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Companion To Narnia [Paperback]

Paul F Ford
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Oct. 13 1994
For readers of all ages, a peerless guide to the magic of Narnia that will provide endless hours of fascinating exploration.

Companion to Narnia is an adventurer's passport to the enchanting world of C. S. Lewis's beloved classic series The Chronicles of Narnia. From Asia, the Great Lion of Narnia, to Zardeenah, the mysterious Lady of the Night, this comprehensive work contains hundreds of alphabetically arranged and indexed entries covering all the characters, events, places, and themes that Lewis magically wove into his fictional world. Bringing the reader a deeper appreciation and understanding of the Chronicles, Ford illuminates the philosophical, spiritual, and psychological significance behind each story, while explaining the symbolic and thematic threads that unify the series.


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Review

"An exceptional reference work!" -- -- America

"Clear prose, accurate scholarship, plentiful cross-reference and charming illustrations." -- -- Los Angeles Times

"An exceptional reference work!" -- America

About the Author

Paul F. Ford, Ph.D., has been a student of the life and writings of C. S. Lewis for over thirty years and founded the Southern California C. S. Lewis Society. He is a professor of theology and liturgy at St. John's Seminary, Camarillo, California.

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars The Narnia Book's Page Numbers ... June 17 2003
Format:Paperback
corpus-callosum's [Amazon.com] review mentions "At the end of the articles, Ford has placed in parentheses an abbreviated reference to the specific book and page number that coincides with the topic being discussed. "
There are two numbers separated by a comma- the first is the tradepaperback/hardback HaperCollins or Harper Trophy page number, the second (after the comma) is for the Harper Trophy rack sized (mass market) paperback editions.
Examples from the Companion book listings to check pagination of the Narnia editions you have to see if they match up on the correct page:
Lion Witch Wardrobe: Hosea 11:10 "at the sound of his roar" 79,85
Prince Caspian:Isaiah 9:1"the people that lived in hiding" 72,75
Dawn Treader: Isaiah 6:6 "a little live coal" 207,224
Silver Chair: Psalms103:9 "I will not always be scolding" 236,250
Horse & His Boy: Daniel 4:24 "not a donkey!" 219,235
Magician's Nephew: Job 38:7 "stars themselves singing" 107,117
Last Battle: Deut.33:27 "between the paws of the true Aslan" 121, 134
I have the trade paperback Harper Trophy "full-color collector's edition of Narnia, boxed set ISBN: 0064409392 and the first number of the two (the one before the comma) matches perfectly in all the Narnia books.
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5.0 out of 5 stars There's always something new in Narnia! Oct. 22 2000
Format:Paperback
I have read and re-read all seven of C.S. Lewis' Chronicles of Narnia many times in my adult life. And plan to do so again and again. The remarkable thing is that the stories still seem fresh and alive. They never seem to get boring and there are always new insights waiting to be discovered. Even for the adult reader. I would highly recommend the stories to all young readers, even though I myself did not read them as a child. I think I was so bent on trying to read the entire works of Enid Blyton at the time, that I failed to notice anything Narnian about my local library.
"New insights" are what the Companion To Narnia is all about. Paul F. Ford has done a wonderful job of assembling all of the myriad of characters, places, themes; all the rich history and lore of Narnia and beyond, into this one encyclopedic book. I really cannot see how it could be improved upon. It is massive in scope. I have read it and "used" it for years now.
The book is arranged alphebetically and all topics are meticulously cross-referenced (an asterisk follows any word or phrase which is an entry elsewhere). Even though this is not the type of book that is commonly read from cover to cover, picking it up and starting from any topic will surely tempt you to the reading of the asterisk-linked articles. In Narnian terms, I think of this as the hidden "Turkish-Delight" feature of the book. Let it take you where your curiosity and interest leads.
At the end of the articles, Ford has placed in parentheses an abbreviated reference to the specific book and page number that coincides with the topic being discussed. This sends us back to the original source of the material if necessary, and allows Ford's book to be not only a companion, but a sort-of concordance as well.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent source of infomation June 13 2000
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
I received Companion to Narnia, as well as a boxed set of the Chronicles themselves, as a birthday gift. I must say it was one of the best gifts I have ever received.
