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Thread: Book Discussion of the Month

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    Senior Member Goofy's Avatar
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    Cool Book Discussion of the Month

    This is a new idea of mine that will hopefully work out.

    For each month, I will select a particular author (so that the discussion will have wider range) and start a discussion of his/her work. I will make it a sticky topic then split the thread and undo the sticky thread at the end of each month so that the particular author can be continued talked about.

    Please feel free to suggest some interest authors - the only criterior would have to be that the author is more or less widely known to ensure participants.
    "History's third dimension is always fiction."
    -- The Glass Bead Game, Hermann Hesse

  2. #2
    Senior Member Goofy's Avatar
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    Cool September Book

    This month's discussion is Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

    There are seven books in all:

    1. The Magician's Nephew is about the origin of Narnia.

    2. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is about the adventure of four siblings (peter, susan, edmund, and lucy) in Narnia against the White Witch.

    3. The Horse and His Boy is adventure of a young boy with unknown birth and a Tasman (?) princess. Both ran from home and embarked a quest to the freeland of Narnia.

    4. Prince Caspian - The four siblings returned to Narnia to rescue the kingdom again.

    5. The Voyage of the Dawn Trader - Lucy and her spoiled cousin were sent to the ship that sailed to many most wonderous islands.

    6. The Silver Chair - Lucy's cousin and his friend set on a quest to rescue an enchanted prince.

    7. The Last Battle - The end and the beginning.

    Among all, probably the book two is the most well known. This was also the first of the chronicle I have ever read.

    However, my most favorite is the Horse and his boy and the Silver Chair is the least favorite of mine together with the last book.
    "History's third dimension is always fiction."
    -- The Glass Bead Game, Hermann Hesse

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    Despite not being a fan of the fantasy genre, I found myself being drawn to Narnia when I was a kid. Out of the chronicles, 2 was the first one I heard about and the first one I read. Of the 7, I think books 2,3,4 and 5 are the best. The last 2 failed to really interest me, and I didn't like those characters or enjoy the final ending all that much. I think I got tired of the strong Christian allegory at the end.

    One of my favourite characters from the books was Reepicheep (sp?) , that plucky mouse!

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    Senior Member junzi's Avatar
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    The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was the first book i read. but my favourite is The Voyage of the Dawn Treader......

    i like the part when they threw the gold crown onto the outcropping (i think) and the narrator said, nobody could reach it from the top, and nobody could reach it from the bottom.

    and also the part where a great wave swept over Reepicheep and he vanished. that part always makes me feel a bit...... melancholy, i guess.

    i like The Last Battle too. especially the part where Aslan explains about the door, that the inside is far larger than the outside.

    and the concluding paragraph, that all their adventures up to that point were just the cover of a book and each chapter was much greater than the one before.

    i didn't dislike any of the books.

    but i thought it was a pity how C S Lewis made Susan 'bad' in the end, even though i didnt really like or dislike her.

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    Senior Member pemberly's Avatar
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    my favorite is voyage of the dawn treader. i never really cared for the horse and his boy. maybe because it didn't really fit in with the other stories.

    when i read them when i was young, i just thought they were really great fantasy stories, but when i reread them a few years ago, i realized that there's a lot of religious imagery in them. and it's sorta sad how everyone died in the end. they all went to heaven, but still.
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    Moderator Suet Seung's Avatar
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    Question

    Actually, I've been trying to decide whether to borrow these books from the library or buy them from the bookstore.

    I never read the books before, I've only seen a couple of the episodes in which they used to have on tv, the tv show adaptation of the books. It was years ago, I don't think they show them anymore.

    Anyone seen the adaptation?
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    Junior Member somebody1022isgonnagetyou's Avatar
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    I hated how in the end all teh original 4 characters were cut out from Narnia because they wre too old. I really liked Susan and Peter!!!
    The glass is always half full, never half empty

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    Senior Member Goofy's Avatar
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    Cool

    It seems 'The Voyage of Dawn Trader' is everyone's favorite.

