The The Abolition of Man - The Screwtape Letters

By C. S. Lewis

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Readers` Reviews

★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
jennifer carrillo
A great book at a great price. Great service. I purchased this as a textbook for a summer online class at college. Overall a great book but it is larger in size than I expected (so I am glad I do not have to travel with it) (approx 9 x 11 x 2 and about 3 lbs). print is nice and clear in two columns per page. Seven great stories for Christian living, in one volume. Thank You
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
james
C. S. Lewis is remarkable in his depth of faith and logic while remaining consistently humble about his opinions. Also, he purposefully avoids denominational battles or speaking on denominational doctrines, focusing on Christ instead. When he discusses Christianity, he makes every effort to avoid advancing a denominational agenda and focuses on the things that unite Christians instead. CS Lewis is a refreshing breeze to those who believe that we should be presenting a united front to the world.
Contents:
MERE CHRISTIANITY: An excellent exposition on the necessity of a good, personal God based on observational and philosophical evidence. He then moves to an argument that Christ is a "personality" of that creator God and that Christianity follows "naturally" from what we have already acknowledged to be true. His arguments are 100% as true and effective today as they were when written - I find myself using them today (and surprisingly, belief systems that portray themselves as more "rational" have not yet responded to these criticisms in the past 75 years or so...)
THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS: one can chillingly find the demon Screwtape's suggestions being carried out in our own actions on a regular basis. CS Lewis has an intuition of human nature!
MIRACLES, THE PROBLEM OF PAIN: these two didn't thrill me, but we each respond to different things. Lewis at least develops these ideas very well and that development was interesting.
THE GREAT DIVORCE: This was my favorite work. Lewis displays once again a keen insight into human nature, set in the backdrop of arriving at Paradise from Purgatory and having to shed their old selves before they are willing to enter Heaven.
A GRIEF OBSERVED: This chronicles the spiritual journey of CS Lewis after his wife's [end of life]. It is very open and honest, and thus very painful to read. Sometimes we benefit by reading of others' trials as well as their triumphs.
THE ABOLITION OF MAN: A fascinating analysis of post-modernism and where it will lead us.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
nermeen
Great book with most of the C.S.Lewis great works. Book is quite large, almost like a coffee table book. Of course, these books are a must read for any Christian or someone expecting to become a Christian, esp. "Mere Christianity".
The Problem of Pain :: A Bible Study on the C.S. Lewis Book The Screwtape Letters (CS Lewis Study Series) :: Screwtape Letters: Annotated Edition, The :: The Great ... The Abolition of Man - The Screwtape Letters :: At the City's Edge: Chicago Crime Fiction
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sylvr
What more can I possibly add to all the reviews of Lewis' writing? Lewis has been a long-time favorite author. His Chronicles of Narnia were the books my father read to me before bed as a child. I appreciate Lewis' way of looking at the world around him, the way he expresses his faith, and the way he uses language. I admit that I do not share all of his conclusions, but I love the way he challenges me to think. This compilation of his Signature Classics is first rate!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
stephen fernbach
This collection is great, a although I was unaware that it came in one single book, about the size of a textbook. There are lots of room for notes and it is a great read, just hard to carry around. If you're planning on leaving it and reading it in one place, this is the book for you. Otherwise, get the box set.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
manav
If your looking for a book by C.S. Lewis with some of his most amazing works this is it! The hard back book is very, very nice! The price cannot be beat. I'm gonna buy a couple more for me and my dad......gave the first one to my son for CHRISTmas.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
stephani kuehn
This book brings seven of the works of C. S. Lewis together under one hard-bound cover which measures 9" x 11" x 1 and 1/2" thick. The type is attractive and easily read although not "large print". One very appreciated feature is a topical index that includes page references to all seven included works. This book will be a keepsake for my family for many future generations.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
andreai
You can't can't go wrong with the writing of C.S. Lewis. I would recommend this book to anyone who needs a greater insight into Gods word. Wonderful teaching, I learn a lot from his books. Helps you understand and get through some of lives roughest stuff.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
lynn chambers
Thoroughly recommend this book. It's a great book with a cheaper price than buying all the books separately. Any person seeking a good read should pick this up. It will challenge your thinking and you will definintely get a lot out of it.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ryan neely
first off, great books from Lewis

second, great price for this book, if you think about the cost for each one individually this is the same price as about 2 of the books would be

definitely recommend it
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
andy edwards
This is a great book, its about twice the size I expected after looking at the paperback one. The Hard cover is almost twice the size of the paper back. I do like the layout and the type is a easy size to read.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
alexandra gibbs
What can I say? Everyone knows C.S. Lewis from his Narnia books but not sure how many knows he was one of the most important religious theologian of the century. His works hold truths we hold sacred in our life. His work is such good reading you tend to forget his underlying Christian themes. I love his works and recommend them to anyone that just wants great literature (and just maybe the valuable and timeless message will shine through).
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
leigh
Love CS Lewis - but buyer beware if you get the hardcover copy - it's massive! Not a book for actual reading, more like a coffee table book. Pointless! I want to actually *read* this! See photo of normal sized book vs this monster.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
julie voelker
This is a compilation of knowledge that can be used in a life plan. C. S. Lewis lived through the struggles of life and was then able to put the learning that ensued to paper in these great books. It is great to have them all in one book that will be handed down to children.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
gauthaman
I like it that this book has all the classics of c s lewis ,however a warning should be given of how big and heavy it is and maby a sugestion of a book holder similar to a music stand to hold itcould be suggested.
thank you
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
kristen taylor
LOVE this book - this book contains five of his books in one...for that I have to say is the best binding I've every seen...easy to ready coz it lays open. CS Lewis is an incredible writer...his pages are packed, I hadnt found another author with his style of writing and illustrations I am so taken by it and find my self re-reading and still coming up like a fresh read. I love this man!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
michele davis
Outstanding book. The content is a perfect grouping of modern- classic literature and the book is well made and very attractive. It even has a nice ribbon page marker. It will make a nice addition to any library.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
brenda n
I ordered 3 copies, 1 for myself and 2 for gifts for friends. It took 2 1/2 weeks to recieve them since it was sent by media mail. The item was described accurately and I am extremely pleased with the books. I was however not pleased with having to pay shipping 3 times, even though I ordered all 3 books at the same time. It would have been a great deal if they combined the shipping to lower the shipping price, as some resellers do.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
emeth
While many may scoff at the readings of Mr. Lweis, due to non-Christian views, one truly is seized by the sheer verocity of the depth of his works; only to come away amazed by the depth of a true Christian soul.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
chandra snowleo
I just expected the great C.S. Lewis's classics to be published in a material/quality more suitable for their rank/value. But then again... you get what you pay for. The cover bends rather easily and leaves little creases all over.

Aside from that, I'm very happy to own 7 of Lewis's works in one convenient volume.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
hyejung
I am enjoying the book, although it is large enough to be somewhat cumberson to read for relaxation. The concept of including several books under one cover is nice, and it is easier to cross-reference various subjects.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jyoti h
Well worth the investment! I had a paperback copy of Screwtape, but I wanted the rest of these books too. The book itself is very nice, and the index is great for writing talks. A lot of the General Authorities cite C.S. Lewis, so I wanted to be able to read at least these six. I highly recommend as a supplement to scripture study.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
ashley rood
Whereas I LOVE C. S. Lewis, and you simply can't go wrong by getting anything written by him, I was a little dissapointed by the size of this book. I suppose it's really meant to be a coffee-table book, so it's not easy to handle, and is probably too tall for most book shelves. Check the dimensions before purchasing! But besides that, the content is GREAT, and I was delighted to find such a good price for seven books at once!
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
rachel murray
Buyer beware! This is essentially a coffee table book. Why someone would put novels and apologetics into a volume impossible to read from anywhere besides a pulpit is beyond me. I imagined the size would be more similar to a collection of the Narnia stories. The cover isn't that attractive either. Of course it goes without saying that the works contained within this volume are excellent.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
beth thompson
Thank God for C.S. Lewis. An atheist until age 28, he worked out his Christianity from a totally intellectual standpoint and then passed it on to us. This guy is clearly an intellectual giant with a gift for making very simple and clear answers to huge questions. He also, in his genius, is chock full of ideas and will address many other aspects of religion that you may not have ever considered, but will find most interesting to ponder. There are many times where I have found myself reading this book in preference to The Bible, which should attest to the value of it.

One of the most intriguing ideas he elaborates on is his notion that most people have the opportunity to go to heaven but actually choose hell instead because they are unwilling to give up their worldly attachments. Just think about how that would be 'The Great Divorce'.

His chapter on why pride is the worst sin was also especially thought-provoking.

