The Great Divorce

Version: Unabridged
Author: C.S. Lewis
Narrator: Robert Whitfield
Genres: Religion & Spirituality, Fiction & Literature, Literature, Christianity, Classics
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Published In: December 2003
# of Units: 3 CDs
Length: 3 hours
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In The Great Divorce C.S. Lewis again employs his formidable talent for fable and allegory. The writer, in a dream, boards a bus on a drizzly afternoon and embarks on an incredible voyage through Heaven and Hell. He meets a host of supernatural beings far removed from his expectations and comes to significant realizations about the ultimate consequences of everyday behavior. This is the starting point for a profound meditation upon good and evil. "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."

Reviews (11)

The Great Divorce

Written by wlh2040 from Miami, FL on February 3rd, 2010

  • Book Rating: 4/5

CS Lewis never authored a bad book, and this is no exception. Admittedly, it's a bit too Catholic/C of E at times, but it is written to be a supposition, and not a book about theology. This one really makes the reader think. In fact (being a small book anyway), I bought one for a relative for Christmas who also really enjoyed it.

C.S. Lewis - enough said!

Written by Anonymous from Castaic, CA on December 31st, 2008

  • Book Rating: 4/5

C.S. Lewis was a truly gifted and talented man of God. There is no work of his not worth reading... it will enlighten you in many ways and I highly recommend it.

title is misleading

Written by Kathy on September 20th, 2008

  • Book Rating: 4/5

this is a very interesting book, although I'm not sure I ever really grasped the significance/symbolism of the title. The narrator does a great job. However, I would caution that it's difficult to listen to as you are driving as I found it required quite a lot of concentration to follow all the philosophy. I have a feeling it may be better to read this as a hard copy book if one wants to really understand everything CS Lewis was trying to explain.

The Great Divorce

Written by Lori from Parkton, NC on October 24th, 2007

  • Book Rating: 5/5

I was skeptical about this book at first because to be honest, I didn't care for the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. But this book provides great learning potential. It makes you delve more deeply into how Christians should be living now, not just how they should live in heaven. I bought the book after listening to it so I could read it over and over again. Well written.

The Great Divorce

Written by Anonymous on July 13th, 2007

  • Book Rating: 1/5

I could not get through this book in fact I only listened to the first disk and then mailed all 3 back - it was too weird for me. Jan

Thought provoking

Written by Anonymous from Ojai, CA on April 28th, 2006

  • Book Rating: 5/5

I listened to this twice. It is very thought provoking and insightful. A must read for deep thinkers.

The Great Differance

Written by Anonymous from Norwich, VT on February 17th, 2006

  • Book Rating: 5/5

This is a fabulous book, which every one who names Jesus as Saviour should read at least once a year. CS Lewis paints a wonderful word picture of the way people really are, and how they ought to be. There should be a difference. Though not total sound scripturally, the point is very well made and should inspire a striving towards a closer walk with the Lord.

The Great Divorce

Written by Contratemps on December 24th, 2005

  • Book Rating: 5/5

A forever timely study of the difference between Heaven and Hell....or if you prefer, the difference between nothingness and reality. Lewis' style in describing the grey life of Hell, which exists in an infinitesimally tiny crack in the real soil of Heaven, is evocative and memorable. As are the descriptions of the pain the 'souls' in Hell feel as they try to walk on the grasses of Heaven and find the blades of real grass cut their insubstantial feet. As classic 'Lewis'" again comes up on the radar (via the film "Narnia") this CD is timely.

Great Divorce

Written by Glenna on July 30th, 2005

  • Book Rating: 4/5

C S Lewis is one of the great writers of all time and this book as always lives up to expectations. Should be read by every family as the children enter their teens.


Written by Anonymous from Houston, TX on April 26th, 2005

  • Book Rating: 4/5

Excellent allegory. C.S. Lewis has a way of drawing the reader in from the very start. I loved the imagery and the way the words seemed to drip like honey...sweet and very entertaining. A must read!

Author Details

Author Details

Lewis, C.S.

CLIVE STAPLES LEWIS (1898–1963) was one of the intellectual giants of the 20th century and arguably the most influential Christian writer of his day. His major contributions in literary criticism, children's literature, fantasy literature, and popular theology brought him international renown and acclaim. 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 The Chronicles of Narnia, Out of the Silent Planet, The Four Loves, The Screwtape Letters, and Mere Christianity.

C. S. Lewis was born in Belfast, Ireland, on November 29, 1898, to Albert J. Lewis and Florence Augusta Hamilton Lewis. Throughout his life, Lewis was known to his family and friends as "Jack"—a nickname he coined for himself at the age of four after the beloved neighborhood dog Jacksie died. Lewis had one brother, Warren Hamilton Lewis (1895–1973). Lewis's mother died of cancer in 1908 when he was just nine years old.

In 1910, Lewis became a boarding student at Campbell College in Belfast, just one mile from his home, but withdrew one year later. In 1913, Lewis enrolled at Malvern College where he remained for one year. It was there that, at age fifteen, he became an atheist, abandoning the Christian faith of his childhood. From Malvern, he went into private tutoring under William T. Kirkpatrick, "The Great Knock," who had also been his father's tutor.

Lewis went on to receive a scholarship to University College, Oxford, in 1916. Lewis took a hiatus from study after the outbreak of WWI, enlisting in the British Army in 1917. On April 15, 1918, Lewis was wounded in the Battle of Arras and was discharged a little more than a year later in December 1919.

While in the army, Lewis became close friends with his roommate Paddy Moore. Moore was killed in battle in 1918. After Lewis was discharged, he followed through with a promise to his friend to look after Moore's family. Lewis moved in with Paddy's mother, Jane Moore, and her daughter, Maureen, in 1920. The three of them eventually moved into "The Kilns," which they purchased jointly along with Lewis's older brother, Warren.

On May 20, 1925, Lewis was appointed Fellow and Tutor in English Literature at Oxford University, where he served for twenty-nine years until 1954.

During his time at Oxford, Lewis went from being an atheist to being one of the most influential Christian writers of the 20th century; 1931 marks the year of Lewis's conversion to Christianity. He became a member of the Church of England. Lewis cites his friendship with J. R. R. Tolkien, as well as the writings of the converted G. K. Chesterton, as influencing his conversion.

Also while at Oxford, Lewis was the core member of the now famous literary group "The Inklings." This group was an informal twice-weekly gathering of friends which included Tolkien, Hugo Dyson, Charles Williams, Dr. Robert Havard, Owen Barfield, and Nevill Coghill, among others. The meetings took place on Mondays and Thursdays. Monday meetings were held at a handful of local pubs, including The Eagle and Child, known to locals as The Bird and Baby and The Lamb and Flag. Thursday meetings were held in Jack's rooms.

Lewis was married late in life at age fifty-eight to Joy Davidman Gresham, an American writer fifteen years his junior. They married in 1956, two years after Lewis accepted the chair of Medieval and Renaissance Literature at Cambridge, where he finished out his career.

After a four-year fight with bone cancer, Joy passed away in 1960. Lewis continued to care for her two sons, Douglas and David Gresham.

C. S. Lewis died at his home "The Kilns" on November 22, 1963. His grave is in the yard of Holy Trinity Church in Headington Quarry, Oxford. Warren Lewis died on Monday, April 9, 1973. Their names are on a single stone bearing the inscription "Men must endure their going hence."