C. S. Lewis discussion

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Hi, Which C.S. Lewis Book I Should Read First?

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message 1: by Victoria (new)

Victoria | 3 comments Hello friends, I was wondering which are the best books written by C.S. Lewis I should read first? any suggestions. Thank you.


message 2: by Trice (new)

Trice Hi Victoria,
it depends on where your interest lies - he has excellent fiction and nonfiction

for the nonfiction I think I may have read Surprised By Joy first which is a spiritual autobiography, and gives you a real sense of the man and the way he thinks - this is still one of my favorites.

for the fiction I would say his best is Till We Have Faces: A Myth Retold, but you actually probably want to start with some of his others first, either the Chronicles of Narnia which start with The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (which are fantasies 'written for children' though with great depth to them) or his space trilogy which starts with Out of the Silent Planet.

In the end he has a lot of really good stuff. Lots of interesting thoughts about why people like different Lewis books over here: http://www.goodreads.com/topic/show/1...


message 3: by Matthew (new)

Matthew (RevMidnight) | 9 comments Am I round the bend in thinking that the Chronicles of Narnia starts with The Magicians Nephew?

To answer the question in the topic... To get a sense of CS's basic theology I would start reading Mere Christianity
Then I would read The Great Divorce
The screwtape letters
Then start the chronicles. That's not how I did it but it is how I would do it if I could do it all over again.


message 4: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth | 5 comments Matthew wrote: "Am I round the bend in thinking that the Chronicles of Narnia starts with The Magicians Nephew?"

You're right it is the first in the series, but The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe was actually written first. In my opinion, I think The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is the best book to introduce the series.


message 5: by Trice (last edited Mar 12, 2011 02:07AM) (new)

Trice actually it depends which version you get - The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe I still maintain is the first in the series. The Magicians Nephew is chronologically first, but ends up feeling more like a prequel. They've been publishing it more recently in the chronological order rather than in the real order. ;)

[p.s. fans have been debating this very question for years]


message 6: by Connie (new)

Connie Brown (connie_reads) | 9 comments I prefer to have Narnia books read in the order Lewis wrote them with The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe first. Then you have the pleasure of saying,"Oh, so that's how that got to be that way!" when you read The Magician's Nephew.


message 7: by Trice (new)

Trice Connie wrote: "I prefer to have Narnia books read in the order Lewis wrote them with The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe first. Then you have the pleasure of saying,"Oh, so that's how that got to be that way!" ..."

yeah, I had the same feeling - and revisiting people in The Horse & His Boy rather than sticking it in the middle of things


message 8: by Elizabeth (new)

Elizabeth | 5 comments I agree! It does seem to be a more natural progression to read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe first and then Prince Caspian.


message 9: by Danielle (new)

Danielle Hartzler (BrownieHartz) | 1 comments I would have to disagree, I really liked reading the Chronicles in chronological order. Maybe it's just me but I tend to read all series in that order and not the order publish, it seems to flow better and leave the reader with fewer questions.


message 10: by Matthew (new)

Matthew (RevMidnight) | 9 comments For myself... when I was a child I read the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe and found myself wondering... where did this wardrobe come... why does it take the kids into Narnia?? what is this magic all about???

Reading in chronological story order helped me to feel the true depth of Lewis' world.

Knowing the origin of the wood from which the wardrobe was made, and the adventures that were embedded within the grains of each inch of that wardrobe are powerful images in my mind as I read the rest of the series... as are the other aspects of the story... the child who gets what is asked for because they pray rightly instead of just taking when they are able and encouraged by the White Witch who would become the False winter queen...anyway I will say no more at this time other than to say it helped me experience the story and create the world in my head in a way that allowed more enjoyment of the journey...


message 11: by Anna (new)

Anna (AnnaGraceSmileyFace) | 2 comments Trice wrote: "actually it depends which version you get - The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe I still maintain is the first in the series. The Magicians Nephew is chronologically first, but ends up feeling more ..."

C.S.Lewis wanted them to be republished in chronological order, in his time, but the publisher refused.


message 12: by Victoria (new)

Victoria | 3 comments thanks friends. sorry for the late response. I was travelling. anyway, i started reading the chronicles of narnaia, startign with the magician's nephew. what a magical world. thanks again.


message 13: by Torie (new)

Torie (Keybender) | 5 comments Read the Chronicles of Narnia first. And start with "The Magician's Nephew," because that technically is book 1, even though Lewis wrote "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" first. He decided later on to write a prequel, and it remains my favorite!


message 14: by Victoria (new)

Victoria | 3 comments Thank you Torie, that is exactly what i did :)


message 15: by Torie (new)

Torie (Keybender) | 5 comments Victoria wrote: "Thank you Torie, that is exactly what i did :)"

Sweet, I'm glad you did! And lol WOW, sorry I didn't even read that you said you did so before I wrote that you should, haha. Perhaps I should read before I write, haha.


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Books mentioned in this topic

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe (other topics)
Out of the Silent Planet (other topics)
Till We Have Faces (other topics)
Surprised by Joy: The Shape of My Early Life (other topics)