The Surprising Imagination of C.S. Lewis takes the idea of imagination and completely expands it past what you might have previously supposed. While there is no question that C.S. Lewis was an imaginative individual, the book breaks apart the types of imagination that Lewis uses in various writings. Root and Neal provide a guide for getting more out of Lewis’ books by going beyond the surface and the stories and looking into how imagination played a key role in not only content but also the message behind the words.
I was a little surprised to find the depths to which the authors went when unpacking Lewis’ imagination. But after acquainting myself with the style and message of the book, I’ll admit, I was eager to get to the next chapter. Presented in these pages is a deep look into more than just imaginary creatures and captivating stories. Instead, there are examples, using Lewis’ own words that explain an overall worldview and perspective that many have left behind. I count myself one person that has had an eye-opening experience reading this book, looking at life in a new and different way.
There is no doubt that the text can be challenging and at times read like a textbook. But despite the academic language and explanations, this is still a book that is well worth the read. In fact, it doesn’t need to be read cover to cover. Lewis enthusiasts may just want to pick out one chapter of interest that corresponds to one of their favorite Lewis writings. If you think you have a grasp on the imagination, I would challenge you to read The Surprising Imagination of C.S. Lewis and see if you have truly pushed your imagination and thought as far as it can go.
Just as Lewis consistently used doors as a metaphor to transport someone to a new location, consider this book your door to a new perspective on imagination.