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“The less known the real world is, the more plausibly your marvels can be located near at hand.”As the creator of one of the most famous “other worlds” of all time, C.S. Lewis was uniquely qualified to discuss their literary merit. As both a writer and a critic, Lewis explores the importance of story and wonder, elements often ignored or even frowned upon by critics of the“The less known the real world is, the more plausibly your marvels can be located near at hand.”As the creator of one of the most famous “other worlds” of all time, C.S. Lewis was uniquely qualified to discuss their literary merit. As both a writer and a critic, Lewis explores the importance of story and wonder, elements often ignored or even frowned upon by critics of the day. His discussions of his favorite kinds of stories—children’s stories and fantasies—includes his thoughts on his most famous works, The Chronicles of Narnia and the Space Trilogy. "A must for any collection of C. S. Lewis." —Choice...

Title : Of Other Worlds: Essays and Stories
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ISBN : 9780156027670
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 168 Pages
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Of Other Worlds: Essays and Stories Reviews

  • Werner
    2019-05-16 04:49

    Though this is a slim volume (148 p.), editor Hooper, who was Lewis' secretary in the great author's last days, has here collected in one cover all of his scattered shorter writings that relate to fantasy and science fiction, the two fictional genres he wrote in and clearly liked best. (This also includes discussions of children's literature, since so many people, especially in Lewis' day, viewed fantasy as something only fit for children.) There are eight essays; the transcript of a recorded conversation about science fiction ("Unreal Estates") between Lewis, Brian Aldiss, and Kingsley Amis; three short stories; and the uncompleted fragment of a projected novel, After Ten Years, together with notes by two of Lewis' friends summarizing conversations he had with them about this work. (I didn't actually read the fragment or these notes, since my interest is rather in the finished writings; and I think this material would primarily interest Lewis scholars or completists.)The three stories are "The Shoddy Lands," "Forms of Things Unknown," (both of which would be difficult to discuss in detail without spoilers), and "Ministering Angels." All of these show genuine originality; but the one that's my favorite by far, and that I'd say succeeds best in engaging the reader as a story, is the latter. According to Hooper's six-page Preface (which discusses, among other things, the provenance and publication history of the selections), that story was inspired by Lewis' reaction to a 1955 Saturday Review article by a Dr. Robert S. Richardson, who confidently predicted that the conditions of space travel and colonization, which he imagined would be engaged in by essentially all-male expeditions existing in what he pictured as unprecedented sexual deprivation (the question a character in "Ministering Angels" asks, "How does it differ from men on whalers, or even on windjammers in the old days? Or on the North West Frontier?" doesn't seem to have crossed his mind), would be the magic bullet that would finally force society to abandon all notions of sexual morality and enthusiastically embrace prostitution. (He wasn't alone in that idea; Robert A. Heinlein premised one of his worst short stories on it.) Lewis skewers that notion as only Lewis could. :-)The essays show Lewis at his best in that form: intelligent, cogent in reasoning, clear and conversational in style, wise and insightful, well-read but not making a show of his erudition. His Christian faith underlies his whole way of looking at the world, which shapes his way of looking at literature, but the relationship is an organic one; that is, none of these essays are self-consciously theological or attempts to set forth "the Christian position on Literary Question X" (indeed, Lewis wouldn't claim that there necessarily IS a single "Christian position" on literary questions). His views just spring naturally from the person that he is. I can't say that I have a single favorite among the eight selections here (it would be too hard to choose), and all of them contain ideas that enriched, broadened, or clarified my thinking in some way or another. One important insight that's worth mentioning, though (and which recurs in more than one essay) is the concept that the qualities that make good children's literature are the same ones that make good literature in general, and can be appreciated as such by readers of any age. Another is that the literature of the magical and fantastic speaks to universal human interests and themes, and is not as such inherently "childish" in a reductionist or invidious sense.Hooper takes his title from a line (which serves as an epigraph here) from Spenser's The Faerie Queen. One can't help but think that Lewis (who was deeply into 16th-century literature) would have approved! Another side note that's worthy of mention is the discussion, in the Preface, of Lewis' considerable body of juvenalia (written between the ages of six and fifteen, apparently) about Animal Land, and the instructive comparisons/contrasts Hooper draws between the vision here and the developed fantasy of the Narnia series written in Lewis' adult years. (Personally, I found this rather fascinating --I'd previously read A. N. Wilson's biography of Lewis, but don't recall any comparable discussion of this material there.)

