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Publisher's Summary

C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and the Inklings met each week to read and discuss each other's work-in-progress, offering both encouragement and blistering critique. How did these conversations shape the books they were writing? How does creative collaboration enhance individual talent? And what can we learn from their example? Bandersnatch offers an inside look at the Inklings of Oxford, and a seat at their table at the Eagle and Child pub. It shows how encouragement and criticism made all the difference in The Lord of the Rings, The Chronicles of Narnia, and dozens of other books written by the members of their circle. You'll learn what made these writers tick, and more: inspired by their example, you'll discover how collaboration can help your own creative process and lead to genius breakthroughs in whatever work you do.

©2016 Diana Pavlac Glyer (P)2016 Diana Pavlac Glyer

What listeners say about Bandersnatch

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The Inklings and the Creative Process Opened Up

This book is honest, thoroughly insightful, and sympathetic to the subject. The obvious work of love represented by this book becomes clear when considering how many letters, and documents must have been reviewed, and analyzed in order to produce the understanding presented in the book.

Although this work will most likely appeal to fans of Tolkien and Lewis who want to understand their relationship and that of the Inklings, it should also be read by anyone interested in writing or undertaking a creative endeavor. The insight derived from the author's effort is immeasurably valuable in that regard.

8 people found this helpful

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Terrible Reading

I quite enjoyed this book, and learned a lot about the members of the Inklings, and my favorite writers Lewis and Tolkien. It was exciting to reexamine their works based on the connections made in this book.
This is the first time I had a big issue with the reading of an audiobook. The accent is lovely, and the reading is clear, but the intonation is too variable. The narrator constantly swings between projecting and almost a whisper. I listen to audiobooks while driving, so I have to turn up the volume to a ridiculous level to hear the quiet parts over traffic, while the louder parts are deafening. Also, I found the artistic changes in intonation cringeworthy - lowering or increasing the pitch to imitate men and women. It was frustrating.

3 people found this helpful

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One of the best Inklings books ever

What made the experience of listening to Bandersnatch the most enjoyable?

Phenomenal research leads to a host of new information about CS Lewis, JRR Tolkien, and other Inklings. So well organized that you feel like you are easily following her outline. Extremely well read by Ward who is a Lewis scholar himself.

What did you like best about this story?

The research, new information, easily understood.

Which character – as performed by Michael Ward – was your favorite?

There are no characters but Ward's reading is exceptionally good.

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

If possible yes

Any additional comments?

I have read scores of books about the Inklings - this is one of the very best.

3 people found this helpful

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Bandersnatchery at its best!

Dragons, lions, silver trumpets, and the tales of Arthur fill the halls of your mind while listening to Bandersnatch. It was Diana’s dream to unravel the complexity of “The Inklings” and their relationships and though told to end her pursuit she pressed forward to claim her prize. Diana dug through the Archives of the Wade Center like Gandalf in pursuit of the truth behind Bilbo’s ring, spoke to Christopher Tolkien the last surviving Inkling, and found the threads that would weave together the greatest view of this now legendary writing group.

2 people found this helpful

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Amazingly wonderful

I purchased this book because I love C S Lewis and J R R Tolkien, and the title intrigued me. But the book was so much more! It was an interlude of joy and enjoyment. I highly recommend it to everyone who enjoys great writers.

1 person found this helpful

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Inspiring...Really!

This is a phenomenal book for those interested in Lewis, Tolkien, the Inklings group, or writing in general. This is more than just a collection of recollections of the group. What this book does is establishes the atmosphere of the Inklings group and what each member brought to the table. Then it brings forward how the group made each individual a better writer. It then offers an all-encompassing take on how a group like this is healthy for authors and writers and even how to start one yourself.

The author has written a fuller take on the Inklings but this version really is where you want to start. It provides exactly what you want to hear about Lewis and Tolkien from their writings to their personality. However, you also learn about their other works and where they got their ideas, and how much everything about them all changed and the Inklings were instrumental in that development. You learn about others in the group and the social proclivities of the overall meetings took place.

Half way through, if you're a fan of writing and maybe even how to implement the group type setting within a church Bible study or youth meet up or anything like the Inklings this is where you get that bug. And the final chapter, the author seems to anticipate that and offers some helpful advice from her study on what to do.

This really was an interesting read and I pulled a good number of quotes from it. It will be on my recommended recommendation lists for young folks who ask about books on writing. I highly suggest those who are interested pick it up.

Final Grade - A+

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Worthy of an extra star

If you’ve read Lewis’s Inner Ring and wanted more, this is more. If you’re a craftsman who wants to be better, you’ll not put it down.

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An aspiring writer’s wayside inn.

I imagine myself on the road, meeting other travelers, hearing stories, all of which add to my own and to the way I tell of what I see. This book I see less as another traveler, but as a well-needed wayside inn. Glyer is kind, compassionate, and wisely points her finger to the mountain top. She points to the paths well trod and safe, and points to the valleys and woods where trails are hard, but cleared by for-goers. She lets hero’s inspire at eye level, and brings loud declarations of past leaders into a coffee shop conversation with today’s companions.
This book is engaging, inspiring, and realistic.
Michele Ward is stout, bold, and engaging all the way through. I’ve met the man, and he is a gracious and welcoming here as is his warm English handshake and “hallo.”
High praise and high recommendation.

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Essential for Artists of All Kinds

I was worried at first that this may be a bit hard to digest, but it has helped awaken me so much in my journey as an aspiring writer and as a musician.
So inspiring and helpful.
I will be buying a physical copy to take notes!

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Especially Good Reader!

The narrator was wonderful, as was the book; it was certainly well worth the read.

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  • Xander
  • 05-05-18

I absolutely love this book!

I absolutely loved this book! So much so that I read it twice, which is very rare for me. Not only did it give great insight into the world of C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien and the Inklings but it very successfully argued that the Inklings worked together to influence, promote and support each other in all aspects of life. The idea of creative collaboration for writers and those concerned with writing strongly resonates with me and is a feature that is very important in my own life. I would strongly recommend this book not only to those interested in writing or the publishing of books, but also anyone who works collectively or in the creative arts. And best of all, this book was created for a more generalised audience from the academic work also by Diana Pavlac Glyer, "The Company They Keep: C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien as writers in community", which I am currently enjoying greatly.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Amanvir
  • 09-07-18

Incredibly good

One of the best reads I've had in a long while. Something magical about hearing the story of this group of writers.
A decent amount of food for thought in here too...
And Diana writes so well, the flow is music to my ears.

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  • Kassandra
  • 06-26-17

A thought provoking book

I thought this book was just going to be about the Inklings and their writing, but it was so much more. It made me think about how I write, and, more importantly, how I collaborate. If not quite 'life changing' it is 'life adjusting' that bit of my life that writes.