This book is one that I'll keep the rest of my life as a spiritual guide unlike any other and the best other than the Bible that I have ever read. It has expanded my thoughts and elevated my Christianity to a higher plane. I only wish I had known about it much, much sooner.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
lisa lap
I got this book after hearing a series of lectures on CS Lewis. I already love his writing and this review is not a reflection on him as a writer. I dislike the SIZE of this anthology. Far from being a volume that you can curl up with or take on a trip in the car, this is a coffee table book and can really only be read sitting at a table or desk. I took it on a road trip and had to stop reading because of the size (like 24 inches by 12 inches - really big).

I did return this book and I guess will buy the volumes separately so that I can enjoy them anywhere.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
connor
I bought this in August 2013 and discovered in November 2013 that the book has been misprinted and is unreadable unless one wants to read backward. The page numbers begin at the back and continue to the front. Alas, the time to return it has expired and there is nowhere on the store's website to alert them to this problem. So beware, if you order this. Look it over immediately to be sure you haven't received a dud.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
le chuck
This book is HUGE. I don't mean thick. I mean it's like 14-16 inches tall and 12 inches wide. Maybe 2.5 inches thick, which isn't a problem.

You could never carry this, say onto a plane to read casually. I't really too big to read comfortably at home. I was a pretty disappointed. Now it's just a bookshelf piece.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
jennifer tarle
Beautiful book. It includes the major works of this thoughtful and creative Christian. He was not the best writer around, so some of the passages you will be rereading for clarity's sake. Still, his ideas are worth noting and thinking about. Unfortunately, unless you are a hardcore, closed-minded Christian, you will notice the collective work is both tragic and fascinating how such a thoughtful man could buy into the obvious nonsense of the Bible as easily as he touted the truly good of the Bible. It's almost as if he ignored it, hoping that God had not meant humans to use reason beyond a certain point.

But isn't that the issue the faith as a whole plagues us with?

Now, that might anger or frustrate a few hardcore Christians reading this review, but the overall truth is that this book is a mountain of genuine, good-natured thought by a very special man. His contributions to the discussion of faith are well-worth reading. And because this book itself is so attractive, I recommend you buy it--especially if C.S. Lewis makes you curious. It's only real flaws are in C.S. Lewis' skewed reasoning. But if you understand that this is a tome written by a pretty steadfast, traditional Christian, you can enjoy it for what it is.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
jay gabler
This review is not about book content but product description to help you decide which edition you want to buy so you don't get a surprise with a single volume when you expected a box set, or vice versa, or you wonder why a particular title is missing.

One star rating is for confusing information, not for book content. Note I have not yet seen a physical copy of this book, I am relying on publisher information cross-checked with several other sources to decide which version to buy.

For this volume, the page heading by the store is correct but the description is wrong. According to the publisher website referenced by ISBN number, this book is a hardcover version with 8 titles in one volume, not 7 titles (or volumes or books) as stated in description.

Confirm with HarperCollins US website by searching with ISBN-13 number i.e. 9780062572554. I tried ISBN-10 search and was returned 0 results. Their UK website did not list this edition or the other 2017 editions when I searched.

There is a multitude of box set and single volume collections, with mixed up and conflicting pictures, descriptions, and even ISBN numbers. I found 10 so far going back to 2001, excluding audio and downloadable editions. Some versions have multiple listings on the store. Below I have given the correct information as far as I can tell for the 3 different Feb 2017 editions: Hard Cover single volume, Paperback single volume, and Box Set, all with the same 8 titles. "Surprised by Joy" is a book sometimes included in earlier editions of collected works, but it is not included in the 2017 editions. Images shown on the store.com pages for 2017 editions appear to be correct when comparing to HarperCollins listings. That is not always the case when looking at product pages for previous editions.

More details for 2017 editions:

https://www.the store.com/dp/0062572563/ - Feb 2017 box set with 8 individual paperback volumes, same picture as on publisher website. Description conflict, lists 8 titles first (correct) and later 7 titles (incorrect, The Four Loves omitted). Books are large size paperbacks but not as big as the single volume editions. ISBN number 0062572563.

https://www.the store.com/dp/0062572547/ - Feb 2017 single volume paperback with 8 titles, same picture as on publisher website. Same description conflict as box set. Book size is about A5, larger than box set, but not as large as a previous single volume edition (2002 I think). ISBN number 0062572547.

https://www.the store.com/dp/0062572555/ - Feb 2017 hardcover single volume with 8 titles, same picture as on publisher website. Heading with 8 titles on product page is correct, description with 7 titles listed is wrong (The Four Loves omitted). Book size is the same as or similar to the single volume paperback edition. ISBN number 0062572555.

I checked information for all three 2017 editions with the HarperCollins US website. I did not find 2017 editions on the UK website.

the store reviews are grouped together for different publication dates as well as formats, and on at least one occasion that I found, mixed up with the reviews for a single book, so it is difficult to determine if the item description from a review matches the actual product page you are looking at. Filter for reviews for just the page you are looking at by going to the reviews page and change the drop down box for "All formats" to "Show only reviews for Format: ...". I still found conflicting review descriptions but it was a big improvement on trying to read all reviews to figure out which ones related to the particular edition I was looking at.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
lexie kantanavicius
Given that anyone considering this collection probably has a sense for C.S. Lewis and his work, I will focus my review on this edition itself. I will say, though, that I wish that this collection also contained The Four Loves. If it was made a little clearer why this particular set was chosen for this addition rather than a different pairing of books, I would not have this complaint. As it is, there does not seem to be a clear unifying theme behind this set that I can immediately see.

The book is beautiful with or without its dust jacket on, being large and impressive as it sits across your lap. It appears to be a sewn binding, but on closer inspection it is actually glued, which is unfortunate, because it is hard to tell how long and through how many readings the book will ultimately hold up. Each page is double columned, but there is plenty of space for annotations and the font and spacing are both large enough to be gentle on the eyes. Also, the paper quality was thick and felt nicely textured between my fingers. The silver ribbon gives the text an extra touch of class as well.

Overall, I am very happy with my purchase and the feeling of seriousness that this collection brings to my reading of C.S. Lewis. It does not hurt that it also looks beautiful sitting on my shelf.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jodi nabor
Clive Staples Lewis, better known as C. S. Lewis was one of the most influential Christian thinkers of all time. Whether through symbolism in the Great Divorce, biting satire in the Screwtape Letters, or unflinching logic in Mere Christianity his brilliance shows through clearly. "The Complete C. S. Lewis Signature Classics" contains his seven most popular works - Mere Christianity, The Screwtape Letters, Miracles, The Great Divorce, The Problem of Pain, A Grief Observed, and The Abolition of Man. While I read many of these years ago as a young Christian and college student this is the first compendium that I have reviewed. Make no mistake about it; this is a collector's edition in all respects - hardbound, nice dust jacket, crisp quality printing, and even an attached ribbon bookmark.
"Mere Christianity" presents the basic tenets of Christianity. C. S. Lewis breaks the book up into four parts - Right and Wrong as a Clue to the Meaning of the Universe, What Christians Believe, Christian Behaviour, and Beyond Personality: Or First Steps in the Doctrine of the Trinity. This book is one of the most commonly recommended books for new Christians and those who want to understand basic Christian doctrine from a well-rounded apologetics point of view.
"The Screwtape Letters" has been one of my favorite books for many years. While it is fictional it soon becomes quite clear that we are dealing with real world problems. Through thirty-one letters to his nephew, Wormwood, Screwtape consoles and instructs him in how to keep his "patient" from becoming a Christian or at least from becoming an effective one. Using the vehicle of these letters C. S. Lewis examines various issues and problems of the Christian life. For example, he points out to Wormwood that if he can make his "patient" start going all over town looking for a church that "suits" him instead of being loyal to his local church it will reduce his effectiveness. By searching for the "suitable" church he learns to be a critic of churches instead of a pupil of Christianity. Not to mention that the "congregational principle" makes each church into a kind of club for a specific type of person and eventually that becomes a faction. Each letter points out one or more of the insidious ways that a Christian or church can be slowly changed into nothing more than an ineffective shell.
"Miracles" is an examination of the possibility that supernatural events happen in the world. Within the pages C. S. Lewis develops a compelling argument for the existence of miracles and God's personal interaction with the world. Lewis examines miracles not only in the light of Christian belief but also addresses the positions of agnostics and rationalists and shows why their view is less tenable than the existence of miracles.
"The Great Divorce" is another fictional tale in which the narrator takes a bus ride and visits both heaven and hell.
On this fanciful trip he meets supernatural beings and those who have passed on to be consigned to one or the other. Through discussion and observation he soon realizes that the people who are consigned to hell are there because they refuse to give up even minor sinful thoughts for the greatness of heaven. It is sure to challenge your concept of sin, heaven, and hell.
In "The Problem of Pain" C. S. Lewis examines one of the most common questions of Christianity. If God is all-knowing and all-loving then why is there pain and suffering? He deftly deals with that question from a generic point of view and does an excellent job. You have to realize that it is not specific and so will not answer why something happened to someone in particular. However, reading it does help provide a positive understanding of how pain and suffering can actually be a tool to grab our attention and to purify us for heaven.

