The first time I encountered the Chronicles of Narnia, I was in the third grade, and our teacher, Mrs. Wallace, read a scant half hour of it to us, every day. The English-isms and the tricky storyline were slightly daunting when heard aloud, the magical surrealism a little scary, and a daily half-hour simply wasn’t enough for me. I wanted to sit down and read it for myself. Maybe if I read it, I could get what all the fuss was about. (Fuss= some indignant parents against children hearing dark fairytales at our small private Christian school. You can assume they’d never read it, but maybe heard there were fauns. How I wish people would read first, object later, but… well, maybe I should stop with wishing “people would READ,” but good luck with that…)
Narnia, that grand old city, is finding new life on film this season. WritingYA will be going where only a few in recent years have gone before — back to the books! We’re reading the Narnia series, and we want you to read too. Some of us will want to read them in the order they were written, others in the order of the story. I’m going to begin with The Magician’s Nephew, and read chronologically, since that is the way the series was first introduced to me. As we read through the series, I challenge any of you who’ve seen the movie to tell me if the book is faithful. Does it fulfill the prerequisites of a ‘classic’ to you? What makes a classic?
Until I’ve re-read the novels (and probably not even after that), I’m not going to see the movie. I’m getting a little sick of children’s movies that come from books which children hardly know exist – and then the storyline gets changed for maximum special effects, or chopped into mince, a la Potter… But that’s perhaps a rant for another day.
When did you first encounter Lewis, the mysterious Wardrobe and the world beyond? Read with us! Post your book review, remembrances and errata on our sister site, and tell us what you think.