Tuesday, October 10, 2000

The Magician's Nephew

by C. S. Lewis

As much as I love books, there are plenty of classic writings which I have yet to read. If it hasn't been assigned as homework, a book has to compete with slick advertising and the capricious nature of my curiosity. Be that as it may, a few of the "classics" manage to get my attention from time to time. For example, I have finally gotten around to reading children's fantasy series The Chronicles of Narnia. The Magician's Nephew is the first volume in the series. It's actually a prequel to the book which was written first, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. As such, Nephew suffers a bit, as the storyteller mentions things that don't contribute to the story at hand, but will rather embellish parts of subsequent volumes. But even with such a handicap, this book is delightfully written. Lewis manages to create descriptions that skillfully work on a child's level yet poetically hint at the deeper complexity. For example, his description of the evil queen alluded to the seductiveness of evil while quite plainly stating that she was no good. Lewis also does a great job of embellishing Biblical teachings to create stories that echo the truth of God and our everyday lives. I can understand why this series has been given such rave reviews. If you like fantasy, put this on your shelf. (If Lewis were still alive and in need of the profit, I would tell you to put it on your shelf even if you don't like fantasy, but he's not so I won't.)

LibraryThing link

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