In the unending spate of books about C.S. Lewis, this book deserves pride of place. Why? Because it came first. Well, not exactly first, but rather early on. Except for updates, this new Ignatius Press edition is an exact reprint of the earlier Harper and Row edition which appeared in hardback and paperback, was used by a bookclub, and then unaccountably went out of print. Ignatius Press, never to be stopped by the unaccountable, brought back Purtill's book on Tolkien last year (now an Ignatius best seller and also available on audio tape), and this year, with little fanfare, quietly slipped out his book on C.S. Lewis. I'll leave it to others to comment on the book and merely mention that in reprinting it, Ignatius Press has released a timebomb, for there is sure to be demand for Dr. Purtill's other related books, Reason to Believe and Lord of the Elves and Eldils (not that Richard Purtill?) not to mention his fantasies based on Greek mythology, The Kaphtu Trilogy, which have also just returned to print (that's the same Richard Purtill?). Search on the web and you find numerous references to his textbooks on logic, philosophy, ethics and religion (he wrote those too?).
You could find used copies of his DAW books science fiction novel, The Parallel Man, or his Doubleday sci-fi themed mystery, Murdercon. In fact you'd find references to twenty published books (five of which are currently back in print, with a new novel to appear next year). All from the same prolific professor who wrote short stories in Alfred Hitchcock's Mystery Magazine, Isaac Asimov's Science Fiction Magazine and Marion Zimmer Bradley's Fantasy Magazine, was feted as guest of honor at Mythcon, and packed the classroom of his SRO college class, "Fantasy and Philosophy." As reviewers of his books on C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien noted, Dr. Purtill has something unique in common with his subjects: that he not only writes about fantasy, like them he also writes it. Ignatius, that most intrepid of publishers, has taken the dangerous step: first the book on Tolkien, now the Lewis book. And how hold back the landslide?