eruthros: Delenn from Babylon 5 with a startled expression and the text "omg!" (BtVS Tara avatar avatar)
[personal profile] eruthros
You know, when you start with all of the Narnia books, you can probably hit fifty books in two weeks. (Okay, the Orhan Parmuk I got for Christmas will slow me down -- it's his Istanbul: Memories and the City, weighing in at 1.3 lbs or 400 pages.)

In any of these Books I've Read posts, you may find spoilers for books you haven't read, as I usually comment a little on each book.


Following the Narnia movie:

1. Magician's Nephew, C.S. Lewis. Still weird. The villain is a villain for a good reason, though; Lewis keys us in when Uncle Andrew says something like "well, rules are fine for little boys, and servants, and women, but not for geniuses like me." Re-read.

2. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, C.S. Lewis. Always winter, never Christmas; as I recalled, rather a lot less running around than in the movie. Also as I thought, they gave Peter a lot of Susan's lines so's he'd not be perfect but dull. Re-read.

3. The Horse and His Boy, C.S. Lewis. There's so going to be a problem translating this to the big screen -- evil Muslims. Eeep. This is one of my favorites of the Narnia books regardless, because I love the little scene with adult!Queen Susan and King Edmund, and the long-lost twin bit, even if I don't care for the Aslan vengeance bit. Re-read.

4. Prince Caspian, C.S. Lewis. Possibly my favorite; Caspian is by far the most developed Narnian character, and I love the DLF, and the scene where Edmund and Susan whump him, and the bit about faith and Lucy seeing Aslan is one of the few actually nicely done Jesus bits, and the Aslan-freeing-the-Narnians bit is quite good. Oh! And Reepicheep! How could I forget the fabulous Reepicheep? Re-read.

5. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, C.S. Lewis. I like it lots, but the end bit made no sense to me pre-understanding the Bible. Plus, most of the islands are sadly underdeveloped, and the introduction to Eustace -- in which we are keyed in to the fact that he's a bad sort and a whiner by the fact that his parents are vegetarians, he calls them by their first names, and he likes nonfiction with pictures of grain elevators -- always makes me wince. Re-read.

6. The Silver Chair, C.S. Lewis. Hated it as a kid. Still hate it. Captured Prince, kids not following Aslan's instructions, the DLF grown old and stupid, and the evil pagans. Blargh. Re-read.

7. The Last Battle, C.S. Lewis. This, too, made no sense to me prior to my reading of the Bible, and it really makes little emotional sense to me now. The destruction of Narnia is somehow a good thing, as is the consignment of most of the Calormenes to hell. And so's the death of the Pevensies. AND Narnia's all unpleasant before it goes. Seeing Reepicheep again does not make up for it. Re-read.

Also:

8. The Small Bachelor, P.G. Wodehouse. A Wodehouse I had not previously read, which would seem more astonishing if he hadn't written a hundred novels. Non-recurring characters in Prohibition-era Greenwich -- whee! Wodehouse has a great knack for fabulous sentences, even if the plots are a little creaky. (In this way he reminds me of New Yorker reviewer Anthony Lane, who writes good sentences and bad reviews.)

9. Hawkes Harbor, S.E. Hinton. (Apparently I only read people who go by initials. Hmmm.) This is her first book in fifteen years, and I was unsatisfied by it. It was two (ore more) different books; I think I might've liked the end with a different beginning, or the beginning with a different end, but as it was ... well, it went from "boy's rollicking pirate adventure" to "wait, evil supernatural things" to "this vampire has tormented him!" to "he's okay now! and friends with the vampire!" to "he's dead, but heaven's lovely, so that's okay!" I don't care for books that presume that death is okay because heaven's gonna be a better place. Also, the first half has a frame that I liked (Jamie's interviews with a psychiatrist) and a cool secondary character, Kellen, both of which are absent in the second half, when he's let out of the institution.

Date: 2006-01-03 07:59 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile] ryca.livejournal.com
Great Narnia reviews (just saw the movie today); is that the overall correct order of the books? I know that Nephew was technically first, but I didn't know about Horse; I always thought that it was somehow after DT. I think that Nephew confused me because I expected the bad guy to be a good guy, so it took me a while to reconcile that; I don't remember Horse or Chair, but I remember not really liking them. Things just seemed all wrong. I'm sure that I'd understand them all much better now that I'm more culturally and biblically literate, but at the time they were just weird. Also, hated Last Battle; hated it, hated it, hated it. Made no sense, why why why? It was all wrong!
But, I did enjoy the movie a great deal. :) And loved Caspian and DT.

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