- Age Range: 9 - 12 years
- Grade Level: 4 - 7
- Series: Chronicles of Narnia (Book 2)
- Audio CD
- Publisher: HarperFestival; Unabridged, Media Tie In edition (November 19, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0062314599
- ISBN-13: 978-0062314598
- Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.8 x 5.7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Customer Reviews: 2,797 customer ratings
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #238,711 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe CD (Chronicles of Narnia) Audio CD – Audiobook, CD, Unabridged
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From the Back Cover
Open the door and enter a new world.
Narnia . . . the land beyond the wardrobe door, a secret place frozen in eternal winter . . . a magical country waiting to be set free.
Lucy is the first to find the secret of the wardrobe in the professor's mysterious old house. At first her brothers and sister don't believe her when she tells of her visit to the land of Narnia. But soon Edmund, then Peter and Susan step through the wardrobe themselves. In Narnia they find a country buried under the evil enchantment of the White Witch. When they meet the Lion Aslan, they realize they've been called to a great adventure and bravely join the battle to free Narnia from the Witch's sinister spell.
About the Author
Michael York, an acclaimed actor, has appeared in such films as Romeo and Juliet, Cabaret, Wide Sargasso Sea, and Austin Powers, as well as on the London and Broadway stages.
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Published in 1950, this was the then first book of the Narnia series. A prequel was published later. I read other books in the Narnia series, but this was always my favorite. People will tell you that this is a story about Christianity, a retelling of stories from the Bible, or an allegory. As a child I thought this was a wonderful fairy tale. As an adult, I was able to see the moral or Christian parallels but I chose to ignore them and read this as a fairy tale.
Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy live in London but they are sent to the countryside during WWII to escape the blitz. They are housed with an elderly and wise professor and his strict and intimidating housekeeper in an old mansion. While playing hide and seek on a rainy day, Lucy hides in wardrobe. Behind the fur coats is the land of Narnia. Narnia is ruled by the White Witch and she has made the land "always winter but never Christmas." Narnia is divided into good animals and bad animals who serve the Witch. Lucy is helped by a "good" faun, who protects her from the Witch. The presence of a human in Narnia is threatening to the Witch and all the animals have been told to alert her immediately. Lucy safely returns home and her siblings do not believe her story. Edmund and Lucy then find Narnia together but he meets the White Witch and is put under her spell. On returning home, he lies to the two older siblings and claims Narnia does not exist. Eventually, all four siblings end up in Narnia, though with Edmund sneaking off to see the Witch. With the help of Mr. & Mrs. Beaver, Peter, Susan, and Lucy go to meet Aslan the Lion and together they battle to save Narnia. Each child is given a special task and a magical tool. Aslan makes huge sacrifices to save Edmund. The good and bad animals of the forest do battle and being a fairy tale, there is a happy ending.
This book really sparked my imagination when I was a child. I just love the idea of a secret wardrobe that leads to another world. I still do! The book is dedicated to Mr. Lewis' goddaughter Lucy. It reads as if your kindly godfather was telling you a wonderful story. I love the little asides by the narrator. As a child, I did not realize that the story took place during WWII or that many children were removed from London for their safety. Otherwise, the story is as I remembered and I believe the illustrations are the same. This is a classic for a reason. If you missed it in childhood, read it yourself or share it with a special young person. It was lovely to visit Narnia again!
Notable are the Christian reflections of this tale, of what it's like to go down a path of sin with Edmund as he makes his way through the cold to the witch's castle, having fellowship amongst themselves at the dinner table, and Aslan's ultimate sacrifice, while being a being of immense power, allowed himself to be muzzled, beaten, and killed by the hands of the witch. A Christian myself, I look forward to re-reading the tale to grasp upon Lewis's deeper yet simple stories of the life of children and beings if Narnia. That being said, if you are not Christian, the story does not really reference Christianity much at all, save calling the male children "Sons of Adam" and the female children "Daughters of Eve".
Top international reviews
First published in 1950, this is one of the most classic portal fantasies ever written. Four children are sent from London to an old house in the country during the evacuations of World War II. Through a magic wardrobe, they enter the fantasy land of Narnia, which is a jumbled mixture of Greek mythology, Bible stories, and Arthurian romances, with a bit of Medieval Bestiaries thrown in and also a nod to George Macdonald. The White Witch has made herself Queen of Narnia, and put it under the spell of an ever-constant winter. With the arrival of the children and the lion Aslan, an old prophecy is met, spring comes to Narnia, and there is a major clash between the good and evil Narnians on who gets to dominate Narnia.
