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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Once upon a time...
C.S. Lewis was many things - a popular theologian (almost a contradiction in terms today), an engaging academic (see above qualification, as it applies here, too), and an expert storyteller, the craft of which came from his careful blending and imaginative use of the previous two. The Chronicles of Narnia stand up favourable to the work of Lewis' longtime friend and...
Published on Dec 19 2005 by FrKurt Messick

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Don't Tamper With Perfection
(please note that this review concerns only the new publications)
The Chronicles of Narnia are perfect books. They are wonderful for children and adults, and can be read again and again. C. S. Lewis was a brilliant author and theologian, and was competent in what he was doing. I have been reading these books since I was young enough to pick up a book, and I was...
Published on Dec 9 2002 by C. N. White


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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Don't Tamper With Perfection, Dec 9 2002
By 
C. N. White "neilicus107" (Raleigh, NC) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Chronicles of Narnia Box Set (Paperback)
(please note that this review concerns only the new publications)
The Chronicles of Narnia are perfect books. They are wonderful for children and adults, and can be read again and again. C. S. Lewis was a brilliant author and theologian, and was competent in what he was doing. I have been reading these books since I was young enough to pick up a book, and I was horrified when I found out they were reprinting them in chronological order! Why have the publishers decided to tamper with the order? reading these books in chronological order spoils all of the surprise and magic out of the first visit to Narnia (in The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe), because we already know what's going on. You're not supposed to know about the lightpole or who the professor is yet! Things don't always need to be put in chronological order. If you're going to read them, please read them in the correct order: 1) The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe, 2) Prince Caspian, 3)The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, 4) The Silver Chair, 5) The Horse and His Boy, 6) The Magician's Nephew, and 7) The Last Battle
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent production, June 26 2004
Radio Theatre has set a standard for itself and meets it in spades with The Chronicles of Narnia. The cast is solid and gives a wonderful dramatization. The Horse and His Boy is our favorite, and it is best to listen to at night while you are traveling in the car, because the characters travel at night alot during the story -- of course, they are not in a car, they are on horseback.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Once upon a time..., Dec 19 2005
By 
FrKurt Messick "FrKurt Messick" (Bloomington, IN USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Chronicles of Narnia Box Set (Paperback)
C.S. Lewis was many things - a popular theologian (almost a contradiction in terms today), an engaging academic (see above qualification, as it applies here, too), and an expert storyteller, the craft of which came from his careful blending and imaginative use of the previous two. The Chronicles of Narnia stand up favourable to the work of Lewis' longtime friend and contemporary academic and storyteller, Tolkien (of Lord of the Rings fame). Narnia, however, does not go off into the same fantastic realms of Tolkien, but rather charts a different path, in that while Tolkien strives to use fantasy and mythic elements to tell more general philosophy, Lewis in the Narnia tales deliberately crafts the imagery to fit a Christian framework, and a fairly Anglo-catholic one at that.
Narnia is series of adventures for children, but like the best of such stories, continues to hold power for adults who read them as well. Resurgence in popularity of late has occurred because of the film, 'The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe', second in the series (depending upon which chronology one follows), but the whole series is a charmer. In 'The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe', the story focuses upon Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy, four exiles from war-time London in the English countryside who discover the portal to Narnia in the back of a mysterious wardrobe. The king of Narnia, Aslan the lion (whose imagery fits both Christian and English mythic lore) is battling the icy witch, who styles herself as Queen of Narnia. Through a classic struggle of good and evil in epic battle format, the pure-hearted children and the graceful king Aslan win the day, but eventually the children must return to their own world, even after such adventures.
'Prince Caspian' takes place long after (in Narnia time - one discovers the passage of time from one world to the next is variable), as Caspian befriends many of the creatures of Narnia, both natural and fantastic. The four children, enthroned as kings and queens of Narnia at the end of the first adventure, must return to help Caspian, whose main desire is to live in old Narnia, forbidden tales of which he has heard.
'Voyage of the Dawn' sees Edmund and Lucy drawn back into Narnia through a painting, together with their horrid cousin Eustace Scrubb. Caspian is now king, on a knightly quest to discover lost knights of old, and also to seek the end of the world (in a literal sense). Sea voyages and other journeys take them far and wide, until Aslan again appears to return the children home. Eustace becomes a better person for his Narnia adventures, much as Edmund had transformed during his first major Narnia experience.
