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The Great Divorce

The Great Divorce

Scritto da C. S. Lewis

Narrato da Julian Rhind-Tutt


The Great Divorce

Scritto da C. S. Lewis

Narrato da Julian Rhind-Tutt

valutazioni:
4.5/5 (256 valutazioni)
Lunghezza:
3 ore
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Pubblicato:
May 13, 2014
ISBN:
9780062342751
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Descrizione

C. S. Lewis' dazzling allegory about Heaven and Hell — and the chasm fixed between them — is one of his most brilliantly imaginative tales, where we discover that the gates of Hell are locked from the inside.

In a dream, the narrator boards a bus on a drizzly afternoon in Hell and embarks on an incredible voyage to Heaven. Anyone in Hell is invited on board, and anyone may remain in Heaven if he or she so chooses. But do we really want to live in Heaven? This powerful, exquisitely written fantasy is one of C. S. Lewis's most enduring works of fiction and a profound meditation on good and evil and on what God really offers us.

A HarperAudio production.

Editore:
Pubblicato:
May 13, 2014
ISBN:
9780062342751
Formato:
Audiolibro

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Informazioni sull'autore

Clive Staples Lewis (1898-1963) was one of the intellectual giants of the twentieth century and arguably one of the most influential writers of his day. He was a Fellow and Tutor in English Literature at Oxford University until 1954, when he was unanimously elected to the Chair of Medieval and Renaissance Literature at Cambridge University, a position he held until his retirement. He wrote more than thirty books, allowing him to reach a vast audience, and his works continue to attract thousands of new readers every year. His most distinguished and popular accomplishments include Out of the Silent Planet, The Great Divorce, The Screwtape Letters, and the universally acknowledged classics The Chronicles of Narnia. To date, the Narnia books have sold over 100 million copies and have been transformed into three major motion pictures. Clive Staples Lewis (1898-1963) fue uno de los intelectuales más importantes del siglo veinte y podría decirse que fue el escritor cristiano más influyente de su tiempo. Fue profesor particular de literatura inglesa y miembro de la junta de gobierno en la Universidad Oxford hasta 1954, cuando fue nombrado profesor de literatura medieval y renacentista en la Universidad Cambridge, cargo que desempeñó hasta que se jubiló. Sus contribuciones a la crítica literaria, literatura infantil, literatura fantástica y teología popular le trajeron fama y aclamación a nivel internacional. C. S. Lewis escribió más de treinta libros, lo cual le permitió alcanzar una enorme audiencia, y sus obras aún atraen a miles de nuevos lectores cada año. Sus más distinguidas y populares obras incluyen Las Crónicas de Narnia, Los Cuatro Amores, Cartas del Diablo a Su Sobrino y Mero Cristianismo.

