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The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (The Chronicles of Narnia (Publication Order) #1)

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4.16 of 5 stars 4.16  ·  rating details  ·  1,088,266 ratings  ·  11,062 reviews
The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe, completed in the winter of 1949 & published in 1950, tells the story of four ordinary children: Peter, Susan, Edmund & Lucy Pevensie. They discover a wardrobe in Prof. Digory Kirke's house that leads to the magical land of Narnia, which is currently under the spell of a witch. The four children fulfill an ancient, mysterious ...more
Mass Market Paperback, 186 pages
Published August 1970 by Collier Books (first published January 1st 1950)
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Richard C. S. Lewis was in the process of organising the stories into chronological sequence but died before he could make his intended changes to cause the…moreC. S. Lewis was in the process of organising the stories into chronological sequence but died before he could make his intended changes to cause the series to read more smoothly. As they stand now, if read in order of Narnian chronology one notices some difficulties in tone. Jadis, a heroic Amazonian figure in "The Magician's Nephew" shrinks into a mean-spirited witch in "The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe". The tone of the various volumes varies considerably. As he wrote Lewis became more emotionally involved with his world and the writing became more profound. But a gain in reading in chronological order is an awareness of a cosmology beginning with Creation and ending with an Apocalypse.

On the other hand, if read in publication order, one experiences something of the delight and surprise that the original readers of the series had as the narrative spotlight illuminated the various Narnian scenes and characters from book to book.

Of course, it is always possible to read the series both ways. Perhaps experience the publication order first and then sample the effects of a chronological approach. In the end it is certainly your call. :}(less)
Luke J. Schelvan
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
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25th out of 575 books — 1,446 voters
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3rd out of 50 books — 16 voters


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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Keely
My greatest disappointment in 'The Screwtape Letters' was that Lewis was not able to demonstrate what made his good people good or his bad people bad. The closest he got to defining goodness was that you could tell the good people from the vague aura of light that surrounded them--and which even shone in their cat. In this book, the cat is much bigger.

Aslan had no character, he was just a big, dull stand-in. Lewis often tells us how great he is, but never demonstrates what it is that makes him g
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Manuel
I loved this book.
It was first read to me in 4th grade. We would all come in from lunch and our teacher would read to us for about 30 minutes before we would start class.
I remember this book because it wasnt read to us by Mrs Graham, but instead it would be read by Mr Goodwin, her long-haired, bearded, Birkenstock wearing teacher's aid.
Over the next few weeks we were enthralled by this story, we couldnt wait for lunch period to be over so we could hear what was happening in this magic kingdom
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Jonathan

A Defence of C.S. Lewis...or a brief attempt at such

Some thoughts recently crossed my mind no doubt on their way down-town to relax in regards to arguments one could offer as a defence of the Christian side of this novel. The main arguments against this novel as a 'Christian allegory' that I have heard are: 1)Aslan is not a strong Christ-figure 2)That C.S. Lewis 'preaches' a black and white morality. So I'm going to roughly address them from my perspective and hope it encourages some discussion.
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Aimee
I just re-read this book and got so much more out of it than the first time. The symbolism & parallels to basic Christianity stuck out.
*turkish delight is our human nature, prone to addiction, selfishness and wrongdoing
*Peter said about Edmund, "We should go after him. After all he is our brother." Even though he had just betrayed them and was causing grief they didn't mistreat or disown him.
*The very mention of Aslan's name caused certain positive feelings to come over them all they didn'
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Shovelmonkey1
The Role (bibli)call:

The big cuddly cat = Jesus. Strange that a lion should be chosen to represent the big man when Lions are notoriously aggressive, solitary carnivores who are more likely to eat any potential apostles than than teach or lead them.

The white witch = Satan or Eve the temptress depending on which side of the tree of knowledge you're most likely to be barking up. Famed for a monochrome wardrobe in the A/W line only. Like Alan Rickman in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, she has cancel
...more
Laz
Dec 27, 2014 Laz rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone, really
Well, can you blame me for loving this? I certainly hope not. It's Christmas and I feel like a little kid and I was craving something to make me feel like I am one, indeed, and this book travelled me to a wondrous world full of heroes and of course a villain. The ride was awesome and I found the characters warm and fuzzy despite the eternal cold that had been placed upon Narnia. Now, they're all free of the curse of the White Witch thanks to Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy. The kings and queens of ...more
Dyuti
Jun 19, 2012 Dyuti rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: All fantasy lovers
Shelves: children, fantasy
What an amazingly delightful book! I regret not reading it earlier