"A Grief Observed" is one of the best books on grief and working through the effect that it can have on your faith. After losing his wife, C. S. Lewis comes to face grief and the feelings of anger and doubt toward God that often accompany such a loss. Here we see a strong Christian and apologeticist having his faith shaken to the core and come to understand that these feelings are a normal part of grief. However, over time he comes around to working through his grief to a stronger understanding and deeper relationship with God.
"The Abolition of Man" examines moral relativism and education. C. S. Lewis argues that all morals are not relative, some are absolute. His examination of the issues also applies very well to today's concerns with situational ethics. Lewis points out that due to poor education, bad logic, and the advances of science mankind will eventually destroy itself.
If you would like a collection of some of his best known works in a solid collectible single volume you will want to add this one to your library. "The Complete C. S. Lewis Signature Classics" is a very highly recommended purchase whether to read for the first time or as a quality edition for the C. S. Lewis enthusiast.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
luke jahn
My star rating has nothing to do with the writing within the book. C.S. Lewis is one of my favorites. I'd actually purchased this for a friend as a present. He's highly intelligent, so I knew Lewis would be reading he'd really enjoy.

That said, what I wasn't happy about was the size of the book. Despite the picture attempting to show you the size relative to a person's body, it is inaccurate. This is a coffee table book. A large book and twice the size of what is estimated on the store. Grant it, I didn't look for the actual dimensions of the book. I know this has been a complaint of past reviewers.

The size isn't too much of an issue for me because I wanted the books within. I knew my friend would enjoy Mere Christianity, but I also thought he'd get something from The Problem with Pain (a book that helped me a lot).

If you don't have a problem with the size, this collection is a wonderful collection.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
soraya12
This book by C. S. Lewis was adapted from a 1943 series of radio broadcasts. It is a wonderful work in Christian apologetics.

To form the information obtained in this book Lewis interviewed Christian believers of all kinds; Catholic, Presbyterian, Anglican, etc. His purpose was to find those points that nearly all Christian religions agree upon. He sought to avoid controversies in order to explain those things that are common to all Christians in all places and times.

Lewis takes an amazingly academic and intellectual approach to Christianity. In fact, the first half of the book does not talk about Christianity. He starts with the question of, is there right and wrong? From there the book leads the reader on a rational and systematic path that is full of intellect, reason and common sense. Each point builds on the undeniable conclusion of the previous point.

By the middle of the book the reader is convinced of a one true God and His son. Lewis continues his logical approach to culminate with the sound conclusion that Heaven exists, and the only way to it is through Christ.

This is one of the most amazing apologetic works written. It is perfect for intellectual, nonbelievers that suppose Christianity is the product of dimwitted simpletons. In this book Lewis does not use the Bible or doctrine to prove the existence and God and Christ. Lewis uses logic, philosophy, science and modern reasoning to prove that their can be no commonsense alternative to the existence of one true God.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
crystal
This particular box set of has had a rather curious publication history. It was first issued in the early 1990s, when I first bought it. The box set (not known then as the SIGNATURE SERIES, it was later renamed thus in the second incarnation) was focused explicitly on Lewis's output from the 1940s. There were six books included: THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS, THE GREAT DIVORCE, THE PROBLEM OF PAIN, MERE CHRISTIANITY, MIRACLES, and THE ABOLITON OF MAN. The first two are works of fiction, and the remaining four are first rate, but very intellectual and written much more from the head than the heart, apologetics.

As the box set stood on its original publication, it was the ideal presentation of Lewis's critical faculties and contained very detailed, rational defenses, very eloquently written and simple to understand, of the Christian faith. Due the books all being written within a few years of each other, the box set read very much like each book was a logical extension of the next.

Then when the new millennium dawned, the publishers decided to rechristen the box set (formerly nameless) as the C. S. LEWIS SIGNATURE SERIES, and include a new book from a much different era in Lewis's life. They removed THE ABOLITION OF MAN, and instead included A GRIEF OBSERVED, a work published much later in Lewis's life than any of the other books. This rearrangement is a particularly revealing little facet of what has now become a very profitable industry built on Lewis's name. With the public attention brought on by Lewis's marriage, there has been a marked increase and peaking of interested in Lewis's relationship to Joy Davidman, and GRIEF was included for business reasons. While the original set presented a very clear and rational set of apologetics, it was broken up to include a book incompatible in tone and content with the other five books.

To better understand why they deleted the book, it is best to know more about each work. THE ABOLITION OF MAN focuses on moral law, and is primarily focused on debunking the idea that morality is not objective, but subjective, and all reactions to beauty, horror, etc, are purely biochemical and subjective. Lewis goes to great pains arguing against this viewpoint, and also focuses his critical attacks on [various professors and teachers] two professors from universaties. ABOLITION is very much an extension and elaboration on one of the primary arguments in MERE CHRISTIANITY. THE CASE FOR CHRISTIANITY, the first book in MERE CHRISTIANITY, argues for a natural law, and ABOLITION expands and propounds on Lewis's ideas of the Tao, or moral law. These two works are best understood when read together, and it is unfortunate they dropped ABOLITION from it. The book is subtitled "Reflections on education with special reference to the teaching of English in the upper forms of schools," which lets the reader know one of its primary audiences is education, which is not surprising given Lewis's profession. THE CASE FOR CHRISTIANITY, the first book in MERE CHRISTIANITY, argues for a natural law, and ABOLITION expands and propounds on Lewis's ideas of the Tao, or moral law. These two works are best understood when read together, and it is unfortunate they dropped ABOLITION from the second incarnation fo this boxset.

After the publication of MIRACLES in the mid 1940s, Lewis had a debate at the university defending his arguments found in the book. Though even the other debater would disagree when asked about it later that Lewis actually lost the debate, Lewis believed himself losing the critical debate. After this key moment in his career, Lewis stopped writing apologetic works, based on stringent, rational arguments, and turned rather to writing devotional books or examinations of the Christian faith, and did not write any more defenses of his faith on the same level as the works found in the original set.

Lewis would go on to write several more Christian books, but as previously stated, none of them were explicitly apologetic, that is, none were built on logical arguments and primarily focused on providing rational defenses to Christianity. Rather, Lewis wrote works of meditation and autobiography. Toward the end of his life, he wrote A GRIEF OBSERVED, which is exactly what it says it is. It is a very acute, extremely frank, heart wrenching work, and very beautiful. It is also a very personal work. It is one of Lewis's most precious and honest works, but in terms of content and style, it simply does not work when presented in the context of the other five books included in the second publication, all of which were primarily apologetic and written in a much earlier era than this book.

Too me the ideal solution would have been to let the original six books stand, and then come up with a second box set of the books Lewis wrote in the 1950s and 1960s. This second box set could include the following works: THE FOUR LOVES, TILL WE HAVE FACES, REFLECTIONS ON THE PSALMS, LETTERS TO MALCOLM, SURPRISED BY JOY, and A GRIEF OBSERVED, and perhaps throw in AN EXPERIMENT IN CRITICISM as well (essential literary criticism, and highly influenced by Joy). These better represent the period of Lewis's life that Joy had the most impact on, though LETTERS was published in 1963. Both sets would be present an accurate snapshot of Lewis's faith and how it evolved as he lived his life. Both sets would be much better served by being published together, as Lewis's style and intellectual focus is more consistent when broken up into two box sets. The original set are great apologetics, and the second set is a more meditative box set.

Instead of presenting Lewis's remarkable skills as an apologist, which was the original function of the box set by presenting four nonfiction works and two works of fiction , ABOLITION was replaced with a book from an entirely different period of Lewis's life.

Then we come to the third incarnation of this box set. For whatever reason, they went back to including ABOLITION, and added GRIEF as well. These books are central to understanding Lewis as a Christian writer, and especially as an apologist. Most people may know him from NARNIA or one of these volumes, and it is a good place for introduction into the mind and works of C. S. Lewis. All the classics are here, from SCREWTAPE, MERE CHRISTIANITY, and MIRACLES, as well as three other works, all of which range from profound (the majority) to beautiful (THE GREAT DIVORCE), to the gut-wrenching (A GRIEF OBSERVED).

Bottom line: This is a nice box set to have, just be aware that GRIEF isn't really the same as the other six works, and to understand the era that Joy Davidman most impacted, read the works listed above. The other six, however, are fantastic apologetics, and wonderful to study and use for witnessing [as a witnessing tool].

