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 (423 )
5 star
 (233)
4 star
 (113)
3 star
 (58)
2 star
 (15)
1 star
 (4)
Overall
4.4 (215 )
5 star
 (131)
4 star
 (54)
3 star
 (21)
2 star
 (7)
1 star
 (2)
Story
4.4 (214 )
5 star
 (122)
4 star
 (60)
3 star
 (23)
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
    4009
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1519
    402
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1571
    144
    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
    35
    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
    235
    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
    224
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    138
    138
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    27
    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
    43
    11
    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
  •  
    Samuel Ronicker Omaha, NE 07-17-15
    Samuel Ronicker Omaha, NE 07-17-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great Story Done Very Well"

    The voice of the reader was just as I have sometimes imagined Lewis himself sounding! Therefore listening to this version was akin to having Lewis himself sitting with me telling his story.

    The story is a powerful one of God chasing down and capturing he who became a powerful voice for God. It reminds me if Saul's conversion. He, a skeptic, atheist "meets" God through and indeed as Joy, and though it wasn't in his plans to do so, becomes a powerful spokesman for God in his time and indeed still today.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    dan 06-21-15
    dan 06-21-15
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Even though he can put me to sleep I still love it"
    What did you love best about Surprised by Joy?

    C.S. Lewis story, because I can relate with his relationship with his father. He helps shape my critical thinking and I love that the most.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mark 06-01-15
    Mark 06-01-15 Member Since 2012
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    20
    3
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent"

    I have read and listened to a ton of books by CS Lewis, and this one is fascinating because you get the story of conversion from his own perspective. The narration is good -- he does several of Lewis' books and, though I found him "mechanical" at first, I now appreciate his tone. My favorite part is his description of being tutored by "The Great Knock."

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Karl Miller 05-11-15
    Karl Miller 05-11-15 Member Since 2015
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Amazing Philosophical Journey!"

    C.S.Lewis like no other searches the inner depths of his thought and experience to present his journey from boyhood to the intellectual elite of Oxford. But he is pursued by the greatest Mind of all.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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.