Monday, March 20

Book: The Chronicles of Narnia Click for more info

Since I heard that there was a film being made of TLTWATW, I've been longing to once again visit the seven books that still list amongst my favourite ever. And finally I got around to doing just that.

I'm not sure how many times I've actually read these chronicles, but apart from The Quran they they're the only books I've read more than the once or twice I have all others. Having said that it must be over fifteen years since I last read these which either says that I've read two many different books or not enough.

I approached them differently this time too. Instead of reading them in the usual chronological order (which the logical part of me was screaming at me to do) I decided to receive them in publishing order. That is:

  1. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. The flagship of the series, for what reason I'm not sure. It is a beginning of sorts, but I prefer at least two of the other books over this one.
  2. Prince Caspian. A quite mundane tale compared to the rest.
  3. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. One of my favourites, if not the favourite. Exploration and adventurous, it's what I think is the whole point of Narnia. And as an aside you can see its influence on Mieville's The Scar.
  4. The Silver Chair. Nothing special, but a nice interlude anyway.
  5. The Horse and His Boy. What was once my least favourite book is now one of my most. I'm not sure what I like about it, but it being the most romantic of all the books might have something to do with it. Funny that, eh?
  6. The Magician's Nephew. Special because it outlines how Narnia et al came into being it kind of makes us aware of a world bigger than Narnia and England and everything. In that sense it's pretty awesome.
  7. The Last Battle. In my opinion quite the cop out. Nothing really happens and a lot is, quite cheaply, left to the reader.

I think I enjoyed the different order more than when I had read them chronologically. I also now realise exactly how small the books are, both physically and with respect to what happens in them; on the whole there are only two or three major scenes in each. I also realise in my older age exactly how much of a religious allegory the chronicles are - I've no idea how I missed them the first time around (they even have an apple for heaven's sake!), but it probably had something to do with the innocence of youth or something.

They still count amongst my favourite books though not quite as highly as they once did. I wonder how I'll receive them in fifteen more years?

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