Bottom line: This is a nice box set to have, just be aware that GRIEF isn't really the same as the other six works, and to understand the era that Joy Davidman most impacted, read the works listed above. The other six, however, are fantastic apologetics, and wonderful to study and use for witnessing [as a witnessing tool].
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
kristine beskin
It first seems intimidating: seven spiritual works by the 20th century's foremost Christian intellectual, in one volume. But reading "The Complete CS Lewis Spiritual Classics," you realize Lewis' strength came from a worldview consistent as the Christian faith he embraced and lived. The books' sequencing testifies to this; its' fictional works stretch and strengthen points made in his spiritual works, themselves brimming with allegory to explain his apologetics.

"Mere Christianity," transcripted from Lewis' WWII radio talks, distills the faith and its morality independent of denomination. He establishes themes reinforced throughout the other books: moral, independent law guiding the universe, understanding God's relationship with man (the process of repentance and forgiveness), Christians seeing Earth as enemy territory to win for their Leader, the "good infection" and process of perfection Christ begins when we let Him." He also aligns sin with pride, accurately calling it the greatest root of all sin ("Pride made the devil the devil."). In this context it's the perfect introduction.

"Screwtape Letters," (arguably Lewis' most famous book after the "Narnia" series) reverses "Mere"`s tenets to near-hilarious effect. Yours truly's earlier "Screwtape" review still holds. But suffice it to say Screwtape's instructions and warnings to apprentice devil nephew Wormwood on using a man's new found faith for his downfall provides "milestones," "sudden turnings" and "signposts" to warn against what Screwtape calls "the safest road to hell."

Themes of each book interlock through fantasy, apologetics, or instruction, fleshing Lewis' personal faith and storytelling mastery. Lewis' fantasy "Great Divorce," describes the damned's day trip from their "gray city" (Lewis' hell and purgatory) to Heaven, trying vainly to bend its citizens' new lives and beauty to their old faults and imperfections. "A Grief Observed," meanwhile, is Lewis' heartfelt, resigned response to life and God following his beloved wife Joy's death. Lewis' "The Problem of Pain" rests between and threads each, as he reasons out human grief and discomfort in a world created and maneuvered by a loving God. Lewis confronts and asks us to confront these issues, whether waking from his guided tour of heaven with George MacDonald (in "Divorce") or praying for and re-imagining his late "H's" soul and memory.

"The Abolition of Man" is shortest, comprising two Lewis lectures. But it nearly serves as series summary and mission statement. Lewis cleverly sees through a school textbook's mistaken semantics into a study of natural law (the Tao), objective beauty and truth independent of beholder. This divine, guiding law fuels the tenets in "Mere Christianity" (and Screwtape's Satanic reverses of same), Divine will God uses to chasten in "Problem of Pain" and hasten through speeding His nature and process in "Miracles."

Joined together, these spiritual works make you wonder if Lewis hadn't all along decided he'd use his gift for compelling fantasy, analysis and allegory to tell, then validate Christ's story through his own. Read together if you can, (separately if you must), they'll provide the Christian leader and apologist sword and shield to lovingly understand and defend his faith (and allow Christ to change him). For this alone these books are essential to any faith-filled library, with this collection a compact, cost-effective means to acquire them.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sinda
This book is perfect for the life-long Lewis fan, or the new Christian. It seems more like a gift book that you place on the shelf in a public place, and do your "hammer and tongs" stuff with the paperbacks.

The only problem I have with this book is the order of the contents. |The book does not have a rhyme or reason to the selection. There is a precise internal logic to So get the book, and then read it in this order:

1. Start with THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS. This gives you a broad overview to Lewis's intellectual leitmotifs, his voice, and his typically wicked British sense of humor.

2. The next book is ABOLITION OF MAN, which is a preface to Mere Christianity, and makes Lewis's case for moral absolutes. It is a mere three chapters long, but, like a good German chocolate cake, it is dense and filling

3. MERE CHRISTIANITY is probably Lewis's second most famous book, and continues his discussion of moral absolutes, and the "mere" or "essential" elements of Christianity.

4. PROBLEM OF PAIN is a smaller theological work and is the standard Christian work on dealing with this trick and sensitive issue.

5. MIRACLES is a thicker and more esoteric books dealing with another "tricky" issue of Christianity. If you find this book too thick, then skip over it and come back to it later.

6. After reading THE GREAT DIVORCE for the first time, I was surprised that more dictatorships have not banned this book. It is so true it hurts. It is about the divorce from God and life in Purgatory, and has nothing to do with marriage counseling.

7. A GRIEF OBSERVED seems a bit out of place in this collection. I think it was included as a tie-in to the film "Shadowlands." The book makes more sense when you actually are grieving than as a detached philosophical work.

If you loved what you have read so for, then I suggested the following books for you next reading binge:

* WEIGHT OF GLORY, which is a selection of scholastic papers, including his essay "Learning in Wartime."

* GOD IN THE DOCK, which is British for God in the Docket, God Takes the Stand, or God on Trial. It is also a selection of many of his cultural essays, so it has a "fruit salad" or smorgasbord taste to it.

* CHRISTIAN REELECTIONS is the last of his collected papers dealing with various issues.

His autobiography SURPRISED BY JOY was helpful, and should be read before PILGRIMS REGRESS. And after reading all of this, you can finally move on to the NARNIA books and the SPACE TRILOGY.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
greta huttanus
This book is an excellent collection of seven of the major theological writings of the Christian apologist C.S. Lewis. I have used this book several times for a class I teach on C.S. Lewis. Rather than having students purchase multiple books, I help them save money by requiring this text.

The dimensions of this book are indeed larger than standard book sizes. It is about the size of dictionary, an encyclopedia, or as other reviewers have mentioned, a coffee table book. It can indeed be cumbersome to tote it around and it may sometimes feel like you're reading an encyclopedia.

However, that withstanding, I still think this book is worthy of purchase. First and foremost, the collection itself is, as I mentioned before, excellent. It contains all the major theological writings of C.S. Lewis--including both fiction and non-fiction.

"A Grief Observed" is not as academic as the other non-fiction books included in this collection, and so it might seem a bit out-of-place. However, this piece of writing, which C.S. Lewis composed after the death of his wife, reveals Lewis' deep theological struggle with God and the problem of pain. It's a marked contrast from the book "The Problem of Pain" (also in this collection)in which he rationally defends the idea of an all-loving, all-knowing God despite the existence of pain and evil. In "A Grief Observed", we see where the rubber meets the road for Lewis. It's one thing to rationally defend a theological proposition; its altogether a different story when you have to work out that proposition in the context of an incredibly difficult and painful world.

I highly recommend this book to both avid fans of Lewis looking for a collector's-quality edition of Lewis' theological writings and beginners wanting a good intro to his major works.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
austin max
The Bible is a long and complex book. It HAD to be to relate all that we need to know. This collection of some of Lewis's best works is the most awe inspiring book on what the Bible is all about in its practice in everyday life that I have ever read, and I suspect that has ever been written. Even after reading the Bible from cover to cover, and coming to understand much that's in it, we STILL need to know how to apply it in our daily lives, and THIS is what Lewis so eloquently offers. He started out as a battle-wounded WWI soldier who was devoutly atheist, and after becoming a scholar, set out to PROVE Christianity and all other religions wrong and foolish and untrue. Instead, he was converted, and it has been my experience in life that those who come to Christianity from his type of perspective usually make the BEST possible Christians after they are led to conversion. That may seem paradoxical, but it's true, and Lewis is perhaps our most shining and stellar example of this.

I cannot see how anyone who still has an open heart could possibly be unmoved by reading his words herein, which often just describe his own life and the things that happened in it, and how he dealt with them. His treatment of the theoretical parts is masterful and succinct and very clearly illustrated. Einstein once commented that the hardest part of solving any problem is finding the right question to ask. When we do that, the answer appears almost self-revealing. Lewis's ability to find just the right question is, I think, at least a significant part of why his works have become literal classics in Christendom. You won't find better anywhere.

You WILL, at some points in it, particularly when he keeps his daily log of his thoughts and emotions as his beloved wife fought cancer, be deeply moved and illuminated. It's unavoidable. His devotion to her and to his God is incredibly humbling, and if Christians are supposed to have any quality at all, universally, it's being humble. Despite his major intellect and his masterful manner of expressing his thoughts, he is still a very humble man, and that too is touching, and it comes through in all manner of ways. He is exacting in his logic, and honest in his emotions. We really can't ask more of any author than that.

