Monday, June 27, 2011

Archives: "The Magician's Nephew"

I guess after being a story teller for awhile,  you start to look deeper in stories. I didn't expect to finish the book so soon, but it's almost a rarely things go according to plan these days. I guess I should warn that this is all about the book so spoiler alert?

Before I started this book, I pretty much wrote off C.S. Lewis. I made the mistake of trying to make, “The Screwtape Letters,” my first Lewis read. Couldn’t finish it and became more enamored with J. R. Tolkien. And in all honesty, I kinda forced myself through the first four chapters of “The Magician’s Nephew.” I was not a fan of how he described things at first. It seemed similar to Lewis Carroll, but very dumbed down, children’s book or not.

But I guess as most books, it grew on me (I especially liked how Lewis sometimes described things in parentheses). Plus, it’s always fun to read British mannerisms in common conversation. Oh and whenever Aslan spoke, I could hear Liam Neeson speaking in my head- Bonus!

I was surprised to find that I didn’t find any of the characters that boorish. Polly was witty, strong, pure, and a supporting friend. I was inspired by the moments she was there for her friend. And Digory! What an amazing lil’ lad! While he had quite a journey to go through, there wasn’t really a “lesson” to learn like you see in most children’s books. I was moved with how Lewis illustrated Digory’s grief over his mother, much less how Aslan knew his pain. Plus, the Cabby and his wife were simple, yet sweet.

The maid (who is still having the best day of her life) was very amusing. With that being said, I think Lewis was able to depict the Cockney accent perfectly.

As for the villains... I am impressed with how well Lewis could describe Uncle Andrew & The Witch. He was able to establish a specific cruelty to their  demeanor- something always to be feared. And it was amusing to see Uncle Andrew get the other end of the stick a few times throughout the book. 

Also, let me say this about Uncle Andrew- the quote,“the trouble about trying to make yourself stupider than you really are is that you very often succeed," keeps popping up into my thoughts. Not only does it depict the kind of person Uncle Andrew is, but you realize that kind of attitude is everywhere. Politics aside (I will stay off the soapbox for now) there is a lot of stupidity in this world that people have created on their own accord. 

I think the best thing I can say about reading "The Magician's Nephew," was learning how it all began before "The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe." Basically the last two pages. The wood, the wardrobe, the family home in the country. And seeing how Narnia was created much less the beginnings of the Witch, the royal family, why only certain animals talk... Oh! And The light post! Seeing it all come together in a story I am completely unfamiliar with was inspiring. Speaking of, I'm looking forward to the next book...

By the way, how can anyone dismiss the correlation between Aslan and God/Jesus? I mean really.

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