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The Magician's Nephew by C. S. Lewis
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16,013210111 (3.92)357
Title:The Magician's Nephew
Authors:C. S. Lewis
Info:HarperCollins (2000), Paperback, 208 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Classics, C. S. Lewis, Young Adult, Fantasy, Christian, Spirituality, Narnia, Magician, Pegasus

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The Magician's Nephew by C. S. Lewis (1955)


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English (200)  German (2)  Spanish (2)  Dutch (2)  Polish (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Danish (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (210)
Showing 1-5 of 200 (next | show all)
Narnia 6.
Read in Samoa Dec 2002 ( )
  mbmackay | Nov 27, 2015 |
"When I was 15 I finally decided it was high time I read the entire Narnia series. Up until then I'd only watched The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. In my set of Chronicles of Narnia, The Magician's Nephew is labeled as the 6th book in the series. However, I recently noticed another set that labeled it as the first book. This made me curious about where the book ""should"" fit in the reading order. So even though I still hadn't read Horse and His Boy or Silver Chair, I jumped ahead to read The Magician's Nephew.

I can see why some people would push for this book to be the first in the reading order. Plot-wise, it takes place before the others. However, the way the narrator explains things makes it clear that it is anticipated that the reader already knows something of Narnia, Aslan and the others. Also, when thinking about the other Narnia books, there is a lot of enjoyment to be gained through the mystery and surprise of the way the story is laid out. If you'd already read Magician's Nephew, I think you might lose some of the excitement in discovering Narnia and its magic. Still, if you want to be a chronological plot reader, there isn't anything that would preclude you from starting here. It is definitely a stand alone story and does a good job of keeping the reader informed of anything they might need to know.

As to the plot itself, I wasn't really sure what to expect. I think I was expecting Digory and Polly to hop into Narnia within a few chapters and have most of their adventures there. Instead there was a fair amount of build up around the characters and their lives in London followed by magical adventures not in Narnia but in other worlds.

I enjoy Lewis's narrative style in these books. I love the way the narrator speaks to the reader directly in a friendly and casual way. This conversational attitude makes the book seem more intimate and likely makes it more approachable to younger readers. I particularly enjoy the little asides where the narrator comments on the behavior of good little boys and girls or says things like ""surely you wouldn't do this, but [this character] doesn't know any better."" It's sort of an off-handed teaching tool to emphasize ""correct"" behavior.

The story in Magician's Nephew is really a lot of fun. Where The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Prince Caspian, and Dawn Treader all involve large scale adventures set in Narnia, this book is focused on the smaller scale adventures of Digory and Polly, the idea of magic and other worlds, and the nature of people.

There are a lot of very creative and intriguing ideas in this book. There are sets of magical rings to transport the wearer between worlds (although, as the narrator explains, the Magician doesn't truly understand how or why they really work like they do). There is a strange World Between Worlds where a person has access to any world throughout the wide universe. There are worlds dying and dead through curses and greed. There are new worlds being born from out of nothing.

As with his other books, I could definitely see the Christian themes running through this novel. As is true of the others, he doesn't come right out and preach to the reader, but if you are familiar with your Bible stories (particularly the creation story), you will find a lot of similarities. And yet, this book is much more than a simple retelling of a Bible story in a fantasy world. Lewis provides us with fantastic and fun adventures alongside simple moral lessons of pride, wisdom, honesty, mercy and others.

I especially loved the story thread running in the background about Digory's mother who is slowly dying. Without spoiling the plot points too much, I just want to say that I really loved the way Digory is faced with very difficult choices and has to make decisions based on the balance between his desires and his integrity. The internal turmoil he faces are really insightful.

Overall I really enjoyed this book. In many ways, it's my favorite in the Narnia series. At the same time, it's different enough from the other Narnia books I've read that it's hard to make a direct comparison. I love the imagery, language and themes that run through this book. I love the fabulous conversational way the narrative is presented to facilitate both enjoyment and teaching. I love the fun and creative fantasy elements and how they are used to present a commentary on human nature and larger themes. It is definitely aimed at children from a structural and plot perspective but it has greater depth which should appeal to and entertain older readers as well.

Interesting quotes that I didn't include in the review:
Now the trouble about trying to make yourself stupider than you really are is that you very often succeed.
What you see and what you hear depends a great deal on where you are standing. It also depends on what sort of person you are.