I highly recommend this book to any and all Christians and non-believers alike. Even if it doesn't lead a non-believer to Faith, he'll at least be illuminated in at least some of the major reasons of WHY we who do believe do so. You really can't go wrong with this book, no matter what your present state of belief or unbelief may be. Give it a try and I promise you won't be quite the same as before you read it. That ain't no small thing! How many books have you read that you cannot say that about? Enjoy!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
emily walker
In addition to his classic CHRONICLES OF NARNIA for children, C.S. Lewis wrote a number of highly respected theological works (both fiction and nonfiction) for adults. Seven of those works --- MERE CHRISTIANITY, THE SCREWTAPE LETTERS, THE GREAT DIVORCE, THE PROBLEM OF PAIN, MIRACLES, A GRIEF OBSERVED and THE ABOLITION OF MAN --- have been collected in THE COMPLETE C.S. LEWIS SIGNATURE CLASSICS (though it is unclear what makes a given book a "signature" classic and hence worthy of inclusion in this collection).
Lewis' work is as readable and thought provoking as ever, but this particular collection is better suited for a Lewis fan already familiar with these books than for someone new to his work. This is true for a couple of reasons. First, the book is coffee table-sized and rather unwieldy for reading purposes. Second, there is no new material in the book --- no scholarly essays or notes beyond those that appeared in previous additions --- which makes for a book more appropriate for display than for reading or studying. That being said, THE COMPLETE C.S. LEWIS SIGNATURE CLASSICS is a handsome book sure to be appreciated by any Lewis reader who would like to give Lewis' work a prominent place in his or her library.
--- Reviewed by Rob Cline
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
j stone
I'm not sure why the review asked about a plot for this book, since it is C.S. Lewis's non-fiction writings, save for "The Screwtape Letters". It's a really great collection, and convenient to have them all here. The print is pretty easy to read, and the pages are cut like a sort of classic book. Good quality cover and and pages. If you're new to C.S. Lewis, this is definitely an essential collection to have, as well as the Narnia series.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
virginia doss
This is a very nice volume. The binding part of the dust jacket is shiny silver, as is the name "C.S. Lewis" on the front. It is very large, much taller and wider than the average hardcover book (for example, much taller and wider than a Leatherbound Classic from Barnes and Noble). It is very lovely, but it looks like something you would leave on a coffee table in a living room or parlor for the casual guest to peruse, rather than a simple, hardback collection that is useful for study or average reading. Also, I suppose I should have looked into this further (since it is written clearly in the product description!), but I assumed, because of the title, that is was the complete works of C.S. Lewis, or at least his complete nonfiction. In reality, it contains 7 books: Mere Christianity, The Screwtape Letters, The Great Divorce, The Problem of Pain, Miracles, A Grief Observed, The Abolition of Man. The actual text is in two columns, making it read more like the Bible than a normal set-up. I got it as a gift (I had put it on my wish list), but if I had spent the money on it, I may have been disappointed, considering what I was expecting. However, it is a physically beautiful book, and you can't beat C.S. Lewis, so all things considered, it definitely earns a rating of 4 stars, if not more.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
elyn
C.S. Lewis was a rare individual. One of the few non-clerics to be recognised as a theologian by the Anglican church, he put forth the case for Christianity in general in ways that many Christians beyond the Anglican world can accept, and a clear description for non-Christians of what Christian faith and practice should be. Indeed, Lewis says in his introduction that this text (or indeed, hardly any other he produced) will help in deciding between Christian denominations. While he describes himself as a 'very ordinary layman' in the Church of England, he looks to the broader picture of Christianity, particularly for those who have little or no background. The discussion of division points rarely wins a convert, Lewis observed, and so he leaves the issues of ecclesiology and high theology differences to 'experts'. Lewis is of course selling himself short in this regard, but it helps to reinforce his point.

This collection contains several of C.S. Lewis' classic works (although it is not in fact a complete collection of all his writings, not even of all his non-fiction writings). It contains the following works: 'Mere Christianity', 'The Screwtape Letters', 'The Great Divorce', 'The Problem of Pain', 'Miracles', 'A Grief Observed', plus 'The Abolition of Man'. It does provide an excellent survey of Lewis' theology, ethics, and general outlook on life. I will highlight two of the selections that show the different ways Lewis approaches things.

For the first example, the book 'Mere Christianity' looks at beliefs, both from a 'natural' standpoint as well as a scripture/tradition/reason standpoint. Lewis looks both at belief and unbelief - for example, he states that Christians do not have to see other religions of the world as thoroughly wrong; on the other hand, to be an atheist requires (in Lewis' estimation) that one view religions, all religions, as founded on a mistake. Lewis probably surprised his listeners by starting a statement, 'When I was an atheist...' Lewis is a late-comer to Christianity (most Anglicans in England were cradle-Anglicans). Thus Lewis can speak with the authority of one having deliberately chosen and found Christianity, rather than one who by accident of birth never knew any other (although the case can be made that Lewis was certainly raised in a culture dominated by Christendom).

Lewis also looks at practice - here we are not talking about liturgical niceties or even general church-y practices, but rather the broad strokes of Christian practice - issues of morality, forgiveness, charity, hope and faith. Faith actually has two chapters - one in the more common use of system of belief, but the other in a more subtle, spiritual way. Lewis states in the second chapter that should readers get lost, they should just skip the chapter - while many parts of Christianity will be accessible and intelligible to non-Christians, some things cannot be understood from the outside. This is the `leave it to God' sense of faith, that is in many ways more of a gift or grace from God than a skill to be developed.

Finally, Lewis looks at personality, not just in the sense of our individual personality, but our status as persons and of God's own personality. Lewis' conclusion that there is no true personality apart from God's is somewhat disquieting; Lewis contrasts Christianity with itself in saying that it is both easy and hard at the same time. Lewis looks for the `new man' to be a creature in complete submission and abandonment to God. This is a turn both easy and difficult.

'Mere Christianity' was originally a series of radio talks, published as three separate books - 'The Case for Christianity', 'Christian Behaviour', and 'Beyond Personality'. This book brings together all three texts. Lewis' style is witty and engaging, the kind of writing that indeed lives to be read aloud. Lewis debates whether or not it was a good idea to leave the oral-language aspects in the written text (given that the tools for emphasis in written language are different); I think the correct choice was made.

On the other hand, Lewis can write in ways that are intensely personal and reflective. This is true of the book 'A Grief Observed'. This was drawn out of his personal experience with his wife, Joy. C.S. Lewis was a confirmed bachelor (not that he was a 'confirmed bachelor', mind you, just that he had become set enough in his ways over time that he no longer held out the prospect of marriage or relationships). Then, into his comfortable existence, a special woman, Joy Davidson, arrived. They fell in love quickly, and had a brief marriage of only a few years, when Joy died of cancer.

This left Lewis inconsolable.

For his mother had also died of cancer, when he was very young.

Cancer, cancer, cancer!

Lewis goes through a dramatic period of grief, from which he never truly recovers (according to the essayist Chad Walsh, who writes a postscript to Lewis' book). He died a few years later, the same day as the assassination of John F. Kennedy.

However, Lewis takes the wonderful and dramatic step of writing down his grief to share with others. The fits and starts, the anger, the reconciliation, the pain--all is laid bare for the reader to experience. So high a cost for insight is what true spirituality requires. An awful, awe-ful cost and experience.

'Did you know, dear, how much you took away with you when you left? You have stripped me even of my past...'

All that was good paled in comparison to the loss. How can anything be good again? This is such an honest human feeling, that even the past is no longer what is was in relation to the new reality of being alone again.

In the end, Lewis reaches a bit of a reconciliation with his feelings, and with God.

'How wicked it would be, if we could, to call the dead back. She said not to me, but to the chaplain, "I am at peace with God." '

Lewis had a comfortable, routine life that was jolted by love, and then devasted by loss. Through all of this, he took pains to recount what he was going through, that it might not be lost, that it might benefit others, that there might be some small part of his love for Joy that would last forever.

I hope it shall.

This is a wonderful collection.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
celien
As I read this book I was struck with how timeless and insightful C.S. Lewis was for this time. For example, in one chapter he was talking about how the devil likes to get Christians to be critics when it comes to churches. The devil likes Christians to go from church to church evaluating rather than worshipping. How true it is today even more so than in Lewis' day. The chapters are a couple of pages each with titles that speak to the issue addressed. I enjoyed reading this book not in order but as my curiosity wished. Anything by this author is worth both reading and then pondering.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
karen eisenbrey
The writings of Lewis have been instrumental in the development of my faith. His reasoned and logical approach to everything he writes about is extremely refreshing, a blast from the past in this age of godlessness and relativism. Peter Kreeft, another of my favorite authors, and a master apologist and logician himself, called him: "the greatest apologist of modern times," and I am inclined to agree with him. Buy this collection and read it, I guarantee it will revive or ignite your faith.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
lindy loo
A really good read by all standards - very informative and relevant to the subject. Just wondering now, how come I am only chancing on it now. Good stuff. I also recommend one titled “Doing Business with God” – here’s a link:

http://www.the store.co.uk/BUSINESS-Biblical-principles-Business-Leadership/dp/1909326062/ref=tmm_pap_title_0?ie=UTF8&qid=1415021814&sr=8-7
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
infogeek
EDIT: In 2009 I originally posted this review as a 1-star review. I stood by the 1-star review not at all because of the content of these books (they are excellent and I enjoy them thoroughly) but only because people tend to look for 1-star reviews as flagging issues exactly like the one I was trying to highlight.

