and writings. I enjoyed reading about his friendship with Tolkien. The book actually spends a lot of time comparing Tolkien and Lewis, which was interesting. However, the book is pretty dry and full of more details than I cared to know. I could have enjoyed a biography of Lewis ¼ the length of this one. This is a book for the hard-core historian.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 18, 2013

    This is the biography of C.S. Lewis, published for the 50th anni

    This is the biography of C.S. Lewis, published for the 50th anniversary of this death in 1963. C.S. Lewis was a professor and an author of popular books such as the Narnia series.

    Wow, there was a lot of information in this book, which is to be expected in a book about a person's life. While it was somewhat interesting, there are so many places, dates and people mentioned that at times it got tedious to read. Certain parts seemed repetitive, such as Lewis' conversion to Christianity, and the footnotes in the back are extensive. Other readers might find all the information fascinating, but I thought the book was just okay.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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