Favorite C.S. Lewis book that isn't about Narnia

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Postby Zarn Ishtare » Wed Oct 22, 2008 5:25 pm

Pilgrim's Regress, The Great Devorce. Best of his fiction, at least for me, although the Divorce is abit dated, more of a "For the Time" it was written. It still speaks to basic feelings and conditions, but it was written to answer certain scholarly ideas being encountered at the time.


The Problem of Pain was my guide through a dark night in my life. Suprised by Joy was rather enlightening...I had the hardest time with Mere Christianity. The Screwtape Letters led me to understand my own faith abit better...Till We Have Faces was the most mysterious, the one I still don't understand entirely.
With your doubt, all is comfort
We are all as we appear
No more questions left unanswered
No more wonder, no more fear
Nothing is beauty, nothing's feeling
Blood where there once was a soul
So I ask you, prove yourself
Make me believe that you are whole
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Postby USSRGirl » Wed Oct 22, 2008 7:47 pm

PR also addressed budding philosophies of the day, but I didn't think that created any problems in conveying the full meaning since most of the people encountered in Divorce and PR are still alive and well today though maybe in different "forms."

Till We Have Faces was good writing but rather... er... pyschadellic (sp?). Some running themes like Pysche and Orual being the saving and suffering messiah types, the meeting of pagan religion with civilized religion, the whole argument with the gods thing, but otherwise I'd agree on the "mysterious" label. Darn good story though.
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Postby Robin Firedrake » Wed Oct 29, 2008 6:21 am

I like the space trilogy. Peralandra most of all.
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Postby whisperingloon » Fri Oct 31, 2008 12:54 pm

Till We Have Faces is one of the most amazing pictures of sin and suffering and redemption and beauty I've ever read.

I also really love The Discarded Image.

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Postby jim_wijit » Wed Nov 19, 2008 2:41 pm

I'd have to say Screwtape Letters I reread it every few months and parts of it throughout the year.
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Postby Lady Kenshin » Thu Dec 04, 2008 9:23 pm

I like the space trilogy... XD
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Postby Maokun » Fri Jul 17, 2009 10:39 am

The Pilgrim's Regress is reaaaally good but it requires some understanding on the history of philosophy. It is also a heavy read. I learned a lot but the more I learned the less I was entertained, so at that point it felt like a textbook for me, which I don't say as a bad thing, rather as an encouragement to read it with the proper mindset, as the fiction is really secondary and subservient to the message. The one that I love and reccomend unabashedly would be Perelandra. Georgeous fiction married with some of the best answers I've ever heard to conflictive questions such as "If God knew there would be sin why did he give us free will? Or rather why did he bother to create us to begin with?" Wonderful stuff.
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Postby Ashley » Sat Jul 18, 2009 9:50 am

For Lewis' Fiction:
BigSleepJ wrote:I also love Till We Have Faces. It think it is his best work, mostly because it deeply involves the reader on an emotional level, which is always good.

I always knew you had good tastes, J. That's my favorite of his fiction, too! I think Til We Have Faces is a masterpiece, especially since Lewis and I share a great love for mythology. I remember crying when I read the end because it was such a beautiful, amazing story. In fact, I have a copy on my dresser that I can't wait to dig into.

To those that found objection to his use of "pagan religion", I think it would be important to remember that Lewis considered the Gospel "the greatest myth of all." Not in the sense that a myth is untrue, but that myths teach us truths (or fragments of truth) in a moving, emotional, spiritual way (he considered the parables myths), and that the Gospel is the greatest myth because it contains absolute truth. So I think for Lewis, expressing the great paradox of humanity (simul justus et peccator, as Luther said), and even greater truths about suffering and redeemption and God in the form of a myth or a story wasn't meant to be degrading. On the contrary, it was meant to be the highest form of praise.

For Lewis' Nonfiction:
Hands down Mere Christianity.
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Postby Bobtheduck » Fri Jul 24, 2009 9:33 pm

Perelandra. It's actually my favorite book, atm. It has been for a few years.

