Customer Review

13 of 33 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars not for the vulnerable, 16 July 2010
This review is from: A Grief Observed (Faber Paperbacks) (Paperback)
It's the book everyone's given when they've lost someone near and dear. Fine if you're an orthodox and conservative Anglican. Otherwise you may find it censorious, doctrinaire and unsympathetic. "Loathsome, sticky-sweet tears"! Do we need to be made to feel guilty about weeping at a time of bereavement and mourning? The philosophy here - if it deserves such a term - is that of the Senior Common Room and the gentleman's club. It's shallow, nasty, buttoned-up, snobbish and I suspect almost invariably unread. Which is perhaps a very good thing. If you're thinking of giving it as a gesture of sympathy, resist the temptation. In many cases, it could do more harm than good.
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Tracked by 2 customers

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Showing 1-6 of 6 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 19 Nov 2010 22:29:16 GMT
Have some sympathy on man grieving the loss of his wife.

Posted on 18 Apr 2011 20:46:46 BDT
Shallow?? I cant believe you actually wrote that! You mustnt have read the book at all.

Posted on 5 Jun 2011 16:51:16 BDT
I found this book very moving and deep. Lewis was brutally honest about what he was feeling, and I appreciate that enormously. I would probably hesitate to give it to a newly bereaved person, but not because it is "nasty" or "shallow" but because for many it would cut too close to the bone.

Posted on 16 Dec 2011 21:00:18 GMT
Last edited by the author on 1 Jan 2012 23:26:21 GMT
LindaT says:
C. S. Lewis was a powerful writer and an unbelievably effective Christian apologist. He was also a human being, and when he lost his wife, he grieved, and like all of us he grieved in his own fashion. Perhaps his style of grief is not like yours, but it was real, and it shook him up for a long time.

My husband is alive, and so are both of my parents. But my mother is having serious health problems, and I lost my father in law, and when I lose any of them, I only hope I can handle it as well as C. S. Lewis did. He was devastated, but he put together a heart-gripping book that has resonated with many over the years. I don't find anounce of snobbishness in it.

I'm not sure what to make of the "loathsome, sticky-sweet tears" -- well, I don't have the answer. The bias against men crying borders almost on the level of a taboo on both sides of the Atlantic, and I'm sure that Lewis had some inhibitions in this area. No, it isn't wrong to cry, and quite frankly, more men should do it. But I'd say that he made no secret of the fact that he was hurting, and wasn't afraid to let the world know it.

Posted on 1 Jan 2012 20:43:18 GMT
Last edited by the author on 1 Jan 2012 20:45:07 GMT
"Loathsome, sticky-sweet tears"! Do we need to be made to feel guilty about weeping at a time of bereavement and mourning?" I think some context is needed here. In the Introduction to the 2001 Zondervan edition of this work Douglas Gresham Lewis' Stepson states that he was a school taught that it was 'wrong' for men to cry.
Lewis himself was probably also bought up with this 'buttoned up' notion.

Please do Lewis the dignity of appreciating the context of his ideas and values and not condemning him by modern standards because his ideas do not seem to fit in with these.

In reply to an earlier post on 1 Jan 2012 23:33:22 GMT
LindaT says:
I think that in our time, the bias against men crying is a little bit better, but I would say "only a little." On my side of the Atlantic it still isn't as acceptable for a man as it is for a woman. I don't know how it is in the UK.

I agree with you, elfgiva. We need to see things in their hisorical perspective. Lewis, born about two years after my maternal grandmother, lived at a time when the bias against men's tears was stronger than it is now. I appreciate the fact that he was honest with his feelings. In fact, he may well have been ahead of his time in that aspect.
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