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Recensioni dei lettori

  • (4/5)
    This classic Lewis book was fascinating, interesting, and moving.
  • (5/5)
    A lively fable about choice and eternity.
  • (5/5)
    I confess that I've come to love C.S. Lewis. He's got a way of fleshing out Christian teachings that not only touches the heart, but also helps me understand them better. In the Great Divorce, he looks at the nature of our sinfulness by recounting a visit of the outskirts of Heaven by citizens of Hell. In it we can see where our petty (but deadly) foibles will lead us and how God endeavors to save us from ourselves. The ending, I must also confess, is rather weak. But it's still worth checking out.--J.
  • (4/5)
    When Blake wrote of the Marriage of Heaven and Hell, Lewis thought it would eventually end in a Great Divorce. In this book, Lewis shows Heaven and Hell, but in a way, they are subjective. If you choose the Earth over Heaven, you find the Earth is a suburb of Hell. If you choose Heaven over Earth, you instead find that Earth is a neighborhood on the outskirts of Heaven. Kinda. Likewise, those in Hell can visit Heaven whenever they like, and can stay in Heaven, only they have to give up all of their Earthly ways, and realize what's really important.While not a Biblical view of the afterlife, I found that Lewis' depiction of this afterlife to be quite imaginative and interesting: Hell is a place that you make your own, but what you make is not real, while Heaven, to a denizen of Hell is so real that you cannot even move the blades of grass or make ripples in water. I'm not sure how I feel about it from a theological point of view, but as a story that raises intrigue and thinking, especially of metaphysical things, it certainly does that fairly well.I would recommend this book alongside others by Lewis, specifically those theological fictions of his, such as Screwtape Letters (though, not necessarily, alongside Narnia). It may be too radical for some Christians, and too preachy for some non-Christians, but for everyone else, it's definitely thought-provoking.
  • (5/5)
    If "The Screwtape Letters" demonstrates various ways that humans may be led toward sin and hell, then "The Great Divorce" is its complement, demonstrating what might happen to these benighted souls if given one more chance after death. A chance that the souls, currently living in the grey town, must choose to attempt by boarding a kind of celestial bus that takes the passengers as far as the outskirts of Heaven. Here, instead of being influenced by invisible and inaudible demons, they are approached by bright beings (souls already admitted to Heaven) and even angels intent upon them taking the last few steps to salvation.The tale is told from Lewis' POV as if he were dead and, finding himself in the grey town, decided to board the bus. His guide, as it turns out, is George MacDonald. I love every one of the encounters on the doorstep of Heaven That Lewis observes. Even though I've read this book many times, I find myself rooting for each of the spirits visiting from the grey town to make the right decision.
  • (5/5)
    "No, there is no escape. There is no heaven eith a little bit of hell in it-- no plan to retain this or that of the devil in our hearts or our pockets. Out Satan must go, every hair and feather." --George MacDonald [1824-1905]This slim volume may not be that starling today, when many believe in Universal salvation, but I imagine it provoke many theological discussions when first published in 1946.I especially enjoyed the end, when Lewis reference Julian of Norwich; 'hungry ghosts' and bodhisattvas of Buddhism; and free will. The vignettes prior to the theological exposition were fun and thought-provoking, though the faint feminist streak in me was disappointed that the men were, in the main, arguing from logic, which the women were petty and desperate in their desire to attach themselves in such a needy manner to others. But this was written in 1946.
  • (4/5)
    My absolute favorite part is the moment when Sarah Smith of Gulder's Green appears. Lewis makes Beatrice human, and thus more gloriously holy than ever she appeared in the Earthly Paradise.
  • (4/5)
    In this novella, C.S. Lewis investigates the eternal choice between Heaven and Hell, joy and despair. He structures the story as a dream: the soul of a man takes a journey, stopping at a place where there is a lot of empty space, where houses can be literally dreamed out of the ground and as people get into arguments they move farther and farther away from each other. Souls can choose to stay in this increasing wasteland or travel away from it. As the journey continues, the soul is met by George MacDonald, who becomes his teacher and explains more of what is going on.I generally love C.S. Lewis. He has an interesting mind, and an interesting way of explaining things. I have loved the Chronicles of Narnia since I was a kid; I loved his more grown-up story Till We Have Faces when I read it for the first time two years ago. Just about any time I have a chance to buy one of his books, I do, so when I came across this in the bargain books several years ago, I snatched it. The Great Divorce, though short and easy to read, was a heady trip. I liked, but did not love it; I'm not sure I understood half of it. I had a similar reaction to this story in its entirety that I did to the end of Perelandra - the points he were making became so philosophical and over my head that I lost track of the argument and what I even thought about it. Still, it passed an afternoon pleasantly.
