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Number of Pages: 280
Vendor: Abingdon Press
|Publication Date: 2015|
Narnia, Perelandraplaces of wonder and longing. The White Witch, Screwtapepersonifications of evil. Aslana portrait of the divine. Like Turkish Delight, some of C.S. Lewiss 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 Lewiss 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.
"Truly fresh, rhetorically astute works about C. S. Lewis are rare, but this provocative new volume by Jerry Root and Mark Neal emerges at just the right time to reinvigorate Lewis scholarship beyond the clichés we continue to repeat to each other. The Surprising Imagination of C. S. Lewis delivers just that salvo, an ingenious, empathetic, lavishly informed elucidation of Lewiss understanding of the life of the imagination."
Bruce L. Edwards, Professor Emeritus of English and Africana Studies, Bowling Green State University, Bowling Green, OH
"Our grasp of imagination is such a pale and paltry thing; Neal and Root offer a much-needed corrective by illustrating Lewiss robust use of the word. The happy result is a more accurate and nuanced reading of Lewis. But there is more: through their careful work, we are graced with a rich, new vocabulary to discern and describe the many uses of creative imagination all around us."
Diana Pavlac Glyer, Professor of English at Azusa Pacific University, Azusa, CA, author of The Company They Keep: C .S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien as Writers in Community
"This fabulous book on Lewiss imagination will delight readers new to Lewis and those who, like the authors, have been reading him for decades. It shimmers with the joy of exploration and discovery. The Surprising Imagination of C. S. Lewis is a reliable and inspiring guide not only to Lewis but to a treasure trove of imaginative books that fired Lewiss own imagination. In Robert Frosts delightful phrase, this book is the occasion for a fresh think."
Wayne Martindale, Emeritus Professor of English, Wheaton College, Wheaton, IL
"Jerry Root and Mark Neal make excellent use of Lewis's literary criticism of other authors to show how he employed different varieties of imagination in his own works. The result is a good book about Lewis and an even better one on the capacity of imagination to enrich each of our lives every day."
Mark Noll, Francis A. McAnaney Professor of History, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN
"For nearly four decades I have been reading books and articles in the field of Lewis studies. This volume is one of the most original and fascinating books on Lewis to appear in a long time."
Lyle W. Dorsett, Billy Graham Professor of Evangelism, Beeson Divinity School, Samford University, Birmingham, AL
Mark Neal is the VP of digital marketing at a Chicago-based marketing firm and an independent C.S. Lewis scholar. He writes and publishes on Lewis as well as other topics.
Sufficient in JesusAge: 18-24Gender: female5 Stars Out Of 5A good read.October 13, 2015Sufficient in JesusAge: 18-24Gender: femaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5"The Surprising Imagination of C. S. Lewis" is a delightful and provocative read. As the authors acknowledge, imagination has been reduced to a very narrow definition, usually applied to creative children. In this book, they explore the works of C. S. Lewis to show us more of what human imagination is.
As we read, we see that imagination....
Re-enchants the familiar.
Show us bursts of glory in the "ordinary" world.
Sends us on the genuine quest for truth.
Teaches us justice, as we recognize a thing's value and give it due esteem.
Takes us beneath the obvious surface of an issue, to the heart of the matter.
Lets us see the world rightly, aligning the self with reality.
Of course, human use their imagination wrongly too. We can dream ourselves into delusion, and justify evil things. We can inflate things above their proper importance, and neglect what really matters. We can hide our flaws from our own eyes.
I have a hard time categorizing this book. It's not academic. It's not straight-up theology. It's not a systematic study of C. S. Lewis' writing. It's a carefully written examination, with the keen eye of a meditation, that sometimes turns into a celebration, all about the imagination.
I'm glad I read it. I've got a fellow C. S. fan in the house to share it with, too.
I thank Handlebar Publicity for providing me with a review copy in exchange for an honest opinion.
debsMaineAge: 35-44Gender: female2 Stars Out Of 5The Surprising Imagination of C.S. Lewis ~ Root/NealOctober 2, 2015debsMaineAge: 35-44Gender: femaleQuality: 2Value: 2Meets Expectations: 2This is a book on the works of C.S. Lewis and how it relates to imagination. I was not a fan of this book at all, if you are an avid reader and follower of C.S. Lewis you will find this interesting. This was not a book that I was able to read from cover to cover. It was not my type of reading at all, I skimmed through chapters and read some that did interest me, though it was not many. To be honest, I was not able to read and comprehend this well enough to give a true review. It would not be fair to the authors for me to give a review on the whole book, as it was not able to keep my attention and I did not read the whole thing. It was not the authors fault either that I did not have interest, it is not my type of book.