The Last Passage
It was like this. The tree which sprang from the Apple that Digory planted in the back garden, lived and grew into a fine tree. Growing in the soil of our world, far out of the sound of Aslan’s voice and far from the young air of Narnia, it did not bear apples that would revive a dying woman as Digory’s Mother had been revived, though it did bear apples more beautiful than any others in England, and they were extremely good for you, though not fully magical. But inside itself, in the very sap of it, the tree (so to speak) never forgot that other tree in Narnia to which it belonged. Sometimes it would move mysteriously when there was no wind blowing: I think that when this happened there were high winds in Narnia and the English tree quivered because, at that moment, the Narnia tree was rocking and swaying in a strong southwestern gale. However that might be, it was proved later that there was still magic in its wood. For when Digory was quite middle-aged (and he was a famous learned man, a Professor, and a great traveler by that time) and the Ketterleys’ old house belonged to him, there was a great storm all over the south of England which blew the tree down. He couldn’t bear to have it simply chopped up for firewood, so he had part of the timber made into a wardrobe, which he put in his big house in the country. And though he himself did not discover the magic properties of that wardrobe, someone else did. That was the beginning of all the comings and goings between Narnia and our world, which you can read of in other books.
When Digory and his people went to live in the big country house, they took Uncle Andrew to live with them; for Digory’s Father said, “We must try to keep the old fellow out of mischief, and it isn’t fair that poor Letty should have him always on her hands.” Uncle Andrew never tried any Magic again as long as he lived. He had learned his lesson, and in his old age he became a nicer and less selfish old man than he had ever been before. But he always liked to get visitors alone in the billiard-room and tell them stories about a mysterious lady, a foreign royalty, with whom he had driven about London. “A devilish temper she had,” he would say. “But she was a dem fine woman, sir, a dem fine woman.”
" ( )
  AdemilsonM | Sep 2, 2015 |
I really loved this. Read this aloud to my 11-year-old (a chapter a night) at bed-time. Besides taking us to another world, Lewis brought us right to the Garden of Eden, and my son and I discussed temptation, the Fall, creation, how the mystery can be both frightening and wonderful all at once, making the "right" choice, the beginning and ending of worlds, and we especially enjoyed making connections to the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. As soon as Digory planted the apple and it began to grow, Morgan predicted, "It'll be the wardrobe! He's going to chop it down and turn it into the wardrobe!" And the angels sang.

Without a doubt, Morgan will some day name an animal "Strawberry."

( )
  engpunk77 | Aug 10, 2015 |
"The Magician's Nephew" glows with the sort of mythology that C. S. Lewis created at his best, replete with religious and philosophic implication. At the same time, it held my children, and me, spellbound from start to finish. ( )
  iamryancorcoran | Jun 9, 2015 |
This book would be good to use when talking about how a fantasy world is formed. I think students will like this book because it shows the creation of a new world and the relationship between the uncle and everyone else. ( )
  Kate_Schulte078 | May 5, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 200 (next | show all)
"The Magician's Nephew" glows with the sort of mythology that C. S. Lewis created at his best, replete with religious and philosophic implication. At the same time, it held my children, and me, spellbound from start to finish.
added by Shortride | editThe New York Times Book Review, Chad Walsh (pay site) (Oct 30, 1955)

» Add other authors (20 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
C. S. Lewisprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Baynes, PaulineIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Baynes, PaulineCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Branagh, KennethNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Georg, ThomasIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hallqvist, Britt G.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hane, RogerCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hämäläinen, KyllikkiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lavis, StephenCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Neckenauer, UllaÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Nielsen, CliffCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rochère, Cécile Dutheil de laTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Van Allsburg, ChrisCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To The Kilmer Family
First words
This is a story about something that happened long ago when your grandfather was a child.
A terrible thirst and hunger came over him and a longing to taste that fruit. He put it hastily into his pocket; but there were plenty of others. Could it be wrong to taste one? After all, he thought, the notice on the gate might not have been exactly an order; it might have been only a piece of advice - and who cares about advice?
Now the trouble about trying to make yourself stupider than you really are is that you very often succeed.
For what you see and hear depends a good deal on where you are standing: it also depends on what sort of person you are.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
Please do NOT combine "The Magician's Nephew" with "The Chronicles of Narnia".
Unabridged - please do NOT combine with any abridged edition.
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Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0064471101, Mass Market Paperback)

This large, deluxe hardcover edition of the first title in the classic Chronicles of Narnia series, The Magician's Nephew, is a gorgeous introduction to the magical land of Narnia. The many readers who discovered C.S. Lewis's Chronicles through The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe will be delighted to find that the next volume in the series is actually the first in the sequence--and a step back in time. In this unforgettable story, British schoolchildren Polly and Digory inadvertently tumble into the Wood Between the Worlds, where they meet the evil Queen Jadis and, ultimately, the great, mysterious King Aslan. We witness the birth of Narnia and discover the legendary source of all the adventures that are to follow in the seven books that comprise the series.

Rich, heavy pages, a gold-embossed cover, and Pauline Baynes's original illustrations (hand-colored by the illustrator herself 40 years later) make this special edition of a classic a bona fide treasure. (Ages 9 and older) --Emilie Coulter

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:23 -0400)

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When Digory and Polly try to return the wicked witch Jadis to her own world, the magic gets mixed up and they all land in Narnia where they witness Aslan blessing the animals with human speech.

(summary from another edition)

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