My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I read this five years ago and, prompted by Louis Markos' chapter about it in Heaven and Hell, picked it up again. Clearly, I read it too soon in my own faith life the first time and now am giving it the proper five-star rating it deserves.
Written as a response to Blake's poem, The Marriage of Heaven and Hell, Lewis is showing that Heaven and Hell must always be divorced from each other by sheer virtue of their essences.
We ride along with Lewis's ghostly form as he boards the bus that will take him from Hell, a ghastly gray town full of quarreling people, to Heaven. As they journey it became for me almost a reversed, positive look at The Screwtape Letters, Lewis's other famous book about how to get to Heaven or Hell. I really loved that Lewis's own heavenly guide was George MacDonald, whose writings were very inspirational to Lewis in real life.
(Who would be my guide? Tolkien? Lewis? Only Heaven knows, I suppose!)
This is such a brief book that I read it in an evening but it really had an impact. It shows reality and our own passions, whether good or bad, in a new light which is both inspirational and enlightening. Or was for me at any rate.
This is one to read again and again.
"Oh, of course, I'm wrong. Everything I say or do is wrong, according to you."
"But of course!" said the Spirit, shining with love and mirth so that my eyes were dazzled. "That's what we all find when we reach this country. We've all been wrong! That's the great joke. There's no need to go on pretending one was right! After that we begin living."