As part of my current research on C.S. Lewis, I recently read his autobiography, Surprised by Joy. It is an important book for understanding Lewis but it is not what many people would expect.
If you are looking for a riveting story of a horrible sinner wrestling with God until finally being conquered by the Spirit, you will not find it here. At least not explicitly. Although the book was written in response to people’s requests to hear how he left atheism, Surprised by Joy does not read like the typical Christian testimony.
The book is really the story of Lewis from childhood to his conversion, but without a tremendous amount of focus on religion. He does talk about praying for his sick mother and the atheism of one of his teachers, but there is not a lot more than that.
That is not to say that I was disappointed with the book. As a fan of Lewis, I am happy to learn as much about him as I can, religious or not. But I also appreciated his story in that all of his experiences were relevant, even when not directly reflecting on God. I found that reading this book has helped to give insight into his other writings.