Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life Audiobook | C.S. Lewis | Audible.com
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Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life | [C.S. Lewis]

Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life

In this book, C.S. Lewis tells of his search for joy, a spiritual journey that led him from the Christianity of his early youth into atheism and then back to Christianity.
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Publisher's Summary

In this book, C.S. Lewis tells of his search for joy, a spiritual journey that led him from the Christianity of his early youth into atheism and then back to Christianity.

©1955 C. S. Lewis Pte. Ltd.; (P)2000 Blackstone Audiobooks

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  •  
    Greg Davis San Jose, CA USA 12-12-05
    Greg Davis San Jose, CA USA 12-12-05 Member Since 2003

    Greg in San Jose

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    "Satisfied by Joy!"

    If you want to know about the man - C.S. Lewis - this is the book you want. His reluctant journey to faith is fascinating. The narrator, Geoffrey Howard, is perhaps the best I've ever heard. If the institutional church makes your skin crawl, but the idea of knowing God is more palatable, then you'll find a friend in Lewis.

    26 of 27 people found this review helpful
  •  
    connie Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada 12-21-09
    connie Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada 12-21-09 Member Since 2007

    trying to see the world with my ears

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    "Not what I expected"

    3 stars as autobiography; 5 stars as beautifully written book about a spiritual journey, excellently narrated

    If you want to read about CS Lewis, better try Alan Jacobs' The Narnian or other bio.

    If you want to read CS Lewis the Christian apologist describe selected aspects of his boyhood and adolescence up to his early adulthood conversion (in beautiful and often humorous prose), download this. I think even those who take no interest in Lewis but who are interested in social history of the first half of 19th century Britian would find this a valuable listen.

    If you are unfamiliar with the British school system or don't have a nodding acquaintance with schools of philosophy and major Brit Lit figures of the early 19th century, reading a bio such as Jacobs' first will make this a much more rewarding listen.

    I wish that Lewis had lived to write a more complete autobiography. He selected "selectively" experiences that drew him toward the source of joy. His silence on others leaves the listener longing for a more complete travelogue of his journey.

    12 of 12 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Eunice Harrodsburg, KY, United States 11-12-07
    Eunice Harrodsburg, KY, United States 11-12-07 Member Since 2007
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    "Lewis is always great!"

    C. S. Lewis is one of the most thought-provoking writers in recent years. In this book, he tells about his early life and how it shaped his intellectual and spiritual later life. This was the one book of his I had not read, and am grateful to have heard it. It is not an easy listen...you have to pay attention. I went back and listened to some parts again, or grabbed my print copy and re-read for myself. That said, however, it has added to my appreciation of Lewis's writings to know where he came from. Well worth the listen!

    8 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ruth BLACKBURN, Australia 02-20-08
    Ruth BLACKBURN, Australia 02-20-08
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    "Surprised By Joy"

    An excellent book. Wonderful insights into CS Lewis' life and what shaped his writing. Inspirational!

    5 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Catherine TALLAHASSEE, FL, United States 09-08-13
    Catherine TALLAHASSEE, FL, United States 09-08-13 Member Since 2013
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    "Deep, but longer than necesssary"
    Would you consider the audio edition of Surprised by Joy to be better than the print version?

    Yes. I never would have made it through the print version. The narrator made it somewhat easier to get through the first ten chapters to the meaty part of the book.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Chapter 11. That chapter was what I was looking for - encouragement and a real discussion of God's role in joy as well as the difference between true joy and anything else.


    What about Ralph Cosham’s performance did you like?

    He read with a beautiful and natural cadence. I have liked other narrators better, but he did justice to the book.


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

    C.S. Lewis' journey from a depressed victim of bullying to a joyous Christian.


    Any additional comments?

    If you're like me and you're looking for a real explanation of joy and how and where to get it - just read chapter 11.

    If you're looking for an excellent treatment of the effects of bullying at home and at school, as well as an excellent treatment of how sports, games, and other forced activities in the public school system can foster bullying, read chapters 1-10.

    If you want an explanation of how war influenced the thought and spiritual life of C.S. Lewis, read chapter 12.

    If you want to know what C.S. Lewis read, and thus what influenced his thought life, read the entirety of the book.

    I have read other non-fiction works of C.S. Lewis that I liked better, but I will probably listen to chapter 11 again. It was worth the read for that chapter.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    F. R. Vining Shreveport, LA USA 10-10-12
    F. R. Vining Shreveport, LA USA 10-10-12 Member Since 2003

    Flashback Photography

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    "All CS Lewis fans ought own."
    If you could sum up Surprised by Joy in three words, what would they be?

    An intriguing account as to how CSL journeyed in life to the foot of the cross.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Craig Salt Lake City, UT, United States 03-23-14
    Craig Salt Lake City, UT, United States 03-23-14

    I'm a former Christian turned Atheist. I like listening to both Christian and Atheist audiobooks, and books like 'Angela's Ashes.'

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    "Very Compelling And Enjoyable Listening"
    What did you love best about Surprised by Joy?

    Hearing the details of Lewis' early life and his almost accidental conversion to Christianity.


    What other book might you compare Surprised by Joy to and why?

    Lewis' "A Grief Observed," as both give you insight into Lewis' life: one his early life and conversion, the other his crisis of faith and grief over the death of his wife.


    What does Ralph Cosham bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    Cosham is a very excellent reader, and his inflections and overall delivery exude his thorough familiarity with the text. For me, this made listening to the audiobook a superior experience to my just plodding through the text on my own.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Lewis' comment regarding finding a friend: something like, "What? You too? I thought I was the only one!"


    Any additional comments?

    A must for Lewis lovers.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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    Christin GREENVILLE, SC, United States 04-09-13
    Christin GREENVILLE, SC, United States 04-09-13 Member Since 2012
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    "Enjoyed the Story"
    What made the experience of listening to Surprised by Joy the most enjoyable?

    I have always enjoyed Lewis' writings. Glad this one is available as an audio book! Listening to the book is like getting to know Lewis better and gives greater appreciation to his other writings.


    What didn’t you like about Ralph Cosham’s performance?

    The style of narration, while not obstructing the message of the book, is very staccato.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I don't think I could listen to this all in one sitting. It takes some time to process, and I often found that I needed to listen to a section again to really understand what is being said.


    Any additional comments?

    This is my first non-fiction audio book. I would recommend it to almost anyone.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Thomas Nedreberg Eureka, Utah 03-25-13
    Thomas Nedreberg Eureka, Utah 03-25-13 Member Since 2004
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    "Detailed but long story getting to Joy"
    Was Surprised by Joy worth the listening time?

    This book had it's good points but it took a long time to get to the point of joy. It was written in a language that was complicated and sometimes hard to follow with the points that author wanted to make separated by long distances from his examples.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Paul Schleifer 03-13-12 Member Since 2010
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    "Lewis' Early Autobiography"
    What made the experience of listening to Surprised by Joy the most enjoyable?

    C. S. Lewis has a way of using the English language that pleases, and he is in fine form in Surprised by Joy.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I think I liked the simplicity of it best--he is a Christian apologist in many of his writings, and it might have been easy to cast this in the mode of Augustine, but he avoids the temptation.


    What about Geoffrey Howard???s performance did you like?

    I liked Howard's transparency--his performance is straightforward, not getting in the way of Lewis' prose.


    Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

    I listen to a lot of books in the car, driving my son back and forth to training sessions and games, so listening all in one sitting isn't really an option for me. However, it was hard to stop listening whenever I got to my destination.


    Any additional comments?

    I'd recommend this book to anyone.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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