am 21. Juli 2000
I wish I could thank C.S. Lewis for writing this book! Not only was it a joy to read, but it has helped change my life as a person and as a Christian. Those who are not Christians would even enjoy this book! His analysis of the different types of love from an academic and a theological viewpoint is very gentle to the soul and easy on the mind. I didn't expect it, but reading this book caused me to examine the types of love in my life, both in giving and receiving, and after doing so, lessened so much of the heartache I had before reading its pages.
I highly recommend this book to anyone who wonders what love is, or if love is even worth having.
am 13. Juli 2000
For those parents who have "encouraged" their teenage children to read "I Kissed Dating Goodbye", I would recommend "The Four Loves" far more. I am sixteen, and I read this book not long ago - I was absolutely speechless when I finished the last page. It is, by far, one of the most profound books I have ever read on ANY subject, not just love. C.S. Lewis seems to get stronger with each page, and his observations about today's understanding of love are right on. His insight as he places the four loves in priority with God and fellow man is astounding. I would recommend this book to anyone and everyone.
am 24. Juni 2007
Lewis discusses the differences between Gift-love and Need-love in the introduction, explaining that although our Need-loves may be demanding and greedy, they are good and necessary because there is little danger that they can be made into idols. They are not near enough to God, by likeness, to be twisted like that. The highest does not exist without the lowest and a plant has roots below as well as sunlight above.
Chapter 2: Likings And Loves For The Sub-Human, is a discussion of Pleasures of Need versus Pleasures of Appreciation. The types of love explored here include patriotism and love of nature. The next chapter: Affection, deals with the humblest love as Lewis calls it. He refers to literary works like The Wind In The Willows, Tristram Shandy, Emma and others to demonstrate the good and the bad manifestations of this kind of love.
Friendship is explored in Chapter 4, again with reference to literature, including inter alia Ralph Waldo Emerson. This section includes an interesting discussion of the word "spiritual" - which is nowadays often used as substitute for "religious". Lewis reminds us that there is spiritual good as well as spiritual evil. The next chapter deals with Eros and he points out its aspects of glory and its playfulness, with reference to books like Anna Karenina and 1984, and certain passages from scripture.
The final chapter is titled Charity and includes an interesting view of a passage from the Confessions by St Augustine. Lewis notes that the Gift-loves are natural images of God whilst the Need-loves are correlatives (not opposites) of the love that God is. When God is admitted to the human heart, He transforms our Gift-love and our Need-love. Conversion is necessary for our natural loves to enter the heavenly life.
The main lesson of the book is the importance of Charity. Without it, all three of the aforementioned types of love may become distorted and even dangerous. That alone is worth the price, but I have not found The Four Loves to be as accessible as his masterpiece Mere Christianity or his comforting book titled The Problem Of Pain.
Sometimes his arguments are hard to follow and his views and examples of certain types of love are coloured by the English culture of the period in which he lived, thus not always universally applicable. The book would also have been a better reference source if an index had been provided. Besides these minor comlaints, The Four Loves is still a great read that provides valuable insight into the human condition.
am 17. Juni 2016
This book gives you a very good insight on what love really is. People not only do not know how to love, but confuse love with human comradry, eroticism or simple affection. CS Lewis states there is only one love, and the rest of loves are just instruments to tune you up and take you to know true love. Human Affection, Friendship and Eros, can only become true love if it becomes part and participates with the other true love Lewis talks about. Read this book to discover how to find true love.
Alberto AF. MD, MSc.
am 21. Januar 1997
C.S. Lewis has made a priceless analysis of love. My experience of reading his book "The Four Loves" (friendship, affection, eros and charity) and comparing it with other books on the subject, is that Lewis uses a fresh (to me) approach. It is like looking through a beautiful diamond. I have observed the diamond several times before, through people like Gerald May, Donald Goergen etc, but have not looked through that particular face of the diamond's prism that Lewis shows.
