Monday, April 23, 2012

Review for "Surprised By Laughter" by Terry Lindvall, Ph.D

This book was indeed a surprise to me. From the title, I expected a light and comic work, something easy to read that would make me laugh. This was anything but. The 454 pages of text were more of a scholarly treatise, well thought-out and well written but ponderous at times. Somehow, dissecting the humor in C.S. Lewis' works in 32 chapters seemed to produce the opposite effect, rendering what was light, joyful, playful, happy into something heavy.
The book is organized according to different types of humor or topics of joy found in Lewis' works, such as "Joy and Suffering," "Food and Drink," "The Fun in Nature," or "Wit and Wordplay." I did enjoy the thorough research of the author and the plentiful quotes from not only Lewis but several of his contemporaries (Chesterton, Tolkien, for example). There are many nuggets to ponder, memorable quotes, life lessons shared - but it is not light or funny reading. I am not put off by a meaty read, but this was a bit much. Appreciate it as a wonderful reference and scholarly commentary on C.S. Lewis. Two stars out of five, mainly for the misleading title and synopsis.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from BookSneeze for purposes of review, and am not required to give a positive opinion.