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A grief observed Unknown Binding – 1966


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Unknown Binding, 1966
--This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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Product details

  • Unknown Binding: 60 pages
  • Publisher: Faber (1966)
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0000CMYII
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (103 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,915,817 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

CLIVE STAPLES LEWIS (1898-1963) was one of the intellectual giants of the twentieth century and arguably one of the most influential writers of his day. He was a fellow and tutor in English Literature at Oxford University until 1954 when he was unanimously elected to the Chair of Medieval and Renaissance English at Cambridge University, a position he held until his retirement. 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 Mere Christianity, Out of the Silent Planet, The Great Divorce, The Screwtape Letters, and the universally acknowledged classics, the Chronicles of Narnia. To date, the Narnia books have sold over 100 million copies and been transformed into three major motion pictures.


Product Description

Book Description

A Grief Observed by C. S. Lewis, repackaged for the first time in a generation, is a classic and much-loved work on grief, loss, and solace. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

About the Author

C. S. Lewis (1898-1963) was one of the intellectual giants of the twentieth century and arguably the most influential Christian writer of his day. He was a Fellow and Tutor in English Literature at Oxford University until 1954 when he was unanimously elected to the Chair of Medieval and Renaissance English at Cambridge University, a position he held until his retirement. 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. --This text refers to the Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

34 of 35 people found the following review helpful By Zinta Aistars on 17 July 2007
Format: Paperback
"A Grief Observed" is just that, an observation by immersion, recorded in a journal by C.S. Lewis with the great courage it requires to open one's heart in complete vulnerability when in its most raw state. It begins with a listing of physical symptoms of grief - the sense of fear, or something much like fear, in the pit of the stomach, the yawning of an expanding void, the constant swallowing, as if trying to digest and wash away this immense emotion so difficult to process. From the physical, Lewis moves in closer and with more intimate observation on this thing called grief, struggling to cope and understand. Struggling to survive. Struggling to be transformed and healed.

To understand this particular struggle, one must understand the love Lewis has lost in the death of his wife. Theirs was a short but meaningful union, one begun as a friendship that only later, after the vows were taken, moved into a love known only by true partners. Rather than modern day reversals - in which lust is too often mistaken for love, and a friendship often does not enter the union at all, and so quickly crumbling without basis to build upon - this couple has the order right. Only true friends can blossom into love. Love grows from the intimacy of knowledge of another being, and this is what this couple has enjoyed, why the one left behind now knows such immense grief. Lewis's grief is deep and now resonates for the remainder of his own life as a constant companion where his wife once was.

Few can express in words so well what, in some variation, all of us feel. Lewis is a master with words. His bring healing - to himself, and to those of us who many years later are still graced with his words in our own struggles of loss.

"The act of living is different all through.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Penguin on 13 Oct. 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Someone close lost her husband to cancer last year. From the diagnosis to his death was slightly over one year. Confronting this reality, I read widely on suffering and then grief, in the hope that I would be able to walk side by side with her through this journey. Though not experiencing grief first hand, I hope I would be able to have some understanding of what she has been going through and what I can say to her or do will be informed and helpful.

Most of the books I have read on the subject of suffering and grief are highly analytical, more suitable for someone who is preparing for these life events as eventual possibilities in life rather than for those who are actually confronting and dealing with them.

A Grief Observed therefore is different in its nature. It was a journal recording Lewis's thoughts during his grieving period in his hope to make him feel better. Under normal circumstances, one would properly say that this book is not very well written because it is difficult to understand; it jumps and skips; it argues with itself. But this is not a normal circumstance, Rather it is a glimpse into a grieving widower's mind; and the confusion and muddle as conveyed by the book reflects that. Perhaps it is a world that does not make sense, hence the struggle to make sense of it. In a way, one can argue that Lewis set himself a difficult task - capturing in words what cannot be captured. How many can really speak of grief, let alone a man? Very often all that we can see of grief is tremendous sadness in silence especially after the initial shock and the initial angry outbursts.

What I like about this book in particular is the honesty in questioning God. And I find it comforting that we are allowed to wrestle with Him.
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184 of 192 people found the following review helpful By Kurt Messick HALL OF FAME on 25 Nov. 2003
Format: Paperback
C.S. Lewis is perhaps best known for children's stories that also delight adults; however, during his lifetime he was best known as an inspirational speaker, not quite in the same line as modern televangelists, but nonetheless a crowd-pleaser who had subtle but strong theology to share.
C.S. Lewis was a confirmed bachelor (not that he was a 'confirmed bachelor', mind you, just that he had become set enough in his ways over time that he no longer held out the prospect of marriage or relationships). Then, into his comfortable existence, a special woman, Joy Davidson, arrived. They fell in love quickly, and had a brief marriage of only a few years, when Joy died of cancer.
This left Lewis inconsolable.
For his mother had also died of cancer, when he was very young.
Cancer, cancer, cancer!
Lewis goes through a dramatic period of grief, from which he never truly recovers (according to the essayist Chad Walsh, who writes a postscript to Lewis' book). He died a few years later, the same day as the assassination of John F. Kennedy.
However, Lewis takes the wonderful and dramatic step of writing down his grief to share with others. The fits and starts, the anger, the reconciliation, the pain--all is laid bare for the reader to experience. So high a cost for insight is what true spirituality requires. An awful, awe-ful cost and experience.
'Did you know, dear, how much you took away with you when you left? You have stripped me even of my past...'
All that was good paled in comparison to the loss. How can anything be good again? This is such an honest human feeling, that even the past is no longer what is was in relation to the new reality of being alone again.
In the end, Lewis reaches a bit of a reconciliation with his feelings, and with God.
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