  • (5/5)
    Few can stir the imagination as C. S. Lewis. Here he is at his best drawing for us images of heaven and hell to ponder upon. The point he makes is a sobering one: The people in hell really do not want to go to heaven. They somehow believe God is trying to rob them of something. They want to control there own lives. And God says: 'Thy will be done'.
  • (5/5)
    I read this book again every few years. Even the Preface is a treasure, reorienting my thinking about God and Heaven.Is Hell a real place or a state of mind? Is Heaven a real place? Will we like what we find in Heaven? What if there is no further intellectual pursuit because we finally meet the real and complete Truth? What is we have no further service to provide and in fact we are not needed there at all? Is Mother-love truly the most honorable of all emotions? Is it wrong to evoke pity in others?This is a great book with some very challenging images. When I get into a grumbling mood, I have to stop to see if I am becoming one big grumble. Reading this book always makes me pause and rethink what I mean when I love someone. How much of that is a craving to be loved? I have to admit many of my relationships (or lack of relationships) are colored by my fear and concern that I be loved rather than an honest love of the other person. And what would I hesitate to give up for joy? How can I hold those things, needs, and fears loosely, ready to let them be torn away, killed, and replaced by something so much better?Highly recommended
  • (5/5)
    As noted here, Lewis' "The Great Divorce," caused me to think and ponder many different concepts. The fantastic thing about the contemplation process was that it occurred while reading a piece of fiction.Maybe the idea of feel of the book can best be described in Lewis' preface: If we insist on keeping Hell (or even earth) we shall not see Heaven: if we accept Heaven we shall not be able to retain even the smallest and most intimate souvenirs of Hell. I believe, to be sure, that any man who reaches Heaven will find that what he abandoned (even in plucking out his right eye) was precisely nothing: that the kernel of what he was really seeking even in his most depraved wishes will be there, beyond expectation, waiting for him in "the High Countries." In that sense it will be true for those who have complete the journey (and for no others) to say that good is everything and Heaven everywhere. But we, at this end of the road, must not try to anticipate that retrospective vision. If we do, we are likely to embrace the false and disastrous converse and fancy that everything is good and everywhere is Heaven.Emphasis in the quote is my own.Maybe this does not describe the feel of the book at all or make full sense unless you have fully read the book. I would love to expand on the ideas Lewis expresses through his work, but I simply can not, in my own words, share these in a way which would do the piece any justice.It is my highest recommendation that you read this book.
  • (4/5)
    In this fantasy tale, Lewis explores the nature of heaven and hell and the ramifications of salvation and redemption. In the introduction, he points out that this is an imaginative exploration of these locations, not to be taken as gospel or even as his own beliefs, but a simple fantasy that explores what could be.Hell is a drab place, where fights break out and people are drawn into deeper and deeper solitude. It is always gray, that fading light that just precedes night time, and the weather is damp and drizzly. The narrator, presumably Lewis himself, isn't at first aware of the true nature of his surroundings, and neither are we. Through vivid descriptions and cryptic dialogue we piece together an idea that this is hell that he is traversing (which is later confirmed by an angel). By chance he sees a queue, and for want of anything better to do he joins it, later discovering that it is a bus line, and he hops on board. The bus, however, is no ordinary means of public transport: it flies.The dull gray drops away, light percolates through shut window blinds, and the bus approaches cliffs that loom over the riders. The top of the top of these sheer rock walls reveals a lush green valley, and beautiful mountains in the distance. The light is the soft brilliance of early dawn, just before day breaks. Of course, this is heaven.While the physical settings of heaven and hell are, in themselves, fascinating, Lewis's inventive mind has more to offer. The denizens of hell become mere ghosts in the bright land, so insubstantial that even the smallest