Friday, March 25, 2011

The Magician's Nephew


The Magician's Nephew
by C.S. Lewis

When I was but a young lady (er laddie) in the grade school, I read this book called The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.  It was a spectacular tale, one I will always remember.  Recently, I discovered that this Lion, Witch 'n Wardrobe tale is book two in a whole series of books.  It is!  True story! Collectively, these stories are called The Chronicles of Narnia, and I'm gonna read 'em all. 

Yahoo #1 is reading the series right now.  Figured I would try and keep up so that he and I would have something to discuss every now and again -- like at dinners, during carpools, and the up-coming maturation meeting.  (It's in a year, I guess, but I'm already fretting over it.  But I just remembered that I'm married with a male Spouse and I can send Spouse!  I don't have to fret any longer. I'm also uber relieved that I don't have a girl to take to that silly "it's so wonderful to be a woman!" maturation program.  Mine scarred me for life.  For life, I tell ya.  I had to attend two maturation programs, so you know what this means?  It means I have two scars.)

First off, I don't know all that much about Mr. Lewis.  I know that his pen name is C.S. Lewis and that his fables were inspired by his Christian beliefs.  That's about all I know about Mr. Lewis.  I'm going to use this opportunity to learn a thing or two about C.S. Lewis, so here we go.  Please hold while I open another tab and type followed by C.S. Lewis.

The C.S. in C.S. Lewis stands for Clive Staples.  He was born in Ireland, 'round about 1898, and died the same day that Kennedy was assassinated.  Interestingly enough, Lewis was born into an Irish Catholic family, "kicking, struggling, resentful, and darting his eyes in every direction for a chance to escape."  This need to escape led Lewis to became a devout atheist at age 15.  He thought religion was a chore, and that the world wouldn't be so "frail and faulty" if God really did exist.

Now here's the interesting part, Lewis reconverted himself to Christianity with the help of his buddy J.R.R. Tolkien.  Now isn't that a pair: a bubbling brew of faith and science fiction.  I wonder what tea with those two would be like?  A trip fer sure.  Prolly did the Misty Mountain Hop on a regular basis.  Lewis joined the Church of England, which, rumor has it, kind of upset Tolkien because Tokien was a Catholic of the Roman variety.  To this I say, "Tolkien.  Let's not get stingy with our conversions.  At least he's found Jesus."

In The Magician's Nephew, the Narnia Chronicles begins with a boy named Digory who has a wacked-out wannabe magician for an uncle.  The uncle comes across some magic dust, makes some rings out of this dust, then using these rings, sends Diggory and his friend Polly away to a magic land.  Digory and Polly stumble across a wretched queen, who sneaks herself into yet another magic land.  This final land, called Narnia, was just being created by a Lion named Aslan. So, just as Aslan is creating this awesome 'n perfect world, a little bit of evil allows herself to sneak in.  Isn't that the way is always is?  A little bit of evil is always trying to sneak herself in.

This story is a nail-biter for sure.  That queen is wretched!  And the Lion so regal!  And that world so wonderful!  We readers are also let in on the origin of that famed wardrobe... stay tuned for more!



Lars said...

Such a great series of books. Once you are done with those might I suggest A Grief Observed.

Sharon Muir said...

I found the Chronicles when my children started reading them. My favorite is The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. when you have read that one lets have a long talk. Thanks for sharing, it's been along time since I read this book.

Jessica said...

Hold the phone: C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien were BFFs? Maybe it was the whole "I use my initials instead of a real name" thing they had in common?

p.s. I've never read any of the Narnia books. Gotta get on that!

Makell said...

Tolkein and C.S. Lewis were peeps? You can't make this stuff up! That's an awesome review - and so informative. Just curious - have you and your sons ever read the Lemony Snicket books, A Series of Unfortunate Events? We haven't done the Narnia books, but my kids loved this other series if you ever wanna swap..

Winder said...

Also, keep in mind the date this books was published. After book #2. I am glad he went back and created the origins for everything.