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Silver Chair by C. S. Lewis
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12,837106178 (3.9)192
Title:Silver Chair
Authors:C. S. Lewis
Info:Lions (1997), Paperback, 206 pages
Collections:Kindle, Your library
Tags:British literature, Childrens books, English language

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The Silver Chair by C. S. Lewis (1953)


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» See also 192 mentions

English (98)  Hungarian (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Polish (1)  Italian (1)  Dutch (1)  Danish (1)  Finnish (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (106)
Showing 1-5 of 98 (next | show all)
"The Silver Chair is one of my favorites out of all the Narnia books. Not only does it have all the usual elements of this wonderful, rich fantasy world Lewis created, but the characters are better, at least in my opinion. The story feels less contrived, and it has the added benefit of being a proper novel. That is to say, it has: an actual plot; an identifiable climactic point; and a clear, concise denouement.

In this book, we're reunited with Eustace, the Pevensies' cousin, who has turned into an all right guy since we first met him in The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Pity how he's kind of bland now that he's not an insufferable git anymore. Fortunately, it wasn't Eustace, but his schoolmate Jill who really made the book for me. Jill is a modern sort of girl; she has new age hippie parents who send her to a new age hippie school, and though Mr. Lewis obviously didn't seem to think much of it, I rather think it did her some good. Unlike the Pevensie girls, who had a tendency to be ninnies and were very much girls of their time, Jill is a pretty level-headed kid, and neither expects nor receives any particularly special treatment on account of being a girl. She's a real, honest-to-god heroine, who takes a central role in the proceedings, rather than just sort of standing around observing while the boys do all the important stuff. Girl protagonists, for the win! I love it.

The other thing I really enjoyed about The Silver Chair is that it's a Quest story. I mean, who doesn't like a good Quest story? If there's a story where so-and-so goes on a long, harrowing journey to complete a difficult and dangerous task, I am all about it. The only thing I didn't particularly like was that the journey itself didn't last long enough for my taste. Plus, the final conflict and resolution felt a little rushed, but since it's a children's book, I'm willing to overlook those points. Overall, I really enjoyed this story and would recommend it for anyone, really.

Interesting quotes that I didn't include in the review:
Crying is all right in its way while it lasts. But you have to stop sooner or later, and then you still have to decide what to do.
It is a very funny thing that the sleepier you are, the longer you take about getting to bed.

The Last Passage
Eustace buried his fine clothes secretly one night in the school grounds, but Jill smuggled hers home and wore them at a fancy-dress ball next holidays. And from that day forth things changed for the better at Experiment House, and it became quite a good school. And Jill and Eustace were always friends.
But far off in Narnia, King Rilian buried his father, Caspian the Navigator, Tenth of that name, and mourned for him. He himself ruled Narnia well and the land was happy in his days, though Puddleglum (whose foot was as good as new in three weeks) often pointed out that bright mornings brought on wet afternoons, and that you couldn’t expect good times to last. The opening into the hillside was left open, and often in hot summer days the Narnians go in there with ships and lanterns and down to the water and sail to and fro, singing, on the cool, dark underground sea, telling each other stories of the cities that lie fathoms deep below. If ever you have the luck to go to Narnia yourself, do not forget to have a look at those caves.
" ( )
  AdemilsonM | Sep 2, 2015 |
Ah, the strange joys of Narnia! How is a middle-aged feminist nonbeliever supposed to feel about this contradictory volume?

Pro: Jill Pole is a strong, active, fun, funny, vigorous girl that any reader, male or female, will be happy to have as a protagonist.

Con: Jill's old enough to be active, but young enough not to be a sexual being. Which is clearly the only reason Lewis is comfortable having her around, because:

Con: Once again, Lewis only allows grown women as characters when they're scary, evil, beautiful, and seductive in equal parts. In this volume, the villain is the brilliant, ruthless Queen of the Underworld.

Pro: Jill is a fully developed character who shows that kids can be strong and important without being paragons of virtue. One of the lines I remembered all my life after reading this book as a child is her reply to Aslan when he asks her why she was standing so near the edge of a cliff (and putting both herself and her friend in danger in the process). "I was showing off, Sir." I love how she says this, without flinching. She messed up, and there's nothing to do but own it.

Pro: Because of moments like the above, Jill is more enjoyable to follow on her adventures than Lucy. I love Lucy, but she's cute and sweet and pretty much flawless. Jill gets tired, impatient, sick to her stomach with fear, sulky, and unreasonably angry. She also knows when to fight and when to run. I can relate to that.

Con: This is the only full-length story of Jill's adventures. (The Last Battle so does not count. More about that later. Like, in another review.)

Con: Quite aside from the relatively passive sexism of Lewis' pitting pre-sexual girls against dangerously seductive full-grown female villains, he also displays active sexism in this book. At the very end, he makes a point of pointing out that the terrible, incompetent Head of Jill's awful boarding school is a woman. Literally. "And then the Head (who was, by the way, a woman)..." Really? Well, that explains everything.