stalk of grass pierces them, water is solid, and an apple weighs a ton. The angels that descend upon the bus riders have come with a purpose, one angel to one ghost, in a last attempt to break through their worldly walls and win them to repentance and salvation. The exchanges between the angels and the ghosts, still stubbornly clinging to their flawed ideas that placed them in hell in the first place, become philosophical debates where Lewis has a chance to refute some common criticisms of Christianity.I've always liked Lewis, because he has a touch for explaining theological conundrums in simple terms, and because he has a rich imagination. This book combines both. Clearly, the fantasy is just a vehicle to delve into those philosophic exchanges, but since his intention is clear from the introduction I didn't feel like he was playing a trick. On the contrary, I thought it was a clever way to make subject matter that could otherwise be dry become very entertaining.
  • (4/5)
    Very interesting book. It is a quick read. The author is having a vision/dream about purgatory? hell and heaven. The way he describes the detail I can believe he really did have this dream. Fascinating. I'm sure I will have to read it again to fully understand it.
  • (3/5)
    While not a doctrinal treatise on heaven and salvation, Lewis writes allegorically about a dream of bus trip through heaven and hell. What I appreciated about this work of fantasy was that often it is impossible to lay out difficult realities in non-fictive prose. Some subjects require imaginative scenarios and fantastic use of language to express what otherwise would be inexpressible. My favourite quotation from Lewis in this book (comes from the introduction) is: “If we insist on keeping hell (or even earth) we shall not see heaven: if we accept heaven we shall not be able to retain even the smallest and most intimate souvenirs of hell.” In other words, we can’t take anything from earth with us to heaven – whether it be earthly treasures that can be destroyed, or even our sins.
  • (5/5)
    One of my favorites for many years, this is the greatest allegory of Heaven and Hell ever written.
  • (5/5)
    SO MUCH we can let keep us from the divine or even just our own hopes and dreams.
  • (4/5)
    A great book. I flew through this book in about three days and could've gone through it more quickly had I the extra time. The Great Divorce was written as man who found himself in this town and then went up to this other country. It ended up that the town he started in was Hell and the country he was in later was Heaven. It was very neat to see the conversations that went on of how people who were in Hell would choose to remain there simply because of their lack of desire to sacrifice everything of themselves and rely soley on God. A neat book that I would recommend to others to read
  • (5/5)
    This is my favorite fiction book of all time, hands down. Lewis' talent for articulating spiritual truths in fiction is amazing, as evidenced in his other works, like Narnia. However, The Great Divorce is on a whole different level. I think Lewis has forever altered my perception of the union of Heaven and Hell.
  • (5/5)
    The essense of the human condition captured in a great story. The most re-read book in my library.
  • (5/5)
    This is one of the little known but POWERFUL wonderful books by CS Lewis. He has a way of making you really think about your life and what you're letting control you. It's a MUST read!
  • (5/5)
    I have read several things by the great C.S. Lewis including his children's fiction and some of his theological works, but reading The Great Divorce was my first foray into his "adult fiction." I have to say that Lewis absolutely does not disappoint.From the back cover:C. S. Lewis takes us on a profound journey through both heaven and hell in this engaging allegorical tale. Using his extraordinary descriptive powers, Lewis introduces us to supernatural beings who will change the way we think about good and evil. In The Great Divorce C. S. Lewis again employs his formidable talent for fable and allegory. The writer, in a dream, finds himself in a bus which travels between Hell and Heaven. This is the starting point for an extraordinary meditation upon good and evil which takes issue with William Blake's The Marriage of Heaven and Hell. In Lewiss own words, "If we insist on keeping Hell (or even earth) we shall not see Heaven: if we accept Heaven then we shall not be able to retain even the smallest and most intimate souvenirs of Hell." While I have no doubt that this is not the scenario that I will find after death, it is none-the-less an extremely thought provoking story of God's justice, and man's stubborn inability to let go of earthly things when reaching for the things of heaven. Lewis is brilliant in portraying humanity in it's most redeemable and dispicable forms. On more than one occasion I found myself identifying with those who simply refused to become less themselves in order to become more of God." There are only two kinds of people in the end; those who