  • RE de Leon
    2019-04-26 12:15

    If you're a writer who enjoys CS Lewis' works, then this collection (9 Essays, 3 Short stories, and an unfinished Novel fragment) is a treasure trove. Here, CS Lewis writes about writing - the creation "of other worlds," as editor Walter Hooper decided to title it. Speculative fiction writers in particular will find this collection fascinating, as it contains the essay "On Science Fiction" and "Ministering Angels." In the latter in particular, see CS Lewis come as close as he's ever gotten to sounding like Isaac Asimov.But readers of regular fiction will find something useful too. "On Stories", "On Writing for Children", and "On Juvenile Tastes" are must-reads for anyone who wants insight from the writer of the Narnia stories. Speaking of which, "It began with a picture..." is exactly that, a description of how the Narnia books were developed.If you're collecting CS Lewis' minor essays, then this is certainly a good place to start, although of course you'll likely want to start with major essays first. But for a writer, I would definitely recommend reading this BEFORE, say, The Abolition of Man or The Weight of Glory. But Do read "Till We Have Faces" or "A Grief Observed" first. That is, of course, unless you've decided to collect ALL his essays - not a task for any but a very serious collector. If you don't want to go that far, you need not read further. Enjoy reading "Of Other Worlds."If you DO, I must warn you that, given how much Lewis wrote in a great many variant publications the years, you'll have to put a lot of thought into before you start making purchases. The collections published by the CS Lewis estate overlap, and there are Lewis essays that are published today such that you'll end up buying an entire book of essays you already own just so you can get that essay. Perhaps someday the estate will come up with a definitive and streamlined compilation of essays and short stories (which they've already done with Lewis' letters.) Until then, collector beware.- RE de Leon, December 30, 2010

  • Rachel Benecke
    2019-05-20 05:50

    My favorite thing about this collection, hands-down, was the fact that in every essay, Lewis offered Tolkien as a shining example of the art of whatever element of Story he was discussing. Honestly, I can only aspire to be that Extra™ in my support of my friends' creative endeavors! Aside from the insight into Lewis's personality and creative mind, I very much enjoyed the short story toward the end of the collection about man's travels to the moon.

  • Jeff
    2019-05-20 13:14

    These essays will interest those who enjoy science fiction and fantasy. Still, there are several worth reading for either the general thoughts on story telling or insight into human nature.

  • Hanlie Wessels
    2019-05-07 09:10

    This essay collection has a great deal of overlap with the essay collection On Stories by C.S. Lewis.I think the entire first half is the same.The publisher makes an apology for this by saying that this edition contains content that they felt worth publishing.They are not wrong. This book contains short stories by C.S. Lewis, including 2/3 science fiction short stories. As well as a conversation recorded in his private rooms at the university about science fiction, fantasy and horror. It also contains the first three chapters of a novel he was working on when he died. I was quite annoyed by the amount of overlap initially (these editions aren't cheap, as everyone is aware), but I ended up agreeing with the publisher: the extra content did justify the re-publication. I dislike short stories, but his science fiction short stories were really good. If there's an anthology of these out there, I will buy it. The three chapters of the novel looked like it would have been pretty great. Maybe only buy this is you're REALLY into Lewis. Otherwise, buy one or the other. If you don't like literary essays, skip them both.

  • Joshua
    2019-05-20 12:49

    This was fascinating. I really enjoy reading Lewis, however the only drawback to this volume in particular is that all of the essays in this book can be found in the compilation entitled: On Stories. This being said, I will say that the short stories and some of the incomplete work located in this volume were utterly sensational. Had the last story been finished in particular I have no doubt that it would fly off of the shelves. C. S. Lewis was many things: a scholar, a poet, and an apologist, but he was also a gifted storyteller. We see proof of this in his famous Narnia and the Space Trilogy and we definitely see that in that volume.

  • Amanda G. Stevens
    2019-05-19 10:05

    I was going to three-star this because each piece here can be found in either On Stories: And Other Essays on Literature or The Dark Tower and Other Stories. However, this one was published first, so four stars it is.

  • Nathaniel Spencer
    2019-05-05 05:03

    It was great to read Lewis' thoughts on the writing of science fiction, a genre that is so dear to my heart and yet so abused by many. It's also helpful to hear someone set out the purpose of the genre, and why stories themselves are so important, as opposed to simply trying to get a "moral" across. The previously unpublished stories at the end will be delightful gems for any fan of his fiction.