Eustace returns in the 'The Silver Chair', this time from his school, with fellow student Jill, who is also less than popular. Jill, like the earlier Edmund, must find redemption, and seeks to save Rilian (son of the now-dying Caspian). Here we encounter the Parliament of Owls as well as the bottom of the world - once again, Aslan helps to save the day, despite the nay-saying of Puddleglum.
Shasta is the boy and Bree is the horse in 'The Horse and His Boy'. Shasta is about to be sold into slavery when he escapes with Bree, and they meet Aravis and Hwin, another escaping duo, on their way to Narnia. They uncover a plot against Narnia, and must work to save the kingdom of their dreams.
'The Magician's Nephew' is often considered the first of the series, with events that preceed 'The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe'. It gives background and insight into the overall workings of Narnia. Polly and Digory discover the portal to the Woods between the Worlds, and there is a greater mix of worlds here than in any other story. However, this is also the beginning of the other stories, with Aslan providing the same kind of guidance he would throughout the series.
'The Last Battle' is, as the title suggests, the last of the series. Narnia falls into the final conflict of good and evil, with a false Aslan (a false messiah figure) appearing and humans destroying all things around, particularly the natural environment. Old Narnia must pass away, but a new Narnia is held in promise as the real Aslan returns to lead the faithful.
While many of Lewis' original readers were occasionally disturbed by the Christian overall (and indeed, at Lewis' interpretation of Christian lore), in fact the state of biblical illiteracy is such today that most will miss much of the Christian allegory unless it is specially spelled out. Narnia can stand on its own merits as a story independent of its underpinnings, but just as most mythological and even biblical stories can achieve, this one becomes stronger the deeper one explores the symbolic meanings.
Lewis is very much a creature of his culture - this is very post-Victorian (read, more Victorian than the Victorians) in style and morals, even in the 1950s (a time so many in our present culture look back to as a high point in moral culture) he was looking back to a better time - perhaps it is no surprise that instead of finding it in the past, he found it in Narnia?
This is a series that is wonderful for children of all ages, and for adults - the tales bear repeating over and over, and many editions of these texts come with wonderful artwork. This particular one has illustrations by Pauline Baynes, the original illustrator for the series, and they are wonderful indeed.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Essential, period., Nov. 12 2001
I would not read if these stories didn't exist, I would not write if these stories didn't exist, I would not appreciate literature the way that I do if these stories didn't exist. These seven adventures, written by a master of tales, inspired every imaginative process in my brain and brought out every emotion in my being.
The Chronicles of Narnia present a seemingly never-ending epic of immense proportions that bring forth various situations from victory to catastrophe, mystery to explaination, and life to death. We follow the wondrous journeys of four young children through the enchanting land of Narnia, a land you will never forget. Various supporting characters grace the pages, from Father Time, to Aslan the Lion, and even Reepicheep the Mouse, each giving beautiful insight and wonderful understanding. Never will you forget what takes place in these stories.
I highly... HIGHLY recommend these books for anyone who feels the need to be enchanted. If you read them as a Biblical allegory or not (and I didn't), these stories will do nothing less than touch your life.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best thing you could buy, March 23 2006
This review is from: Chronicles of Narnia Box Set (Paperback)
I'm normally one for "real" fiction-you know, those books EVERYONE has read or is supposed to read ("LIFE OF PI" by Martel or "KATZENJAMMER" by McCrae), so WHAT A RELIEF it was to find this (not-so-little-gem). I think there are many aspects of these books that make them such favorites. For one, unlike many children's books, the story is not particularly gendered, and this set can be appreciated equally well by boys and girls. For another, the characters are strong and interesting, the plots are lively, and the stories include strong elements of adventure and fantasy. Third, while there are certainly some moral lessons imbedded in these books, they are not overemphasized, and Lewis never talks down to his readers. Can't go wrong with this boxed set-gift for someone or for yourself. THE CHRONICLES OF NARINA is the most superb set you can get today-either for yourself or as a gift for a friend!
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Into Narnia, Jan. 1 2006
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 10 REVIEWER)    (HALL OF FAME)   
This review is from: Chronicles of Narnia Box Set (Paperback)
Many decades ago, two drinking buddies wrote vastly different fantasy series, which set the groundwork for the fantasy genre. One was J.R.R. Tolkien, author of the classic "Lord of the Rings" and "The Hobbit." And the other was C.S. Lewis, the author of the philosophical "Space Trilogy." Before these two, fantasy was only a few books by a small number of obscure authors.