Ironically, I have yet to finish That Hideous Strength. That first 150 pages is putting me to sleep just like the council of Elrond. I'm not even entirely sure what the book is about yet, because I keep putting it off then starting it over so I'll remember what happened... I've done this about 10 times.
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Postby Etoh*the*Greato » Fri Jul 24, 2009 11:52 pm

Over the course of my Honeymoon I read through the larger portion of The Weight of Glory. It was brilliant...
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Postby Ashley » Sat Jul 25, 2009 8:29 am

Ironically, I have yet to finish That Hideous Strength. That first 150 pages is putting me to sleep just like the council of Elrond. I'm not even entirely sure what the book is about yet, because I keep putting it off then starting it over so I'll remember what happened... I've done this about 10 times.


I do this with Douglas Adams' The Hitchhiker's Guide all the time. Perhaps a Wiki summary would help?

It IS a lot different than the others in the trilogy, but overall still good, I think.
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Postby Maokun » Sun Jul 26, 2009 6:39 am

Bobtheduck (post: 1331513) wrote:Perelandra. It's actually my favorite book, atm. It has been for a few years.

Ironically, I have yet to finish That Hideous Strength. That first 150 pages is putting me to sleep just like the council of Elrond. I'm not even entirely sure what the book is about yet, because I keep putting it off then starting it over so I'll remember what happened... I've done this about 10 times.


I know what you mean. The style is totally different and it kind of lags during the first half trying to juggle several different themes, but in the end everything is tied up neatly if a bit rushedly. Biggest selling point: the "confirmation" that the planet Earth was once Tolkien's Middle Earth.
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Postby rocklobster » Mon Jul 27, 2009 4:50 am

Well, Lewis and Tolkien were both friends, so he probably threw that in as a tribute to a friend.
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Postby Maokun » Mon Jul 27, 2009 7:04 pm

Yeah, obviously. But I meant it is cool to see two apparently different universes by different authors be tied like that.
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Postby familygibbs » Sat Aug 15, 2009 2:35 pm

I would say that Till We Have Faces is my other favorite besides Narnia, but I also really enjoyed That Hideous Strength. They were definitely harder to understand, but as someone with a background in science, I appreciated some of Lewis' insights into the dangers of practicing science with no regard for God's laws in That Hideous Strength.
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Postby Garland » Wed Aug 26, 2009 8:17 pm

The Screwtape letters was a good read. The thing about the Great Divorce is that it is rather symbolic so until you get into the mindset, it goes over your head. Otherwise it's a good read too. They were about tied for me.
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Re: Favorite C.S. Lewis book that isn't about Narnia

Postby artisticDreamer » Sat Nov 29, 2014 10:20 am

I've only read The Screwtape Letters so... :sweat:
I'm reading the first book of his space trilogy, though.
(Sorry, didn't realize how old this was)
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Re: Favorite C.S. Lewis book that isn't about Narnia

Postby MomentOfInertia » Sat Nov 29, 2014 12:33 pm

Woah, 2009. Its been awhile since someone gravedug a thread from before I joined.
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Re: Favorite C.S. Lewis book that isn't about Narnia

Postby Nate » Sat Nov 29, 2014 3:55 pm

I know right?

Also surprised by how many people seem to think Mere Christianity is good. It's actually really awful, I can't imagine any atheist or non-Christian reading it and being convinced of Christianity's truth due to all the terrible analogies and logical fallacies that Lewis uses.
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Re: Favorite C.S. Lewis book that isn't about Narnia

Postby LastLfan » Wed Dec 03, 2014 11:10 am

First off I'll do The mods job before they show up, Nate, this is not the place for bashing, we've been over this, stay on topic please about YOUR favorites, if you don't have one or are curious to learn more then this isn't really the topic for you. This may be a gravedigger but I wouldn't mind this staying open so let's be productive here you guys.

Now, my personal favorite(so far) is out of the silent planet. It's cool to see the sci-fi side of Lewis as opposed to the well known fantasy side, showing he's great at both sides of imaginative fiction. The book for me has a bit of a space odyssey feel when they are on the ship, but in the best way, really evoking a sense of grandeur.

Screwtape letters is also great, I've read and heard the audiobook version by Andy serkis(great as always, totally underrated voice actor) and I really enjoy how Lewis explains Theology by quite literally playing the devil's advocate.
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Re: Favorite C.S. Lewis book that isn't about Narnia

Postby Penter » Sat Feb 07, 2015 8:57 pm

I'm working on reading some of his other works, but currently all I have read are The Screwtape Letter and Mere Christianity, and both were brilliant, I must say. Screwtape Letters was a bit confusing at times, but still really interesting. Mere Christianity was even better, but I've heard great things about his other books ( which I may enjoy more, who knows).
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