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Publisher's Summary

In a skillfully produced and cast audio performance, Alan C. Duncan is able to narrow in on one of the more powerful and effective literary mentorships of the 20th century, that of C.S. Lewis and a critical influence in his faith and life, G.K. Chesterton....

"One of the things that makes this a unique project is the archival work. In Gilbert and Jack, Duncan makes dozens of links that come from personal notations in Lewis’ copies of Chesterton’s books, providing an introduction to their theological kinship that we are unlikely to get anywhere else." (Dr. Brenton Dickieson)

©2021 Alan C. Duncan (P)2021 Alan C. Duncan

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Excellent

So, I am biased toward this book, I will admit. But before I elaborate on that, I should say that I heard about this from Brenton Dickieson, whose excellent blog, a Pilgrim in Narnia, I have followed for years.

Although I have never met or corresponded with the author, I would certainly like to at some point. He and I are of similar age, living in the midwest, with small children, grew up in a family with our father as a pastor, spent time at the Wade Center (never research for me, but I went there several times for tours and events while attending Wheaton College), and are both clearly, deeply in love with the Inklings and their literary forefathers (and mothers) and descendants (In checking my goodreads, and it depends on how you count it, but I've read just under 20 books by Chesterton and about the same number for Lewis, besides teaching a CS Lewis elective at my school for a number of years now). So, yeah, you can probably see why I loved this.

The first thing I would say is listen to the audiobook (I got it on audible) if you at all can. Just as many props to Duncan for doing the music, production, etc. to make the audio version as for researching and writing the book in the first place. The narrator who does the Chesterton and Lewis voices is excellent too.

The book is based on research of some of Lewis' own editions of Chesterton's work, particularly Lewis' copy of Orthodoxy. Lewis was a prolific note-taker and index-maker in books, and with the help of an expert on Lewis' handwriting, Duncan was able to even find roughly when Lewis would have likely written those notes. He then tells the parallel story of the ideas contained in the original Chesterton work and considers how that is then later reflected in Lewis' writing. If you love these writers like I do, there is much to be gained here and many interesting insights to be found.

Duncan also adds in some of his own, as Dickieson says, devotional thoughts, and I found most of these quite well-said, and even sometimes displaying a profundity or turn of phrase that Uncles Gilbert and Jack would have been proud of.

Well done, and I certainly hope more people find this little gem of a book!

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A Really Great Read.

I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book. I found it’s combination of engagement, brevity and straight forward language made it a quick but interesting read.

I first heard about this book when the author was on the C.S. Lewis podcast, Pints with Jack, and I was very interested in the topic it addressed. Lewis is such an influential writer, a person who positively influenced him, in both his religions life and his writing, would be intriguing to learn about, and it was.

The author did an excellent job of teasing out even the most subtle of connection between the works of the two authors showing a very clear influence. Chesterton’s writings were clearly well know and understood by Lewis and showed themselves in Lewis’ work throughout his life.

To be honest though, although I find myself hearing lots of his quotes lately and hearing how influential he has been, I don’t know very much about Chesterton or his works. (Sorry Pints with Chesterton, maybe I’ll get to your podcast one day.) Because of my limited exposure to his works, I found the information about Chesterton very interesting.

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