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.

4 thoughts on “30 Days of Books: Day Twenty-Eight

  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.

    1. 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?

    1. 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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