** Before I begin, let me clarify that as I am not a Christian, I had no idea that this book was written by keeping the image of Jesus (as Aslan) in mind. I just came across this revelation on Goodreads, and it just added another layer to the story! The review below is written only by treating it as a fun-filled and action packed novel!

narnia




I had seen the movie based on the book a couple of years ago, and had really loved it! On readi
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Kenny
Nov 07, 2011 Kenny rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Nobody
Recommended to Kenny by: Waaaaay too many people
I am tempted to give this book a zero but the idea of going through the wardrobe to another land is fantastic. Everything else, however, is not fantastic, including:

The over-the-top Christian allegory.
The complete absence of dramatic tension - the characters are static and the conclusion is foregone. There is nothing to keep you reading, to challenge you, or to even vaguely interest you.
The writing is mediocre at best.
The dialogue is mediocre at best.

Awful book, it as if someone read Matthew thr
...more
Jess
Every time I read this wonderful story, it's like catching up with an old friend. I've read this particular Narnia book so many different times, but it never ever gets old. I love the fact that I can pick up this (or any of the other Narnia books, for that matter) and step into a whole other world. I also particularly enjoyed the fact that I found that I could relate with each one of the children, although I must say that I was partial to Lucy! Additionally, I love the role Aslan plays in this b ...more
Abi
Feb 20, 2008 Abi rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Smug Christians
I read this when I was little (I would guess about 7, 8 or 9), and I didn't pick up on all the Christianity references, despite them being SO overt. What I did feel was astonishment that the children all loved Aslan so much, when I thought he was massively sanctimonious and sickening as a character. I could not stand that lion. I didn't want the Snow Queen to win exactly, I didn't like her either... but at the same time I wanted someone to show the lion up, or force him to do something INTERESTI ...more
Michael
Welcome to Narnia, where nobody has genitalia.
Werner
Apr 04, 2008 Werner rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyone (of any age) who loves fantasy, and/or serious Christian literature
While I first read this book in the mid-70s, I read it again to my wife a couple of years ago (we both loved it then as much as I did the first time). Most people know that C. S. Lewis was an effective Christian nonfiction apologist, using the tools of reason and logic to build the philosophical case for Christian faith. But he ultimately became convinced that an even more effective apologetic is available through the "truth of art," the instinctive and emotional appeal that stories exert -- esp ...more
Madeline
Rather than spend this review explaining what I thought of the book, I will instead devote my time to justifying placing this on my "the movie is better" shelf.

Reasons the Movie Version Is Better:
1. Watching it will take about the same amount of time it takes to read the book, because good lord does everything get wrapped up quick.
2. We actually get to see some real fight scenes, and even though there's no blood and it's all very PG, at least it's not just "There was a battle going on but then A
...more
midnightfaerie
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by CS Lewis is one of the books in his series, the Chronicles of Narnia in which Christianity is portrayed through various fantasy creatures. God, for instance is portrayed as a talking Lion. What a wonderful series! What child hasn’t climbed into a closet and explored the back cracks in hope of finding an entrance to a new and exciting world after reading this book? I used to sit in a closet with the door closed and a flashlight reading my favorite books aft ...more
Callum
Regardless of the anyone's critical opinion, The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is one of the most memorable pieces of fantastic literature ever produced (completely disregarding the pop culture influence). Its simple premise, reticulated with a vast allegorically fantastical world remains an incredibly effective method of storytelling, as its themes and concepts still resonate today.

The premise of the story is relatively straightforward; four young children are moved to the countryside to av
...more
Danielle
Okay, let me say first of all that I think C.S. Lewis is a brilliant man. That being said, this book made me feel like he could have given a little credit to the rest of us.
I wish I could review it based solely on the story, and not bother with the religious message, but unfortunately, it's impossible to read the story without getting a headache from the constant hammering that is "THE MESSAGE."
This story is a fun idea, fantasy-wise. I particularly love the ice queen and the Turkish Delight sce
...more
Franco  Santos
Narnia fue el primer mundo que exploré en mi vida como lector, y por eso mismo El León la Bruja y el Armario esta vehementemente encepado en mi corazón.

