Friday, February 3, 2012

Surprised by Laughter: The Comic World of C.S. Lewis

Surprised by Laughter: The Comic World of C.S. Lewis by Terry Lindvall examines the use of humor in the writing of author C.S. Lewis.  Lindvall breaks humor into joy, fun, the joke proper, and satire and flippancy.  The author then explores in depth Lewis’ each use of humor in his writings ranging from fiction to theological.  Lindvall shows that Lewis clearly enjoyed humor and uses a wide range of humor in this works.
Within 30 pages I knew I would not enjoy this book.  Don’t get me wrong, Lindvall’s analysis is through, comprehensive and well researched.  Sadly, it’s a book about funny things that is not funny.  Instead it is dense and the reader plods through text instead of runs.  Part of this is probably my point of view.  I read this book for fun, it’s about humor.  This book should not be read for fun.  It should be read for a serious understanding of Lewis’ use of humor.  I would call this text literary criticism, not biography, and was not what I expected or hoped for.  If I was to be asked to write a criticism paper of Lewis, this would be a must use resource.  I should not have tried to read this book for “fun.”  And I should have listened to my buddy who tried to teach me about sunk cost!
Review Copy Provided for purpose of review