The Magicianís Book Review
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In hindsight, maybe I should have read at least one of the seven books in C. S. Lewisís Narnia series before attempting The Magicianís Book: A Skepticís Adventures in Narnia. Because this book is a thorough and exhaustive critique by someone who has read the books many times over since her discovery of Narnia at the age of nine.

The Magicianís Book reads like a really long book review. Miller takes apart and analyzes not only the world of Narnia but also that of Lewis: his early life with his father and older brother, his marriage, and his friendships with various writers. J. R. R. Tolkein was one of themóhe hated Narnia, even as Lewis admired Tolkeinís imaginary worlds.

When Miller first fell in love with the Narnia books, she wanted to go there herself. It was only when she grew up that she discovered the religious side of Lewis; she was saddened to learn that the books were a parallel account of the story of Jesus Christ. Although that shouldnít matter to a child, it did to the adult Miller. She felt tricked.

  
 
She came back to the books a decade ago to write an essay for Salon.com, then she expanded on her idea for a full-length book. When she did start to examine the series again, the religious aspects werenít as troubling as before. Miller seems to have made peace with Lewis and his agenda, which, for her, no longer detract from the inventiveness and enjoyable style of the books.

As mentioned, I never read the Narnia books, but I did read Tolkienís The Hobbit at age sixteen, and I can understand the sensation of being swept away, totally seduced by a book, wanting to live in that strange world. So maybe, after reading The Magicianís Book, Iíll give Lewisís books a try.

I found most of the chapters intriguing and well written, although some of them felt overly analytical. They went off into tangents that slightly mystified me. But if youíre devoted to Narnia and the books of C. S. Lewis, you will find much to interest you in The Magicianís Book. I may have failed to get the full benefit of it, but, still, itís a worthy, insightful study.

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