My thoughts on The Magician’s Nephew

As a child I am sure I read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, countless times. As it was typical of me to seek out the other books in a series, I did that with The Chronicles of Narnia. I was disappointed and I was left wanting.
I read, in one sitting, now an adult, The Magician’s Nephew and in the funny way a book can do my interest in books seems to have been given a shot in the arm. I haven’t been reading a great deal recently, sticking with poetry, but The Magician’s Nephew has left me wanting more. More Narnia, more fantasy, more books.
So there’s some kudos for The Magician’s Nephew already.
I did like the protagonists Polly and Digory, and their intriguing initial meeting. The setting of London gives the book grounding, and is important later on in the book. Digory’s father is away, his mother is sick, and they live with his aunt, and uncle, Andrew. The uncle is, well, no more than a fake magician, really. His Godmother left him a box of dust from another world and Digory’s uncle Andrew has devised a way to harness this dust to gain access to this other world, and that is by using gold rings. One to get you there, the other to get you back. Uncle Andrew tricks Polly into touching one of the rings, because he’s too much of a coward to actually experiment with the rings himself, and of course Digory has to go and fetch her back. Uncle Andrew kind of reminded me of Harry Potter’s Wormtail. What follows from there is discovery of world Charn, the awakening of the witch Jadas, and the birth of Narnia. It world builds for the other books very well. Some of the chapters are so seamless too. How the famous lamppost in The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe came to be was neat. The founding of Narnia, with Aslan and his magic was kind of strange in that it felt very much like a religious retelling. With the animals being able to talk, and think, the first joke for example, there was some comedy that made me chuckle. The language is dated, lots of beastly, I say, and pooh’s. The way females are portrayed is dated too. What can you expect from a book that is more than half a century old? To sum up, a great first outing.

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