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Book Review: The Great Divorce

Posted on April 9, 2013 | By Rob Collins

C.S. Lewis is revered by many Christians for his wonderful stories and contributions to the world of Christian writing.  I must confess that I have yet to read the “Chronicles of Narnia.”  I read “Mere Christianity” back in college; though I wasn’t a very attentive reader back then.  “The Great Divorce” allowed me to wade back into the river of Lewis’ writings.

By most book standards it is rather short.  A quick read for even myself, an admitted slow reader.  This was my second book for 2013 and it is grand.

The story follows a journeyman on a bus that takes him and the other passengers to heaven.  The tale is rich with metaphor and imagery.  It challenges one’s imagination for the life here after.

While the supporting cast of characters may seem a bit stereotyped, they were no less real.  As real as the people we walk by everyday, as real as everyone that reads this blog and even everyone that never sees the page.  It is their realness, and perhaps their stereotype-ness, that makes this story so moving.  I could see myself and many people I know having the same conversations and discussions.

Lewis offers you and I the chance to think about heaven and hell.  To think about how they’ll feel and what life will be like in those places.  He stirs clear of Dante influenced ideas of hell and harp playing, cloud riding visions of heaven.  Lewis’ concern is practical, imaginative, and biblical; why do people choose life without God, why do they choose hell?

I loved this book.  It is a short, thought provoking read.  Lewis’ writing is wonderful. At times I needed a thesaurus to decipher the words on the page; though I’m afraid that fault lies with my lack of vocabulary.

Every believer should read this story, and allow themselves to get lost in dreaming about life everlasting found in Christ.

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