THE C.S. LEWIS CHRONICLES by Colin Duriez. (Amazon
site) Biography, September 2005. 306
pages. Blubridge Publishing.
In his aptly subtitled work, “The Indispensable Biography of the Creator
of Narnia; Full of Little Known Facts, Events, and Miscellany,” Colin
Duriez delivers exactly that: A
book teeming with trivia about the amazing thinker and writer, Clive
Staples Lewis, otherwise known as, C.S. Lewis.
The biographer, Colin Duriez, is well-educated in the
life and times of C.S. Lewis. Having previously written the exhaustive
reference book, The C.S. Lewis Encyclopedia (March 1996), as well as,
written about Lewis‘ friendship with another famous writer, J.R.R.
Tolkien (The Lord of the Rings), in Tolkien and Lewis:
The Gift of Friendship (October 2003), Duriez
once again “chronicles” the events in Lewis‘ life
profiting from any interest generated by the movie.
C.S. Lewis Chronicles reads like a Cliff‘s Notes about Lewis‘
life. The book gives a synopsis about his entire life from the year he is
born, to the year he dies (and a little beyond).
Chapters are short. The
book is divided into eight sections. These chapters are further broken
down into years. Each year
begins with a list of births, deaths, and other significant events which
have occurred around the world during that year.
Years are broken down into a series of dates, each with a highlight
about that moment in time in Lewis‘ life ranging from the historic to
the trivial and mundane.
Duriez really outdoes
himself in the miscellany department.
Duriez details Lewis‘eating habits, excerpts from letters to and
from family and friends. Duriez‘s
inclusion of 2 year old Lewis‘ countless days at the beach shoveling
sand along with his reading lists at the age of twelve, though
interesting, are really, just... trivial.
Though the book is also filled with nuggets of titillating
information about how Lewis lived, the sad death of his mother, the
upbringing by his father, and the lasting friendships with his brother and
Tolkien, at times the book offers, what could only be read as,
excruciating detail into Lewis‘ day to day life.
biography‘s pitfalls are not only what information is provided as the
way it is provided. Dates,
though chronological, are not written day by day or even week by week.
You‘ll get one passage that will be about January 22nd, the next
about June 1st and the following one will read from June-July. This proves
to be very annoying. One
constantly has to check and recheck dates to make sure one understands the
The C.S. Lewis Chronicles is a great resource for the MTV generation
sort who likes to get their information in sound bite sizes.
It‘s also a great little read for those who like to learn about
folks but just don‘t have a lot of time.
It is short and can be read from any page as easily as the first.
If you have a love for throwing out odd bits of trivia that know
one knows (or really cares) about, this book might have your name on it.
Bottom line: not a
waste of money if you‘re a C.S. Lewis fan. -Michelle Lemaster