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The Great Divorce: A Review

Whether you know C.S. Lewis for his Narnia series or his prolific texts on Christianity, most can assuredly say that he has become a staple of western literature. I say western because I have no idea how he is perceived or if he is even known in other cultures, and it would be wrong to assume that he is.

Anyway, Lewis wrote both nonfiction and fiction texts and his short book The Great Divorce is a work of fiction.

Stars: 5/5

The Great Divorce features a man whose name we do not know. Somehow, this man has found himself in a gray town with no people in it whatsoever, except at a bus stop. The people waiting for the bus are less than cheerful but our narrator gets in line anyway. He has no idea where they bus is going, but he longs to be around people.

When the bus reaches its destination, we discover that our narrator is less of a person than we thought. He is all but transparent in this new world where even leaves seem to weigh a ton and touching the grass is a Herculean labor. But the real difference comes when we see the glowing people, people whose faces are full of joy, who seem to radiate peace and love with every fiber of their being. The Great Divorce takes us along for the ride as the narrator witnesses conversation after conversation in which one of these radiant beings tries to convince those like himself, Ghosts, to stay here in this splendor. More often than not, they choose to get back on the bus and head for home.

One thing I would like to note is that Lewis is a product of his time so perhaps his writing may seem a bit archaic to younger writers, or the allegory oversimplified but I find that for complex topics, it is best to be simple. That is why I have given it the review I have. Lewis does not try to be ornate or preachy, he gives us a scene and we are expected to take it as it is.

Would I recommend? Yes. It can easily be read in a single sitting and it is rather interesting.

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