  • Margo Berendsen
    2019-05-14 09:47

    This collection is divided into essays and short stories by C.S. Lewis having to do primarily with fantasy, fairy tales and science fiction. The essays are classic C.S. Lewis, chock full of thoughts that made me stop and read them twice, stop to think about, stop to marvel over. One of the short stories, The Shoddy Lands, took me by surprise at the end and the last line in particular gave me a delicious chill; the other short stories I did not care for (perhaps because they were incomplete or first drafts, which Lewis himself had never published).I highlighted so much in the essays. I don't have time to share them all, though I wish I did. I'm trying to pick just one representative quote from each essay. The essay "On Stories" is Lewis' musings on the art of story and its deeper meaning.Shall I be thought whimsical if, in conclusion, I suggeest that this internal tension in the heart of every story between the theme and the plot constitutes, after all, its chief resemblance to life? If Story fails in that way does not life commit the same blunder? In real life, as in a story, something must happen. That is just the trouble. We grasp at a state and find only a sucession of events in which the state is never quite embodied. The grand idea of finding Atlantis which stirs us in the first chapter of the adventure story is apt to be frittered away in mere exciement when the journey has once been begun. But so, in real life, the idea of adventure fades when the day-to-day details begin to happen. Nor is this merely because actual hardship and danger shoulder it aside. Other grand ideas - homecoming, reunion with a beloved - similarly elude our grasp.... In life and art both, as it seems to me, we are always trying to catch in our net of successive moments something that is not successive. Whether in real life there is any doctor who can teach us how to do it, so that at the last either the meshes will become fine enough to hold the bird, or we be so changed that we can throw our nets away and follow the bird to its own country, is not a question for this essay. But I think it is sometimes done - or very, very nearly done - in stories.In the essay On Science Fiction, Lewis breaks down works of science fiction into at least 5 or 6 categories, and points out weaknesses and pitfalls that occur in each category (but also the strengths). Here's his thoughts on the type of science fiction that seems to have impressed him most: If good novels are coments on life, good stories of this sort (which are very much rarer) are actual additions to life; they give, like certain rare dreams, sensations we never had before, and enlarge our conception of the range of possible experience.... specimens of this kind, at its best, will never be common.Then C.S. Lewis gives a list of which books he feels "make the grade" and I'm including them here because if they make Lewis's grade, then I'm curious about them and adding them to my to-read list. So far, of this list, I've only read The Odyssey and the Lord of the Rings!I would include parts of the Odyssey, the Hymn to Aphrodite, much of the Kalevala and The Faerie Queen, some of Malory, and more of Huon, parts of Novalis's Heinrich von Ofterdingen, The Ancient Mariner and Christabel, Beckford's Vathek, Morris's Jason and the Prologue (little else) of the Earthly Paradise, MacDonald's Phantastes and Lilith and The Golden Key, Eddison's Worm Ouroboros, Tolkien's Lord of the Rings, and that shattering, intolerable, and irrestistable work, David Lindsay's Voyage to Arcturus. Also Mervyn Peake's Titus Groan. Some of Ray Bradbury's stories perhaps make the grade... I am not sure that anyone has satisfactorily explained the keen, lasting, and solemn pleasure which such stories can give. Here's fascinating observation on another category of science fiction/fantasy:But I would like to draw attention to a neglected fact: the astonishing intensity of dislike which some readers feel for the mythopoeic... not a critical opinion but with something like a phobia....on the other side, I know from my own experience, that theose who like the mythopoeic like it with almost equal intensity. The two phenomena, taken together, should at least dispose of the theory that it is something trivial. It would seem from the reactions it produces, that the mythopoeic is rather, for good or ill, a mode of imagination which does something to us at a deep level. If some seem to go to it in almost compulsive need, others seem to be in terror of what they may meet there. More quotes to come (when I have more time) for these essays:On Three Ways of Writing for ChildrenSometimes Fairy Stories May Say Best What's to be SaidOn Criticismand the interview, "Unreal Estates"

