The Great Divorce

The Great Divorce

In "The Great Divorce, " C.S. Lewis's classic vision of the Afterworld, the narrator boards a bus on a drizzly English afternoon and embarks on an incredible voyage through Heaven and Hell. He meets a host of supernatural beings far removed from his expectations, and comes to some significant realizations about the nature of good and evil.A stunning new edition of this tim...

DownloadRead Online
Title:The Great Divorce
Author:C.S. Lewis
Rating:
Edition Language:English

The Great Divorce Reviews

  • John

    This is my favorite work by C.S. Lewis. I’d give it 8 stars, . . if ‘twer possible.

    In it, Lewis reacts to moral relativism (

    ) by suggesting that “you cannot take all luggage with you on all journeys; on one journey even your right hand and your right eye may be among the things you have to leave behind.” He astutely notes that the “great divorce” of good and evil is utterly voluntarily. And he does so by conjuring up this simple tale of a bus ride from a ghostly,

    This is my favorite work by C.S. Lewis. I’d give it 8 stars, . . if ‘twer possible.

    In it, Lewis reacts to moral relativism (

    ) by suggesting that “you cannot take all luggage with you on all journeys; on one journey even your right hand and your right eye may be among the things you have to leave behind.” He astutely notes that the “great divorce” of good and evil is utterly voluntarily. And he does so by conjuring up this simple tale of a bus ride from a ghostly, insubstantial hell, to the brilliant, vividly tangible outskirts of heaven. Anyone can take the bus, any one can stay in heaven. But in the end, most sadly return to the grayness below, unable to give up the things preventing them from truly accepting heaven. The bus is loaded with characters full of excuses, foibles and vices. And I think I know everyone on that bus. Some of them I know really well, - too well.

    I have used this short book in many Sunday school lessons over the years because Lewis’ language is so clever and incisive, and his insights are so pointed. I really love this book, and I cannot recommend it more highly!

  • Anne

    I LOVE reading everything C.S. Lewis. I read this book a few years ago and I couldn't put it down. The section of the book that stands out most to me is when the main character observes a conversation between two people (one who lives in heaven and one who is just visiting to see what it is like). The one who lives in heaven had killed someone while he was living on earth and the person visiting could not believe that the murderer had actually made it to heaven-The visiting man basically decided

    I LOVE reading everything C.S. Lewis. I read this book a few years ago and I couldn't put it down. The section of the book that stands out most to me is when the main character observes a conversation between two people (one who lives in heaven and one who is just visiting to see what it is like). The one who lives in heaven had killed someone while he was living on earth and the person visiting could not believe that the murderer had actually made it to heaven-The visiting man basically decided that he didn't want to go to heaven if this man was going to be there...and so he left and returned to hell. I thought it was very thought provoking especially at that time in my life where I was working through trying to know if I "should" try to forgive a certain someone in our family who had done some things that were, well to say the least, seemingly unforgivable. I have often pondered on this question since I read this book: Do I believe in the atonement enough to believe that even a "murderer" could be forgiven and find a place in heaven at the right hand of God. And if I do believe it, could I forgive that person also for whatever it may be that he might have done, and desire to live there too along side him??? think about it...

    This is a WONDERFUL book and I recommend it to EVERYONE! Let me know your thoughts...

  • Mike (the Paladin)

    One of my favorite (if not my favorite) C. S. Lewis works (and I am a C. S. Lewis fan). The insight in this book about God and man's relationship with Him is wonderful.

    I suppose that many who read this will already know that I'm a Christian. I won't belabor it, if you're interested I'm happy to discuss if you don't want to I won't push my thoughts on you.

    This is a very readable book and while I suppose the Christian aspects will be obvious it is also possible to simply read the book as a novel.

    One of my favorite (if not my favorite) C. S. Lewis works (and I am a C. S. Lewis fan). The insight in this book about God and man's relationship with Him is wonderful.

    I suppose that many who read this will already know that I'm a Christian. I won't belabor it, if you're interested I'm happy to discuss if you don't want to I won't push my thoughts on you.

    This is a very readable book and while I suppose the Christian aspects will be obvious it is also possible to simply read the book as a novel. There are some overt "teaching sections" but the book is constructed as a fantasy story told from a narrator's point of view. I've read novels from the point of view of other religions and didn't suffer or find myself suborned into some belief against my will, so I don't think non-Christians would necessarily have a problem with the book. As to Christians I believe most will enjoy this book and find an (strangely when some of it is considered) uplifting story that is also thought provoking, enlightening and even instructional. If you are a non-Christian or even irreligious you might try it and see if you can approach it as a fantasy...that is up to each reader of course.

    On the religious and philosophical front, the title is a response to Blake's, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell and though the book isn't a direct answer to this work it provides a contrasting and opposed view. Blake's work was written long before this one (1793) and is not as well know as this book. It's not at all necessary to have read it to enjoy this work. I only include this piece of information because I know some will be curious about the title.

    Finally (and again), yes this is a Christian book and if you are a Christian and approach it so I believe it's possible to get much from this short read. In studying the Triune-God and wanting, hoping for even a little more understanding about His plan for us and the provision He has made this book was/is (for me) amazing. C.S. Lewis was a wise man and close to God, and he left us an abundance of that wisdom (from God)in his writings.

    Highest recommendation.

  • Fergus

    Imagine that you awoke one morning to find yourself wandering the streets of a grimy, gritty little twilit city in the middle of Nowhere.

    You meander past endless shuttered and decrepit storefronts advertising nothing anyone would ever possibly want or need...

    ...to find yourself joining a long queue that is forming in a dark, gloomy side street.

