Book: The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S.Lewis
Why I read it: I’ve read this series a few times, but it was a while since I last had. I was reminded of it by watching the film of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, and also I’ve been listening to the sound track of Children of Eden, which got me thinking about other stories based on Genesis.
Basic plot: The series is mainly set in another world, in which there is a country called Narnia. Each book (except The Horse and His Boy) follows children from our world going to Narnia and having adventures, with the series coving from the world being created in The Magician’s Nephew to *Slight Spoiler* it’s end in The Last Battle. I think most people in Britain will be familiar with The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, which is the most famous book in the series, but when you read them all together there is a lot more rich detail.
Who it’s aimed at: This is one of those old classic stories (like Winnie-the-Pooh I would say) which is written with children in mind, but adults can enjoy it and understand it in different ways. It is very much written from a Christian view-point, and based on bits of The Bible, but I don’t think it’s appeal would be limited to Christians. The only thing I would say about it is that, due to when it was written, there are bits which now seem outrageously sexist and racist. I don’t think this is a reason to condemn the books completely, but it is important to remember the context in which it was written.
Would I recommend it?: As I said, these books are classics, and I think everyone should read them at some point. However, it is an unusual writing style – much more focussed on action than much real character insight or development/continuity. I really enjoy reading them and getting into the world of Narnia, even if I wouldn’t often read books like them.