Thursday, July 10, 2008

The Chronicles of Narnia

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I have finished. This book (or series of books) counts toward Heart of A Child, Initials, Cardathon, Chunkster, Inklings, and 888 Challenge. Not to mention the Series challenge. And the Decades Challenge.

The omnibus (7-in-1) edition is 767 pages.

The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe
Prince Caspian
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
The Silver Chair
Horse and His Boy
Magicians Nephew
The Last Battle

What I liked:

  • I loved (or should say love, love, loved) The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe, Prince Caspian, and Voyage of the Dawn Treader.
  • I liked The Magician's Nephew.
  • I came to a new appreciation, a genuine like, for A Horse and His Boy.

What I didn't like:

  • I disliked Silver Chair. (It was just a bore really compared to the others.)
  • And I *really* had issues with The Last Battle.
  • I wish this omnibus edition had the books in the proper order, the publication order, The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe *needs* to come first.

I read this series again and again as a child. Probably four or five times at least growing up. But I hadn't read it--not as a whole at least--since adulthood. I *did* read The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe as a standalone several times as an adult. But not the others in the series. I think I *meant* to. But I never made it a priority until this year.

I didn't know if these books would hold up well as an adult reader. After all, I didn't have all those degrees and all those years of experience when I read them as a child. My standards were very different then compared to now. I definitely am more critical as an adult. Would they hold up? Did they hold up? Yes and no.

I still loved, loved, loved the first book. That didn't change. But two things surprised me:

1) I actually liked--really liked-- A Horse And His Boy. This was shocking to me. It was my least favorite as a kid.
2) I actually disliked--almost hated--The Last Battle. Again shocking. This was one of my top three as a kid.

So do I love the series? Mostly. Five of the seven would get my definite approval. Six of the seven are okay. That seventh one though I am just so disappointed, so upset, so annoyed. If only Lewis had tightened up his theology a bit.



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6 comments:

sally906 10:08 PM  

I am planning to read the whole series again - I will start with the Magicians Nephew as that is how the witch came to be in Narnia in the first place. I suspect the boy in the story was the old man the children went to stay with in the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. The only one I disliked was the Last battle, but will be interested if my opinions change as an adult :)

I loved the Silver Chair - especially the adorably gloomy and depressing marshwiggle :)

Becky 10:20 PM  

The marshwiggle was really the only part I liked about The Silver Chair. But I did really like him. Puddleglum, I think his name was.

And compared to The Last Battle, The Silver Chair was quite good. I think I liked certain parts better than others. But a few places I remember as boring. Or maybe it was the fact it had owls in it. Could be. I have a phobia of owls--always have--they spook me out.

Tarie 12:57 AM  

Howdy, Becky! :o)

I also did not like The Silver Chair. :o( I haven't read the whole series in quite some time. I'll have to read it again soon. This post makes me wonder if my favorites in the series will change!

Rhinoa 4:48 AM  

I love this series. It's funny though I disagree with you on your favourites. Mine are The Magician's Nephew and The Silver Chair and I definitely think The Magician's Nephew should come first as it sets up how Narnia came to be and where the White Witch comes from. The Last Battle is a very strange book though. I always thought it was very mean sending Susan to hell for liking boys and lipstick!

Juliann in WA 9:44 AM  

Hi there - I have only just found your blog but I am wondering about the ordering of the Narnia books. I have a bunch of older copies so they are individual and numbered as to the order published. I understand that some go back and tell the story before but I don't understand why they are remarketing the books with new numbering so that the Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe is not the first book. I have looked at the editions with all the books in one but hesitate to buy them for this reason.

Nithin 11:33 AM  

I read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe some years ago and recently I read Prince Caspian. I too loved both those books and am hoping to read the rest very soon. :)

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