Thursday, November 19, 2009
Jack's Life, by Douglas Gresham, was disappointing. I love C.S. Lewis and enjoy everything he has read. This book had received mostly positive reviews on Amazon and I found it in a bargain bin somewhere, so that made for a great combination.
It should have stayed there. While Gresham did live with C.S. Lewis for the last ten years of Lewis' life, you wouldn't know it until the last ten pages. It seems to be a compilation of other biographers with no special insight. Perhaps there are stories published here that are unique, but there is no spice to the story; it merely plods along, page after page, describing Lewis' actions.
This book seems to have been written in an attempt to get C.S. Lewis canonized, or at least to let us all know that Lewis was superior in every way to everyone else. All others in the book pale when held up to the light of C.S. Lewis. His brother is attacked constantly, as well as his father and adopted mother. The only other individual in this book who seems to hold a candle to Lewis is the author's mother, who enters the picture later in life. The author spends a good deal of time describing what must have been a remarkable woman even if the descriptions are only half-true. It didn't feel like, in reading it, that Gresham had a special angle or privilege.
This is basically a defense of C.S. Lewis. Surely there are other, better, more balanced biographies out there.