Monday, August 8, 2016

Classic Fantasy Goodness

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (Chronicles of Narnia, #1)The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
Reviewed by Jason Koivu
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

It dawned on me the other day that I'd never read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. What an oversight! I had to fix this.

I knew the story. When we were kids, one of my cousins was all about this book and liked to tell me about it. I remember absolutely bawling my eyes out when the 1979 cartoon version aired on tv and Aslan was subdued. And then I also knew it through the more recent movie adaptation. Now, having read the actual book, it turns out I already as good as read the book. It varies very little, especially from the most recent movie version. And why should it? It's simple, straight forward, short and with very little story-fat to trim off. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is seriously a sleek book! There's barely any filler, just a straight forward narrative that takes you through the adventure.

And what an adventure! This is the kind of story young dreams are made of! What impressionable young mind could not get caught up in a fantasy of monsters, magic, evil queens, heroic lions and more with boys and girls to follow into a mystical land, leaving behind the mundane?

The only thing about the story that I could speak negatively about is its everything-and-the-kitchen-sink tossing in of whatever legendary beast Lewis could think of, plus, what the hell, let's throw in Santa Claus, too! African savanna animals, Greek mythological beasts and Old Saint Nick...sure, why not?! Maybe it wouldn't bug me as much if I didn't know that Lewis made fun of his friend Tolkien for writing fairy tales, and then he comes out with this, one of the most fanciful of fairy tales, where any manner of childhood fancy comes true. Bah, let's leave these sour grapes.

I respect Lewis the writer and thinker. I've enjoyed reading and contemplating a variety of his works. And even at the advanced age of 43, I found myself sucked into this story. I may be over 30 years beyond the target audience, but I still found plenty to love about The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe!

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