    You wait and wait, not knowing for what earthly reason you are there, among a crowd of obnoxious and surly rivals for the front of the line.

    Where are we?

    Imagine that you awoke one morning to find yourself wandering the streets of a grimy, gritty little twilit city in the middle of Nowhere.

    You meander past endless shuttered and decrepit storefronts advertising nothing anyone would ever possibly want or need...

    ...to find yourself joining a long queue that is forming in a dark, gloomy side street.

    You wait and wait, not knowing for what earthly reason you are there, among a crowd of obnoxious and surly rivals for the front of the line.

    Where are we?

    Well, first off, we’re dead.

    And this is Hell, of course!

    Our worldly blasé attitude while living has decreed it.

    That, says Lewis, is where most of us will start our Journey (and his friend and fellow Inklong Charles Williams agreed).

    And why the lineup?

    We are being given a second chance - to board a tour bus to Heaven.

    And if we like it... we won’t ever need to come back. You may have to work a bit, though... no, actually, MUCH MORE than a bit...

    But wait till you see Lewis‘ HEAVEN!

    C.S. Lewis‘ Magical Mystical Tour will show you a weird ‘n wonderful kinda paradise - a BRIGHT, ZANY, and very HARD and SOLID place of eternal ‘rest’ your current mindset may not be ready for!

    A place of truly tough CHALLENGES.

    Sharp, solid grass blades. Hard, solid but fast-moving blue waves of an Eternal Sea. Totally alive mythological creatures roaming freely and happily through Eternal Glades.

    A place of departure - for the final Great Pilgrimage: across rugged mountainous peaks, to your ultimate Heart’s Desire - in a sacred grove of Eternal Rest.

    But The Great Divorce, of course, is only Narnia in embryo, just as Eliot’s Ash Wednesday is only the drawing board for the radiant Apocalypse of Four Quartets!

    Narnia, Lewis’ later view of the Afterlife, had its genesis in the deep gloom and self-doubt that shrouded Lewis’ soul when he was roundly humiliated, in a university debate over the existence of God, by the great Ludwig Wittgenstein’s similarly competitive and agnostic friend Elizabeth Anscombe.

    Narnia is Lewis’ own afterthought on that debate - a vision of Heaven so stunningly daring in its conception and execution it had to be disguised as a children’s book - a book also wondrously enlivened by the December-of-his-life romance with his soon-to-be wife, Joy Davidman.

    And it is an Afterlife in which we ALL will play a part.

    Like it or not.

    Things in Heaven may not be what they seem, and as Lewis‘ buddy T.S. Eliot warned, we‘ll have to discard all sense and habitual notions once we get there!

    But both these guys are really only reminding us of that old, old boogie-woogie revival tune, “better get-a ready cause I’m giving you the Warnin’...”

    So don‘t shoot the messenger...

    And, for goodness’ sake, don‘t miss that BUS!

  • Brian

    “Bad cannot succeed even in being bad as truly as good is good.”

    “The Great Divorce” is a didactic novel and the premise though intriguing is not always interesting. Some “ghosts” board a bus in Hell and make their way to a portion of Heaven (although it does not seem to be “in” Heaven proper. What follows are a bunch of conversations that the narrator overhears. As mentioned, the story is didactic in tone, but when Mr. Lewis hits a strong point, it is a kick in the pants. This text is a thinking

    “Bad cannot succeed even in being bad as truly as good is good.”

    “The Great Divorce” is a didactic novel and the premise though intriguing is not always interesting. Some “ghosts” board a bus in Hell and make their way to a portion of Heaven (although it does not seem to be “in” Heaven proper. What follows are a bunch of conversations that the narrator overhears. As mentioned, the story is didactic in tone, but when Mr. Lewis hits a strong point, it is a kick in the pants. This text is a thinking novel, not a diversionary one. There are one or two well-drawn characterizations, but the narrator (I think by choice) is not one of them. I believe the narrator is a sort of stand in for C.S. Lewis himself.

    Of special note is the “Preface” to the text, which is in and of itself worth the price of the novel. Lewis says more in those 4 pages then most writers do in 100.

    As a former actor/artist myself this line on page 85 knocked me back a step. “Every poet and musician and artist, but for Grace, is drawn away from the love of the thing he tells, to love of the telling till, down in Deep Hell, they cannot be interested in God at all but only in what they say about Him.” I think that in any pursuit you can eventually lose sight of the forest for the trees. I have lived this experience, which is perhaps why it was so impactful for me.

    In this short text chapter 11 seems to be the meat of the book. In it, we are witness to two different “ghosts” and their vastly different reactions to the offer of Heaven. That sentence makes this text seem simplistic. It certainly is not, do not be fooled. In chapter 11 we also observe a scenario in which we see how natural love can be warped by our humanity and turned into something quite ugly. It is pretty heady stuff, and disturbingly unsettling.

    At one point a character says of love on Earth, “But what we called love down there was mostly the craving to be loved.” I have thought about that one a lot. I think this might be true. I don’t add a value to that or suggest that is a bad thing, I just wonder if that is not a huge motivation for something that we sometimes tell ourselves is altruistic. Don’t know…

    I think that you would appreciate “The Great Divorce” more if you have a knowledge of the Bible, especially the New Testament. It will greatly aid you in seeing what Mr. Lewis is doing with this text. This novel has depth, but does not get bogged down in it. I read it quickly; it made me stop and think. I will take that as a good thing in almost any book.

Best Books Online is in no way intended to support illegal activity. Use it at your risk. We uses Search API to find books/manuals but doesn´t host any files. All document files are the property of their respective owners. Please respect the publisher and the author for their copyrighted creations. If you find documents that should not be here please report them


©2019 Best Books Online - All rights reserved.