C. S. Lewis was, perhaps, a genius.  Well, let’s just say, for the sake of my argument, that he was indeed a genius.  If he was a genius, which I am saying he was, then this book gives readers a good glimpse of his genius at work.  The Great Divorce was just that good a read for me today. 

Yes, I read it in a day – the thing is barely 200 pages long – and between waiting in line at the DMV, to sitting in a pancake house eating not pancakes, to sitting in the basement of a the parish office waiting for my phone to ring – signaling a time to go home – I was completely lost in the beauty of the words.

There is something a little surreal about reading Lewis.  First of all, he is descriptive enough that you can understand the images he wishes to produce.  However, he is intelligent enough to sometimes make those images hard.  If there is one bad thing about being able to clearly define your settings for your readers, it is that readers then tend to let you do all the work and they just skim pages, only sort of getting the message you wish to convey.

However, and here is where I think C.S. was a bit of a genius, if you every now and then change how you describe, just ever so slightly, you force the reader back into the story as they pause and say “Wait a minute, I just missed something because I was there and now I’m here…I better back up a few…” and suddenly the reader is taking in what you wanted them to know twice  – and it becomes solidified further into their subconscious.  it’s magical!

As to the story itself, I cannot say it was all perfectly clear but I was forced to stop and really consider the facts C.S. was forcing the readers to face; the truth of the matters that everyone, especially Christians (I believe) take for granted.  Like love, for instance.  But that is a discussion I’ll leave for either people who know what they’re talking about or people who might read this blog and want to discuss it further.

 

Either way, I recommend The Great Divorce not just on a day when you’ve got nothing else to do.  It’s a book that you can easily carry with you everywhere and read quickly in between whatever takes up your time of day.

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