Many years later, C.S. Lewis is still a classic, much-read author, and his books just hit the big screen -- "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" was a smash hit in December, following the footsteps of Tolkien's movie adaptations. So, dust off the Narnia Chronicles and reacquaint yourself with these fantasy stories.
"The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe" opens as four children (Lucy, Edmund, Susan and Peter) are being shipped to a country mansion to avoid German bombings. While exploring the house, Lucy accidently ventures into a winter-locked world called Narnia, ruled over by the evil White Witch. The god-king Aslan is about to return to destroy the Witch -- but she has a hold on Edmund....
"Prince Caspian" takes place long after the events of the first book. Young Prince Caspian escapes his uncle's castle when his life is threatened, and he finds refuge with the hidden races of Narnia -- dwarves, talking animals, dryads, centaurs and many others. And to help Caspian regain the throne, the two kings and two queens of Narnia are called back...
"Voyage of the Dawn Treader" begins when Edmund, Lucy and their obnoxious cousin Eustace are sucked through a painting into Narnia, where their pal Caspian is now king of Narnia (not to mention fully grown). Caspian is heading toward the end of the world to find several knights who were banished, and vanished into the perilous islands along the sea. But the Dawn Treader's voyage will literally take them where no one has gone before... and returned to tell about it.
"The Silver Chair" heads into slightly darker territory when Eustace returns to boarding school. He and outcast girl Jill Pole are drawn into Narnia, where Jill must perform a task to redeem herself for a stupid stunt. She must find Caspian's missing son Rilian. This search will send the two children across Narnia with the pessimistic Puddleglum, where they will encounter carnivorous Giants, creepy underground creatures, and an enemy worse than they could have imagined...
"Horse and His Boy" shoots back in time to the middle of the first book. Shasta lives with the man he thinks to be his father in a hovel by the sea, but when he learns that he was a foundling, he escapes with a talking horse, Bree. During his escape, he meets the escaping noblewoman Aravis (who also has a talking horse). The two plan to escape to Narnia. But in the capital city, there is a conspiracy brewing against the visiting Narnian kings and queens, and Shasta and Aravis are drawn into it.
"Magician's Nephew" clears up many of the questions about Narnia, Aslan and the White Witch. Digory and Polly end up in very serious trouble when they encounter Digory's weird, slightly nutty uncle, a magician who has created magical rings that send the user to other worlds. They accidently set loose the evil Queen Jadis, who goes on a rampage through London -- until they pull her out of our world, and into the newborn world of Narnia.
"The Last Battle" is definitely the end of the series, where Narnia has decayed into violence and hatred, as a prelude to the final battle between good and evil. Humans are destroying the trees and killing the dryads, and a false Aslan is appearing to mislead the fearful inhabitants of Narnia. Old and new friends -- some from other worlds -- will band together as the true Aslan prepares to lead them to a new land.
Anyone who dislikes allegory -- religious or otherwise -- should steer clear of the Chronicles. While Lewis' beliefs are presented in a more complex and subtle manner in his other books, like the Space Trilogy, the parallels to Christian belief are very obvious here. Even Tolkien, who was Lewis' longtime friend, found that annoying.
But as a fantasy, this series is a fantastic read, and was also the first of the kids-get-swept-into-other-worlds novels. Lewis reshapes typical mythical elements like dwarves, nymphs, talking animals, centaurs and wicked witches into shape in his invented world. Moreover, his land of Narnia is a complex and very inviting place. It's not always fun, but Lewis always leaves you with the feeling that the good guys will come out on top.
Like many other British authors writing for kids, Lewis' writing can get a bit precious. But he includes loads of detail, mystery and cultural intrigure in his stories -- and not just for Narnia either. For example, Calormene is a sort of generic Middle-Eastern land, very Arabian Nights. It's full of culture and beauty, but also with good guys and bad guys.
What's more, readers can appreciate the mysteries and questions that Lewis sprinkles through the book, and which are explained as the story goes on. Where did the lamppost come from, for example? Why are there humans in Narnia? Where did Reepicheep go? Most of these are answered at one point or another.
The Chronicles of Narnia are a longstanding classic, fun and dramatic and action-packed. For a bit more insight into the forthcoming movie -- and the history of fantasy -- check out "The Chronicles of Narnia."
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great book but many illustrations missing, June 9 2005
By 
Ellen Dickson (Ottawa, ON, Canada) - See all my reviews
I bought this particular compilation for my 7 year son, and went along with the chronological order of the books. There's already enough said about that in other reviews. What surprised me the most however was how few of the original illustrations were included, only one per chapter in fact. Given how much the Amazon review touted the illustrations, I was very disappointed.
