C.S. Lewis’ Top Ten Influential Books and Authors: Volume Three

Reviewed by:

G. Connor Salter, Professional Writing alumnus from Taylor University, Upland, IN.

Title:

C.S. Lewis’ Top Ten Influential Books and Authors: Volume Three

Author:

Will Vaus

Publisher:

Winged Lion Press

http://www.wingedlionpress.com

Publication Date:

February 19, 2018

Format:

Paperback

Length:

222 pages

OVERVIEW

In 1962, The Christian Century asked C.S Lewis which books, excluding the Bible, had most influenced his philosophy of life and vocational attitude. Lewis listed ten books, some old and some contemporary. In three carefully researched yet readable volumes, Will Vaus looks at those ten books. In this final volume, Vaus examines the last four books from Lewis’ list:

  • The Consolation of Philosophy by Boethius
  • The Life of Samuel Johnson by James Boswell
  • Descent into Hell by Charles Williams
  • Theism and Humanism by A.J. Balfour

For each author, Vaus devotes a chapter on how they influenced Lewis, a chapter on the author’s life and career, and then a chapter that summarizes the book itself.

Vaus does an excellent job of looking at Lewis’ letters and works to see what he said about each writer’s influence. This approach ensures that Vaus doesn’t overstate things or speculate about impact he can’t verify. The short biographies of each author are well-written and fascinating. Perhaps most impressive though, is the fact Vaus manages to summarize these four books without stripping away the things which make them interesting. As anyone who’s ever read Cliff Notes or similar summaries knows, it’s easy to take even a great book and summarize it in a way that feels boring and dry. Vaus goes back and forth between summarizing the books’ ideas and directly quoting the books, creating accessible yet interesting profiles that will make readers excited to explore the books themselves.

An excellent overview of a part of C.S. Lewis’ life that scholars and fans will both appreciate. 

ASSESSMENT

Rating

5 stars

Suggested Audience

C.S. Lewis fans interested in which writers influenced his work.

Christian Impact

Vaus notes the particular theological ideas that each of these four writers explored, giving readers plenty of ideas to chew on about the way they view God, faith and other matters.

Note: This is a third volume in a series by Will Vaus on the ten books C.S. Lewis mentioned. While this book makes sense without reading the first two volumes, readers who want the full impact should probably read them first.

C. S. Lewis' Top Ten: Influential Books and Authors, Volume Three


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