In a nutshell, the story is about a man who dreams that he’s in Hell/Purgatory and is allowed to take a trip to the outskirts of Heaven. He realizes that he is more of a ghost while the people of Heaven are much more solid. Even the grass in Heaven won’t bend under his weight. And the people who go with him decide they’d rather go back to Hell.
Below I’ve listed some memorable quotes from the book, but I’d highly recommend getting the book. And it’s a short read.
“No soul that seriously and constantly desires joy will ever miss it. Those who seek find. To those who knock it is opened.”
“Heaven is reality itself. All that is fully real is Heavenly. For all that can be shaken will be shaken and only the unshakeable remains.”
“Every poet and musician and artist, but for Grace, is drawn away from the love of the thing he tells, to the love of the telling till, down in Deep Hell, they cannot be interested in God at all but only in what they say about Him”
There are only two kinds of people in the end: those who say to God, “Thy will be done,” and those to whom God says, in the end, “Thy will be done.” All that are in Hell, choose it. Without that self-choice there could be no Hell. No soul that seriously and constantly desires joy will ever miss it. Those who seek find. Those who knock it is opened.”
There is but one good; that is God. Everything else is good when it looks to Him and bad when it turns from Him.”
“You cannot love a fellow creature fully till you love God”
“There have been men before … who got so interested in proving the existence of God that they came to care nothing for God himself… as if the good Lord had nothing to do but to exist. There have been some who were so preoccupied with spreading Christianity that they never gave a thought to Christ.”
“If we insist on keeping Hell (or even earth) we shall not see Heaven: if we accept Heaven we shall not be able to retain even the smallest and most intimate souvenirs of Hell.”
“Either the day must come when joy prevails and all the makers of misery are no longer able to infect it, or else, for ever and ever, the makers of misery can destroy in others the happiness they reject for themselves.”