In "The Great Divorce" C.S. Lewis's classic vision of the Afterworld, the narrator boards a bus on a drizzly English afternoon and embarks on an incredible voyage through Heaven and Hell. He meets a host of supernatural beings far removed from his expectations, and comes to some significant realizations about the nature of good and evil.
"Lewis, perhaps more than any other twentieth-century writer, forced those who listened to him and read his works to come to terms with their own philosophical presuppositions." (Los Angles Times)
C.S. Lewis was a professor of medieval and Renaissance literature at Oxford and Cambridge universities who wrote more than thirty books in his lifetime,including "The Screwtape Letters", "The Chronicles of Narnia", and "Mere Christianity". He died in 1963.
I at first didn't grasp what the book was saying. It seems to say that even when in hell we can still choose to go to heaven. As I continued I came to understand that this is not the case, it is merely a playing out of choices that the people already made throughout their lives. It shows the folly of clinging so closely to the past that we cannot grasp onto the great glory that the Lord has ready for us. Or believing that we have always tried our best to be good and never taking anything that we didn't deserve, and how this stops us from accepting God's gift of life because we didn't "earn" it.
Overall I enjoyed the book immensely and found it's view refreshing in this age of relativism. Because ultimately it shows the kinds of things that keep people from accepting God's gift are the ordinary everyday events it's not the great sins alone that we have to be wary of but the things that we often feel are quite acceptable such as always being true to oneself can be just as much a hindrance to salvation as adultery would be. It's a very difficult book to describe, but at the same moment is also very much worth the read. It's a small book, I read it in an evening and an afternoon. I think it's one of Lewis's more underrated works, but it should not be overlooked.
C. S. Lewis cleverly uses a fantasy to cause the reader to consider the choice of heaven or hell. While Lewis' non-fiction books require a more mature reader, his fiction books can be enjoyed and then appreciated by readers of most ages. Even the title draws in the reader since it appears to be an oxymoron; curiosity regarding the title and later the story line propels the reader through the fantasy.
I think this book gives a very theologically sound view of heaven and hell - which is difficult to understand. It answers the question - if God is merciful and forgiving and kind why does hell exsist?