the lion, the witch and the wardrobe

Alyce at At Home with Books is doing a weekly feature where she highlights one of her favorite reads from the past and encourages others to do so as well.


I asked my brother Joey to help me think of a favorite book with Christmas, or at least winter in it. In honor of the holiday, you understand. We came up with C.S. Lewis’ The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. It hardly needs an introduction, what with the massive popularity of The Chronicles of Narnia book and film series. But in case you think they’re only kids’ stories or have been living under a rock, check out this synopsis.


They open a door and enter a world. Narnia... a land frozen in eternal winter... a country waiting to be set free. Four adventurers step through a wardrobe door and into the land of Narnia - a land enslaved by the power of the White Witch. But when almost all hope is lost, the return of the Great Lion, Aslan, signals a change... and a great sacrifice.


My mom first read this book to me at age eight. Well, she read it to all of us kids, but I was the one begging hardest for just ‘one more chapter!’ And then a couple years later, I read through the whole series by myself, and relived the magic and mystery and wonderful storytelling of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. It’s a classic tale of magic just beyond the ordinary, redemption of the world and heroic deeds in the face of danger, all flavored by sibling dynamics and the unbelievable made somehow real and immediate.

In college I purchased the entire paperback set for myself, and then lent it out to friends and roommates when they took the C.S. Lewis literature class. I was rewarded richly my senior year when our school was picked as one of the premiere spots for the film. We all trudged down to the one-screen theater in town to see The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe two days before the rest of the nation. And when we came out of the theater, snow was falling softly, muffling all sounds, and the college’s streetlights looked EXACTLY like the lamppost in Narnia. It was perfect, peaceful, and just the tiniest bit eerie. That counts up there with one of the most magical moments in my adult life.


I really do love this book, and this series. They are rocks of my childhood, and I haven’t tired of them this far in my adulthood. I hope the magic of Narnia and Aslan will stay alive in my heart forever!

12 comments:

Alyce said...

That is so neat that you got to see the premiere! Did they have a specific reason for choosing that location?

I've always liked the Narnia series too!

celi.a said...

I think there was a nationwide competition, and the literature professors (who taught said C.S. Lewis class) lobbied hard and long for our school. I do remember that we only got the premiere tickets because my sister was an English major and a favorite of one of the profs. What fun it was!

Rhiannon Hart said...

This is such a lovely book, and an awesome series. It is a bit of a Christmas book, isn't it--there's that line that the White Witch makes it always winter and never Christmas.

I had one of those eerie moments after seeing a film. I'd just seen 28 Weeks Later and came outside and it was dark. The power had gone out in parts and all the trams were dead and vacant on their tracks. Totally end of the world looking!

She said...

Yes yes yes! Perfect choice! Lucky you seeing the movie early. :D

Lisa said...

One of these days, I'm going to read the entire set again. Not going to happen this year, but maybe I'll challenge myself to do it next year.

Jenny said...

I'm the same - these books are at the foundation of my childhood and (I expect) my wish to be a writer. I really ought to get a framed copy of that picture of Lucy and Mr. Tumnus, because it's one of my earliest memories, and I love it.

Memory said...

These books were a huge part of my childhood, too. My father read me the whole series when I was two or three, and I demanded that he read them over and over and over and over and over again until I had them pretty well memorized. I really should read them again; I haven't done so since my first year of university.

Melissa (My World) said...

As a child I didn't read the book, but I did see the movie and loved it. I always watched it when I got the chance. Then years later before they came out with the newest movie, all my friends and such thought I was crazy because I talked of this movie and they had never heard of it. I started to think I was crazy and made the whole thing up. Then I did find it know I was not.


This is a great post! Thanks!

carolsnotebook said...

I just reread this a couple of months ago with my daughter, and it's still magical for me. I love it.

hopeinbrazil said...

I hope to read the whole series in 2010. I'm practically an outcast in my family for not having read them yet. =)

Kim said...

Call Ripleys, but I am embarrassed to admit I haven't read these books! I'll have to add it to my "books before I die" list. Thank you!

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

O I adore this series. I even gave my poodle the middle name Reepicheep (yes crazy I know that my poodle has a middle name).

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