Sunday, February 20, 2011

Abducted by The Magician's Nephew

I've never participated in a read-a-long blog before so I am really excited that it is finally time to start our journey through Narnia! The journey is hosted by Whitney at SHE IS TOO FOND OF BOOKS We are reading the books in chronological order so this week we started with: The Magician's Nephew

Now, here is my opinion on how to read the books: by the date published or in chronological order. Having already read the series I enjoy reading Magician's Nephew first, not only because it is the prequel but because this book has an entirely different tone to the rest of the books. In my eyes it is kind of the calm before the storm. The other books are packed from beginning to end with daring adventures and battles and journey's to far away lands. And don't get me wrong the Magician's Nephew contains those elements as well, but they appear as mere snippets in the story, as opposed to making up the complete story. While Digory and Polly get there fair share of adventure, the Magician's Nephew is more focused on the creation of Narnia.

So I like to read the calmer creation story before diving into the rest of the series. However, if I am presenting these stories to someone who has never read them before, I would have them start with the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe. That way they can still have that element of meeting Narnia for the first time as Lucy did. Plus, I really like the fact that C.S. Lewis began writing these stories based off this simple image in his mind of a faun...holding an umbrella...near a lamppost. Lewis never really questioned how Narnia came to be, he just wrote The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe as this stand a lone story. It wasn't until a friend asked him how the lamppost came to be in Narnia that he begun to write the story, and even then it was the one book out of the series that took the longest for him to write because he struggled with writing it so much.

One of my favorite parts in this book is after the creation of Narnia when Aslan is busy setting everything in place and the kids are off to get the apple that Aslan asked for. All the animals get a hold of Uncle Andrew and can't decide what he is, they finally decide that he is a tree and try to plant and water him. Then when he wakes up they realize that he is human and the bear tries to feed him by throwing the honeycomb at his head. But it is all the discussion between the animals that always makes me smile and laugh.

Especially the little bird who was the first joke in Narnia. And then anytime they all starting laughing he proclaims it as the 2nd joke and then the 3rd joke. I like to think that this was a hobby he continued through out his life, and if you ever found his nest, inside the tree it is perched on would be volumes and volumes of books were he chronicled all the jokes in the land of Narnia.

My favorite out of the whole series is The Silver Chair, so I am really excited to get into the next book because it just means we are that much closer to getting to my favorite one. I am also really looking forward to reading A Horse and His Boy because that one and the Last Battle are probably the two that I haven't read as often and so I'm having trouble remembering their complete stories.

Whitney has scheduled us to post on The Lion The Witch and The Wardrobe on March 6th so please remember it isn't to late to join us!


Tracy said...

I know what you mean about this one seeming calmer than the others. The others seem darker and more scary too. I love this series though!

Whitney said...

This story is certainly the eye before the storm. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and onward are filled with adventure; The Magician's Nephew is a calmer prelude to that.

Thanks for participating!

Kate @Midnight Book Girl said...

Crap, I'm already behind!

Birdie said...

Oooh, I really like the story about Lewis working with the image of the faun and the lamppost and the umbrella. I never knew that.

Regarding order, I can certainly see your argument both for reading this way and for presenting the stories to a newbie in their publication order. I've only ever read them in pub order until this time around, so I'm enjoying getting the clearer connection between Narnia's beginning and Professor Kirke's house.

Also, what a fun thought about the little bird keeping track of all the Narnia jokes!

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