The Great Divorce by C.S. Lewis

Clive Staples Lewis…despite J.R.R. Tolkien’s criticisms, is a complete and utter genius.  No man can explain the paradoxes and contradictions of Christianity in such a succinct and complete way as Clive.  In his own version of The Divine Comedy, his protagonist, (probably C.S. himself) travels from hell (the gray town) into heaven.  He watches several exchanges between ghosts (visitors from hell) and spirits (permanent residents of heaven).  Through these conversations the protagonist gains knowledge about the possible perversion of love, the pitfalls of pride, and the possibility of staying permanently in heaven.  Lewis’ book is written with such a common-sensical logic it pushes a reader into the light of understanding.  There are multiple “aha” moments of epiphany. Though the end is a bit cliché, (…and it was all a dream) the novel itself is the best explanation of heaven, purgatory, and hell I have yet read.

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