  • Curtis
    2019-05-21 08:58

    I have not read all of the pieces in this book, but what I've read is fantastic. I will make some comments about the pieces I most enjoyed, and list some quotations from each."On Stories" is Lewis' quintessential essay about, well, the "story-ness" of stories; it may be likened to Tolkien's essay "On Fairy-Stories," which despite its narrower scope, covers many of the same ideas. Lewis describes the two different ways in which stories are enjoyed by different people, which is really a distinction of the people and not the stories themselves: Through "excitement" or through the greater atmosphere created by the story. He prefers the latter. A few great quotes, completely out of context:(After describing a scene from Last of the Mohicans) "Dangers, of course, there must be: how else can you keep a story going? But they must...be Redskin dangers. The 'Redskinnery' was what really mattered.""Nature has that in her which compels us to invent giants: and only giants will do.""No book is really worth reading at the age of ten which is not equally (and often far more) worth reading at the age of fifty...."(After referring to the story of Oedipus and The Hobbit) "We have just had set before our imagination something that has always baffled the intellect: we have seen how destiny and free will can be combined, even how free will is the modus operandi of destiny. The story does what no theorem can quite do.""The more imagination the reader has, being an untrained reader, the more he will do for himself.""The real theme may be, and perhaps usually is, something that has no sequence in it, something other than a process and much more like a state or quality.""In life and art both, as it seems to me, we are always trying to catch in our net of successive moments something that is not successive."In "On Criticism," Lewis admirably touches on one of my great pet peeves (along with another problems of literary critique): Those people who claim to know what the author intended. "In fact," he says, "most of what we call critical writing contains quite a lot of things beside evaluation." He goes on to name those things and show why they are bad. Some more discontextual quotations:"I think fatuous praise from a manifest fool may hurt more than any depreciation.""Ignorant as [an author] may be of his book's value, he is at least an expert on its content.""To have read an author who affects one like a bad smell or a toothache is hard work.""...the meaning of a book is the series or system of emotions, reflections, and attitudes produced by reading it." [cf. the penultimate quote from "On Stories" referenced above]"Where [the critic] seems to me most often to go wrong is in the hasty assumption of an allegorical sense..." (Tolkien also disliked hasty allegory)I originally read "After Ten Years" in college (in the fall of 1998, I believe...) in The Dark Tower and Other Stories and loved it immediately. I was immensely intrigued with the idea of Helen's fading beauty, and it inspired me to write a rather poorly constructed song called "Yellow-haired Man," which I still melancholically sing in my echoing boudoir from time to time. It's too bad Lewis never finished it; I think it could have rivaled Till We Have Faces.

  • Meg Morden
    2019-05-02 07:47

    Excellent series of essays on writing.The three short stories were great especially the one seen from the interior of a dull person....so freaky!

  • Holly
    2019-05-05 10:59

    So this book actually really, really disappointed me, but only because of the fiction at the end. All of the essays are gorgeous. They remain incredibly relevant today and I think address why young adult fiction is just as popular among adults as their intended audience. Lewis speaks eloquently about how to write for children in a way that isn't condescending and also discusses why fantasy is important and why people who don't like a certain kind of fiction have no business criticizing things that fall into that category. All in all, his essays were insightful, interesting, and their truthfulness resonated powerfully.That said, the fiction at the end read like a slap in the face in comparison to the beautiful arguments I had just been squealing about to everyone who would listen to me.Dude is sexist as hell. Literally every single one of the short pieces of fiction painted women as vain or mysteriously threatening. Just the way that he talks about women is seriously disturbing because their value is entirely in the eye of their (male) beholder.In the first story, "The Shoddy Lands", the main character somehow finds himself inside his friend's girlfriend's mind, who he, upon first seeing, deems "neither very pretty nor very plain". What could have been an interesting concept of exploring what happens inside another person's mind instead winds up being a portrait of a vapid, shallow girl who only ever pays attention to clothes, jewelery and men's faces. He also is careful to give himself plenty of space to again critique the poor girl's appearance and tells us that he would never ever want to marry such a creature.A similar theme runs throughout the other stories. In "Ministering Angels" Lewis lets us know that not all men are horndogs. In fact, there are quite a few that would rather die than sleep with frigid or fat women. In "Forms of Things Unknown", an invisible evil lurks on the moon, presumably killing every astronaut who goes up. At the end, lo and behold, it is a long-haired something that is most likely a woman. In "After Ten Years", which is a retelling of the Helen/Paris/Agamemnon debacle, wherein Agamemnon finds Helen and wishes that he hadn't because she's aged. And her value was evidently only in her beauty. Now, I realize that Helen had a reputation as the most beautiful woman in the world, but if that was truly the only thing that Agamemnon liked about her...then there is a slight problem there. Luckily for everyone involved, it turns out that Ugly Helen wasn't actually Helen.I didn't think it was possible, Mr. Lewis, but you have dropped several notches in my book.