I initially read the Chronicles as a young child, then again in Jr. High. I'm afraid I let my passion for the stories slip through my high school years, just when I needed them most, but now, after my third year of college, I have renewed my interest in the works of Mr. Lewis.
The Companion is easy to use, extremely informative, and actually fun to read straight through, even without using it as a reference. The entries are encyclopedia-style, alphabetically listed, with the page numbers the entry appears on in the Chronicles, related entries, and often very extensive footnotes referring the reader to books and articles by Mr. Lewis and other renowned Fanstasy and Religious authors, as well as background into what specific uses could have meant to the author, or his inspirations for them.
There are annexes at the end on everything to how old the Pevensie children and others are in the books, Narnia time vs Earth time, the age of Lewis during the writing of the Chronicles, maps of Narnia and more. Wonderful illustrations are distributed throughout the book, just waiting to surprise you when you turn the page.
I would HIGHLY recommend this book to any lover of Narnia, whether it's your first time around or your fortieth. A lot of questions I remember having when I was younger are answered, and you gain a deeper meaning of what it "behind everyone's story".
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5.0 out of 5 stars More than just Cliff Notes Dec 23 1999
Format:Paperback
If you think that the Chronicles of Narnia ought to be required reading for children, then the Companion to Narnia ought to be required reading for us adults that fell in love with Narnia as children. Yes, I'm sure that if you had to write a paper or do a report on any of the Chronicles for school, this book would be invaluable. But the fact is, it goes far beyond that to a much broader audience...
C.S. Lewis's Chronicles represent some of the finest high-Fantasy novels ever written, period. But for most of us, at least at the first reading, this is all they were. As we grow older, and read the Chronicles again and again, we begin to discover more of the meaning behind the writing; this book guides you further along that path of discovery. It is well-organized and very thorough; I have had little difficulty finding any of the references I wanted to explore.
If you want a person to love the Chronicles, buy the series for them when they are a child. If you want them to appreciate it the way you do, buy them the Companion when they grow a bit older...
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Most recent customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars A mess of information.
I resold this book immediately, without even browsing all the way through it! The way it was typeset and laid out was awful - one section ran on forever. Read more
Published on Dec 27 2003 by Hello Kitty Ellen
1.0 out of 5 stars Not Kid-Friendly
Although the description said for readers ages 4 - 8, there is no way this book is readable to any but the brightest 8 year olds. Read more
Published on Jan. 30 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars A fine companion
Is it strange to think that you need a companion for a set of books that take place in a world that doesn't even exist? No, not really. Read more
Published on Aug. 1 2001 by "tortoisequeen"
5.0 out of 5 stars SUPERB!!!
The Companion is Great!!! When ever your reading parts of the book and get to something that doesn't make a lot of sense just find it in the Companion! Read more
Published on Feb. 5 2001 by Michael Juba
5.0 out of 5 stars An exhaustive reference for even the pickiest Narnia scholar
This is a great book. It is arranged alphabetically, in encyclopedia form, and contains over 500 pages of entries. Read more
Published on March 25 2000 by Laura Haggarty
5.0 out of 5 stars An exceptional guide to an amazing series
I've adored this series since grade school and I reread it periodically, but until the last few times I never understood the allegory in the book. Read more
Published on Dec 23 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars The best reference book on Narnia! Got me an A!
I absolutely loved this book. It was priceless in writing a paper for my English class and got me an A! I was amazed by the throughness of this book. Read more
Published on April 12 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely indispensible Narnia guide!
This book is invaluable! If you love Narnia and wish to learn more this is the book to get. Exhaustive citations, many wonderful illustrations, and many maps and timelines that... Read more
Published on March 14 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars It's an extremely useful resource guide
I found the book to be quite informative and well-organized. The bits on the themes were especially helpful. Read more
Published on Jan. 11 1999 by Greg Johnson (GMendel72@aol.com)
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