I liked "friendship" where the love of a particular subject can bring two or more people together in a love. I thoroughly enjoyed "Eros". Lewis calls that "love" that is purely genital sex, and the love that leads up to this, "Venus". He says that Venus is part of Eros. "We must not be totally serious about Venus, and if we are serious about her we can do harm to our humanity". And "Venus is a mocking, mischievous spirit, far more elf than deity, and makes game of us. When all external circumstances are the fittest for her service she will leave one or both lovers totally indisposed for it. When every overt act is impossible and even glances cannot be exchanged - in trains, in shops and at interminable parties - she will assail them with all her force. An hour later, when time and place agree, she will have mysteriously disappeared, perhaps from only one of them. ......
"In Eros at times we seem to be flying; Venus gives us the sudden twitch that reminds us we are really captive balloons ..... on one side akin to the angels, and on the other to tom cats. .... St. Francis called his body 'brother ass'..... It is impossible for anyone in his right senses to either revere or hate a donkey. An ass is a useful, sturdy, lazy, obstinate, patient, loveable and infuriating beast; deserving now the stick and now a carrot; both pathetically and absurdly beautiful. So the body. .... The fact that we have bodies is the oldest joke there is".
Lewis goes on to emphasise that none of the "natural" loves can survive without agape love, that is the love that comes from God, which Lewis calls "Charity".
am 17. April 1999
Read the book for yourself! It has everything about love in it. For me, it was a step in the healing process. The world confused me about my sexuality and the types of love. This book cleared the questions and has equipped me with the knowledge to press on as a child of God.
am 25. Oktober 1995
Trust is fragile and does not come without an open heart.
C.S. Lewis' book on the four loves: affection (between a parent and a child), friendship, romantic love, and charity or love towards God is truly a remarkable piece of work.
Professor Lewis writes with an easiness rare amongst writers, speaks deliberately and with wisdom in his words.
He speaks of trust and of hearts, of humanity and humility. Truly, this is a moving book (or was for me) as well as a book which takes the seriousness of love rather lightly and playfully, for good reason. The seriousness and playfulness of love are but opposite sides of the same coin.
Read this book with an open, honest, yet vulnerable heart. One needs to take risks in the matters of the heart. And you shall experience the best of dark and bright.
am 31. Oktober 1998
Far more than merely a "book on tape", these tapes contain a series of lectures which (I'm guessing) were delivered before the writing of the book "The Four Loves". The words of the book are more polished and the ideas more expanded but I actually find these talks more accessible than the book itself, although both are very fine. These tapes are also the only professional recordings of the actual voice of C.S. Lewis which we still have, and as such are a priceless treasure. His voice sounds a little like Winston Churchill's and his droll sense of humor sparkles throughout. Though not a Christian myself, I find a lot of inspiration in Lewis's thoughts. I know that whenever I reread any of his books from now on, I will hear his rich, warm, dry baritone voice in my head.
am 11. März 1998
This has to be one of the most thought-provoking books that has ever been written. Absolutely breathtaking! Using the logic Lewis is so famous for and written with the same intelligence as "Mere Christianity", this book is not to be discounted simply because it is about love. Lewis is regarded as one the best Christian theologians of modern times, and it is no mistake that he wrote about this subject, the different types of love, and the importance of it.
I went on a spiritaul search for true love--the love of God--at the same time I read this book. "The Four Loves" made everything about love that is cloudy much more clear. From Lewis, you can't get an better than this!
am 18. Februar 1998
A refreshing look at the four different kinds of love, as told by someone who had experience with each, yet whose scholarship and insight excel most others who try to discuss them. I give the book an 8 instead of a 10 because of Lewis's views about friendship - he took very little, if any, interest in the personal parts of his friends' lives, so his views are jaded and different from most of society in this respect. Still, the book (like most of what Lewis wrote) is enjoyable, helpful, and worth buying.