Es un libro hermoso, lleno de fantasía y magia. Es muy entretenido y te hace amar a los personajes que tienen que ser amados. Recuerdo que cada página que leía era asociado a un sentimiento de excéntrico placer, sabiendo que estaba inmerso en una historia extraordinaria.

Es una de las novelas a las que más cariño les tengo. Es la que me impulsó
...more
Erik Graff
Jun 10, 2014 Erik Graff rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: no one
Recommended to Erik by: Skip and Flo
Shelves: literature
During my freshman year at Grinnell College we had resident advisors, a couple who lived downstairs in Loose Hall dorm who were there if we needed them. That never happened, but they were friendly and welcoming, their door usually open to visitors. My roommate, Richard Hyde, had some relationship with them and invited me to join him for a visit.

Skip and Flo were Christians! That was intriguing. I asked them about it and they gave me an answer which I only came to understand years later, after I'
...more
Manny

I read this book when I was 9 or 10, and I really enjoyed it. Like most kids that age, I didn't notice it was Christian propaganda... I just thought it was a great story. The bit about Aslan allowing himself to be killed, and then coming back to life, seemed, I don't know, illogical... was all this stuff about the Deep Magic and the Emperor over the Sea necessary? It didn't seem to add much to the plot. But the tear-drenched scene with Susan and Lucy keeping guard over Aslan's dead body was effe
...more
Elizabeth
I re-read this for script research. I remember reading this years ago and it still brought a smile to my face! Can't wait to get this up on the stage!
Jennifer
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is the first published book in author C.S. Lewis's high fantasy series for children: The Chronicles of Narnia. In a fascinating world of magical wardrobes, talking animals, and mythical creatures, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is an intelligent and entertaining story for children and adults alike.

This is another book I decided to read along with my son after he was asked to read it for school. As a student, it can be hard to get excited about books th
...more
Amin
دوازده سال بعد از ورود من به نارنیا، دوباره خوندن این داستان برام حس بازگشت به خونه رو داشت.

نارنیا اولین مجموعه فانتزی بود که خوندم و مقدمه ای برای ورود به دنیای داستان و اگر الان اینقدر به کتاب علاقه دارم و عطش خوندن دارم، بی شک مدیون دنیای جذاب و پر هیجان نارنیا هستم.

متن کتاب واقعا شیرین بود. شاید خیلی ساده به نظر بیاد ولی حسی که نویسنده موقع نوشتن داستان به کلماتش داده اونقدر جوندار و تازه هست که بعد از این همه مدت هنوز برام بدیع و جذاب و هیجان انگیز بود. هنوز وقتی ادموند اون راحت الحقوم ها ر
...more
Wanda
I’m pretty sure that I read this when I was 11 or 12—but I didn’t remember it at all. In my defense, that was about 40 years ago. Here’s the funny thing though—as a kid, if I liked a book, I re-read it numerous times. So, if I did read it, lo those many years ago, I didn’t like it enough to re-read it. Around 12 or 13, I also read The Lord of the Rings, for example, and I have read it innumerable times now and continue to enjoy it every once in a while.

Now, I’m not sure if I believe this premise
...more
Kat
Fantasy has over the years become one of my favourite genres - if it hasn't always been. Ever since that first encounter with C.S. Lewis.

I was young when my mother came home with the seven novels about Narnia. I was always an avid reader, wrote my first book at nine. I can't remember exactly what she told me of them, but I do remember my eyes. They were so large, I figure anyone who watched me might've thought they would jump out of their sockets. I read them as a homeless might gulp down food w
...more
P.Z.
คือไมรูจะหักคะแนนตรงไหน เพอรเฟคไปหมดซะทุกอยาง เนือเรืองยังกับขนมหวาน อานไปยิมไป ละมุนเปนทีสุด ไมรูสิ ! การเลาเรืองลูอิสใชภาษางายๆ ไมมีอะไรมาก แตอาจจะเปนเพราะผูแตงเคาใสความคิดและคำพูดของเคาลงไปในหนังสือดวย เลยทำใหมันออกมาดูจับตองได ดูนาคนหา ฉากทีบรรยายทุงหญาปาเขาปกติเราจะเบือนะ แตนีเหมือนนังฟัง Audiobook แลวมีคนมากระซิบขางหูใหฟังเลยอะ ละเมียดละไมดีจริงๆ

คิดวาถาไมเคยดูหนังมากอนคงอินมากแนๆ แตตอนเดกๆเราดูหนังเรืองนีตังแตจำความได ดูซำไปซำมาจนจำไดทุกรายละเอียด ทำใหความสดใหมในการรับสารตรงนีมันหายไปเมือม
...more
Daniel
Unlike some who re-read "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" as adults and bring their fond childhood memories to the experience, I barely remember reading it the first time, when I was quite young. So, reading it now, I'm judging it solely as an adult would. And while some children's books fare incredibly well when read by adults -- even those adults who never read them as children -- C.S. Lewis's book, I'm sorry to say, is not one of them.

