We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
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.
Regular Price:$20.97
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

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

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (401 )
5 star
 (216)
4 star
 (111)
3 star
 (55)
2 star
 (15)
1 star
 (4)
Overall
4.4 (195 )
5 star
 (118)
4 star
 (51)
3 star
 (17)
2 star
 (7)
1 star
 (2)
Story
4.4 (194 )
5 star
 (108)
4 star
 (57)
3 star
 (20)
2 star
 (8)
1 star
 (1)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    connie Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada 12-21-09
    connie Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada 12-21-09

    Narrative makes the world go round.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    3903
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1514
    402
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1555
    143
    Overall
    "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.

    16 of 16 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Greg Davis San Jose, CA USA 12-12-05
    Greg Davis San Jose, CA USA 12-12-05 Member Since 2008

    Greg in San Jose

    HELPFUL VOTES
    34
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    4
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    "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
  •  
    Eunice Harrodsburg, KY, United States 11-12-07
    Eunice Harrodsburg, KY, United States 11-12-07 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    233
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    164
    51
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    11
    0
    Overall
    "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
  •  
    Amazon Customer TALLAHASSEE, FL, United States 09-08-13
    Amazon Customer TALLAHASSEE, FL, United States 09-08-13 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    173
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    130
    130
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    21
    21
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ruth BLACKBURN, Australia 02-20-08
    Ruth BLACKBURN, Australia 02-20-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "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
  •  
    F. R. Vining Shreveport, LA USA 10-10-12
    F. R. Vining Shreveport, LA USA 10-10-12 Member Since 2003

    Flashback Photography

    HELPFUL VOTES
    17
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    40
    9
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    6
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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
  •  
    Jeffrey Nelsen Springfield, IL 04-11-15
    Jeffrey Nelsen Springfield, IL 04-11-15

    kindle lover

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Enjoy it more each time I return to it"

    The narrator was excellent. Lewis is masterful in his description and winsome in his candor. Excellent! Will read it again one day. And recommend it to others.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anatoliy 01-14-15
    Anatoliy 01-14-15 Member Since 2014
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great Book!"

    This is the book I recommend for everyone!
    This book is about Lewis's spiritual journey mixed with his biography.

    Enjoy!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patrick Slaven 01-06-15 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    42
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Partial Autobiography of Cherished Writer "

    CS Lewis is one of my favorite writers. I've read most of his works multiple times and studied some of his life through biographies. So reading his take on his life was a fascinating and rewarding experience. His childhood experiences were dark and troubling, but it was a personal joy to see him speak of them without anger or complaint. His path to redemption and belief was remarkable.

    A must read for fans of CS Lewis.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Craig 03-23-14
    Craig 03-23-14

    Very eclectic when it comes to books & music.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    7
    7
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "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
  • Showing: 1-10 of 15 results PREVIOUS12NEXT

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.