Friday, August 9, 2013

C.S. Lewis: A Life

C.S. Lewis: A Life, Alister McGrath

A recent trip to a Christian bookstore convinced me I wanted to read a few more biographies. So I grabbed this one eagerly to read about C.S. Lewis - a man whose books I have read, who is regularly quoted in Christian books and is widely regarded amongst many believers, yet about whom I knew very little.

This is a biography that covers all aspects of Lewis’s life, from his childhood and early academic years, his coming to faith and writing, his friendships and relationships. McGrath has spent a lot of time reading Lewis’s published books as well as much personal correspondence to bring together a complete picture of the man. He has analysed many primary sources and is willing to draw conclusions about Lewis that seem at odds with previous biographies. At this level I am unable to comment, knowing nothing about Lewis myself other than what I have now read in this book.

It is a comprehensive work. I did find the first half a bit slow and will admit to putting it down with disinterest a few times. However once it got to Lewis’ conversion to Christianity, his later writings and apologetics work I found it much more interesting. McGrath has spent some time looking at the Narnia series as well as his other writings and it has inspired me to return to Lewis’ writing myself.

If you are like me and know little about the man, this book would definitely give you a wealth of information and analysis covering his life. If you are already a keen follower of C.S. Lewis and are familiar with his life and writings, you may be interested in McGrath’s take and interpretation of some of the events of his life, such as proposing a different date of his conversion from even the one Lewis himself suggested.

All in all a good book about a man worth knowing about.

1 comment:

Camilla said...

Sounds worth a read. I have recently read Lewis' Surprised By Joy about his conversion. And then was inspired to watch the film Shadowlands again, which we borrowed from the Burnside library. It's about his relationship with his wife and Lewis is well played by the very versatile Anthony Hopkins.