I would recommend this to any C.S. Lewis fans and anyone that is doing a research paper on C.S. Lewis and his writings.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through Handlebar. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commissions 16 CFR, Part 255: Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising
JanetBelton, TXAge: 45-54Gender: Female5 Stars Out Of 5Great Insight into Lewis, His Beliefs, His WorksOctober 1, 2015JanetBelton, TXAge: 45-54Gender: FemaleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5At the beginning of this year, I challenged myself to read or reread as many of C.S. Lewiss books as I possibly could. I thought Id be able to get through them all. Silly me. His books must be digested slowly. Ive only read seven so farcurrently working on the Space Trilogy. Yet its been a worthwhile pursuit.
Because of this pursuit, when Handlebar Publishing offered me a complimentary copy of The Surprising Imagination of C.S. Lewis by Jerry Root and Mark Neal for an honest review, I could not resist. It has also been a worthwhile pursuit.
Like Lewiss books, this book must be digested slowly. As it says on the cover, its an introduction, an introduction to the writings of C.S. Lewis. Each chapter defines a different kind of imagination seen in Lewiss works. Once the imagination is defined, the authors flesh it out by looking at examples of it used by C.S. Lewis or other authors. Finally, they choose one specific book by Lewis to focus on, making the particular use of imagination clear.
Not only does this book give an overview of Lewiss work, it gives insight into his personality, Christian perspectives to consider, and writing advice. Ive enjoyed this book and am happy to recommend it to anyone who wants to know more about C.S. Lewis, his beliefs, and his books.
bookwomanjoanOak Harbor, WAAge: Over 65Gender: Female4 Stars Out Of 5The many facets of imagination used by LewisSeptember 23, 2015bookwomanjoanOak Harbor, WAAge: Over 65Gender: FemaleQuality: 4Value: 4Meets Expectations: 4I had no idea how essential imagination is to our lives. Reading this book, even though it is an investigation of Lewis' use of imagination, made me aware of how we all use imagination.
This book could be considered an introduction to C. S. Lewis through exploring his use of imagination. The authors identify many different styles and uses of imagination. There is realizing imagination, shared imagination, penetrating imagination, material imagination, primary imagination, generous imagination, just imagination, transforming imagination, and many more. The use or function of each kind of imagination is identified and then how it has been used in Lewis' writings.
I was surprised by several aspects of this investigation into imagination. Spiritual growth requires imagination as we must imagine the stages beyond where we are. Imagination helps us understand the complex world we live in, a world more complex than our capacity to understand. Imagination allows us to view an issue from many viewpoints, like looking at something from a variety of angles, helping us understand it better. Imagination helps us sort out sensory data, making sense of experience. We can use imagination in an attempt to shape reality, seeing the world as it should be. And those are just a few aspects of the exploration of investigation.
I was amazed at the importance and power of imagination in Lewis' writings. He was a master at helping us develop a deeper grasp of something through imagination. That imagination can give us fresh insight toward understanding a complex or illusive idea. Imagination can be used for evil just as powerfully as for good, as he clearly showed.
I was impressed with this book for two reasons. The first reason is the fresh understanding I received about the importance of imagination. I use my imagination when I plan my garden for next year or plan a dinner for this weekend. Imagination helps me make sense of change, having a fresh application of old ideas to new challenges. My church board uses imagination when they contemplate a new ministry and how it will meet the needs of the church members or the surrounding community. I've come to the conclusion that we use imagine much more than I had ever thought.
The second reason I like this book is because if gave me a new appreciation for Lewis and his writing. He was very effective in his use of imagination to communicate a concept. There are scenes from The Great Divorce that have stuck with me since I read the book decades ago.
This is a good introduction to the writings of Lewis. People who want to understand why Lewis wrote the fiction and nonfiction he did would do well to read this book. The book would also be of good use in a literature class as it helps us understand the use of imagination in fiction and nonfiction too. The authors have included an extensive bibliography for those who would like to study further.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through Handlebar for the purpose of an independent and honest review.
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