Somewhere recently in the four years since I wrote my review the store has finally fixed the product image at least. What you see here should be what you get if you order it. The 2007 roughcut edition is still not well-made, but by now I've come to terms with the fact that it's probably the only edition anyone will be able to find. Since I've only been able to find one copy of the superior 2001 edition in the years since I posted this review I have realized that this review has probably done more harm than good by discouraging others from buying these excellent books because a better edition *used to exist*.

For this reason I will effectively remove my review from the public eye by raising it to 3 stars, where it will be less likely to be seen.

==== Second version of the review ====

EDIT: My original review has been edited and toned down thanks to feedback from Joseph in the comments. Thanks!

IMPORTANT: This review is about the physical product being shipped when you order C. S. Lewis Signature Classics: Mere Christianity, The Screwtape Letters, A Grief Observed, The Problem of Pain, Miracles, and The Great Divorce (Boxed Set). The product being shipped IS NOT THE PRODUCT PICTURED on that page at the time of this writing.

I have the greatest respect for Lewis and his writings, and love every book in this collection. For the content of these volumes: 5/5 stars. You needn't look very far to find many high-quality 5-star reviews of Lewis' work.

However, this physical product is one of the lowest-quality publishing jobs I've ever seen. I don't think HarperCollins (or anyone) should ever try to pass this edition off as the same product as the earlier edition box set depicted in the product pictures. The original 2001 box set has different art, different typesetting, different dimensions, different paper, etc., etc. the list goes on. The original (2001) edition is also far more durable, and ages better. I should know, I have both.

What you *want* is the original edition, but good luck finding it. HarperCollins refers to both the 2001 box set and this newer "rough cut" edition with the same ISBN, so if you search for and believe you've bought the 2001 box set you'll most likely be unpleasantly surprised to receive this inferior version instead.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jenn carr
Next to my Bible, my copy of the Catechism, my copy of the Didache, and some other writings from the early church, this is the most important book that I own. C.S. Lewis is one of the English speaking world's greatest treasures, and his work is a contribution to all of humanity.
That might sound over the top. But it is simply true. This book contains 1) Mere Christianity, which is adapted from a series of radio shows Lewis did. If this book does not lead you closer to Christ, I don't know what will. 2) The Screwtape Letters, my favorite book by Lewis, which is a satirical look at how the enemy tempts us away from God. 3) The Great Divorce, which is a masterful discussion about the problem of good and evil. 4) The Problem of Pain, an equally excellent look at why a loving God allows suffering. 5) Miracles... I challenge you to read this and remain a cynic. 6) A Grief Observed. Heartrending and helpful for anyone who has suffered. 7) The Abolition of Man, a scary look at where we are headed when we loose our values.
I have read Screwtape several times, and have checked out every other book in this collection at least once. If you are looking for solid, sane philosophy grounded in reason, to help you through your journey, get this book. It is the only MUST own I have ever recommended next to the Bible. (okay, one of two MUST owns. If you are Catholic, you MUST own the Catechism too)
The book itself is beautiful in hardcover, with a partially cloth cover and a ribbon marker. A suitable package for this quality of writing.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
kristi roberts
For those who respect and admire the writings of Dr. Lewis, this is a great value. I own it basically because I found that my reading of "Surprised By Joy" greatly increased my understanding of and appreciation for "The Problem of Pain," In making this statement, I have no intention to minimize the value or importance of the other works presented in this issue. It is nicely packaged and worth having in any library, personal or otherwise. Along the way, most people will appreciate both the humor and humility of the author in describing his journey.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
nitya sivasubramanian
C.S Lewis: always an incredible writer. If you're looking for something to travel with however, this would not be the best choice. Every book included comes in a hardcover book displayed above. Still good for reading though. Already have notes in mine!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
william torrance
Reading this compilation of Lewis classics is a great way to introduce yourself to C. S. Lewis. Although it is not "complete" by any means, it does help to present his world view from several different angles. Each work is short and easy to read. Wrestling with the issues personally is the real challenge in Lewis' literature. He uses lots of concrete earthly examples of the spiritual concepts and themes presented. Delicious food for thought to anyone who enjoys exploring spiritual relms.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
siavosh
This is an excellent anthology if you enjoy C. S. Lewis or if you are new to Lewis. It is a great price with several of Lewis' best books (The Screwtape Letters, Mere Christianity, and The Great Divorce). C. S. Lewis is able to present important theology in an easy to read and understand format. Lewis is able to point out some common sins that pull us away from God - by our own choice. In addition, he has a biting satirical voice in the Screwtape letters. C. S. Lewis is an excellent writer.
This is not a small book but I find the book a great bedside companion. I have given two copies to friends so I recommend this to others.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
carole gaudet
I like this compilation very much, since it contains a lot of the classics of C.S. Lewis that I wanted to have on my shelf. The book is of course a great bargain, since you'd pay a lot more if you bought each one seperately.

Personally, I like C.S. Lewis' essays a lot, because they are written for those "intellectuals" that just can't really grasp the idea of God that doesn't fit into their (our) scientific world. It is a great lecture for those who doubt. BUT: one should read it with an open mind since not all of Lewis' arguments are always coherent up to the end (let's face it though, faith can never be explained 100% with human logic). Still he gives a lot of impulses for ways to think about faith and, I think, in the variety of essays everyone can find something convincing.

On a personal note, I like C.S. Lewis because he never forgets to point out that christianity is not a religion where everyone can just pick out one opinion or interpretation that "suits him", but contains duties and prohibitions before God and all humans, at the same time as peace, community and love. I think, that is a point often forgotten nowadays.

C.S. Lewis is a writer whose books I dare to recommend and give to the most doubting and mind-guided people, always with the recommendation that they keep their mind open while reading it; despite some incoherencies (and C.S.Lewis never claims his opinions to be the universal truth for everybody) he makes people think anew or at least rethink their own fragile arguments against the existence of God. If they don't finish up believing, then at least admitting the possiblity. Read it!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
jess brown
If you are a fan of Lewis's Christianity or the man himself, or simply interested in hearing out his reasonably and clearly argued case, this book is an excellent assemblage of his arguments. Also, a quality paperback in terms of the paper and printing.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
nora mellingerjenkins
The Complete C.S. Lewis Signature Classics by C. S. Lewis is a brilliant work of all Lewis' signature classics. The book is basically broken up into four parts, Right and wrong, what Christians believe, Christian behaviors, and Beyond personality. It also contains his seven most popular works - Mere Christianity, The Screwtape Letters, Miracles, The Great Divorce, The Problem of Pain, A Grief Observed, and The Abolition of Man. The author opinions are extremely humble as he focuses on Christ.

********************************************************************

Are you a spiritual retard, or are you on the path to ENLIGHTENMENT?
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
jennifer medios
I usually know when my husband is asleep when he drops his book, which usually lands on my head. As he climbed in bed with this HUGE text-book sized book, he said to me, "Been nice knowin' ya."
It's neat to have all CS Lewis' books together in one place, but this thing really is huge. Too heavy to hold to read comfortably unless you're at a desk and it's laying flat. Or maybe if you're sitting up and it can lay in your lap. But for snuggly bedtime reading, no go. (Except it will put you to sleep since it takes so much concentration to understand Lewis' deepth of thinking.)
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
jon tavernier
The review for individual works can be read from the page of each respective work. I am reviewing mainly on the edition. I have always loved the way Lewis' works are presented lately: that classy, rather ragged look. I'm taking 1 star from it since it is a compilation so it is quite bulky to be carried around. I wish I could only take half star away. Other than that, it is perfect and good value for money.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
kerissa ward
As a freshman in college, the concept of religion can be a very distant one. A man who is a leader of a spiritual organization on campus highly recommended CS Lewis, beyond the Chronicles of Narnia, and finally I decided I would see what the interest was about. I cannot believe I waited so long to experience such a fantastic author and truly wonderful books. If you are a life-long Christian, someone open to the concept of religion and looking to explore, or just someone who wants several great stories to read, this collection is unbeatable. Over 750 pages and seven stories that will challenge the reader, both spiritually and intellectually. I highly, highly recommend this book.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
e ku
This is an excellent one volume collection of some the most important of C.S. Lewis' writings. Seven complete works including Mere Christianity, the Screwtape Letters and the hard to find Abolition of Man are contained in this book. The size of this format makes it easy to carry around and the print is still very readable. This is the perfect edition to start reading C.S. Lewis.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
reva
This is a very good book to understand more about the Christian faith and various topics like pain, miracles, grief. I would say that parts of the book are very well written apologetics, but since there are various books in this one volume, there are also different styles and genres...

The two works that are closest to fiction resemble different aspects of various prose, with "The Screwtape Letters" being written in a form of collected letters.