Pro: Lewis does some of his best characterization in this book. Minor spoiler: At one point, Jill, Eustace, and Puddleglum discover to their horror that the meat they've been eating was actually a talking beast. Their separate reactions as they put down their forks are brilliantly described:

"Jill, who was new to that world, was sorry for the poor stag and thought it was rotten of the giants to have killed him. [Eustace] Scrubb, who had been in that world before and had at least one Talking beast as his dear friend, felt horrified; as you might feel about a murder. But Puddleglum, who was Narnian born, was sick and faint, and felt as you would feel if you found you had eaten a baby."

Con: Once again, Lewis backs the wrong horse, historically speaking. Jill and Eustace are together on this adventure because they go to the same school. Yes! Really! Can you believe it? Boys and girls, attending school together! What's next???

Pro: It's kind of funny to think that someone as brilliant as Lewis could fall so cleanly into the losing camp on this issue.

Pro: Lots of Aslan.

Con: As a symbol of the Christian God, he's not at his best here. For instance, he tells Jill at the beginning of her adventures, "Here on the mountain I have spoken to you clearly: I will not often do so down in Narnia." Even as a child and certainly now, my first thought was, "Why?" If you already accept divine inscrutability as necessary or at least inevitable, this flies fine; if you don't, this doesn't help.

Pro: Puddleglum is one of the finest fantasy characters ever. His name and his "tells" are Dickensian in their genius, but he never falls into reflexive predictability. He's a weird, quirky, deeply appealing hero.

Pro: Happy ending for every kid who's ever been bullied at school.

Conclusion: Once again, Narnia is awesome no matter how old and skeptical you get. ( )
  Deborah_Markus | Aug 8, 2015 |
Knock knock.... Hi yeah this is a kids book and there is not one moment where anything even remotely funny happens..... Good story and good characters but come on! I want my kids to enjoy life. ( )
  areadingmachine | Jul 6, 2015 |
This book would be good to use when talking about following instructions, even when you do not know what they mean. I think students would like this book because of the strange adventure the characters go on underground. ( )
  Kate_Schulte078 | May 5, 2015 |
Imagine an edition that looks like this, but instead of Puddleglum on the cover it's the chair. Imagine the book on one of the little display easels in an elementary school library in a tiny town in rural Wisconsin. Now imagine a young girl, an avid reader who is going through the library with no guidance coming upon that. Well, I was that little girl. And I intrigued enough to pick it up and dive right in. Only well into the book did I realize it was part of a series. My first thought was one of relief - oh, yay, I'm coming in after a lot has already happened, my confusion is natural and not stupidity. My second thought was, of course, now it's time to read the whole set. Thank goodness for browsable libraries of physical books - who knows when I'd have encountered this otherwise. ( )
  Cheryl_in_CC_NV | Apr 14, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 98 (next | show all)
The mythical land of Narnia and the adventures one always has there are the subject of this charming book, the fourth in a series that fortunately shows no sign of ending.
added by Shortride | editThe New York Times Book Review, Chad Walsh (pay site) (Dec 27, 1953)

» Add other authors (35 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
C. S. Lewisprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Baynes, PaulineCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Baynes, PaulineIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dillon, DianeCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Dillon, LeoCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Georg, ThomasIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hammar, BirgittaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hane, RogerCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Helakisa, KaarinaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Neckenauer, UllaÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nielsen, CliffCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Northam, JeremyNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Van Allsburg, ChrisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Canonical title
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Original publication date
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To Nicholas Hardie
First words
It was a dull autumn day and Jill Pole was crying behind the gym.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Unabridged. Please do NOT combine with any abridged editions.
Please do NOT combine "The Silver Chair" with "The Chronicles of Narnia"
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Original language

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
Jill and Eustace must rescue the Prince from the evil Witch.

NARNIA...where owls are wise, where some of the giants like to snack on humans, where a prince is put under an evil spell...and where the adventure begins.

Eustace and Jill escape from the bullies at school through a strange door in the wall, which, for once, is unlocked. It leads to the open moor...or does it? Once again Aslan has a task for the children, and Narnia needs them. Through dangers untold and caverns deep and dark, they pursue the quest that brings them face and face with the evil Witch. She must be defeated if Prince Rillian is to be saved.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0020442505, Paperback)

The Silver Chair [Paperback] C. S. Lewis C. S. Lewis (Author) ? Visit Amazon's C. S. Lewis Page Find all the books, read about the author, and more. See search results for this author Are you an author? Learn about Author Central (Author)

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:25:34 -0400)

(see all 11 descriptions)

Two English children undergo hair-raising adventures as they go on a search and rescue mission for the missing Prince Rilian, who is held captive in the underground kingdom of the Emerald Witch.

(summary from another edition)

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Legacy Library: C. S. Lewis

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