    I like that book too and agree that the last two books are less quality-wise, compared to earlier books. (don't like the cannibalism part where the trio ate the talking beasts) I personally think it is too corny to have everyone died in the train crash in the real world to live on in Aslan's world. That part really gave out strong Christianity favor.

    The Witch book is probably the most beautifully written in term that it has good balance of both fantasy and religion elements without spoiling either parts...
    "History's third dimension is always fiction."
    -- The Glass Bead Game, Hermann Hesse

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    Member Mimsy's Avatar
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    I also thought that Book 2 was the most famous. And it was the first book out of the chronicles that i read. I was like 8 maybe 7 so i was absolutely enchanted with descriptions of the fawn, the witch and her turkish delight, their magical gifts from the Lion. It was i believe the first fantasy novel that i was introduced to and it had a lasting impact.
    A Chinaman of the T'ang Dynasty - and, by which definition a philosopher - dreamed he was a butterfly, and from that moment he was never quite sure that he was not a butterfly dreaming it was a Chinese philosopher. Envy him: in his two-fold security.
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    Senior Member junny's Avatar
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    I like Narnia.

    I had a passage from "The Magician's Nephew" for English comprehension (this was way back ), and that got me interested in reading the rest of the book. Liked it so much that I got all seven. I don't particularly like the "Voyage of the Dawn Treader", actually. The first two are my faves, although I also like "The Silver Chair". Jill is actually my favourite character, for some reason or the other.
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    Senior Member Lady Zhuge's Avatar
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    I've read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe and really liked it. The film was decent as well. As for the other books...would you guys recommend that they be read in order or does it not really matter too much?
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    Senior Member junny's Avatar
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    Try to read it in order, although it wouldn't have mattered whether you started with "The Magician's Nephew" or "The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe". But it's recommended that you read the books in order, as there will be cross-references here and there, and you probably won't understand "The Last Battle" if you haven't read, say "The Silver Chair".
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    Senior Member Goofy's Avatar
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    Cool

    Actually, I think the best book to read first is the Witch then the Magician's nephew, and the rest in order.

    I think it gives more mysterious feel to the Professor's house and all that way.

    In the Silver Chair, I like all characters too, but I don't like the cannabalism part and this and the last battle one somehow gave too strong christianity symbolism (although I can't identify which, I could somehow feel it).

    Also, it was rather disappointment to see how the prince was weak compared to earlier monarch, and one could foresee the end of Narnia in the future.

    I agree with someone above that it is not fair to write off characters with the excuse of them being too old. I don't think Lewis was quite fair w/ Susan. Lucy is my favorite character, but could you imagine how Susan would feel when she found out her three siblings and other loved ones died in train accident in the real world? She might deny Aslan, but she did not deserve that kind of punishment and it was not her choice not to being to go back to Narnia anymore. It was not totally her fault that she forgot Narnia since the place would not let her in again.....

    "History's third dimension is always fiction."
    -- The Glass Bead Game, Hermann Hesse

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    Senior Member Gunner's Avatar
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    Actually, I liked the Horse and the Boy the best simply coz its a story that doesn't really require the others to make sense. But overall, the entire series was enchanting.

    You can't really blame C.S. Lewis for writing his books with a strong Christian theme coz he was after all a very devout Christian and wrote quite a number of Christian books too.

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    Senior Member chungieboy's Avatar
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    Wow, it's been so long since i've read these books (perhaps 4th grade)... I recognize the titles, but don't remember much else about them, except I was really hooked on finding out what happens to them.

    Can someone refresh my memory with the main characters...

    I also remember watching a tv adaption of one of the books...I think it was The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, before actually reading any of the books.

    And i might be mixing different books or details here, but wasn't there something relating to truffles??

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    Senior Member pemberly's Avatar
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    i remember the entire series on pbs with people in costumes.

    this has bothered me ever since i first read the lion, the witch, and the wardrobe. what is turkish delight?
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    Turkish delight is a kind of turkish sweet that's extremely sweet consisting of jellylike cubes covered with powdered sugar. They sell lots of different kinds in bazaars in Turkey
    To see a World in a Grain of Sand
    And a Heaven in a Wild Flower,
    Hold Infinity in the palm of your hand
    And Eternity in an hour.

