4 out of 5 Stars
Author: Leland Ryken
Buy Milton’s Paradise Lost
I am a lover of literature and I love what Crossway is putting out in this regard. For any of you who haven’t noticed they’ve put a Literary Study Bible, Reinke’s Lit!, Reading Between the Lines (which I’ll be reviewing in February), and also an assortment of books like the one I’m reviewing which take a look at classic literature from a Christian perspective. If you want to understand literature from a Christian perspective a book like Ryken’s is a great service. He covers Paradise Lost in just under 90 pages--hitting all the high notes and pulling out all the beautiful themes. Paradise Lost is the premier epic in the English language It’s majestic. It’s grandiose. And it covers the biggest and most important themes and story of all time.
I’m partial to epics and love how the genre progresses. Epics can be daunting because they’re long, there’s a lot of history behind the craft, and did I mention they’re LONG? Ryken takes the mystery away and explains the techniques and history. His writing is approachable. He takes something that is beautiful and high and makes it understandable. You won’t find a better guide for Paradise Lost. If you’re looking to dive into the classics I highly recommend this book and his other guides forthcoming (Homer’s The Odyssey, Shakespeare’s Macbeth, & Nathaniel Hawthorne’s The Scarlett Letter).