The Chronicles Of Narnia

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The Chronicles Of Narnia

Postby shelke » Sat Jul 10, 2010 10:49 pm

The Chronicles of Narnia is a series of seven fantasy novels for children written by C. S. Lewis. It is considered a classic of children's literature and is the author's best-known work, having sold over 120 million copies in 41 languages. Written by Lewis between 1949 and 1954 and illustrated by Pauline Baynes, The Chronicles of Narnia have been adapted several times, complete or in part, for radio, television, stage, and cinema. In addition to numerous traditional Christian themes, the series borrows characters and ideas from Greek and Roman mythology, as well as from traditional British and Irish fairy tales.

The Chronicles of Narnia present the adventures of children who play central roles in the unfolding history of the fictional realm of Narnia, a place where animals talk, magic is common, and good battles evil. Each of the books (with the exception of The Horse and His Boy) features as its protagonists children from our world who are magically transported to Narnia, where they are called upon to help the Lion Aslan save Narnia.

There are seven books in this series which are
1.1 The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (1950)
1.2 Prince Caspian: The Return to Narnia (1951)
1.3 The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (1952)
1.4 The Silver Chair (1953)
1.5 The Horse and His Boy (1954)
1.6 The Magician's Nephew (1955)
1.7 The Last Battle (1956)
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Postby Tonyblack » Sat Jul 10, 2010 11:17 pm

Now this is a series that I have read and, for the most part, enjoyed. The 'religious' aspect is somewhat tedious and 'The Final Battle' was really rather odd. I didn't see the end of the Pevsey family coming at all. :shock:
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Postby Jan Van Quirm » Sat Jul 10, 2010 11:49 pm

I have to say that when I first read TLTW&TW, aside from when Aslan submitted to sacrifice by the White Witch the religious themes went right over my head and I was much more focussed on the centaurs and fauns and the talking animals so I just enjoyed the story for itself.

TLTW&TW wasn't my favourite story and Lucy certainly wasn't my hero - I preferred Edmund and as it went on the later books were much more to my taste as the animals and more 'indigenous' characters became more prominent and the classical creatures took a back seat more. Although Greek Myth was my 1st love in fantasy I really didn't like it mixed in with the rest and my actual favourite character was Puddleglum (Silver Chair) and then Reepicheep (Prince Caspian & Voyage of the Dawn Treader) but overall the final book, The Last Battle was at the top of the list of my fave books (until I read Tolkien :P ).

That book I did get was religious - I was older for 1 thing, but what appealed in that was the message that if you live a good life then you get your reward eventually, regardless of which faith you follow - the bit where the true believer in the 'evil' god Tash was also admitted to paradise with Jill & Eustace etc. In a school run by nuns this was something novel in that we just didn't know anything at all about other religions which included CofE and non-conformist churches. They weren't 'proper' christians apparently :roll:

Looking back this was highly influential in how I came to reject catholicism because of their narrow interpretation of what's 'right' and the 'us' and 'them' attitudes too. In some respects as an adult I don't much like Lewis' own robust brand of christianity which, when I do look back on his work comes across as self-righteous in the extreme, and the books themselves are pretty crude at times but the basic message of decency and not being afraid to 'do good' isn't one to be sneezed at, but sadly, the books are not really time-proof in the way Tolkien's work was. The reason for that is one that Tolkien himself put to Lewis - you should make your world unique and consistent and I'm afraid, charming as talking animals are, mixing your mythologies really don't work past the age of say 10. But then children these days aren't quite so naive as we were back in the 60's... :(
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Postby michelanCello » Sun Jul 11, 2010 7:24 am

I've only read the second one, I think, but I'm not a fan of these series, sorry...
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Postby Doughnut Jimmy » Sun Jul 11, 2010 10:09 am

I really enjoyed these when I was younger and didn't notice the christian messages until I was watching Voyage of the Dawn Treader when the lamb turns into Aslan - someone pointed out then that Aslan on the stone table was supposed to reflect Jesus but the God/Hero being sacrificed is hardly an uncommon theme so I didn't reckon it was that important.

I agree with Jan that the message of doing the right thing/fighting evil was what attracted me to the books. And the character I identified with was Peter - something to do with having younger siblings to look out for.

May have to reread them at some point as I haven't for ages and see how dire they are now. On the Greek myth thing I rather liked recognising the references when people like Bacchus appeared, a bit like Pratchett in that respect
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Postby Jan Van Quirm » Sun Jul 11, 2010 12:08 pm

Doughnut Jimmy wrote:On the Greek myth thing I rather liked recognising the references when people like Bacchus appeared, a bit like Pratchett in that respect

Agreed - that was fun and I loved Mr. Tumnus (despite the fact that he would have ravished Lucy rather than give her tea & cakes if he was a proper faun :P ), but unlike Terry there was no 'grace' to Lewis' characterisations and this is part and parcel of what I was saying about his lack of sublety and restraint as a writer. Maybe that's why Narnia's for curious kids and Arda's for sad adult fantasy-addicts like me :wink:

Clincher for me on C.S. Lewis as an author was reading his Cosmic Trilogy - which is definitely not for kids as that's possibly the most heavy-handed turgid fantasy series I've ever read (yes, even more than the Thomas Covenant books! :shock: ). I've read that twice now and the second time was even harder than the first - the man just couldn't turn melodrama into passion without the aid of a sledgehammer :roll:
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Postby Who's Wee Dug » Sun Jul 11, 2010 4:23 pm

never read any just seen the films.
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Postby Willem » Mon Jul 12, 2010 7:23 am

I read the first one after seeing the movie. Really, really didn't like the book. There was no charm to the characters or life to the story in my reading experience.
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Postby mystmoon » Mon Jul 12, 2010 2:44 pm

I really really liked them when I was younger, but I think my favourite is the Dawn Treader
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Postby bikkit » Fri Jul 16, 2010 4:20 pm

^SAME. In my little mind was going roung "WOW! He turns into a DRAGON. OOOOHH. WOW"
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Postby mystmoon » Fri Jul 16, 2010 4:26 pm

I don't get why he was so desperate to change back
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Postby bikkit » Fri Jul 16, 2010 4:31 pm

neither do I.
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Postby Jan Van Quirm » Fri Jul 16, 2010 7:11 pm

Because he thought nobody loved him and that they were going to have to leave him behind after they'd fixed the ship. He didn't actually want to be a dragon did he - just to have the hoard to himself? :wink:

The bit where he starts to shed his dragon skins is highly significant spiritually as well but most people aren't looking for an RE lesson reading these books :P
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Postby theoldlibrarian » Sat Jul 17, 2010 1:05 am

There's been some very interesting articles written on the series. The latest theory is that every book is based on a planet. The moon, sun and whatever else they thought the planets were in those days. It would explain a lot of the themes and also why the books are so disconnected.
The theory is backed up by a similar series of poems Lewis wrote earlier about the "seven" planets.
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Postby Doughnut Jimmy » Sat Jul 17, 2010 9:29 am

Any chance of a link to the article Oldlibrarian?
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