Friday, August 10, 2007

The Great Divorce. . . . reviewed by Spaceman Spiff

At first glance, you may think this book explains the 60% divorce rate or possibly be about someone who was in a horrible marriage and finally escaped to a life of wonder and joy. You would be wrong on both guesses. This fiction piece by C.S. Lewis is critically regarded as a great piece of literature for it's allusions and style. I am not a critic, but I did like this book very much.

The story starts out with the main character, you don't find out who he is until the end, trying to catch a bus at a very crowded bus station. From there, you journey with him on a bus flight. . . . yes, this bus flies. Again, you don't really know where you are going until you get there, but then again, neither does the main character. He is as lost as you are, he just knows he is supposed to get on the bus.

Once the bus arrives in a place seemingly more real than anywhere else, each member of the tour group (as I call them) are met by someone especially suited to guide them on the next step of their journey. Apparently, all these people have been living in hell. Not a figurative hell, but the real thing. . . . depending on your choice though, it could have been purgatory and eventually heaven itself. Confused yet? Well, the story guides you from person to person and their interaction with their guides and the questions raised just confuse you as much as the main character. Fairly quickly though, all the questions are answered as the secondary characters choose to journey to heaven or back to hell.

I have to say, this book really brings to light some of the illusions we (living people) use to delude ourselves and divorce from the reality of God's love. Which is where I imagine the title came from. We allow pride, selfishness, a sense of entitlement and fear, among other things, to divorce from the truth and ultimately to cause us to choose hell over heaven. Whether you consider yourself a religious person or not, this book is a good read. At 100 or so pages, it doesn't require days of drudging though scripture or dogmatic propaganda. In fact, there is none to drudge through. What it does is to make you think a little about your own life and possibly wakes you up both figuratively and, like C.S. Lewis in the story, literally.

Next review, either Eyes of the Dragon by Stephen King or one of the two books by R.A. Salvatore that I'm reading now. Whichever I finish first.


Airam said...

Wow what a great review! This sounds like a book that I would really enjoy and at 100 pages isn't something that is cumbersome to read either.


HLOGS said...

I'm currently reading The Question of God, where the arguments for and against God based on CS Lewis' life and writings and Freud's are pitted against one another. Its quite interesting, I might have to check this one out too for further study!

jadey said...

Hi my 55 is up

Lord Chimmy said...

Hmmm, at 100 pages I could read this entirely in the bathroom!

I generally avoid "preachy" books, but this sounds interesting. It sort of sounds like a retelling of Dante's Inferno (which I rather enjoyed).

ARM said...

This does sound pretty interesting even though I usually try and stay away from C.S. Lewis stuff (the few books I've read of his, I felt there were subliminal messages...of course...what book doesn't have a subliminal message? Hmmm).

brookem said...

it does sound interesting. and at 100 pages, it sounds like a good plane read, which im planning for soon.

Manuela said...

Good for people to know.