By C.S. Lewis
I've read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe and watched two different movie versions, but that was my only dip into the world of Narnia, until now. My daughter Katie has read all the books and has encouraged me for years to do the same.
She informs me that even though this was not the first one Lewis wrote, it is the first in the series. I enjoyed it every bit as much as The Lion... C.S. Lewis figured out so many beautiful truths about good and evil after his passage through atheism. What a brilliant mind and soul he had. On top of those gifts, he has the ability to write beautiful stories filled with symbolic allegories.
Uncle Andrew is the magician who gives his nephew Digory this sound nugget of advice.
"Now the trouble about trying to make yourself stupider than you really are is that you very often succeed."
The story is about the adventures of Digory, Polly and a few people touching them as they slipped on the magic rings that took them to the land of Narnia. Oh, and the horse. We learn the origins of the evil witch/queen Jadis who we meet again in The Lion...
There's a very funny scene when the animals of Narnia try to decide what Uncle Andrew is. "There!" said several voices. "It isn't an animal at all. It's not alive."
"I tell you, it is an animal," said the Bulldog. "Smell it for yourself."
"Smelling isn't everything," said the Elephant.
"Why," said the Bulldog, "if a fellow can't trust his nose, what is he to trust?"
"Well, his brains perhaps," she replied mildly.
They finally decide he is a tree and try to plant him head down. The discussion is funny because at this point Uncle Andrew is not much of a hero figure.
I like this passage that gives hope to those who have met or know of Aslan. "If ever they were sad or afraid or angry, the thought of all that golden goodness, and the feeling that it was still there, quite close, just around some corner or just behind some door, would come back and make them sure, deep down inside, that all was well."
This is excellent YA/children/adult literature. Next in line will be a rereading of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.