In honor of the 50th anniversary of C. S. Lewis' death, celebrated Oxford don Dr. Alister McGrath presents us with a compelling and definitive portrait of the life of C. S. Lewis, the author of the well-known Narnia series. For more than half a century, C. S. Lewis’ Narnia series has captured the imaginations of millions. In C. S. Lewis - A Life, Dr. Alister McGrath recounts the unlikely path of this Oxford don, who spent his days teaching English literature to the brightest students in the world and his spare time writing a best-selling fantasy series for children.
Dr. McGrath uses his extensive research and thorough examination in chronological order of Lewis’ correspondence and archival materials to present a new picture of Lewis’s life. This definitive biography paints a portrait of an eccentric thinker who became a compelling, though reluctant, prophet for our times. You won’t want to miss this fascinating portrayal of a creative genius who inspired generations.
©2013 Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. (P)2013 Oasis Audio
Alister McGrath paints a picture of the life of C. S. Lewis that ignites my curiosity and allows me to appreciate the writings of Lewis even more! I found that I was making excuses to do things that allowed me to finish this book over the last three days. I have loved Lewis's writings for years, but have never known the back story which makes me think I will have to re-read Lewis and once again enjoy the expansion of my logic, desire, curiosity, and imagination. McGrath, a well known theologian and academic, looks in depth at all available C. S. Lewis books, journals, letters and what others who knew Lewis wrote and comes away with his own cohesive understanding of Lewis and his writings. He also frequently makes note of the historical context and things that were going on in England which shaped the course of Lewis' life. Lewis' complicated relationship with his father (in which he at times deceived him), his conversion from Atheism to Christianity, his unexpected falling in love with a dying woman who seems to have orchestrated meeting Lewis and their subsequent common law marriage are documented with clarity and precision. Also each book that Lewis wrote is placed in the context of Lewis' journey through life. I think Lewis is able to articulate so clearly the human experience because he was: so honest with himself, a genius, and came to faith later in life. Just like someone who learns how to do something innately hard for them, later in life, will likely be a better teacher, Lewis learns about humility in the context of being a grown up self-focused man. In the context of his adult life, he learns to merge the critical analytical life which governs what he believes, with the inner workings of his powerful imagination which through the conquest of his desire culminates in finding the True Myth which all myths point at, namely Jesus Christ.
I'm an avid reader of many genres and issues. Audiobooks sometimes bring books into 3D , and when that happens its brilliant!
How many times can one man's life be interpreted?
There have been many bios of C.S. Lewis, this one written for the 50th anniversary of his death. The author is an Oxford scholar, and Anglican clergyman and positively disposed to his subject.
I found it doesn't add much to those who know a deal about Lewis' life, but his exploration of his subject's work as a Christian apologist, and his later theological writings are well- explored and helped me to understand Lewis through his life and writings.
There was little hagiography, but the continued publication of Lewis suggests that he will be an influence within mere Christian circles for the foreseeable future.
The reader voice was a little flat, but kept me engaged once I got accustomed to his cadences.
I love theology, the classics, biographies, and bussiness books. I sometimes even enjoy a little modern fiction,
This biography gives us a very human look at a man trying to follow Jesus. That over simplifies what I want to say. C.S. Lewis lived a very complicated life. In his life you see the broken nature of humanity and the sin nature that all those of us who follow Jesus struggle with. Yet in spite of his contradictions, or maybe precisely because of them, God uses this man in an incredibly powerful manner. I found hope in the fact that if God can use Lewis in spite of his many struggles he could use me as well.
I've been following Jesus for over 26 years and Mere Christianity was the second "Christian book" I read after deciding to be a Christ follower. Since that time I've read almost everything he has written. Lewis' books have had an indescribable influence on my Christian life. Understanding a little more about his life just makes his written words all the more powerful.
I'm also a huge Tolkien fan and though I knew Tolkien was influential in C.S. Lewis' conversion to see how instrumental Lewis was in the Lord of the Rings was a treat. This is well worth the listen.
Book blogger at Bookwi.se
This is the best bio of Lewis I have read and one that is well worth reading. It is a popular biography and McGrath says he is going to do a more academic biography later, which I look forward to. This one is highly readable and hits all of the right notes. McGrath had access to newly released letters and that seems to have made a big difference. There are some new details that have come out as a result of this biography and some may take issue with them, but McGrath seems to have documented them fairly well. I do wish there was more about Lewis' spiritual development. Other than the Inklings he does not seem to have had a Christian community around him, or at least it was not well discussed. I also wanted more about his interaction with his stepsons before and after their mother's death. And connected with the spiritual development I wish there had been more discussed about this theology.
In spite of the areas that were lacking this is still a 5 star biography.
My full review is on my blog.
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