Aili's Reviews > Prince Caspian

Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis
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's review
Jun 10, 2008

it was ok
Read in May, 2008

Read this in 2 hours the day I went to see the movie. I had forgotten pretty much everything about this book. Re-reading it, I can see why I didn't remember anything (and why this is my least favorite Narnia book) -- it's because nothing happens. Most of the actual drama (how Caspian's uncle took the throne; Caspian's education and eventual escape) takes place in flashback. What we do get is a lot of faith, or lack of faith, in Aslan coming to save the day. Wah wah wah. The final conflict is anticlimactic, and the denouement is really rushed (like C.S. Lewis was late to catch a plane or something).

On the other hand, the movie version was less of a let-down because I had recently been presented with the mediocrity of the book. So directorial choices like having Caspian and Peter get into a "who-is-king" pissing contest, while irritating, were more understandable.

Re-reading this was useful in reminding myself of the difference between children's and young adult literature. Even though this is a chapter book, it probably works best as a story for littler kids. I think in the first go-round, the entire Narnia series was read aloud by my mom (with the exception of The Last Battle -- too much Jesus). I had forgotten that, and was remembering them more as teen fantasy lit, like Alanna: The First Adventure or the initial trilogy of Valdemar books by Mercedes Lackey.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Eric I've had so many friends return to these books and report on how annoying or even bad they are that I've resolved not to bother. I think in a less Christian world than Lewis', they just don't hold up that well. I wonder if when I spawn some day, I'll even want the spawn to read them.

On the upside, this makes the movies more enjoyable. I'm told that in the book, Susan is incredibly annoying, and she doesn't even get to use her bow. In the movie, Susan is bad ass. Also, much to my relief, the actress is 19. .

Dana Salman You are so right. I saw the movie in cinema before I read the book. The book really disappointed me, and I could see why they had to add some things in the movie, like the part where they try to infiltrate the Telmerine's castle. I liked the rivalry between Caspian and Peter, that put alot more passion into the movie. In the book they were as friendly as anything. Because in the book, they don't make any reference to the fact that the four kings and queens of Narnia were once adults and were treated like royalty, and are now once again just plain old kids who get pushed around. Being a kid, Peter starts to act a little childish, and he starts arguing with Caspian, who in the movie is a bit older than him. In the book, he picks up on his king-ness a little too fast. After spending a year as a child, you'd think Peter would act a little bratty, but he didn't. Then again, you don't want a tantrum maker for your hero. That would make the whole thing look like a joke. So we're stuck with the conclusion that C.S Lewis had to make Peter the ideal High King once more, and let's face it, noble kings are boring. What would've stopped the story from being boring was if there had been a little more leadership from Peter to Edmund, who was young and foolish in the second book of the series, and has matured a bit to see Peter's flaws. He is a better judge of character and a better fighter than he had once been. he became my favorite character in the movie, despite what a bastard he was in the prequel, yet his role as the younger less important brother is barely seen in the book Prince Caspian, because that motif had already been made in the Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. And using a motif in a sequel will give people the impression that you're just rewriting the whole story.
What Lewis is left with, then, is, as you've said before, nothing. Nothing happens.

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