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C.S. Lewis: Essay Collection and Other Short Pieces [Audiobook, CD] [Audio CD]

C S Lewis , Ralph Cosham
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
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Product details

  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Blackstone Audiobooks; Unabridged edition (15 Jan 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1482950812
  • ISBN-13: 978-1482950816
  • Product Dimensions: 14.5 x 13.2 x 6.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,048,631 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fine content but odd selection criteria 7 Mar 2000
Format:Hardcover
This is a fine collection, which I recommend, but what were the criteria for selection?
Everything previously published (at least in the United Kingdom) in the religious collections of C.S. Lewis is reproduced here EXCEPT two pieces. One of these is the 'Reply to Professor Haldane' (originally in 'Of This and Other Worlds'). Admittedly, this is an incomplete piece, but then so is 'The Language of Religion' and that IS printed here. The other thing left out is 'Rejoinder to Dr Pittenger' (originally in 'Timeless at Heart'). This is a complete piece and an excellent example of Lewis defending his apologetic style. It beats many of the scrappy little bits which did find their way into this selection. And what makes its omission here all the more baffling is that this Collection actually includes a letter in which this 'Rejoinder' is referred to! Why include letters at all in an essay collection? (Especially, given the fact that a new letter collection edited by Walter Hooper is in the pipeline.) But if such a letter IS to be included, why omit the essay to which it refers?
The other question I have is about the inclusion of 'High and Low Brows'. This originally appeared in 'Selected Literary Essays'. If we are to be treated to just one of those literary essays, why this one? It would have been better to leave it out, or else to have included the whole of 'Selected Literary Essays'. Indeed, what would have been best would have been to include ALL Lewis's literary essays ever published, including the two from 'Rehabilitations' which never got into 'Selected Literary Essays', the ones which originally appeared in 'The Personal Heresy', and the ones which later appeared in 'Mediaeval and Renaissance Literature'.
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49 of 51 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars What It Hasn't Got ... 4 Sep 2001
Format:Hardcover
It is a sad commentary on the various collections of the shorter works of C. S. Lewis that this, the best of them, can't warrant a fifth star.
Rather than list the works that this collection does contain, it is shorter to list those that it does not. First, it contains none of Lewis's poetry. Second, it is missing the following prose works which have been published in other Lewis collections (alternative titles separated with slashes):
MISSING WORKS FOUND IN OTHER COLLECTIONS
"A Note on Comus" (1)
"A Note on Jane Austen" (2)
"A Reply to Professor Haldane" (3), (4)
"Addison" (2)
"Bluspels and Flananspheres: A Semantic Nightmare" (2)
"Dante's Similes" (1)
"Dante's Statius" (1)
"De Audiend is Poetis (1)
"De Descrptione Temporum" (2), (5)
"Donne and Love Poetry in the Seventeenth Century" (2)
"Edmund Spenser, 1552-99" (1)
"Four-Letter Words" (2)
"Genius and Genius" (1)
"Hamlet: The Prince or the Poem" (2), (5)
"Hero and Leander" (2)
"Imagery in the Last Eleven Cantos of Dante's Comedy" (1)
"Imagination and Thought in the Middle Ages" (1)
"Is Progress Possible?" (6)
"Kipling's World" (2), (5)
"Metre" (2)
"Neoplatonism in the Poetry of Spenser" (1)
"On Reading the Faerie Queene" (1)
"Psycho Analysis and Literary Criticism" (2), (5)
"Rejoinder to Dr. Pittenger" (6), (7)
"Shelley, Dryden, and Mr.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An interesting selection 14 Sep 2003
Format:Hardcover
Whilst CS Lewis may be best known for his childrens' fiction, such as the Chronicles of Narnia, some of his other works are well worth a read.
This volume of essays is a good place to start. Each essay is short and to the point, resulting in 'bite-sized Lewis', as it were.
The book is organised into several different thematic chapters, but perhaps the most interesting essays are to be found in Chapter 2: The Art of Writing and the Gifts of Writers. Here Lewis sets forth his views on why fantasy and fairytale is helpful to a developing child, and his views on his sometime friend J.R.R. Tolkien's writings.
Lewis was no stranger to literary criticism, and many of the essays are written in response to articles or reviews. Even today, Lewis is remains a controversial figure. Archbishop Rowan Williams has written, "...the problem is less, I think, with Lewis's method than with his unmistakeable clumsiness in handling a good many contemporary aspects of the world in plausible fictional terms." (Williams, 2000). This book goes beyond the fiction and fairytales, and finds Lewis attempting to debunk intellectual moral self deception wherever he finds it.
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
46 of 47 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Is The One 23 Jan 2006
By Ray Schneider - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
C. S. Lewis's essays have been published in various combinations for years now. What is absolutely terrific about this volume is that it packages 135 of Lewis's essays and other short writings. Some of those here are hard to find anywhere else such as Christian Reunion. If you are interested in C.S. Lewis's essays -- and functioning neurons ought to be -- then this is the volume to get.

I have a huge library of C.S. Lewis's work -- just about everything and I bought this to flesh out my collection since it contained some essays I didn't have. When I got it I took one look and now it is the first volume I take down when I'm looking for something. The essays are nicely arranged by overall topic -- just the sixteen essays collected as part 6: The Art of Writing and the Gifts of Writers -- are worth the price of admission. Even some of Lewis's fiction is included. The fragment "The Dark Tower" for example -- it's authenticity has been questioned -- read it and decide for yourself. First though I think you should read "Voyage to Arcturus" which taught Lewis what planets are good for. Then when you read the Dark Tower you can meaningfully ask the question "Is this a plausible result given Lewis's expressed views of VTA?" As an exercise in overlap I looked at God In The Dock and so far have found all but two of the essays there (48 of them) are included in the 135 here -- the two missing as far as I can tell are "Rejoinder to Dr. Pittenger" and "Is Progress Possible?" -- so that's an example. If you're just starting out reading Lewis's Essays then this is the book to get.

I simply love this collection. If you don't buy this one you can get most of the essays by buying about five other volumes.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars My Most Prized Book 11 Mar 2011
By James - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I'm still hyperventilating over the out-of-print price I paid for this, but this is a great, great get. Another reviewer has elsewhere pointed out that the most efficient way to grab up Lewis's essays is to get these:

Essay Collection and Other Short Pieces
Selected Literary Essays
Studies in Medieval and Renaissance Literature

Unfortunately the top two are out of print. But if you can swing the dough, you will have very nearly every essay published by Lewis, and I believe only a single essay is repeated between the three collections. (I could be wrong, but the number of repeats is tiny. I don't have SLE in front of me to check the math.) To me, they are well worth it.

If you have worked your way through the staples (ha! no pun intended!) of Lewis's canon and want to branch out, this is a gold mine for you. This one, the other two mentioned, and the third volume of his collected letters would be an even better set.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Best Book of Essays, but not the only option 14 Oct 2013
By Sacred Art Lover - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Despite what other people may have suggested it IS possible to get all of these essays in other books by Lewis. My suggestion would be to get all of the essay books by Lewis that were published between 1998 and 2002, these include Screwtape Proposes a Toast; of this and other worlds; fern-seeds and elephants. A little leg work in checking off the table of contents could save you 180 bucks getting a copy. Also, consider looking for a used copy from Amazon.UK
Happy Reading
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very comprehensive collection 16 Jun 2011
By Chui Kiam Ming - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Like what other reviews have said, the book contains most of C.S. Lewis' short works. Although the book looks plain (like an old hymno) without its dust cover, the contents speak louder and do the book very much more justice.
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