    - William Blake

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    Senior Member Goofy's Avatar
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    Cool The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe - summary, spoiler included

    from my memory:

    Four siblings - Peter, Susan, Edmund, Lucy (in this order) - were sent to stay in the country from London during the war (I guess it was WWII, but I could be wrong). The house belonged to an old professer whom the children hardly met. His housekeeper was the one who took care of the four children. The house looked stately and was frequently visited by groups of people. One day, it rained (I think) outside, and the four children decided to play hide and seek indoor. Lucy (the youngest) was looking for a place to hide in a room when she heard the housekeeper talking to the visitors. She knew the housekeeper wouldn't like catching her during the tour, so she slid inside a wardrobe.

    To her surprise, she found that the wardrobe had no back - that is when she walked further inside, she felt something cold and soft like snow instead. So, being a sensible girl, she went back and took a fur coat to wear then went in to explore the new world.

    She passed a lamp post (this will be significant later) and found herself in a forest. Then a fawn named Mr. Tumnus appeared and befriended her. He took her to his house and gave her tea. Well, turn out he supposed to take her to the White Witch, but he was too good and kind to do so, so he led her back to the lamp post secretly.

    Lucy returned to her world and told her siblings about her adventure, but nobody believed her, especially Edmund would make fun of her (he was rather the black sheep among the four).

    One day, he saw her entering the wardrobe again, and he followed her to make more fun of her but found himself instead in Narnia. Unluckily for himself, he didn't catch up with Lucy but met the White Witch instead in person. She took him to the castle and gave him some magic sweets (turkish delight?) that made him addict to the taste.

    for the sake of the sweet, he had to promise her to bring all his sibilings to see her. You see, there was a prediction that sons of Adam, and daughters of Eve would one day come to Narnia to deliver Narnia. So she wanted to get rid of the four children all in one time.

    Edmund met Lucy on her way back but later denied that he had met her at Narnia at all. Later, due to another group of visitors again, the four children had to take refuge in the wardrobe. They found themselves in Narnia and met Mr and Mrs Beaver who informed them that Mr. Tumnus was captured (Edmund told the witch everything, so she knew that he was betraying her to protect Lucy).

    They all went to the beaver's house, and Edmund sneaked away to see the witch. The rest noticed his absence, and the beaver deduced that he had fallen under the witch's magic. So, they packed up and hurried off to avoid the witch. They decided to go to Cair Parvell, the seat where sons of Adam and daughters of Eve should sit (not sure of its significance but something in that term).

    On the way, they met Father Christmas, and the weather turned warmer as the sign of the end of the witch's reign.

    The three sibilings met Aslan - the golden lion - who gave them gifts (peter got sword and shield, susan got arrow and a horn to blow for rescue, lucy got magical water to cure the sick).

    Many creatures of Narnia also came to meet them. They formed an army to fight against the witch.

    Later, Edmund was rescued from the witch; he repented, and Aslan sacrificed himself in place of Edmund's punishment as a traitor.

    But the next morning, he resurrected, and helped Peter to kill the witch.

    And the four children then became kings and queens of Narnia till one day many years later, they went on hunting and found a lamp post. They walked past the lamp post and became four young children again.

    the end.

    This is really a well written book. I was immediately impressed with the richness of text and imagination right away when I first read it.
    Last edited by Goofy; 10-03-03 at 01:20 AM.
    "History's third dimension is always fiction."
    -- The Glass Bead Game, Hermann Hesse

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    Moderator Suet Seung's Avatar
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    Has Anyone seen the short mini-series adapation of this The Chronicles of Naria?

    I've just recently borrowed the first volume of (two tapes) to watch but unfortunately, I haven't been able to for the lack of electricity the last few days. But I watched it when I was much much younger, this mini series was made in the early 80s or late 80s. Not sure..

    Anyone seen it?
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    Senior Member lilazinprincess's Avatar
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    I think there is an animated cartoon of this series,. I like the first one best.
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