Book Review

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe – C.S. Lewis

“What begins as a game of hide-and-seek quickly turns into a huge adventure when Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy walk through the wardrobe and into Narnia. There they find a world frozen into eternal winter by the evil White Witch. Narnia, once filled with all manner of Talking Beasts, Dawrfs and Giants, is now a dark, joyless wasteland.

The children can holy hope that Aslan, the Great Lion, will return to Narnia and restore beauty and peace to the land.

But will Aslan’s powers be enough to conquer the dark magic of the White Witch?”

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is my childhood. So is Harry Potter, but Narnia actually goes further back. Narnia goes back to Year 2 (so around the age of 5 or 6) at my infant school. It must have been around Christmas because they put on a video (yes, an actual VHS) of the animated version of this film. I’m not sure I even blinked, and with that my obsession began.

I currently own four versions of this book. One I’ve had since I was a child, it’s bruised and well-used. I don’t even own the dust jacket anymore. It is by far my favourite of all. I have an illustrated edition, an all in one with the other Narnia books. Plus an edition very similar to the first. It would have been the same dust jacket, published perhaps slightly earlier and has the same illustrations however, very different fonts. It sounds strange, but it isn’t the same to read from. I own it because I wanted all of the Narnia books separately and I won them in auction.

This story follows the lives of Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy Pevensie. They’re taken to live with the Professor and, upon arriving at the house, can’t wait for the exploration of the huge and complex house. However, one exploration goes awry when Lucy looks into a wardrobe and finds herself in the world of Narnia.

Interestingly, that’s the first time I’ve ever looked at the synopsis for this book. I suppose I’ve never needed one.

First things first, I absolutely love to read this book on Christmas Eve. This year was no exception. After the traditional Christmas Eve movie with the family, I’ll snuggle up in bed with my book.

Under traditional circumstances, I’d allow myself to get lost in the world of Narnia. However, this year I’ve been reading more critically and that was highlighted during my re-read this year.

If I’d read this book for the first time at 24, I’m not sure I’d enjoy it as much. I do love this book. However, there are a few moments, especially regarding the capabilities of the young female characters, which didn’t come across well. Of course, this book was first written in 1950 and the world was very different during that time. So while it irks me, I understand the reasoning.

There are also a lot of references to religion. This doesn’t bother me personally, especially with the amount of books, movies and TV shows which also have subtle references. As a child you’re less likely to pick up on them however, growing up they become more and more obvious.

Due to the fact I know this story so well, I never paid an in-depth attention to the writing. This year, I found myself having to re-read passages in order for them to make more sense. Perhaps this was just me. As I know the story so well it didn’t affect my enjoyment of the book, but it was interesting to pick up on. Also, I found the amount of brackets used slightly overboard. 

I also wish that we’d seen the parts where Peter fights the White Witch after she stabs Edmund, rather than have Peter tell Aslan about the ordeal.

I still absolutely love this book however, I think on this occasion the 2005 film actually gives you a little more depth, detail and even fleshes out the characters of this beloved story.

It’s interesting what you don’t notice as a child, and what you gloss over as you get old because of it.

As I say, I still love The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and I’ve no doubt I’ll be picking it up, as per tradition, next Christmas Eve.

(2) Comments

  1. I remember reading this book when I was a child, and then I read it again earlier this year because my boyfriend said I should read all of them and I wanted to refresh my memory. I haven’t seen the film. I’d like to, but I usually end up saying the books are better!

    1. Usually I am 100% book is better than the movie kind of person, this is probably one of the only instances where I’ve thought the opposite. The book isn’t bad, I still really enjoy it. On the other hand, I think that the movie shows a lot of background and goes more in depth with scenes such as what happened while Aslan was turning all the statues back and the characters traits

      Like I say, still love the book but also think the 2005 adaption is really well done ☺️ Though I could be completely wrong ?

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