Friday, May 7, 2010

Book Review: The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis

My Dear Lucy, 
I wrote this story for you, but when I began it I had not realised that girls grow quicker than books. As a result you are already too old for fairy tales, and by the time it is printed and bound you will be older still. But someday you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again. You can then take it down from some upper shelf, dust it, and tell me what you think of it. I shall probably be too deaf to hear, and too old to understand, a word you say, but I shall still be your affectionate Godfather,
C. S. Lewis.

Was there ever a better book dedication than this?? I remember when I bought 'Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows' (at 9:01am) and sat in my car and read the dedication and burst into tears (at 9:02am) and I just thought it was the most beautiful thing I had ever read. Well now I have found another tear-inducing dedication. And really, what is more moving than a tear-inducing dedication in a book?

However I am not here to review the dedication (although that is an idea, maybe I'll start a dedication day, as it is one of my favourite bits of the book!), I am going to review the actual book. I am 24 and have NEVER read this book. I didn't have a horribly deprived childhood cut off from literature, I actually was too chicken. I saw an episode of the (very old) television series and was really really really scared and subsequently never picked it up. So I decided to rectify this.

I just loved this book. I experienced it through the wonder of audio book, narrated by Michael York, and it was a such delightful medium! I was able to 'read' it almost completely innocently, I haven't seen the movie, and I didn't really know too much about it so I loved the story unfolding as though it was completely new to me. I am sure most people have read, or at least know the premise of 'The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe'. Four siblings, Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy, are evacuated from London during WWII, to a grand house in the countryside. In this house they discover a wardrobe leading to another world, the beautiful land of Narnia, a place stuck in a perpetual winter, though never Christmas. In control of this place is the White Witch who has had a tyrannical rule for many years. However Aslan, the true King of Narnia, is on the move, and along with the children, and several magical creatures along the way, sets out to defeat the witch.

I really can't fault this book, it is a true classic. There is no wonder that it has survived years and still delights children today. This book is full of adventure, tragedy, magic, love and comedy. I found myself chuckling quite often, and often found myself with tears in my eyes. And by 'tears in my eyes' I mean 'actually crying'. I don't really know what else I can say about this, except that if you haven't read it, make it a priority!! And remember, it is very foolish to lock oneself in a wardrobe. So be careful!!

I've reviewed this also as part of Carl's Once Upon A Time Challenge. Check it out here, plenty of awesome fantastical reviews!!


Aimee said...

I am so glad you read it and loved it (FINALLY) - truly my favourite series besides His Dark Materials.

I should hope you love my favourite ones: the Magician's Nephew, the silver chair, and the last battle.

But honestly, all of them are unique and wonderful. so utterly, utterly, wonderful.

naida said...

awww...great book dedication! I want to read this one some day.
Great review!

heidenkind said...

It took me a long time to read this book, too, for the exact same reason! Don't you just love Peter? He is definitely my favorite character.

Amused said...

I wonder if I would like it better as an adult. I remember not really liking it as a child but I am thinking, after reading your wonderful review, that I might have a whole new appreciation for it now.

Elise said...

Aimee - I started with this one, totally wrong order!! I'm going to read/listen to The Magician's Nephew next, they take less than a week on the long drive to work!!

Nadia - isn't it beautiful? I love reading book dedications more than the actual book sometimes!!

Heidenkind - it is beautiful!! I did like Peter but had a real soft spot for Lucy. And Mrs Beaver. And Mr Beaver. Such an endearing story!!

Amused - I think reading kids books as adults can be hit and miss, sometimes the magic is completely gone. I don't think that would be the case here though!!

Nymeth said...

Whenever I hear someone talk about how much they love this book (and series) I just wish I could experience what they experienced. Sadly I didn't get on with Narnia at all :(

Shelley said...

I read this over and over as a child, and have read some of the series to my children, but somehow I missed that dedications. Beautiful!