C. S. Lewis is one of those authors that many people have read (or, at least, have seen the movie) and enjoyed. However, Lewis’s imagination can take a casual reader further, deeper, higher, and brighter than she ever thought she could go. Lewis did this by understanding how to use his own imagination to tap into and develop his readers’ imaginations. Sound confusing? Well, then you should read The Surprising Imagination of C. S. Lewis by Jerry Root and Mark Neal. They lay out, chapter-by-chapter, the types of imagination C. S. Lewis used in his various works and how those different types of imagination work for different purposes.
Jerry Root and Mark Neal have done an exceptional job of examining the works of C. S. Lewis. But don’t think this is going to be a light beach-read kind of book – it is thick with in-depth research and academic insight. It could prove to be a valuable resource for a sincere study of Lewis and his works. And if you happen to be studying a particular piece of Lewis’s work, this book could give you a new awareness of both how Lewis approached the work and what layers of meaning are developed in the piece. Though it doesn’t cover every thing Lewis wrote (I can’t begin to imagine how big that book would have to be!), the scope and breadth of knowledge they show is truly impressive.
I also feel that a writer could certainly benefit from a thorough read through this book, in that the authors explain how Lewis used imagination to plumb the depths of truth in ever more interesting ways – ways an author could incorporate into their own work.
Root and Neal have helped me see Lewis through lenses I didn’t even know existed before reading this book and have given me a new love for my favorite Lewis pieces and a desire to finally pick up those tomes I’ve been putting off…absolutely fascinating!
Many thanks to Abingdon Press and Handlebar for the free copy of this book for review purposes. I was not required to write a positive review. All opinions are my very own! 🙂