30 Days of Books: Day Twenty-Eight

Day 28 – First favorite book or series obsession

The Chronicles of Narnia. They were the first books I ever bought with my own money; I saved for weeks to get the full set from the local bookstore, and when they didn’t have every one on hand, I had them order the missing volume and waited until I could get them all at once. (I have no idea how old I was…eight?) I still have that set, too, nine ratty old paperbacks falling apart at the seams, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader in the worst shape of them all (I loved Reepicheep).

I don’t think I realized until much, much later that they were Christian allegory. Fortunately, during the part of my life where I would have been most annoyed to find out that fantasy books I loved were Christian allegory, I didn’t reread them at all. Then I discovered Tolkien, and then I discovered that Tolkien and Lewis were friends, and I read them again and still loved them. I adored the old BBC adaptations of the first four books (although I rewatched them in college and am a little mortified by my childhood crush on Sam West’s Caspian), and I’m even relatively fond of the new movies, although I haven’t seen Dawn Treader yet. I’m afraid they’ll butcher my favorite book. The current practice of numbering the books in chronological order instead of publication order is clearly blasphemy.

I can’t reread them unconditionally any more; The Horse and His Boy makes my skin crawl, as does the theology in The Last Battle. And I’m highly sympathetic toward Neil Gaiman’s “The Problem of Susan.” But a few months ago I bought a wardrobe. And yes, I do check the back of it every once in a while. Just, y’know, in case.

About Jen Moore

I'm a recent library school graduate in Madison, Wisconsin, looking for a full-time professional job and trying to manage a fulfilling life in the meantime. Oh, and I read. A lot.

Posted on May 17, 2011, in Reviews, The Internet is a Social Movement and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Oddly enough, “The Horse and His Boy” was always my favorite, quite possibly because it does make one’s skin crawl, and there weren’t a great many children’s books that could do that.

    • This is true. And although the racism drives me up the wall now, I suppose one should give Lewis credit for including some non-European cultures at all; too many fantasy novels (and children’s novels) don’t bother.

  2. Reepicheep was my favourite too. Isn’t Jill a bit of an exception to the no-weapons-for-girls rule, at least when she’s smiting bullies with the flat of her sword at the end of Dawn Treader?

    • Oh, he didn’t tend to leave the girls out of the fighting — Susan gets a bow from Father Christmas in the first book, after all. But he does tend to shunt them aside when they get girly; the only girls who get any respect are the fighting ones. As a fairly girly girl (who is also a fan of a good battle scene, as well as an archer), I’m a little annoyed by that.

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