I can only endorse this book: It has been very helpful in understanding my faith and the varieties in the different denominations, because it was written with much wisdom and insight that many people can prosper from.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
michael feeney
It has been said that one should not speak of Christianity (without being a Christian and not understanding it) if they have not read Mere Christianity -- I agree.

Mere Christianity, Miracles, and The Abolition Of Man are great not only as guides for Christians, but great because they address other religions. Comparative religion of a sort, but not without perspective, which is what is missing from so many books.

These seven works are all great, there's no reason to buy them separately to avoid any poor books. Even if you do not end up agreeing with him, reading C.S. Lewis' books will assure you that whatever side you take, one should be taken seriously.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
lisa auerbach
The book took a while to get here, and when it did, it was in rough shape for supposedly being brand new. I also discovered I could have bought it for $5 cheaper from another online retailer. Not too impressed with this purchase.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
rache
This collection is excellent. C.S. Lewis is one of the greatest Christian thinkers of the 20th century and it shows through in his writing. Having all of his key works together in one volume is nice when studying Lewis' views on Christianity and society. It makes for easy comparison. The volume is also nicely bound with a marker. For anyone wishing to explore Christian thought I would highly recommend this collection.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
shiju jacob
If you are a devoted C. S. Lewis reader, or if you want to learn whether you might become one, most or all of what you would want or need his here in one volume.
With any compendium of this type there is room to argue honestly that something was omitted or included which should not have been, but the Lewis works which are generally considered to be most important are here.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
matthew flowers
This book is a great investment. Not only does it help my theological understanding of what Jesus Christ has accomplished for us on the cross, but C.S. Lewis' writings expands my imagination and love for God's creativity! What a glorious picture of the Lord's love for us through the gospel of Jesus Christ. I recommend this book to anyone looking for answers about God and wanting to grow in their knowledge of Him. Although the book is thick, it's easy to read in small chunks. Don't let it be intimidating. It has become a restful read for my soul, yet also thought-provoking.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
emily reynolds
What This publishing venture is wonderful it brings together some of the best pieces of one of the best writers in the 20th century.I have read all of this before but as I read it now in my 86th year, it seems so new and so apropos.Like all great literature CS Lewis' seems to be timeless and so insightful it makes you appreciate that reason is great but not enough. I recommend this book to all who sincerely desire to be the best human person they can become. "It is never to late to try," said the Old Man Jack McCall
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
kelly foshee
This collection of C.S. Lewis' works on religion gives me his hard-to-find works and an easy place to find the more popular ones. Lewis is unsurpassed in clarity of thought on being a real Christian - worth going back to in a reference like this.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jer nimo
C.S. Lewis was certainly 1 of, if not the most, thought provoking theologist of the last century. As a former atheist/current agnostic, I will say, his is the only sensible argument for Christianity I've ever come across. Of course his prose is as always thoughtful, intelligent, & often humorous.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
tiffany winegar
WOW! I started with the Screwtape letters years ago and it was a very entertaining yet very thought provoking book. I loved it, probably one of my favorite books. The complete series is amazing. Prepare to think about things as you have not thought about them before. Prepare to see things that you have not seen before. Basically these books take your way of thinking to a new level.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
mritunjay
I've always loved the Narnia series and had read the Screwtape Letters, but had never read C.S. Lewis's other famous works. This is a wonderful collection of his best work. I have loved every one and would highly recommend it to anyone interested in seeing God through another perspective. Based on Biblical truth, but not "preachy," he gives us a glimpse into God's nature and His relationship with us. Not exactly an easy read (definitely not a "beach book"), but the message is crystal clear.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
nourish
CS Lewis is consistantly interesting and insightful. His works are straight forward and avoid belabored, technical theology. Excellent food for thought for the Christian. Excellent food for thought for the non-Christian. If you have even a mild interest in Christian thought, this anthology is a great starting point. The price is unbeatable because even if you end up disliking the theology, The Screwtape Letters and The Great Divorce are entertaining enough on their own and worth nearly the price of the anthology!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
christina royster
What a fantastic collection of books this is! This collection has some of Lewis' best theology as well as some fantastic fiction. My personal favorite is "The Screwtape Letters" which really makes you think as Lewis explores the way a demon may think. Lewis is one of the greatest minds of his time and arguably one of the best fantasy writers ever. I recommend this collection to anyone who enjoys reading quality lit.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
cyanne
If you have any questions to the way life is a certain way, or just want to expand your mind and let new things in, this is the book. Lewis shows in one occasion that truth has the same meaning no matter what time and age you live in. In MERE CHRISTIANITY (my favorite), he uses what he calls the "natural law" and not once uses the bible to show why certain things can only come from a creator. EXCELLENT BOOK!!!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
narasimha
i read mere christianity and screwtape years ago and was delighted to see them in one volume with other 'signature classics' by ol' clive staples lewis. if you want to go to narnia on the pop culture train, pass on this. if you want contemporary thought by a man long dead, but his words still live and indict the modern mind to stretch beyond complacency, get this volume NOW!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
audrey
Awesome book, I would recommend it to anyone but take a look at the dimensions. It probably wont fit on your bookshelf, but get it anyway! Its awesome, looks great, has a ribbon bookmark! SOOOOO GOOOOD
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
yune
And you are an avid reader of CS Lewis you will not be disappointed at this collection of truths. He makes one feel a sense of obligation to be a better person, a more informed soul and a true desire to share in the journey of knowing such salvation. From start to finish the origin of his storytelling can only be described as breathtaking!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
maggie yowell
Every page of this substantial work is filled with incredible insight and beautiful writing. I feel this should be required reading for all Christians. After reading this I feel well prepared for defending my faith. If you are a non-believer, reading Lewis will force you to question your reasoning and examine your spiritual condition from an honest, intellectual viewpoint.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
natalie tynan
This book is beautiful. I would guess that most people reading this are allready familiar with the quality of C.S. Lewis' writings and are would like to know what the actual book looks like. It's nice. It's about the size of a textbook, with a cover that has some sort of fabric over it and a silver ribbon attached for marking your page.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
dzikrina
This is a very beautiful book containing several of the classic works of CS Lewis. My only remark is that I did not anticipate how big it is. Please note the size. This is a 'coffee table book' NOT a 'bookshelf book'. It would be nice if the same item were available in a shelf-friendly size. Even so, it is an excellent collection.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
melody meiners
Those that read his several works contained in this book will appreciate his straightword and understandable writing. Yet, still readers will be amazed at his deftness in describing heaven's honesty and glorifying light, and his illumination of hell's lies and destructive darkness. The book is awesome.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
joe c
This is a beautiful book, and from my experience, you will not find it in stores for less than $60. It was delivered on time, in perfect condition, and cost a lot less (including shipping), than it was in stores. This makes a beautiful gift or addition to a personal collection.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
lyn sue
This book is a great bargain for anyone new to C.S.Lewis. I wanted just one or two books, but when i noticed this one, with SEVEN books inside, i decided to give it a try. Good Move! I have enjoyed the entire collection, and at a price of barely two single books!!!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
archana
C.S. Lewis writes not about trends or fads that come and go, he writes about truth that is as applicable today as the day he wrote it. If you're searching for truth, or just trying to make sense of it all, I highly recommend the Signature Classics
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
karatedo tlebkcalb
The detail and depth of arguments is incredible. The presentation is equal and fair to both sides but leaves no doubt of the ultimate truth. I especially enjoyed the allusions by the author to time period events and situations. ie. WWII and English manners.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
lauren rutledge
7 books in 1. I haven't read the whole book yet. But what I've read so far is a delight. It's like listening to an old friend.

I have the Chronicles of Narnia and I'm thrilled to add this to my collection.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
rofayda khaled
I'm sorry but Mr.Lewis' writing struck me as pedantic and boring. I was initially interested in his works because of my readings in grief literature. I couldn't get into any of his stories. They seemed dry to me. I like the idea behind his "Screwtape Letters" but it didnt hold my attention. I am glad he is well read but personally I am just not into his books.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
dusty crabtree
Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion. -Weinberg
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
thonas rand
Lewis includes in his case for Christianity a noble sentiment everyone can agree with: "I am not asking anyone to accept Christianity if his best reasoning tells him that the weight of the evidence is against it."

CS Lewis' arguments for Christianity revolve around two arguments - the moral argument (objective morals cannot exist without a tri-omni god) and the existence, life and resurrection of Jesus (his infamous trilemma rears its head quite early here) and the argument from desire (there is nothing in this world that can satisfy my longing for Joy. Therefore, I was created for another world). What he does not even consider is a third option (namely, that the perfect incarnation of Joy does not exist at all).

His reason for accepting theism (which, according to Lewis, excludes Hinduism (he considers them to be pantheists)) is simply that it is hard to imagine the majority of humanity being wrong on such a crucial subject. He neglects to notice or even consider the fact that most human beings before 1500 believed the world to be flat and that the Earth was the centre of the universe. As for why he chose Christianity over Judaism or Islam, he simply states his incredulity - he cannot accept that 1st century Jews would concoct a myth along the lines of Christianity. Once again, his failure of imagination is laid bare. The byzantine nature of Hinduism, far more complex and imaginative than Christianity, seems to pose no such problems for Lewis.

