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woensdag 21 januari 2009

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis

A simply wonderful world

The four Pevensie orphans Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy are evacuated to the enormous country house of Professor Kirke. When Lucy, during a game of hide and seek, finds a big wardrobe in an empty room, she decides to use it as her hiding place. To her big surprise she notices behind the fur coats at the back of the closet a spot of white snow. The world behind the wardrobe turns out to be the wonderfully strange world of Narnia. At first her friends do not believe what she has discovered, but it won't take long before the others are face to face with the faun, Mr. Tumnus, the lion Aslan and the evil White Witch.

The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is a real treat for anyone who likes simple, but not less exciting fantasy. The power behind this book is that it brings the story without too much need to moralize. There is certainly some moral lesson behind what is happening, certainly when considering the actions of Edmund, but it never reaches the level of the Victorian Alice in Wonderland or the Wizard of Oz. Of course this book dates from the 50's and is written in an era that differs much from Victorian times, still it strongly reverbs the explorative nature of those times. The colorful characters are brought to life in a dreamlike setting that is bursting of opportunities for the six sequels that will follow this book. The humor is omnipresent, but certainly is at its best when the narrator intervenes with his commentary. Again a wink to Victorian novels. If you want to be engulfed in a wonderful and not too complex world, then The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe is a good start.

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