The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Having re-read this, I cannot wait for the movie (N.D. Wilson is writing the screenplay or something like that). And George MacDonald!!! Yes! Referred to simply as "the teacher" in many places, the noble Scotsman permeates the second half of the book.
Tragic, lovely, heartbreaking and glorious, this book is a theological treatise on the afterlife in the way that Chesterton's Orthodoxy is a description of the Roman Catholic Church, which is to say, not even remotely. It is rather more like a semi-whimsical view of sin and its long-term effects: a tour of heaven made by the citizens of hell/purgatory (which Lewis brilliantly places in a tiny crack in the ground of heaven).
My favorite theme in this book is that of the ethereal verse solid, though it drove me to distraction the first time I heard it, as I'd spent a solid six months working out the exact same theory. In a nutshell: we tend to view God and all things Spiritual as ghostlike, and therefore unnoticeable to us. It would be more accurate to reverse that, to view God as the mountain that we break upon as a mist.
Magnificent book. A must read.
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