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The Surprising Imagination of C.S. Lewis ~ Review

The Surprising Imagination of C. S. Lewis:
            An Introduction
By Jerry Root and Mark Neal

C.S. Lewis has captured our attention and our imaginations for more than half a century with his mastery of word craft.  But his stories and books are not cookie-cut mirror images of one another. Each has a distinctive flavor that entrances the reader.

C.S. Lewis did not typecast his writing style - he crossed the genre lines with a style and skill that to the reader seems almost effortless.  But how did he accomplish this feat - one that eludes many a writer? 

This book examines the various means C.S. Lewis employed to share his thoughts with readers.  Lewis is, was unique in his ability to cross lines of genre and the various vehicles of imagination. Lewis drew on what he knew, what he had experienced, and adapted it in such a way that he was able to reach out and connect with a greater audience.  Lewis did not allow himself to become trapped within a single mode of conveyance.  He used any and all means to share what he knew and believed. 

Lewis could reach the scholar and yet be understood by the common person on any street, while delighting his youngest readers.  How did he accomplish this?  He spoke to the reader by establishing a commonalty in thought, belief, and experience.  By focusing on the shared experiences of loss, hope, and joy he was able to create a connection and build upon this.

If you have ever wanted to delve into a personal study of C.S. Lewis and his works this book is an excellent way to start out.  There are twelve chapters and each focuses on a different work exploring how Lewis shifted his style in the creation of each.  Get ready to rediscover Lewis and his works.

I was provided a copy of this book through Handlebar Marketing in exchange for my honest review.

A fresh look at this Christian champion and master storyteller through his varied uses of imagination.

Narnia, Perelandra—places of wonder and longing. The White Witch, Screwtape—personifications of evil. Aslan—a portrait of the divine. Like Turkish Delight, some of C.S. Lewis’s writing surprises and whets our appetite for more. But some of his works bite and nip at our heels. What enabled C.S. Lewis to create such vivid characters and compelling plots? Perhaps it was simply that C.S. Lewis had an unsurpassed imagination. Or perhaps he had a knack for finding the right metaphor or analogy that awakened readers’ imaginations in new ways. But whatever his gifts, no one can deny that C.S. Lewis had a remarkable career, producing many books in eighteen different literary genres, including: apologetics, autobiography, educational philosophy, fairy stories, science fiction, and literary criticism. And while he had and still has critics, Lewis' works continue to find devoted readers.

The purpose of this book is to introduce C.S. Lewis through the prism of imagination. For Lewis, imagination is both a means and an end. And because he used his own imagination well and often, he is a practiced guide for those of us who desire to reach beyond our grasp. Each chapter highlights Lewis’s major works and then shows how Lewis uses imagination to captivate readers. While many have read books by C.S. Lewis, not many readers understand his power to give new slants on the things we think we know. More than a genius, Lewis disciplined his imagination, harnessing its creativity in service of helping others believe more deeply.

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~ Blooming with Books