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Publisher's Summary

For many years an atheist, C. S. Lewis vividly describes the spiritual quest that convinced him of the truth and reality of Christianity, in his famous autobiography.

"In the Trinity Term of 1929 I gave in, and admitted that God was God...perhaps the most dejected and reluctant convert in all England." Thus Lewis describes memorably the crisis of his conversion.

Surprised by Joy reveals both that crisis and its momentous conclusion that would determine the shape of Lewis' entire life.

©1955 C. S. Lewis Pte Ltd (P)2017 HarperCollins Publishers

Critic Reviews

"He is admirably equipped to write spiritual autobiography for the plain man, for his outstanding gift is clarity. You can take it at two levels, as straight autobiography, or as a kind of spiritual thriller, a detective's probing of clue and motive that led up to his return to the Christianity he had lost in childhood." (Isabel Quigley, Sunday Times)

What listeners say about Surprised by Joy

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A lot to digest

I enjoyed listening to tge story of Lewis's conversion and I thought it was well read. But I found it difficult to digest in this format. I would have got more out of it if I had read it myself.

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  • Georget
  • 08-09-18

Joy ful surprise

Now that I come to write this review i find i can't remember how i found this book or why I decided to read it. I am glad that I did and I will again. At times it was a little difficult, not the writing but following a description of a time and class i know nothing about. The quotes in german,french,Latin and Greek although lost on me, didn't really spoil the story. I feel the narrator a perfect choice, his voice and tone are suitable to the era, also his emotion in the reading at times made me feel i was listening to an old radio broadcast of c.s. Lewis himself. A book I'll keep in my library to listen again and again to find the parts i missed this time.

10 people found this helpful

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  • Lawrence D.
  • 11-24-17

A genuine pleasure to read .

CS Lewis' books are a genuine pleasure to read and this reader is simply outstanding. Highly recommended.

5 people found this helpful

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  • Fraser Jeremy Clark
  • 08-05-20

Hoped for more


Appears that a boyhood obsession with Animal Land becomes in adulthood Narnia. Not fully biography yet glimpses of background to Lewis becoming a Christian, not a Damascene event but logical reasoning I hoped for more on his Christian life a sense of rushed final chapters. Good narrative voice.

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  • katya belaia
  • 01-09-19

Beautiful

impossible to put down, captivating, illuminating. i want to listen to it over again straight away.

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  • JDS
  • 02-25-20

An insightful book into the conversion of CS Lewis

Great narrator, love CS Lewis! A really insightful book into his conversion to Christianity. Would recommend.

2 people found this helpful

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  • ian naftel
  • 07-06-20

Enjoyed it very much

It is a long book but was must enjoyable.
The story is full of ups and downs.
Having not read any of C S Lewis before I am keen to read some more of his books

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  • Greg Gauthier
  • 02-20-20

Fantastic reading, amazing work.

The reader was amazing and Lewis' story of himself was riveting and inspiring. Highly recommended.

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  • neil
  • 04-15-18

good insight on a journey of discovery.

lewis' knowledge and intellect shines through the words. a personal journey and historical document in one.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 01-28-19

An interesting read but weighted strangely

Interesting book and enjoy all of CS Lewis's so far, however I felt the first half dragged on and the second could have been drawn out longer than it was

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  • Anonymous User
  • 05-12-21

unsurprisingly good, surprisingly philosophical

While Peter Noble's narration is calm and possesses sufficient gravitas, the story, or rather recollection of thought process is a gem. I especially recommend chapters 13-4 for an useful insight, or a reminder of a few metaphysical facts about introspection and its subject.

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  • Alyssa
  • 08-22-18

Great but quality not great

Loved hearing Lewis’ story. Audio sounded as if it was skipping a lot so felt like I was missing chunks of story. Not good quality. I would try another version. Returning this one.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 09-30-19

A terrific autobiography

The narrator does a terrific job bringing this autobiography to life.

I was expecting the book to be more about the shift Lewis made from being an atheist to a Christian (as the subtitle indicates). Sure, this is certainly how the book ends with its closing chapters. Nevertheless, Lewis's conversion and the intellectual and personal experiences that led to this are much food for thought, and helped me to better clarify my own experience with faith and its relationship to life/ academia.

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  • Carlin
  • 09-06-18

Outstanding. Glorious.

Loved it. Highly recommend it. His pursuit of joy, his insight into it, and discovery of its source in God is very compelling and very relatable.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 01-15-18

Surprisingly good!

Intriguing and poignant story, excellently narrated. Recommend for any deeper thinkers and those who appreciate C.S. Lewis's work.

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  • Terry
  • 11-21-20

Suprised by Joy suprised by truth

I loved every minute the story held me captive the reader perfect for the story

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  • Bo
  • 10-25-20

surprised it want about joy.

I may have missed something, but k feel this was more about CS Lewis' abuse in schools and kind of missed where the joy part came in. I was hoping for some string philosophy, but instead got a stream of events regarding childhood abuse.