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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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

30 of 32 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • connie
  • Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
  • 12-21-09

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.

25 of 27 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Eunice
  • Harrodsburg, KY, United States
  • 11-12-07

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!

10 of 11 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

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.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ruth
  • BLACKBURN, Australia
  • 02-20-08

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

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

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

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

His response to a call to testify

Things discovered about a really great author that glorified God more then humanized the man.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Deep

I wish I could say I have read and studied the same way to come upon belief. I will instead be grateful that mine came much easier. I am
inspired to trace his steps.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Simply Beautiful

Lewis takes complex thought and makes it to where even I can understand it. Amazing.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Carôle
  • 09-26-15

Surprised by the journey!

What did you like most about Surprised by Joy?

I was first introduced to C S Lewis by 2 friends, separately. The title, Mere Christianity, was both an eye opener and a mind opener. Of course, I was minded to enjoy it anyway, being a Christian myself, but he was an intellectual Christian - a novelty to me - and I was amazed! I would highly recommend that book to everyone, Theists and Atheists alike.

This book, Surprised by Joy, is a semi autobiographical telling of how Lewis went from a childish belief in God, to Materialism, Atheism, the Occult & other isms, to Christianity. It makes for very interesting reading. I had only intended to read a couple of chapters tonight, instead I read the whole book! Impressive how he gained his acceptance of God through his extensive perusal of the classics!

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

If you haven't read it already, your next title to follow this one should be, Mere Christianity, Lewis's Apologetics book! It makes great reading and is Christianity for intellectuals.

If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?

Discovering God Through The Classics!

Any additional comments?

Since my first introduction to C S LEWIS, I have read and re-read many of his Christian books. I will always re-read Mere Christianity twice a year. He had also written an essay called "The Trouble With X". You must read it, it's about you!

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Daniel
  • 03-22-16

so dense itbis hard to follow

language was colourful yet hard to track. foavorite part was the last 3 chapters capturing his muse about his conversation..

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Matthew
  • 09-22-16

The story of a life through articulate honest eyes

To get to know someone who has faced the truth of themselves and done somthing about it.