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CS Lewis
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Samuel White
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Janette Oke
George MacDonald

 

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The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe

By CS Lewis

The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe

 

The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe



  • Four children (Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy) are sent during the Second World War to live with theirstrange uncle in his palatial estate somewhere in the British country-side. During a game of hide andseek the youngest, Lucy, steps into a wardrobe to hide and finds herself (once past all the coats and oldshoes) into the snow-covered world of Narnia. Narnia is a land where the animals talk and suchwonderful creatures as fauns, centaurs and giants live and a cruel White Witch has placed herself asqueen over the country and cast a spell so that it is always winter and never Christmas.

    Like many other readers, it was this book that opened up the writings of CS Lewis to me. I flew throughall seven books of The Chronicles of Narnia as fast as I could and then launched into The Space Trilogy. In subsequent years, I have read everything I have been able to find by Lewis.

    The strengths of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe are many. To start with, it's just a greatstory--and a grand story. What little kid (or adult, for that matter) wouldn't want to be one of thePevensy children? Who wouldn't want to fight in the Battle of Beruna, or ride on the Lion's back, orknock the witch's wand from her hand?

    Secondly, the writing is superb. Many writers have tried to write a book for children or adolescentswhich would be enjoyed by adults as well, but few have succeeded--and I can think of none whosucceeded so well as this Oxford don. Rather write a children's story with a few adult-oriented quipssprinkled in, Lewis wrote the whole thing for children and includes the messages for adults not as asidesbut as portions of the narrative fully written in language the children will understand.

    Thirdly, the characterizations are superb and we find within them ourselves. Peter, the oldest brotherand a standard for honest behavior, courage and strength. Edmund, priggish and snobby and self-centered and probably more like us than most of us would ever want to admit. Lucy, wide-eyed, kind,loving and compassionate. Peter is who we would like to be in our most "heroic" moments, Edmund iswho we are in our most embarrassing moments, and Lucy is who we are when we try our best to begood but find ourselves trampled upon by others. The only underdeveloped character of the four isSusan. Is she so be design, setting up her exit later, or did Lewis later realize she was nothing and therewas little to do with her but drop her?

    Finally (though much more could be said), there is the theology of Narnia. For all the wonder and "magic"of Narnia, it is our world. Full of sin and strife. In Narnia, however--as in our world--there is hope:Aslan. Aslan is not just a lion, he's THE lion. The son of the Emperor Over the Sea. Aslan, though theson of the emperor and the one who spoke Narnia into being, gives his life for the salvation of the landand its inhabitants. The Narnia books are thoroughly Christian books, but--as Lewis himself oftenpointed out--they are also fiction. So while a wealth of insight may be derived from the books, thereader must also be cautioned that while they are immensely Christian in theme, they are not word byword treatises on the gospel and should not be treated as such.

    Additional Notes:

    In the past few years, The Chronicles of Narnia have been re-released with The Lion, The Witch and TheWardrobe as second book in the series and The Magician's Nephew as the first book. While this ischronologically accurate, this reviewer still prefers to read them in the order they were published, whichputs TLTWATW as the first book and TMN as the sixth book as TLTWATW is the foundation for thewhole series.

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To Order This Book

  • The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe

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