NARNIA

I just reread The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe for probably the 5th time in preperation for seeing the movie and I was really debating finishing out the series instead of reading The Singularity Is Near. In the end, the fact that TSIN is 500+ pages and was borrowed from the library won out. The Narnia books were the first books I remembering becoming actually emotionally invested in. I imagine they are for me what the Harry Potter books will be for a ton of kids.

I bought the series for my cousins a couple of Christmas's back and ran across something I gather has become a sticking point among Narnia fans, the order of the books in the series. For some asinine reason more modern editions of the set put the books in chronological order rather than how they were originally written (ok, the reason seems to be that C.S. Lewis expressed a mild preference for the new order but it's still asinine for reasons I'll get to). One of my favorite surprises in the books is later in the series where you find out why one of the most iconic images of the series, the lampost in the woods, came to be. Reading the books in chronological order completely ruins that surprise, as well as the other ones that are very important to the series. The Lion... is clearly the introductory book to the series, showing Narnia for the first time to the Pevensie children and to the reader. It introduces Aslan, the most important character to the whole series. The new "first" book, The Magician's Nephew, is supposed to be a flashback and only works when you know about Aslan and care about the world of Narnia.

I could go on about it endlessly but if you've become interested in Narnia because of the movie (which is of course The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe) I would very strenuously suggest you read them in their proper publication order of:

  1. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (1950)
  2. Prince Caspian(1951)
  3. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader (1952)
  4. The Silver Chair (1953)
  5. The Horse and His Boy (1954)
  6. The Magicians Nephew(1955)
  7. The Last Battle (1956)

You will enjoy the books much, much more this way. Here are a couple of good links on the two orders: http://www.aslan.demon.co.uk/narnia.htm, and http://www.dummies.com/WileyCDA/DummiesArticle/id-3205.html.

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