The moral argument, admittedly, was composed before modern evolutionary theory advanced by leaps and bounds (particularly evolutionary game theory, which explains why piranhas do not often cannibalise their brethren. Morality has evolved naturally from the first rudiments of social animals to the complex modern systems we debate and follow today. When Lewis asserts that evil is merely a "privation of good" and that it is impossible to "pursue evil for its own sake", he is ignoring sociopathy, a profound condition. He is glossing over and/or simply ignoring child rape and other similar horrors. What perverse notions of "love" or "sex" were corrupted to produce such atrocities? Surely a tri-omni god would simply prevent such individuals from existing in the first place, free will be damned. The "divinely inspired sense of morality" that Lewis loves expounding upon also fails to take the child rape so prevalent in Islamic theocracies.

Furthermore, the laws of morality are things we discover and amend over time. They are not, as Lewis claims, as powerful as the laws of gravity or physics. Moral laws are prescriptive, not descriptive. To measure morality, we need simply ask each human being what a certain law or policy would do to their lives vis a vis suffering and happiness. This could be extended to other creatures with relative ease. To measure distances, we need rulers and measuring sticks, but the distances themselves still exist, whether we have such measuring sticks or not. So too with morality.

Existence and intelligence are described as inherently good by Lewis (and therefore must originate from a divine being). But he is not consistent here - traits such as sexual desires and appetites for food are morally neutral. A hammer can be used to build a homeless shelter or murder the homeless. The wielder determines the morality of its use. Lewis does not follow his own rhetoric to its logical conclusions.

The remainder of the book consists of how CS Lewis would like a Christian society to be. Ironically enough, he soliloquised at length during World War 2, modulating at length to inspire the populace and soldiers in a battle AGAINST such totalitarian policies and regimes.

He uses god's transcendent nature outside of time and space as a buffer against the free will/divine foreknowledge counterargument, which has now been appropriated as a modern day trope by apologists such as WLC and Frank Turek. Needless to say, this does not get god off the hook, because he still chose to create good and evil.

Perhaps the most fulsome and viscerally offensive paragraphs are in the book's conclusion, though. According to Lewis, our good deeds mean nothing until and unless we convert to Christianity. To quote Lewis verbatim: "If there was no help from Christ, there would be no help from other human beings." In other words, we must give Jesus credit, first and foremost, for the good that humans end up doing. This is beyond condescending. This transcends the realm of insulting. More nonsensical still is his defeatist entreaty for we humans to trust Jesus, because he alone is eternal and everyone else is doomed to death. The dearth of healed amputees and lack of increased compassion among Christians must have eluded Lewis.

CS Lewis is held by many to be the premier Christian apologist of the 20th century. Unless one is morbidly naive, or has yet to encounter the counterarguments to Christianity in particular and theism in general, I find this evaluation of Lewis to be painfully naive. I honestly cannot see where his appeal lies.

The Problem of Evil is an insurmountable one for Christians (and all other theists who believe in a perfectly loving, all-powerful and all-knowing god). There have been intense and motivated efforts over the past two millennia to defend such a position rationally, and they have all failed. Miserably. Utterly. And in many cases, dishonestly. On page 40, Lewis blames his own failings for being unable to understand god's reason for allowing and causing evil. He states "...since I have reason to believe, nevertheless, that God is Love, I conclude that my conception of love needs correction." Stripped of his rhetorical sleight-of-hand, Lewis was essentially saying that god's love is compatible with, and even requires, the infliction of pain. Heaping dollops of pain, no less. This is Stockholm Syndrome of gargantuan proportions.

Some approaches involve invoking an unknown "greater good" defense (which throws god's omnipotence under the bus. An omnipotent deity could simply actualise a desired goal without needing to use suffering as a "middle man"). Attempts to shift the problem by asserting that human happiness is not the goal of life (but knowing god is) removes the omnibenevolence and omnipotence of god (if you love someone, you don't want them to suffer. It really is that simple). On page 104, Lewis concedes that not everyone suffers equally. He does not give a reason for this, and indeed, admits that our puny human minds cannot understand why god would allow some to live decades in comfort and luxury while others suffer for months or years on end. To quote Lewis himself: "The causes of this distribution I do not know; but from our present point of view it ought to be clear that the real problem is not why some humble, pious, believing people suffer, but why some do NOT (emphasis Lewis', in italics). Our Lord Himself, it will be remembered, explained the salvation of those who are fortunate in this world only by referring to the unsearchable omnipotence of God."

That's not an explanation. Lewis is falling back on the ancient and ubiquitous appeal to ignorance. God's mysterious ways are beyond us. Well, by that "logic," he could send all Christians to hell and everyone else to heaven, and Lewis, by his own admission, would just have to suck up an eternity of torture.

The old canard of free will is often invoked. Unfortunately, free will is meaningless unless everyone has an equal amount of it. This is undeniably NOT the case. Not everyone is given the same lifespan, physical strength, mental acuity, political clout, financial resources, and so on. Lewis is pontificating from the luxurious confines of his residence, funded by conveniently gullible sheep. This has certainly damaged his ability to empathise with the billions who live on less than a dollar each day. Or the thousands who starve to death every time the Earth completes a full rotation.

Lewis also, perhaps unwittingly, advocates a social Darwinism in which the rich and physically powerful are able to murder, rape and steal from weaker individuals (and are therefore less able to exercise their own free will to prevent their own suffering). Lewis worships a cosmic pedophile who revels in granting freedom to abhorrent individuals while getting his jollies from seeing the most vulnerable suffer and die in agony (only to get thrown into even more torture in the Christian vision of hell).

Lastly, a loving god would take away free will from those who would willingly surrender it in return for a life without suffering. Funnily enough, Lewis seems to believe in a heaven without suffering but with all the bells and whistles of freedom. So why not create that universe from the get-go and stick with it? Why create a universe with even the possibility of corruption? It certainly is not something a perfect god would do. Then again, a perfect god would not blackmail beings he supposedly loves for eternal worship.

While Lewis is usually a good writer, capable of spinning yarns to attract the attention of children and young teenagers, he also assumes that there is a deep, overriding purpose behind suffering. This purpose is so important that it is more critical to his god to NOT end suffering now, but to let things run their "natural" course until his plan is complete. In service of this goal, he creates a short story that is akin to an essay on theistic evolution, and how man is ultimately responsible for the Fall and his own corruption. If god knows everything, including the future, then he orchestrated the fall (and everything else) before setting his plan into motion. Arguing that god exists outside of time is a lazy copout, nothing more.

As a 'loudspeaker' for the Christian god, pain has done more to drive people away from him than anything else. An all-knowing, all-powerful and all-good god would not allow any suffering, even in the service of a so-called "greater good." And if such a god desires suffering for a greater good, then it would follow logically that his followers should cause suffering to convert more people. After all, that is god's best tool for getting our attention, is it not? Fortunately, CS Lewis and most Christians today do not follow this logic to its end point. Those who do open hospitals and hospices and waste money on bibles rather than food (explaining why only 25% of tithes go to benefit indigent people around the world). CS Lewis realised this, which is why he asserted, in chapter 7, that while evil acts can lead to "greater" goods such as pity and compassion, the individual who commits evil is not justified simply because positive benefits will flow.

The hypocrisy here is glaringly apparent when Lewis moves on to depict his god as using good men as "sons" and evil men as "tools" to achieve his goals. Such an obvious double standard is patently hypocritical and serves to do little except expose Lewis' advocacy of divine fiat for what it is - blind obedience (which is the antithesis of sound moral reasoning).

His childishly puerile attempts to justify hell are perhaps the only thing worse. According to Lewis' theology, pain is used by god as a teacher, a "flag of truth in a rebel fortress" (p. 122). This obviously misses the point - an omnipotent god would not need to use pain. If a tri-omni deity knows good from evil without needing to suffer, why couldn't he have simply created humans who were likewise omniscient? This is yet another obvious point that is glossed over by a highly overrated apologist.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
campbell
I was looking forward to diving into this collection after reading so many positive reviews. Sunday Times writes: "He is admirably equipped to write spiritual biography for the plain man, for his outstanding gift is clarity".

My answer to that review and this book is this: Unless you are a scholar you soon will find yourself drowning in a morass of words you most likely have never heard before or never use in everyday life. The problem with highly intelligent people, like C.S Lewis, is this: they do not know how to communicate their ideas in plain language so that "plain" people can understand what they're saying. I call that ignorance.

These books are mostly filled with highfalutin, pompous, non-sensical drivel.

Unless you are highly intelligent don't waste your money.
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