Reviews of Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, the (1950)
Review by StefanY (2007-08-24)
After reading The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe for the first time at age 31, I sat and asked myself what I really thought of it. I think one of the main things that I felt was disappointment. Not in the book itself, but mainly with myself for not reading it when I was much younger. I truly enjoyed the tale that Lewis has woven, but I think that a lot of the magic is lost by reading it for the first time as an adult.
The story itself is solid and I enjoy the narrative tone of it and the references back to the reader by the author as he tells his tale. As an adult, I did notice a fair amount of simplicity in the writing (I'm used to reading novels with much more detail) but not in a negative way. Overly wordy and descriptive narrative can sometimes undermine the smooth flow of a simple story line, and that might have been the case here had Lewis gotten too detailed.
I am looking forward to continuing my maiden voyage into Narnia and am eagerly waiting to see what adventures lie ahead.
Review by popo (2006-07-04)
I fortunately did not read these books as a child and find them to be offensively bad as a young adult. This book is filled with backwards ideas, including the primitive treatment of masculinity and feminity (and all sorts of other terrible heirarchies), which cannot be excused 'becaue of the times' since the book was written in the FIFTIES! 1950's! And yet it is behind in these regards than literature from the early 1800's.
Besides the religiously creepy, smug, preachy, brainwash-y attitude (I was quite frightened to think that children would be reading this. Just hoped that they really didn't internalized it too much), it really doesn't have much substance: it is simple and bland, with typical, boring child characters and other villians, etc. I found it to be incomparable to the HP series (since often they is compared): the premise, details, characters--all have far more depth, sense and dimension to them, and the latter has more interesting imagery and mood. Tiny infants are proved to prefer complex patterns to simple.
Usually with children's books I can understand simplicity and lightness...but this book has creepy restrictive ideas that I don't think can possible be good for children.
Review by grendel (2006-02-06)
The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe is a book that comes from a time period where story telling was an art form. Lewis creates such imagry of his characters and thier surroundings that it makes it easier to succumb to the imaginary world of Narnia and allow yourself to place all disbelief aside simply for the joy of taking a trip to some place never before seen. Now it has been said that Narnia is a book that is based on the life of Christ and while reading you can catch the subtlness and sometimes not so subtle metaphors of the New Testament but this book does not simply cater to the religious. When I read that Narnia was to become a movie I borrowed the book from a relative and read half of it to my children. They loved it and so did I. I had no idea where the book was coming from, only that it was a good read. Therefore if you don't want to be preached to now worries, the metaphors are there only for those who will be looking for them. IN any case I highly suggest this book as a reading to your children and if you don't have any of your own sit your niece or nephew or both down and read to them. If all else fails read it for yourself. The book is a very good one.
Review by wombat (2004-11-22)
I remember loving this book being read to me as a child so I picked it up to read it as an adult but could not get through it. Not because it was too simplistic, or anything like that, but because of the biased way that female characters are portrayed. Of course it was written in a different time so it makes sense, but still, it really got on my nerves and made it so that I could not enjoy the story.
Review by freejazz (2003-07-19)
THIS IS THE BOOK TO READ FIRST
I love this series, but the order has gotten messed up , changed from written order to chonalogicial order, the book 'Magician's nephew' is a much better read after silver chair and before last battle, because it gives away things about the whole first book!!! Read ' Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, FIRST,
Review by MuadDib (2003-03-20)
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe chronicles the adventures of four english children who enter a wardrobe that leads into a world called Narnia. It is highly allegorical of the story of Christ and yet manages to be a solid adventure tale on its own standing. This is the best of the series along with the sequel "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader."