“I seemed to be standing in a busy queue by the side of a long, mean street…” *
C.S. Lewis’ The Great Divorce is an incredible allegory, one that readers will enjoy for centuries. While reading this book-published in 1946 by HarperCollins-you will be challenged to consider how you spend your time here on earth in light of life after death, and also how you treat those around you.
This book takes place in Heaven and Hell. It is told from the perspective of Lewis in a first-person account. He suddenly finds himself in a grey, dingy town in line for a bus that will take the inhabitants away to a new life. When he boards the bus, he observes that the passengers on the bus are superficial in both their ideas and their philosophies. He also notices that both himself and the others are slowly turning transparent. Once they get to their destination- a beautiful land with green grass, running water, and ripe fruit trees-they are practically invisible, as well irrelevant to the place they are in. The grass feels like sharp blades on their feet, the flowers are as hard as diamonds, and the water is solid enough to bear a full-grown man’s weight on its surface. Yet, as Lewis notices, it is not that the humans have become less real, it is that the place they are in is more real, more solid that our world. So Lewis sets out to explore this new world and discover the mystery that lies behind it: one that will change his life. Forever.
C.S. Lewis uses his usual writing style in this book; speaking to the reader individually as a friend. He uses quite a bit of detail and description; and he does it in such a way that he can really convey the feel of the place or the deeper meaning of an object, rather than just the place or object themselves. The story flowed very well; this is definitely a book you will find it hard to put down. It is not an easy read; I would rate it hard to very hard; both in content comprehension and word usage.
I would highly recommend this book for 15+. There are some adult themes in it, as well as some mild language. Other than that, a remarkable book altogether; with excellent imagery and godly themes and morals. 4.5 out of 5 stars.
“But what, you ask, of earth? Earth, I think, will not be found by anyone to be in the end a very distinct place. I think earth, if chosen instead of Heaven, will turn out to have been, all along, only a region in Hell: and earth, if put second to Heaven, to have been from the beginning a part of Heaven itself.” **
*Quotation taken from The Great Divorce, written by C.S. Lewis, published in 1946 by HarperCollins: chapter 1.
**Quotation taken from The Great Divorce, written by C.S. Lewis, published in 1946 by HarperCollins: Preface.