Review: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
Author: C.S. Lewis
Series: The Chronicles of Narnia #1/#2*
Publisher: HarperTrophy, an imprint of HarperCollins
Publication Date: July 1, 1994 (First published 1950)
Age Group/Genre: All Ages/Classic, Fantasy
NARNIA . . . a land frozen in eternal winter . . . a country waiting to be set free.
Four adventurers step through a wardrobe door and into the land of Narnia–a land enslaved by the power of the White Witch. But when almost all hope is lost, the return of the Great Lion, Aslan, signals a great change . . . and a great sacrifice. (Cover from Goodreads, synopsis from back cover of book)
Not Like I Remembered It…
I first read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe when I was a kid, but I have yet to read the rest of the series. This will be amended soon, believe me! But while rereading this book in my thirties, I felt it to be a bit lacking. I mean, I still think it’s a good story and I have really enjoyed the movie adaptations I’ve seen, but it just wasn’t spectacular for me this time around. And that could just be because I know the story pretty well, or it could just be because I’m older and I need more to a story these days. However, I do plan on reading the rest of the series soon and perhaps those books will bring me around to loving The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe again.
Lots of Nostalgia…
I wasn’t really sure what to write about in this review, because it’s such a classic and everyone has read it. So I thought I’d just write a bit about what I remembered from reading the book before, and what I noticed this time around.
First of all, I will always remember the fact that when I first read this book, I thought that the Turkish Delights that Edmund eats and is so obsessed with were some kind of delicious food made of turkey meat. And I think I’ll always see them that way, even though I now know that they’re candy.
And for some reason, every time I read a book or watch a movie or TV show where two people are having trouble communicating because they speak different languages, I always think of how Mr. Tumnus misunderstands Lucy and thinks she is from “the city of War Drobe” in the “far land of Spare Oom.”
Holy Christianity References!…
One thing I definitely didn’t catch when I was younger was all the references to Christianity. I do think I realized that Aslan represented Jesus in the story, but I think that’s the only thing I picked up on back then. Reading it this time, though, I realized how much of the story really is Christian symbolism.
And I’m not sure if it bothered me or not, to tell the truth. I don’t have anything against Christianity, but I’m agnostic, which means I don’t really believe in the Bible, and I’ve never read all of the Bible. So while it was interesting to me to see these symbols, I know that there are probably some that I didn’t catch or understand, and that I might never understand.
But that’s okay. This is a classic series and I’m looking forward to reading the rest of the books!
My rating of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis:
4 stars. Preteen Andrea might have given it 5, but 30-something Andrea is hoping the rest of the series will bring her back to that feeling she had when first reading The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
*Most of my copies of The Chronicles of Narnia series are numbered in the published order, although some are numbered so that the story moves chronologically. I’ve decided to read them all in the order they were originally published.
I read this as part of the C.S. Lewis Read-Along, hosted by Pages Unbound.
Briana @ Pages UnboundFebruary 4, 2013 at 6:08 am
Our reactions are so similar!
In third and fourth grade, this was my favorite book (replaced by Anne of Green Gables in fourth). I re-read it maybe in the past year or so, and I was also surprised by, well, how little happens. Of course, a lot DOES happen, but I definitely had memories of a meatier story. My only conclusion is that my imagination took over. I loved to imagine myself into the books I read when I was younger, and I must have relived this story a million different ways. I didn't need more of a plot because I invented it myself. And I think that's actually a pretty good thing for a children's book.
Also, I had no idea what Turkish Delight was either, and the Christianity pretty much went over my head, too.
Sarah ElizabethFebruary 4, 2013 at 4:58 pm
I haven't read this in a while either. I never realised that aslan was supposed to be jesus! very odd. might have to go and dig this one out!
BittnerFebruary 4, 2013 at 8:06 pm
I'm glad you were able to like this one even though you've gotten to be so old these days ;)
I predict that you will like Prince Caspian and probably maybe like The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. I will cross my fingers that you like The Silver Chair. But I really think that you will love The Horse and His Boy. I could be wrong, but that would be my guess.
Brandi KosinerFebruary 4, 2013 at 10:52 pm
Glad you enjoyed and its interesting to see how opinion changes as you are older.
Brandi @ Blkosiner’s Book Blog
fakestephFebruary 5, 2013 at 4:54 pm
The radio theater version of The Magician's nephew is FANTASTIC. Also… you should read the Magicians. There are SO MANY references to this book that I'm sure I didn't pick up on all of them. It's super dark and edgy though.
Kimberly @ On the Wings of BooksFebruary 6, 2013 at 2:31 pm
I have yet to read this series (I know, ok?) maybe someday I'll get to it. I often find that books that I loved way back in the day don't hold up the same today. I think part of that is because you remember how much you LOVED it when you were younger and you are expecting those same feelings but your view point is different now than it was then and that changes things. Which is why I don't spend a lot of time rereading books that I loved back in the day.
Kate Midnight Book GirlFebruary 6, 2013 at 5:54 pm
I finally read the entire series in my late 20's as I had only read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. I do think it was probably best when I was a kid, but I do love this series! I can't wait to read your reviews on the rest of the series!!
LHughesFebruary 11, 2013 at 1:34 am
I've only read Magician's Nephew and Lion, Witch, and the Wardrobe. I was going to try to read the whole series around when the movies were coming out. I was surprised by how simple they are in the language. I guess I was expecting more of the grand descriptions I expect from Tolkein because both are held in similar esteem in the fantasy world. But CS Lewis' books are such slim volumes by comparison that I don't know why I expected that!
And yes, the Christianity references are quite obvious when you read them as an adult, but I suspect they go over most kid's heads.
And I never knew what Turkish Delights were either til I saw the movie!
I'll be curious what you think of the later books. Perhaps you're renew my mission to read them!
Lauren @ Hughes Reviews