Through the Wardrobe: Your Favorite Authors on C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of NarniaPaperback
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- Publisher: Smart Pop
- Format: Paperback | 200 pages
- Dimensions: 150mm x 226mm x 13mm | 318g
- Publication date: 2 November 2010
- Publication City/Country: Dallas
- ISBN 10: 1935251686
- ISBN 13: 9781935251682
- Sales rank: 1,130,055
The third in the latest film version of C.S. Lewis' beloved Chronicles of Narnia, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, will be released in December 2010. In a crowded market of predictable tie-ins, Through the Wardrobe-a collection of always thoughtful, frequently clever explorations of the series by sixteen popular YA authors that proves the series is more than its religious underpinnings-stands out. Step through the wardrobe and into the imaginations of these friends of Aslan as they explore Narnia-from The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe to The Last Battle, from the heart of Caspian's kingdom to the Eastern Seas. Find out: * Why Edmund Pevensie is totally crush-worthy * What tea and Turkish Delight have to do with World War II * Why The Voyage of the Dawn Treader will be the best movie of the series * What Susan really did to get herself booted out of Narnia (it wasn't the pantyhose or the lipstick) The series' roots in C.S. Lewis' Christianity are important, but there's more to Narnia than just the religious symbolism. Through the Wardrobe, edited by internationally bestselling British fantasy author Herbie Brennan, reveals new levels of richness and delight the other Narnia books overlook.
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Herbie Brennan is the author of the New York Times bestselling Faerie Wars series, among many other titles, and the editor of Through the Wardrobe: Your Favorite Authors on C.S. Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia. Contributors to Through the Wardrobe include: Deb Caletti, Brent Hartinger, Diana Peterfreund, Ned Vizzini, Sarah Beth Durst, Diane Duane, Kelly McClymer, Lisa Papademetriou, Sophie Masson, Elizabeth E. Wein, Susan Juby, Susan Vaught, O.R. Melling, Zu Vincent, and Kiara Koeing
By TeensReadToo 20 Sep 2010
To call this book a "Narnia movie tie-in," as some of the publicity has, is selling it short. The sixteen essays in this book cover all seven of the CHRONICLES OF NARNIA, and although there are several that deal exclusively with Prince Caspian, the movie of which is to be released this May, there are also insightful essays about the other novels in the series. In fact, one of my personal favorites dealt solely with THE VOYAGE OF THE DAWN TREADER (which was always my favorite book in the series, as well). And the depth of these essays moves them beyond the realm of the typical movie tie-in into a place of enthusiastic scholarship.
This is not a book for those unfamiliar with the Chronicles, but if you've ever fallen in love with Narnia, the perspectives these authors offer will be a nice complement to your enjoyment. The essays are at their best when their authors start with a personal obsession and go from there to discuss its thematic relevance to the Chronicles as a whole.
Diana Peterfreund's "King Edmund the Cute" starts by discussing her childhood crush on Edmund, but goes deeper than that to trace his character through the Chronicles to show why Lewis intended him to be an attractive character; having once turned traitor but understanding the error of his ways, he can now lead others on the right path. Diane Duane, a self-proclaimed "foodie," tackles the topic of "Eating in Narnia" from a background that discusses both Lewis's own experiences with rationing during the wars but also goes further to suggest the impact food can have, not just on the body, but on the soul.
I really enjoyed the essays' treatment of Lewis's Christian background. While many of them acknowledged Lewis's goal to create a moral allegory that could lead people to a better understanding of Christianity, this was not the focus of any of the essays.
Sarah Beth Durst's "Missing the Point" argues that Lewis's stories would be compelling even without the allegorical component, and O. R. Melling's "Being Good for Narnia and the Lion" discusses how the series presented her with a picture of being good that was more attractive than that posed by her childhood experiences with church. While I think it's impossible to say that a book on Lewis's work has been written from an entirely secular perspective, the treatment of the religious aspect of the Chronicles was deftly done. I was also impressed with the book's willingness to tackle difficult topics, like the accusations that Lewis's Calormen represents a racist depiction of the Middle East.
But above all, every essay in this collection reminded me why Lewis's works are worth reading for both children and adults, and why every foray into the land of Narnia is a grand adventure, for the reader as well as the characters.