Thursday 20 December 2012

The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe (Narnia Book 1) - C.S. Lewis

Title: The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe (Narnia Book 1)
Author: C.S. Lewis
Genre: Fantasy
Published: 1950
Formats: Hardback/Paperback/Ebook

Available at:
The Book Depository
Amazon UK

“The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe” by C.S. Lewis is another classic children’s story that I have previously never read. Oh I have seen the Movies & TV Shows that are based on the book so I know what the story is about but I never actually got around to reading it. I suppose that I just felt there was no need to read it based on what I had seen on both the small and big screen.

For the few people out there that don’t already know the story, I can reveal that the plot follows a group of four children; siblings Peter, Edmund, Susan and Lucy who accidently journey to a fantastical land called Narnia. Whilst there they discover talking animals and other magical creatures, many of who are determined to help the children fulfil a prophecy that will involve them helping to defeat the evil white witch who has put all of Narnia into an eternal winter.

Now that I have read the book I have to be honest and say that I wasn’t really wrong in thinking that after seeing the movie and TV show there was no real reason to read the book. In fact I actually think I preferred following the story on the screen as the story is entirely intact but it just seemed more exciting and the characters seemed more believable and easier to emotionally engage with. In fact the lack of characterisation in the book is probably its biggest flaws and as I found it hard to care about what was going on when the characters presented were so bland and undeveloped.

However, that doesn’t mean the book is bad because it isn’t, the plot is simple and well-constructed so that children should find it easy to follow and enjoy. The story also heavily promotes bravery, selflessness and consideration of others which most parents should be more than happy for their children to take on board. One aspect of the Narnia tales that people deride is the fact that it is a Christian allegory which can upset some of the more devout atheists out there. Personally, I noticed the obvious reference to the crucifixion and resurrection but the rest just passed me by. I just found the story to be an escapist fantasy adventure that will have children checking wardrobes the world over.

In summary, I didn’t read it as a child so maybe that is why I wasn’t captivated and I don’t really worry about religious undertones in novels so unlike others I don’t hate it either. I just found it to be an okay, enjoyable enough and a likely fun story to read to my own children when they are older. Then again, I may just skip the book and sit them down to watch the movie which I believe captures this magical plot in a much more modern and entertaining manner.

Ps. I understand that some people like to say that this is the 2nd book in the series but I prefer to stick with the publishing order. Especially when the prequel novel may actually spoil some of the surprised and curiosity’s that you discover when reading this novel.

Challenges Book Counts Towards:
Speculative Fiction Challenge
Year of the Fantasy Classic Challenge


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