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The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

A Christian fantasy novel for children written by C.S. Lewis.

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A children's allegory blended with Christian symbolism

  • Mar 17, 2011
Rating:
+4
Like JACK AND THE BEANSTALK, ALICE IN WONDERLAND, HARRY POTTER, THE WIZARD OF OZ and so many other children's stories that have entered the realm of literature classics, THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE begins with the discovery of an obscure gateway into another land. Peter, Susan, and Edmund Pevensie, children living with their uncle in a sprawling country house in the English countryside believe their youngest sister's stories of her visit to an enchanted winterbound land ruled by an evil white witch to be the product of an overheated imagination. For no other reason than to humour her and to prove her story wrong, they skeptically follow her into a dark, musty wardrobe. To their great surprise, they find they have all walked through a magical portal into the country known as Narnia.

On the surface, THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE is a simple children's allegory with characters drawn from a deep well of literary predecessors including English folk tales and Norse and Greek mythology - talking animals, Mr and Mrs Beaver, Father Christmas, dwarves and giants, fauns, unicorns and centaurs, dryads, sentient trees, a snarling, frightful wolf who is the henchman of the evil white queen, black magic, and a great lion called Aslan who mysteriously returns from an extended absence to help Narnia's beleaguered subjects release the magical grip of a never-ending bleak, icy winter and allow the return of the much longed for beauty and warmth of spring and summer.

But, at a deeper level, CS Lewis is well known for his Christian references and this story is no exception. Virtually any adult reader will recognize Aslan's heroic self-sacrifice to save Edmund's life and his return from death atop the witch's Stone Table as a clear symbolic allusion to Christ's crucifixion for the redemption of earth's sinners and his resurrection from the dead. While some readers may disagree, I found the allusions considerably less than subtle. While they were entirely obvious, almost painfully so, they were also, perhaps paradoxically, unobtusive and neither pedantic nor sermonizing. As a result, readers of any faith (or lack thereof) will be able to accept and enjoy the symbolism or simply ignore it and focus on the charm of the story as it might be seen from a child's point of view.

The obvious overriding theme is good versus evil and, as is the case with most children's stories, good will out. The ending, not unexpectedly, is a suitably happy one that will satisfy a child reader or perhaps a youngster who is happily listening to a parent reading the story over several nights before bedtime. Highly recommended.

Paul Weiss

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March 19, 2011
I enjoyed this one, but the others in the series - meh! Terrific review, Paul.
March 20, 2011
Although I enjoyed it and appreciated its charm, it was just a little TOO childlike for me to bother continuing with the series. If I was a new parent that might be a different story. Thanks for the comments, Linda.
 
March 17, 2011
I remember escaping to Narnia via this book instead of studying for math test, didnĀ“t get me good grades but it was fun.
 
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More The Lion, the Witch, and the W... reviews
review by . June 18, 2010
This book grabs your attention from the very beginning with its vivid descriptions and it also keeps you guessing as to what will happen next. While it is not really a mystery book, it does have some elements of mystery and that is part of what makes it so intriguing. I recommend this book to both children and adults. As a child it was one of my favorite books and read it so many times that I had practically memorized it. For adults who for one reason or another have not yet read it, they really …
review by . June 18, 2010
The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe  is the first of the six books in the Chronicles of Narnia. These books were written by a Cambridge University  English professor named C.S. Lewis. The first book in the series takes place in 1940 England during the Second World War.  It introduces readers to the world of Narnia as seen through the eyes and actions of a group of children who discover this magical world by traveling through a wardrobe that's located inside …
review by . July 19, 2010
A friend of mine gave me this book, saying it's one of the best children book around. Really... who would read a children book? But page after page, chapter after chapter, I found myself not only enjoying the text but also laughing along or feeling depressed with the characters.      The book evolves around four children who are sent to live in an English countryside because of World War II. On a rainy day, the four children stumble upon a room which old a huge oak Wardrobe. …
review by . October 08, 2010
THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE is the first book in the Chronicles of Narnia. It doesn't matter how the books are being published right now, if you read them for the first time out of order (starting with THE MAGICIAN'S NEPHEW instead of LWW) it seriously takes away some of the magic, suspense, and mystery of the books. With that said, THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE is a classic piece of children's fiction. Written by the great C.S. Lewis the story tells the tale of how …
Quick Tip by . October 06, 2010
One of Fantasy Fiction's finest, an excellent adventure and enchanting tale for all ages
review by . July 04, 2010
C.S Lewis creates the beginning of a wonderful masterpiece series with this book.  He creates a thrilling adventure that rips a group of brothers and sisters, who are orphans, through their normal world into a magical world that has been taken over by a perfectly frightening nemesis.  The book is so simple to read, yet so very powerful at the same time!  This series is definitely on my top ten list.  This group of brothers and sisters are sent off to live in a large mansion far …
Quick Tip by . October 01, 2010
I really didn't like this when I was a kid, but I loved it afterwards.
review by . June 12, 2010
What can I say about C.S. Lewis that hasn't already been said.  This book and it's series has been a favorite for many years.  It has been made more popular over the last few with the make of the movie, but I recommend reading the book and sharing it with your children/grandchildren.       This story is fun, exciting, adventurous and daring.  It has great imaginative creatures, but also holds a deeper secondary story to it.  It opens up our imaginations …
review by . August 28, 2010
I have 7 children, and they all liked both the book as well as the movie for the Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe.  Since this book is geared to children, and i know that i have 7 of them that loved it, I have to give it 4 stars.
review by . August 10, 2010
Great book
The Lion the witch and the wardrobe is an excellent journey into an imaginary world. It also combines a great message of sacrifice and forgiveness. I was very excites at the start of reading this book and by the end the excitement just increased. C. S. Lewis uses great imagination and draws you into the story with each page. As you o deeper into the world of Narnia, the action increases but so does the message. I read it when i as a kid and just recently picked it up and had the same feeling of …
About the reviewer
Paul Weiss ()
Ranked #16
   A modern day dilettante with widely varied eclectic interests. A dabbler in muchbut grandmaster of none - wilderness camping in all four seasons, hiking, canoeing, world travel,philately, … more
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Author: Clive Staples Lewis
Genre: Christian Fantasy, Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction
Publisher: HarperCollins, HarperFestival
Format: Novel

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1984 (British first edition)

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