Sunday, June 21, 2009
The Magician's Nephew by C.S. Lewis
The Magician's Nephew is the pre-quel for the Narnia books. In this book, a boy named Digory and his next-door neighbor and friend, Polly, are sent on adventures by use of magic rings given to them by Digory's uncle, Andrew. Andrew, an older man, is as afraid as he is enchanted by magic, and tries to use others to try out the various spells and incantations he discovers. He send Polly off with a magic ring, and then Digory must go after her and bring her back.
In this book, many of the touchstones of the later books are revealed. Narnia is actually created in this book by Aslan the Lion, and Digory and Polly are there for the creation. The backstory of the witch in The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe is told, and Digory's part in bringing her to life and setting her free in Narnia, not through intent but through accidental happenings. The reader learns how Digory is involved in the later events of the Chronicles. Even the wardrobe's creation is related here.
I enjoyed this book immensely. The more I listen to The Chronicles of Narnia, the more convinced I am that this is truly a classic of children's literature. This book was narrated by Kenneth Branagh, which added a great deal to the audio book. This book is highly recommended for anyone who has a child, or wishes to recall the magic of their own childhood.