  • Kris
    2019-05-24 10:55

    Small collection of a few essays and a few scraps of stories from Lewis. There was cohesiveness in the essays, but not much unity in the choice of stories for this book. A quick, easy read, and I loved identifying a few classic quotes from Lewis which I had not seen in context before. He has some unique ideas about what stories are, and their function in society. It's definitely worth looking at "On Stories," "On Three Ways of Writing for Children," and "Sometimes Fairy Stories May Say Best What's to be Said," which are the first three essays included in this little anthology. "On Criticism" is also a nice little sardonic piece that I enjoyed as an English major. He also plays with a piece set in the Iliad, "After Ten Years," which has Lewis's familiar conversationalist tone within the classic setting.There is much overlap between the essays here, and those in On Stories: And Other Essays on Literature.

  • Joshua Proctor
    2019-04-28 07:54

    This book really influenced my reading habit especially when I read:"No book is really worth reading at the age of ten which is not equally (and often far more) worth reading at the age of fifty - except, of course, books of information.""An unliterary man may be defined as one who reads books once only. There is hope for a man who has never read Malory or Boswell or Tristram Shandy or Shakespeare's Sonnets: but what can you do with a man who says he 'has read' them, meaning he has read them once, and things that this settles the matter?"Since reading this, I decided to continually go back and forth between reading new books and rereading books. As I reread books which I had only read once, I found that Lewis was right. It was almost like I was reading an entire new story. You cannot really understand a book from reading it just once. No wonder he would only say he read a book if he had read it at least two or three times.

  • Robyn Ellis
    2019-05-08 10:52

    This is definitely a book for Lewis lovers. As he's my favorite author, I really enjoyed this collection of essays and short stories, but they aren't him at his best. As an essayist, he's no Chesterton, and as a storyteller, he's no Tokien, and his best work is when his philosophy and storytelling intertwine ( The Screwtape Letters, The Great Divorce, Perelandra) which seems to work out better in a longer format. That said, his short story "The Form of Things Unknown" was freaking incredible and everyone should read it.

  • Sara Diane
    2019-04-27 09:46

    I've had it on my shelf for a while. I wanted something short to read before drifting off to dreamland, and Lewis is always a great option (both his fiction and non-fiction).Wow- this was a great read. The first 2/3rd of the book are essays about various topics pertaining to lit and criticism. Thankfully they are pretty short (because I glaze over after a while) but full of great ideas and points. Lewis also talks about his writing process for fiction and answers some of the critics of his works. There are a few short story fragments that I've read in other books--but it was great to see them again.The very best part was a conversation that was recorded between Lewis and two friends. It really showed me that Lewis was funny and that I would have loved to sit and talk with him.

  • Gretchen
    2019-04-26 09:02

    Great start to the year! This is an excellent example of Lewis as both a literary expert and a storyteller. His essays of literary criticism are brilliant--ranging from a defense of one of his own novels to analyzing the importance of Story in and of itself in both literature and life. His insights into writing stories from images that developed in his mind over time resonates with many of my own experiences (not in writing stories so much (yet), but in developing the germs of stories).The fiction in this selection is masterful, much of it not included in any other collections I have read.I highly recommend for any Lewis fan; whether you like him for his stories or his ideas, this book has something for you.

  • Joel Pinckney
    2019-05-02 09:47

    Really enjoyed this relatively unknown collection, which includes a number of essays along with the only short stories Lewis ever published and the first five chapters of an unfinished novel he was writing at his death. One quote I found particularly good, with great relevance for today (from the essay "A Reply to Professor Haldane"): "All men at times obey their vices: but it is when cruelty, envy, and lust of power appear as the commands of a great super-personal force that they can be exercised with self-approval. The first symptom is in language. When to 'kill' becomes to 'liquidate' the process has begun. The pseudo-scientific word disinfects the thing of blood and tears, or pity and shame, and mercy itself can be regarded as a sort of untidiness."

  • J. Alfred
    2019-05-24 09:03

    Gives Lewis' theories on childrens' story writing and fantasy and science fiction literature, all of which have dominated my own theories since I first read this some years ago. This volume also includes an interesting argument Lewis had with Dr Haldane (Lewis wins) and some previously unplublished stories: these stories are generally the unfortunate type that lead people to call Lewis a misogynist, but some are good in their own right. Lastly, it includes some chapters of a darker type of book that Lewis put occasional work into: it was going to be the story of Helen and Menelaus after the fall of Troy. The first chapter is spectacular, but it begins to fall apart quickly. One can see why Lewis abandoned the project.