"Lion" is not a bad book, to be sure, but its charact
...more
booklady
May 12, 2015 booklady rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: young people--of ALL ages!
Finally read the real McCoy! I see why modern movie makers feel the need to ‘spice it up’ as they did in the recent epic film extravaganza, but the original story is so sweet. It is perfect just as it is! I wish I'd read it as a kid; I know I’d have loved it.

It’s a reflection of when Lewis wrote it as there are numerous references to food, eating and the delights therein. It’s in the simplicity of the food we can hearken back to post-WWII 1950s England still deep in the throes of rationing and
...more
Katie Lambden
My mom read the entire Chronicles of Narnia as bedtime stories when I was about 8. Of course at the time I perceived none of the allegorical "depth," but did have Turkish Delight fantasies galore. After the movie release hoopla about CS Lewis last year, I decided to re-read at least one of the books. Often I come back to childhood favorites and they're like comfort food; I could read them again and again. However, I was not so taken with Narnia on my return visit. The storytelling is not that am ...more
K.D. Absolutely
Dec 20, 2009 K.D. Absolutely rated it 3 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Jillian Joy
Recommended to K.D. by: 501
I really liked how C. S. Lewis made use of fantasy in delivering his message about Jesus in this children's book. The world of Narnia is fun by itself and I think that if you are a non-Christian kid, you can take it as it is, a fantasy book. But if you believe in Jesus, then the parallelism is obvious (the Lion rose from the dead!) and it can be springboard for you to discover or polish your faith.

For its novel idea, I am giving this book a 4-star rating but not a five-star because it is not as
...more
Nick Black
I'm a bit too upset by the forced #2 position of what was and always will be, to me, the first book of the series, yeah yeah yeah I know what Lewis's position is on the subject. Let's say Lewis decides, later in his life, that he's a Mormon. He's shedding tears about all the preëxistence lost, calculating the tithe complete with compounded back interest, throwing out all his tea bags. He's been reborn, is working to Restore, and plans to rename himself C.LDS. Lewis. The whole 9 yards and 3 heave ...more
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CLIVE STAPLES LEWIS (1898–1963) was one of the intellectual giants of the twentieth century and arguably one of the most influential writers of his day. He was a Fellow and Tutor in English Literature at Oxford University until 1954. He was unanimously elected to the Chair of Medieval and Renaissance Literature at Cambridge University, a position he held until his retirement. He wrote more than th ...more
More about C.S. Lewis...

Other Books in the Series

The Chronicles of Narnia (Publication Order) (7 books)
  • Prince Caspian (Chronicles of Narnia, #2)
  • The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (Chronicles of Narnia, #3)
  • The Silver Chair (Chronicles of Narnia, #4)
  • The Horse and His Boy (Chronicles of Narnia, #5)
  • The Magician's Nephew (Chronicles of Narnia, #6)
  • The Last Battle (Chronicles of Narnia, #7)
The Chronicles of Narnia (Chronicles of Narnia, #1-7) The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (Chronicles of Narnia, #3) The Magician's Nephew (Chronicles of Narnia, #6) Prince Caspian (Chronicles of Narnia, #2) The Horse and His Boy (Chronicles of Narnia, #5)

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“I hope no one who reads this book has been quite as miserable as Susan and Lucy were that night; but if you have been - if you've been up all night and cried till you have no more tears left in you - you will know that there comes in the end a sort of quietness. You feel as if nothing is ever going to happen again.” 734 likes
“I wrote this story for you, but when I began it I had not realized that girls grow quicker than books. As a result you are already too old for fairy tales, and by the time it is printed and bound you will be older still. But some day you will be old enough to start reading fairy tales again. You can then take it down from some upper shelf, dust it, and tell me what you think of it. I shall probably be too deaf to hear, and too old to understand a word you say, but I shall still be your affectionate Godfather, C. S. Lewis.” 641 likes
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