The book is constructed around eight imaginary conversations with Lewis, drawing us into his inner thoughts on subjects such as friendship, apologetics, the Christian life, education, suffering and hope.

McGrath describes Lewis’ reluctant conversion alongside his growing conviction that the best story in the world is the compelling Christian ‘big story’. Lewis was convinced that telling stories was one of the most effective ways of getting a worldview across to people. The Chronicles of Narnia became Lewis’ imaginative retelling of the grand Bible story of creation, rebellion, redemption and the new heaven and earth.

McGrath also opens to us the world of The Inklings – Lewis’ inner circle of critical friends, and the way they worked together to refine their writing (which included JRR Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings).

Through these conversations I found myself listening to Lewis’ gigantic intellect with a new respect. His writing is potentially life-changing, and McGrath has succeeded in making this material both deep and readable. He adds a lot to our understanding, not only of why the man wrote what he did, but of the truth of his arguments. After finishing this book I found I wanted more, and will be making a point of searching out what I have not yet read of Lewis’ works.