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The Magician's Nephew by C. S. Lewis
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15,123200126 (3.93)335
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 (190)  German (2)  Spanish (2)  Dutch (2)  Polish (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Danish (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (200)
Showing 1-5 of 190 (next | show all)
Not half as interesting as the original book in the series, but prequels usually aren't, I guess. ( )
  krista.rutherford | Aug 10, 2014 |
I really liked the characters and the story, despite the strong religious themes. ( )
  LaPhenix | Aug 10, 2014 |
It was the best of [a:Lewis|1069006|C.S. Lewis|https://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1367519078p2/1069006.jpg], it was the worst of Lewis. That's what I've long felt about [b:The Magician's Nephew|65605|The Magician's Nephew (Chronicles of Narnia, #6)|C.S. Lewis|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1308814770s/65605.jpg|1031537], the first (or sixth) book in the Narnia series. The first half of the book is the best fantasy story opening ever written. It is sinister, creepy, mysterious, fantastical, magical, dark, foreboding, and heavy, as out of nothing Lewis almost instantly creates a mythology with an understandable logic and a distinctive character. Lewis gives us just enough of the real world (early 20th century London) before catapulting Digory and Polly first into the peaceful, yet somehow dangerous, Wood Between the Worlds, and then to the desolate, still, ancient Charn. The ruined buildings, the room full of statue-like people, the choice at the bell...it's all brilliant. And then...the majestic Queen Jadis becomes "a dem fine gel," there's a slapstick chase through London streets, and everyone ends up at the creation of Narnia--which, disappointingly, we find is going to be a sort of corny, jokey, 20th century British world. The heaviness and grandeur of the novel's opening scenes dissipate rapidly once the animals start talking. The internal logic of Lewis's creation begins to unravel. We can't help thinking of the questions: Is every new world just a copy of previous worlds, in the way that Narnia is more or less a copy of Earth? Why are humans necessary at all in Narnia, since the animals seemed to be getting along quite well their own? What's the point of giving Frank and Helen the task of naming the animals, when they're all the same as what they know from Earth, and everyone seems to know all the names already? Why don't all the animals get to be talking animals? Who are the enemies who Aslan foretells will come against the good of Narnia? If the lamppost endures until Lucy arrives in Narnia, what happens to the tree of protection? Are there people already in Archenland and the islands? If this is the way worlds are created, does that mean our world is just a copy of others that have come and gone, and if so, does that make our world and even our religious faith seem a little less genuine? I don't know that there are completely satisfying answers to those questions, but there is an answer to why the book changes tone so drastically about halfway through. [a:Michael Ward|194177|Michael Ward|https://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1334264406p2/194177.jpg], in his genius book [b:Planet Narnia|1800794|Planet Narnia The Seven Heavens in the Imagination of C.S. Lewis|Michael Ward|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1348068661s/1800794.jpg|1799947], suggests that Lewis was thinking of a classical understanding of a planet for each volume of the Narnia series. The planetary personality associated with The Magician's Nephew is Venus. Jadis represents "Venus Infernal," a powerful queen of bewitching beauty. Venus is also referenced in the giving of life--Frank and Helen will populate Narnia with their offspring--and the vanquishing of death--Digory's mother finds healing through Narnian fruit. But what I didn't know about Venus is that she is also regarded as the "laughter-loving goddess" and is "partly a comic spirit." That's the reason Lewis shows us so many scenes of laughter, fun, and silliness. It doesn't make me enjoy the second half of the book much more, but it comforts me to know that there is at least some reason behind the change in tone. Planet Narnia is most definitely worth a read to learn more details about what Lewis might have been trying to incorporate into The Magician's Nephew and the other Narnia books. I should also mention that despite how I feel about the second half of the book, the ending of the book, with its tying up of loose ends and looking forward to events to come, most definitely moves me to tears with its poignant beauty. Should The Magician's Nephew, first in the story chronology but sixth in the published order, be read first or sixth? Every Narnia fan has an opinion, and I don't think either way is wrong. Lewis himself liked the idea of reading the books in story-chronological order. [a:Leland Ryken|60789|Leland Ryken|https://d.gr-assets.com/authors/1201100564p2/60789.jpg] and [a:Marjorie Lamp Mead|141651|Marjorie Lamp Mead|https://s.gr-assets.com/assets/nophoto/user/u_50x66-a7c55399ea455530473b9f9e4da94c40.png], in [b:A Reader's Guide Through the Wardrobe|242141|A Reader's Guide Through the Wardrobe Exploring C.S. Lewis's Classic Story|Leland Ryken|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1347802906s/242141.jpg|234585], strongly recommend reading [b:The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe|19314344|The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (The Chronicles of Narnia)|Lewis Clive|https://d.gr-assets.com/books/1386610332s/19314344.jpg|27364611] first, but I don't think their reasoning is absolutely convincing. They believe that the reader needs to come to The Lion with no knowledge of who Aslan is, so that the slow build-up of his introduction works its magic the way Lewis originally wrote it. But the same is true for The Magician's Nephew. If you don't know who Aslan is yet, then the creation scene has more mystery and power, whereas if you know about Narnia and Aslan already, you have some idea what's happening and what must come next. Either order works, and each book will be slightly different depending on whether it's your first visit to Narnia or not. My reviews of the Narnia series: The Magician's Nephew The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe The Horse and His Boy Prince Caspian The Voyage of the Dawn Treader The Silver Chair The Last Battle ( )
  ethnosax | Aug 8, 2014 |
I did not fully enjoy this book at first. The plot was not well developed in the first 3/4 of the book. The end of the book was wonderful and I finally understood the plot. I enjoyed the world building aspects that the end of the book had. I also enjoyed the introduction to the next book that was at the end of this book. I want to continue reading the series, but I hope the rest of the series is better than this book.

Rating: 3.5/5 ( )
  blog_gal | Jul 26, 2014 |
I found this book rather tedious. It does not have the magic of some of the later books. It definitely feels like a hastily put together prequel. ( )
  martensgirl | Jul 19, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 190 (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 (22 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
C. S. Lewisprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Baynes, PaulineIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Baynes, PaulineCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Branagh, KennethNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hallqvist, Britt G.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hane, RogerCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hämäläinen, KyllikkiTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lavis, StephenCover artistsecondary 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 tastes 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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:29:13 -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.

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