  • Natalie
    2019-05-18 08:49

    This book is divided into two sections. The first is Lewis' essays on writing, especially fiction, including his children's stories and science fiction. The second half are short stories and fragments of stories Lewis wrote. The first few essays in the beginning of the book are the best, or at least the ones I find most interesting. As the book progresses, more of it is focused on his science fiction, which I've never found quite as arresting as his other works. I particularly enjoy his defense for children't literature and fairy stories, and his attitude towards publishing children's books. One shouldn't write merely for children, but write the sort of stories one likes to read best. It's a disjointed collection, and rather odd as a whole, but very, very Lewis.

  • Randall Yelverton
    2019-04-29 12:48

    Interesting essay collection that primarily examines why sci-fi and fantasy should be taken seriously. Unfortunately repetitive. Well worth a look for the Lewis enthusiast.But the short stories. Wow. Susan's demise at the end of "The Last Battle" has long made me very uneasy because I thought it revealed misogyny in the author. These short stories pretty much seal the deal. I love some of Lewis's work, but in these stories he reveals a contempt for female sexuality. An astounding, revelatory anthology not to be missed by amateur and professional Lewis scholars.

  • Dave Maddock
    2019-05-05 11:13

    So far I've read all the essays and none of the fiction. If I hadn't just read An Experiment in Criticism I'd give this collection 5 stars, but much of its ideas overlap here. As such, the essays on science fiction and writing for children are the most interesting as they take the ideas in other directions than Experiment does. Also "Unreal Estates," the transcript of a conversation between Lewis, Kingsley Amis, and Brian Aldiss, is a fun read.

  • Vickie
    2019-05-23 07:56

    Yet again, I find that I absolutely love all that flowed from Lewis's pen.I wasn't able to finish this before I had to return it to the library, so I just checked it out again. If you have any interest in literature, specifically what Lewis has to say about it, this would be fun for you. He has so much great stuff to say, particularly in defense of the fantasy and sci-fi genres. He's inspired me to try sci-fi; apparently there is some that is high quality, and he makes a good argument for it's role in literature.

  • Heather
    2019-04-24 11:51

    Lewis' take on the subgenres of science fiction (which I think he would find to have multiplied and mutated since his day); the value of story quite apart from character and excitement; why critics shouldn't write about genres they don't actually like; the value of fairy-stories; and several short stories. No matter what I read by Lewis, I'm always struck by his clarity of thought and precision of expression.

  • Stephanie Ricker
    2019-05-10 12:59

    I especially liked one of the short stories, but his essays were also very interesting and reminded me a LOT of Tolkien's scholarly essays as well. Much the same style. It had a couple chapters of the book Lewis was on-and-ff writing when he died called After Ten Years, which started out quite interestingly. It was about Menelaus after the Trojan War, but there wasn't really enough of it to see where he was going with it.

  • Tanner
    2019-05-10 06:04

    A wonderful collection of Lewis's essays and short stories. Any Lewis fan would do well to add it to their Lewis library. The essays are short but pointed. The essay, "On Science Fiction" is a strong defense against critics who regard science-fiction as incapable of being literary. At the end of the book are some of Lewis' only published short stories and "After Ten Years" is an enthralling story which makes you wish that Lewis had the final drive to finish it.

  • Larinmtz
    2019-05-10 10:04

    So intrigued by the unfinished "After Ten Years" at the end. As a great fan of "Till We Have Faces" I would love to see what Lewis would have done retelling the aftermath of the Trojan War. Also of note in this collection are several essays on writing, especially for children, that I found instructive and insightful.

  • Heather
    2019-04-30 08:14

    As usual, Lewis has profound thoughts to offer in the most congenial, welcoming way. This is a collection rather than a planned volume, so each essay and story stands as a unique gem. Many of them are particularly interesting for those who wish to understand the mind of Lewis as a writer. His insights into fantasy and writing are worth reading and re-reading.

  • Adam Carman
    2019-05-18 05:47

    Finding and reading a C.S. Lewis book I was not aware of is a rare treat. Getting his views on issues ranging from the writing process to the role of science in society to the reason for fairy tales to the value of comic books for children was even more awesome. Also included were a few short stories, even an unfinished take on the Trojan War.

  • Laura
    2019-05-21 07:13

    I really just read the essay portion. It was interesting. An ok read. I like some of his other essay books better, they feel more introspective, but this one had some thoughtful points on writing. Especially liked many of his points on writing for children (as in don't write what you think they will like, write what you like and that children, just like adults, have a variety of literary tastes).