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The Great Divorce CD Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged
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The Great Divorce is C.S. Lewis's Divine Comedy: the narrator bears strong resemblance to Lewis (by way of Dante); his Virgil is the fantasy writer George MacDonald; and upon boarding a bus in a nondescript neighborhood, the narrator is taken to Heaven and Hell. The book's primary message is presented with almost oblique tidiness--"There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, 'Thy will be done,' and those to whom God says, in the end, 'Thy will be done.'" However, the narrator's descriptions of sin and temptation will hit quite close to home for many readers. Lewis has a genius for describing the intricacies of vanity and self-deception, and this book is tremendously persistent in forcing its reader to consider the ultimate consequences of everyday pettiness. --Michael Joseph Gross --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
`The Great Divorce ... helped me see the possibility of a really adult faith that did not avoid the toughest questions about failure and self-deception and pointed to a God absolutely and unconditionally loving and utterly, painfully, demanding in his truthfulness.'Rowan Williams `There is attractive imagery and amusing satire... There are exciting speculations... Mr. Lewis rouses curiosity about life after death only to sharpen awareness of this world.' The Guardian --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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For starters, The Great Divorce is not a dry, philosophical book. It is a cleverly written first-person narrative that begins on a bus ride from a dreary town and ends in a lush garden full of creatures both magnificent and wretched. For the passengers on the bus, the garden is so unbearably real and solid that they can hardly stand it at first. Most will find an excuse to get back on the bus. But a scant few will be persuaded to cast off their attachments to life in the town and head off toward the mountains where an inexpressible joy awaits them.
It is against this backdrop that Lewis sets up the core of the work--a sequence of vignettes that perceptively describe some of the major reasons why people turn away from the salvation offered by God through His Son, Jesus. These are, in the main, so beautifully drawn and so frighteningly true to life that every reader must find himself in the crosshairs in one or another of them.
Lewis is a brilliant writer and thus this book is littered with wonderful little aphorisms. Two of my favorite are:
"There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, 'Thy will be done,' and those to whom God says in the end, 'Thy will be done.' All that are in Hell, choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no Hell."
"Every young man or boy that met her [an anonymous saint] became her son -- even if it was only the boy that brought meat to her back door....There are those that steal other people's children. But her motherhood was of a different kind. Those on whom it fell went back to their natural parents loving them more."
In short, The Great Divorce is brilliant and enlightening. Great food for thought for those traveling through the earthly existence.
Setting aside the Dantean structure, I think this book takes up the question posed by Blake in The Marriage of Heaven and Hell and comes to the conclusion that heaven and hell are two distinct places under very different managements.
Ultimately, I think Lewis explores the issues of freedom and choice concluding that nobody who desires heaven will miss it, but that we can't take our sins with us.
"There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, "Thy will be done," and those to whom God says, in the end, "Thy will be done." All that are in Hell, choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no Hell. No soul that seriously and constantly desires joy will ever miss it. Those who seek find. Those who knock it is opened. " (quote from the book)
Yes, yes! I highly recommend this book. It makes a great gift book. It is very quick reading, not as wordy or complicated as Mere Christianity [Deckle Edge] Publisher: HarperSanFrancisco; 3th (third) edition Text Only. It is more along the line of The Screwtape Letters.