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5.0 out of 5 stars NARNIA--A TRUE CLASSIC!!!, Dec 24 2005
By 
This review is from: Chronicles of Narnia Box Set (Paperback)
The Chronicles of Narnia are near perfect books. Entertaining, imaginative, and thought provoking classic storytelling of the struggle between good and evil with a sweeping grandeur and epic scale as Peter, Susan, Lucy, Edmund and the graceful lion king Aslan protect Narnia from the evil White Witch Queen and her minions. Wonderful reading for kids and adults. I've been reading and re-reading these books ever since I was young and old enough to pick up a book. And now buying the box set for the next generation of Narnia lovers, and discussing the stories I've always loved with them as they read and enjoy them, it does enhance the process of discovery about the magical world of Narnia as I see the same wonder in their eyes that I felt the first time I read the books. A true classic. A GOOD BOOK TO TRY: The alien invasion adventure graphic novel "GAAK" by Darryl Hughes. Just like Peter, Susan, Lucy, and Edmund in "Narnia", teen misfits Zach, Jemmy, Plato, and Chubs will capture your heart and tickle your funny bone as they try to save their small suburban town Eden'sVille and the world from kooky aliens from outer space. Too funny. Give it a try.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Once upon a time..., Dec 19 2005
By 
FrKurt Messick "FrKurt Messick" (Bloomington, IN USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
C.S. Lewis was many things - a popular theologian (almost a contradiction in terms today), an engaging academic (see above qualification, as it applies here, too), and an expert storyteller, the craft of which came from his careful blending and imaginative use of the previous two. The Chronicles of Narnia stand up favourable to the work of Lewis' longtime friend and contemporary academic and storyteller, Tolkien (of Lord of the Rings fame). Narnia, however, does not go off into the same fantastic realms of Tolkien, but rather charts a different path, in that while Tolkien strives to use fantasy and mythic elements to tell more general philosophy, Lewis in the Narnia tales deliberately crafts the imagery to fit a Christian framework, and a fairly Anglo-catholic one at that.
Narnia is series of adventures for children, but like the best of such stories, continues to hold power for adults who read them as well. Resurgence in popularity of late has occurred because of the film, 'The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe', second in the series (depending upon which chronology one follows), but the whole series is a charmer. In 'The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe', the story focuses upon Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy, four exiles from war-time London in the English countryside who discover the portal to Narnia in the back of a mysterious wardrobe. The king of Narnia, Aslan the lion (whose imagery fits both Christian and English mythic lore) is battling the icy witch, who styles herself as Queen of Narnia. Through a classic struggle of good and evil in epic battle format, the pure-hearted children and the graceful king Aslan win the day, but eventually the children must return to their own world, even after such adventures.
'Prince Caspian' takes place long after (in Narnia time - one discovers the passage of time from one world to the next is variable), as Caspian befriends many of the creatures of Narnia, both natural and fantastic. The four children, enthroned as kings and queens of Narnia at the end of the first adventure, must return to help Caspian, whose main desire is to live in old Narnia, forbidden tales of which he has heard.
'Voyage of the Dawn' sees Edmund and Lucy drawn back into Narnia through a painting, together with their horrid cousin Eustace Scrubb. Caspian is now king, on a knightly quest to discover lost knights of old, and also to seek the end of the world (in a literal sense). Sea voyages and other journeys take them far and wide, until Aslan again appears to return the children home. Eustace becomes a better person for his Narnia adventures, much as Edmund had transformed during his first major Narnia experience.
Eustace returns in the 'The Silver Chair', this time from his school, with fellow student Jill, who is also less than popular. Jill, like the earlier Edmund, must find redemption, and seeks to save Rilian (son of the now-dying Caspian). Here we encounter the Parliament of Owls as well as the bottom of the world - once again, Aslan helps to save the day, despite the nay-saying of Puddleglum.
Shasta is the boy and Bree is the horse in 'The Horse and His Boy'. Shasta is about to be sold into slavery when he escapes with Bree, and they meet Aravis and Hwin, another escaping duo, on their way to Narnia. They uncover a plot against Narnia, and must work to save the kingdom of their dreams.