It is good writing to read aloud, and I can see why decades of schoolteachers have done so to their classes, including my own Year 3 teacher when I was a child. It's also a good silent read for children on the 8+years level. I had to explain the Adam and Eve story to my daughter, but otherwise the child doesn't need to already know the rich layers of references within it, which fed my own subsequent reading for years and years when I was a child - I wanted to know more about all the creatures C.S. Lewis had referred to! (Though I never did find out who the People of the Toadstools were.....)
Re-reading it again as an adult, what struck me was the influence of World War II. I have no idea how much C.S. Lewis followed the events of the war from his academic enclave, or how aware he was of the atrocities in Europe. But certain bits of the imagery - the wolf who was Chief of the Secret Police and visited victims in the night to trash their homes; the White Witch casually pointing her wand at a happy little family party at the side of the road and turning them to stone, in spite of Edmund's pleas - felt connected to it. And unlike the stone spells, deaths caused by gunfire can not be reversed.
My daughter hasn't got that far in her history lessons yet.
This novel is by far the most popular in The Narnia Series, and it’s easy to see why. Published in 1950, it offers complete escapism for the reader; Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy are evacuated from London to avoid the Blitz and are sent to a big house in the countryside. This is one location in the novel and the other, of course, is the magical world of Narnia.
Much of this story is etched into my memory from reading the books and watching the films but I did find one discover a part of the story (don’t worry, it’s not a spoiler) I’ve never really paid attention to before. It’s a conversation between Peter, Lucy, and Professor Digory Kirke, which goes like this:
“But there was no time,” said Susan. “Lucy had had no time to have gone anywhere, even if there was such a place. She came running after us the very moment we were out of the room. It was less than a minute, and she pretended to be away for hours.”
“That is the very thing that makes her story so likely to be true,” said the Professor. “If there really is a door in this house that leads to some other world (and I should warn you that this is a very strange house, and even I know very little about it) – if, I say, she had got into another world, I should not be at all surprised to find that the other world had a separate time of its own; so that however long you stayed there it would never take up any of our time. On the other hand, I don’t think many girls of her age would invent that idea for themselves. If she had been pretending, she would have hidden for a reasonable time before coming out and telling her story.”
I loved this part because you have two children worried about their little sisters sanity, only for a well respected Professor (and adult) to basically say, “Why not? Keep your minds open to other possibilities.” A great lesson for anyone reading this novel!
The writing style is very simple and easy to read which is such a difficult thing to achieve. I also really liked the little drawings scattered throughout the book. Overall, a brilliant story by C.S Lewis, and one which I feel has more than enough depth for adults and children to enjoy.
Sadly, in this case, the adage "You can never go home again" more or less applies. Whatever magic Narnia held for me when I was younger, the actual writing and the age of the original work have not held up against time. The Christian allegory is not subtle. The children's behaviour is strangely starched and/or grown-up. The pace is so super-fast that some dramatic events are over so quickly you hardly get time to absorb them at all. I almost felt like if I blinked I would miss something, even in print.
The concept was charming enough and I may read the others if they come up cheap on Kindle in future, but I think I'm lacking enough nostalgia to be excited about continuing.
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.
The Silver Chair.
The Horse and His Boy.
The Magician's Nephew.
The Last Battle.
Some are better than others and they all have a similar theme and Lewis has been criticised for his religious overtones that are spread liberally throughout the books, but I'm not sure that anyone under 10 will be that interested in that.
Worthy of a read, but I must say I enjoyed the movie more.
Since we already have some audio books I know how relaxing it can be so decided to get some of the longer childrens classic stories in audio for my son.
This is the first (of what I'm sure will be many) and I have to say I'd forgotten what a lovely story it is, driving home while we were both in awe as Lucy finds the wardrobe and discovers Narnia and then having to sit parked up to finish the chapter, this is soon becoming loved by my son.
The thing with audio books is they don't take away from the writen paper versions, they compliment them giving you time to see them differently.
While this was purchased for a child I can't help but enjoy it myself.
Thank you for reading my review.
I hope it helped you a bit.
By Amy Beth Wright