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A Review of Surprised by Joy

Posted by Scott Holstad on July 2, 2012

Surprised by JoySurprised by Joy by C.S. Lewis

My rating: 1 of 5 stars

Unlike many of the reviewers on Goodreads, I despised this book. Indeed, I could find no “joy” whatsoever in reading this book. It’s a tedious tale of a juvenile life and mind and the two words that kept popping into my head were “dry” and “boring.” Good Lord, who could plod through this crap??? I really don’t care about his schoolhouse beatings at age six or eight or whatever it was. I’m not sure what I expected from this book. I’ve been reading some postmodern Christian writers like Rob Bell and Brian McLaren, so I thought a book from a traditional Christian writer most evangelicals hold up as the pinnacle of Christian writing would be a good addition to what I’ve been reading. What a disappointment. And while I realize Lewis was writing in a style particular to his own times, it reminded me of why I’ve never been a big fan of most Modernist writers. I made it to page 146 and skimmed through the rest, vainly trying to discover anything resembling joy or something that would elicit joy within me. Sad. I borrowed this book and will be giving it back soon, ideally without required commentary on my part about the book. I don’t want to disappoint the person who lent it to me by my attitudes about the book. I guess if you’re a Lewis fan, it’s possible the book might be interesting, but I really don’t care about reading about 10 year old British schoolboys and their school years misery. I’ve got better things to do and better books to read. A real waste of time….

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