say to God "Thy will be done," and those to whom God says in the end, "Thy will be done." All those that are in Hell choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no Hell. No soul that seriously and constantly desires joy will ever miss it. Those who seek, find. To those who knock it is opened."I am sure that The Great Divorce will invoke either a "love it" or "hate it" response in the reader. It can do nothing else because it's subject matter is so very black and white. Either you see what is True in it and embrace it, or you call what is True utter nonsense and walk away in search of more palatable answers.It took me less than twenty-four hours to devour this book from cover to cover. My book came away underlined, annotated, dog-eared and the worse for wear. In short, it was a book much loved, and one which I am sure I will visit time and again." All Hell is smaller than one pebble of your earthly world: but it is smaller than one atom of this world, the Real World. Look at yon butterfly. If it swallowed all of Hell, Hell would not be big enough to do it any harm or have any taste... All the lonliness, angers, hatred, envies and itchings that it contains, if rolled into one single experience and put into the scale against the least moment of the joy that is felt by the very least in Heaven, would have no weight that could be registered at all. Bad cannot succeed even in being bad as truly as good is good. If all Hell's miseries together entered the conciousness of wee yon yellow bird on the bough there , they would be swallowed up without a trace, as if one drop of ink had been dropped into that Great Ocean to which your terrestrial Pacific itself is but a molecule."
  • (3/5)
    Lewis is so intruiging. Sometimes I'm not sure where his theology comes from, but his perspective is crutial for me. I love it.I need to reread this book.
  • (5/5)
    Lewis imagines life after death - brilliant, lucid and engaging.
  • (5/5)
    This book was recommended by my pastor. I can't believe it was as good at he said. It was better. I figured that if he liked it, it would be a boring yeah,yeah on the church line. It ain't. Read it.
  • (5/5)
    One of the best introductions into Lewis' work. A much more engaging and fun read than the more serious "Mere Christianity." Lewis is a master of dialogue and crafting complex characters who are memorable beyond their brief appearances.
  • (5/5)
    Lewis has an uncanny discernment of human nature and an eye for intent. I think this book is at once funny (darkly), sad, and horrific. The reckoning of souls and the unwillingness of humanity to choose wisely brings to life the realities of eternity and calls us to self-examination.
  • (3/5)
    A vivid imagining of the visit of souls in hell to the outskirts of heaven. Read at the suggestion of my friend Tim, and thinking on it, perhaps 15 years after his first, implicit, suggestion. Lewis is of course known as a defender of the Faith. This he of course is, and that aspect of Lewis is on fine display here. What is less known about Lewis , and should win him more secular readers, is his surpassing skill as a plain moralist. Lewis has thought deeply about the ways we go bad, and the lies we tell ourselves to hide our rotten behavior. It's hard to imagine the person who will not gain from this smashing book. (8.26.06)
  • (3/5)
    This book is a book of allegory where a man takes a bus trip and ends up at the gates heaven where he sees lots of interactions between what I would describe as saints, those who are damned and those who eventually can be saved. This book is a favorite to many people, but I honestly have liked other things that Lewis wrote much more. I probably need to read it again to give it a real chance, but I wasn’t really impressed. I guess it seemed to me like it was trying to be fantasy-fiction, but wasn’t quite there, so was just kind of preachy instead. George MacDonald, who was one of Lewis’ great inspirations, and whom he even references in this book did a much better job of navigating the fantasy-allegory path in his Lilith. As far as Lewis goes, I liked Till We Have Faces, The Narnia Books and even his autobiography Surprised by Joy much more.
  • (5/5)
    In a way, this is a Protestant version of The Divine Comedy. Lewis tells of a bus ride taken by occupents of hell from hell to heaven. Heaven is so real, that the visitors seem like ghosts. The occupants are dead set on returning to hell even though they see the beauty of Heaven. It might not be the most theologically sound story, but Lewis gives insite into the thought that "the gates of Hell are barred from the inside." This is one of my favorite books.
  • (5/5)
    If you've never read Lewis, this is a great place to start. Almost all the themes which wind their way through his work are referenced here. It is a short read based on an intriguing premise; a bus tour from hell to heaven. Insights on both locations abound. When you're finished you will have both, more questions and more answers than when you started.That is, I think, one of the signs of a great book.