|How could I not get lights in the background, right? Did I mention I'm excited for Christmas?|
Author: C.S. Lewis
Publisher/Price: HarperCollins (box set) $31.49 here; HarperCollins (Narnia treasury) $21.70 here
Either option would make an awesome Christmas gift!
Genre: Religious Allegory; fantasy
Number of pages: 784 (treasury)
My rating: 5 1/2 out of 5 stars
My thoughts: I'm not a huge lover of fantasy. I love LOTR and the world of Narnia, but I won't go searching my library or the bookstore for the fantasy section. It's just not my thing. That said, I love those two fantasy mentions because they have a deeper meaning, a hidden meaning. I'll get more into that when I speak about LOTR this week.
The Chronicles of Narnia was originally intended to be a series for children – and it still is. I firmly believe, however, like C.S. Lewis, that a good fairy tale (or fantasy) can be read and enjoyed by all ages. At least for me, this is certainly true when it comes to the Chronicles of Narnia. I love the stories that are purely allegorical, like the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and the Last Battle, but I enjoy all the books because they all have the same Christian Worldview and story of redemption running throughout. Probably one of my very favorite books in the series is A Horse and His Boy, which you don't hear spoken about very often. It is the story of Aslan working in the life of one boy, Shasta, to bring him to his home. The only of the series to be exclusively set in Narnia and about Narnian characters, I love the close-up look at how Aslan (read: God) works out his perfect plan.
C.S. Lewis in the Chronicles of Narnia accomplishes something really beautiful in presenting the Gospel message (The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe) and the Christian worldview in such a way that most kids (maybe with a little explanation) can grasp it, but adults can also glean from the deeper insights in the stories. I think that's really amazing when a book/books pull that off. The series is one that you can read many many times and still seems new because you notice new things each time.
Personally, my favorite way to "read" the series is to listen to the audiobook version. The one I have is by Focus on the Family Radio Drama. It's a dramatized version of the entire series, and runs over 22 hours. The approximate running time of each book, however, ranges from anywhere between 150" and 200." (You can get it here, and it is also available on iTunes) The set is so well done, the voice casting is seriously on-point, and the dramatization is perfect and never overdone. Overall, I would highly, highly recommend the set – it would be an awesome Christmas gift for someone who is already a Narnia fan, or for someone who needs to be introduced. I basically marathoned the entire set a over a summer of mowing a couple years ago. The only thing I don't like about winter is that I can't mow. Boo.
Anyway, I absolutely love the Chronicles of Narnia! For me, the series is truly classic because it never gets old, and I always take away something new from it. I just basically super duper love it. The end.
Thanks for reading. LOTR's up next! xo, Ella