Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Surprised by Laughter by Terry Lindvall

This blog post will be a review of the book Surprised By Laughter, The Comic World of C S Lewis, by Terry Lindvall, PhD. Well, where to start? I could be facetious and say that if this book inspires laughter, it would certainly be a surprise! Let me go on and give you my review.

When I received this book for review, I was anxious to begin reading—my kids and I have just finished the Narnia series and I was interested to learn more about Lewis. Upon beginning the book, however, my anxiety switched to the kind which was regretting committing to reviewing it. The book makes a study of the writings and spoken word of Lewis (and also those of GK Chesterton). The topic is humor, its many facets, and its uses in real life, literature, and entertainment, as relating to and related by Lewis.

Upon reading the first chapter (which was a bit dull) I retained hope that this book would be interesting to me, especially since the author tried to emphasize that Lewis’s humor and wit shouldn’t be “autopsied” throughout the book. As I read more chapters, the thought that kept recurring in my mind was, “Oh man, this is a loooooooooong book, how am I ever going to make myself keep reading it?” As I had received this book for review, I felt I needed to make it through the entire thing, and therefore kept reading. It didn’t hold my attention, and upon finishing, I didn’t really feel like I knew any more about Lewis. It did make me want to find a biography of Lewis to fill me in on what I had thought I’d learn through this book (I’ll have to check at the library on our next visit!)

The book, though long, was full of interesting quotes and sayings, but they were buried in lots of verbiage. Many different areas/aspects of humor were discussed and illustrated, and Lewis appears to be very well-rounded in his appreciation of these.

So—final thoughts—the book was certainly not for me. It is an academic-type book, not the type I am interested in reading at this point in my life. Let me temper my review by saying that as a homeschooling mom of 3 kids, the time available for me to read is very precious and sought out. There have been times in my life when I have enjoyed reading deeper treatises, but this is not one of them. I can’t suggest this book for just anyone, but I’m sure there are some who will enjoy it.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookSneeze®.com book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review.

1 comment:

  1. I agree. I felt so bad when I reviewed this book...i thought maybe i was just missing something amazing, because I love C.S. Lewis books. (just not so much this book about him). Happy day to you Sheila!