'The Magician's Nephew' is often considered the first of the series, with events that preceed 'The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe'. It gives background and insight into the overall workings of Narnia. Polly and Digory discover the portal to the Woods between the Worlds, and there is a greater mix of worlds here than in any other story. However, this is also the beginning of the other stories, with Aslan providing the same kind of guidance he would throughout the series.
'The Last Battle' is, as the title suggests, the last of the series. Narnia falls into the final conflict of good and evil, with a false Aslan (a false messiah figure) appearing and humans destroying all things around, particularly the natural environment. Old Narnia must pass away, but a new Narnia is held in promise as the real Aslan returns to lead the faithful.
While many of Lewis' original readers were occasionally disturbed by the Christian overall (and indeed, at Lewis' interpretation of Christian lore), in fact the state of biblical illiteracy is such today that most will miss much of the Christian allegory unless it is specially spelled out. Narnia can stand on its own merits as a story independent of its underpinnings, but just as most mythological and even biblical stories can achieve, this one becomes stronger the deeper one explores the symbolic meanings.
Lewis is very much a creature of his culture - this is very post-Victorian (read, more Victorian than the Victorians) in style and morals, even in the 1950s (a time so many in our present culture look back to as a high point in moral culture) he was looking back to a better time - perhaps it is no surprise that instead of finding it in the past, he found it in Narnia?
This is a series that is wonderful for children of all ages, and for adults - the tales bear repeating over and over, and many editions of these texts come with wonderful artwork. This particular one has illustrations by Pauline Baynes, the original illustrator for the series, and they are wonderful indeed.
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5.0 out of 5 stars There is no better!, Dec 9 2005
By A Customer
These are the best series in the world! Not everyone really appreciates the work that C. S. Lewis did on these books to make them like that. I think that when you read a book you are only thinking about the story as if it had made it self or it had really happened. I do this to so I am not pointing the finger at anyone, but after you are finished I am always so amazed that someone could write a masterpiece like that. The Chronicles of Narnia are one of these such books. Everytime I read them I believe that they must have happened, because they are so vivid and capturing. And everytime I finish the books I keep wanting more. My favorite book in the series is The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. It has some of the original characters (Lucy and Edmund) and it has Prince Caspian along with so many others that you learn to love. Here is my review on the books.
The Magician's Nephew: Great book. I really like how it finally makes the other books make sense. With the lamp post and the white witch and eveb how Professor Diggory knew so much of the land of Narnia. Anyhow, I love the Characters and the stary was simple yet efective.
The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe: This was the first book I read in these series, but I had to do it for school, and I didn't at first know that there were more. I like how Lucy got in first then Edmund and then the rest. It was a very vivid picture in my mind when I first pictured the snow covered wood where Luvy meets Mr.Tumnus and I can still see it now. I was hooked until the end and was impressed with everything.
The Horse and his Boy: This is probably my least favorite of the books but I enjoy it anyway. It fills in those years in Narnia that we didn't here much about until now. It shows what Peter and all the rest did in their reign. This is the only book that has Shasta (or Cor) as a main character and the only other time you hear of him is in The Last Battle where he takes up one sentence. I like all the characters and find it fun to read. I am so into it I can feel the heat of the desert and the thickness of the fog.
Prince Caspian: Great come back! this was the second book that C. S. Lewis wrote and I think he did a wonderful job of it. Starting with the four Pevensies coming back to Narnia to slowly discover what has happened and how on earth could it. Then they meet Trumpkin the Dwarf who is very funny. My favorite part is when Peter is fighting King Miraz to end the war.
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader: I have already told you about some of this so I won't do much on this one. I can just really say that my favorite island that they visited was the one where Eustace became a dragon. It made me like him more.
The Silver Chair: This could well be my favorite book if there was no number 5. It has Eustace and Jill who have come to save prince Rilian from an evil witch. they go with the help of Puddleglum who is my favorite character of al time. (Mainly when he gets drunk).
The Last Battle: Great ending to wrap up the series. it has all the characters mentioned at the end from the flying horse Fledge to the Unicorn Jewel. It has Eustace and Jill who have come to help King Tirian free the land of an evil that has come from an ape. This is all I want to tell you because if I tod you more it would ruin the story for you.
The last thing I have to say is I agree with most people when they say read the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe first. But after that read it chronilogicaly (I don't think I spelt that right) it help maintane the illusion. Sorry for all the spelling mistakes that I have probably made throughout the entire thing.
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Chronicles of Narnia Box Set
Chronicles of Narnia Box Set by C S Lewis (Paperback - July 8 1994)
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