The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

15 07 2012

I seriously can’t explain how I’ve never read these books before.  As a kid, I loved to read and I loved, more than anything, a series of books – The House With the Clock in its Walls by John Bellairs (along with the other fantastically, spooky books that followed), The  Bobbsey Twins series by Laura Lee Scott and The Hardy Boys by Franklin W. Dixon, and The A.I. Gang by Bruce Coville were among my favorite reads when I was younger.

How did I miss the C.S. Lewis’ Narnia books?  I was certainly aware of them.  I knew the existed, and I knew that they supposedly contained exciting stories full of action, adventures, swords, battles, and mythological creatures.  Yet, even though from 4th-6th grade I read everything I could get my hands on about ancient mythologies, I never read them.

I wish I had.

Simply because I now have to make this statement, a statement that I very rarely make: I liked the movie better.

Here’s the thing.  I enjoyed The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.  I really did.  However, as I read, I kept thinking about how much more twelve year old Mike would have enjoyed it than 30something Mr. Curtis was.  The books are very simple – a great introduction into fantasy worlds, really.  There’s not a lot of detail to get bogged down in – far more tell than show – and now that I’ve read countless fantasy stories with much more meat to them (Harry Potter, The Lord of the Rings, A Game of Thrones…) I can’t help but be disappointed how much detail C.S. Lewis left out.  Seriously, the entire book leads up to an insanely important and gigantic battle, then the battle is over in four sentences.

All throughout the book, I kept picturing the movie – which, it tuns out, is a very faithful adaptation, but since you can see the environments, the battles, and the characters in the movie – and they’re barely described in the book – the visuals from the movie put it over the top.

Again, though, I did like the book.  I just don’t recommend it to anyone who is over 15, unless you read it at an earlier age and a re-read is nostalgic for you, and I don’t recommend it to anyone who’s seen the movie.

I am going to read the rest of the series – and since I haven’t seen those movies, I’m hoping my mind will paint the pictures C.S. Lewis wants me to paint and I can enjoy the stories like I should have when I was ten years old.

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is the 43rd book I’ve read this summer on my quest to read 90 books in 90 days.  Almost half way there.   




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