The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis – A Discussion (may contain spoilers)

20130403_171602_resized 20130403_171629_resizedWhen I was a child I watched a remake of this story and suffice to say it scared me to the point where I no longer wanted to read the book.  Luckily I have managed to put any fears I once had aside because like the Magicians Nephew, this story is highly under rated.

NOTES:

* Again Lewis takes slightly longer to get his characters into Narnia because yet again we have another new character, Jill.  I liked the background story about the school and its bullies.  It is interesting that bullying is still as relevant today as it was in 1953 when the book was first published.

* I really enjoyed Aslan‘s tasks that Jill was supposed to follow.  It made the story more quest like.  It reminds me of The Wizard of Oz as the travellers had to take a long and interesting journey with plenty of obstacles on the way.

* I find it very sad that Eustace does not get to see Prince Caspian before he sails away & also that Caspian is now old and on his death bed.  Happily, at the end of the book Caspian somehow comes back to life and is his young and vibrant self once more.

* I love the character of Puddleglum.  His negativity is hilarious.

* The giants creeped my out a little, especially when it is revealed that Jill, Eustace and Puddleglum were to become their dinner.

* Another queen as the evil villain fits nicely within the chronicles.  As usual they are always beautiful but very deadly.  The Queen of the Underland is no different.

* Prince Rilian‘s curse is an interesting plot twist and it is a tense moment when the heroes have to either believe that he is a friend of Aslan and release him or risk him turning into a serpent.

QUOTES

* ‘I have swallowed up girls and boys, women and men, kings and emperors, cities and realms,’ said the Lion.  It didn’t say this as if it were boasting, nor as if it were sorry, nor as if it were angry.  It just said it.’

* “You’ve got to learn that life isn’t all fricasseed frogs and eel pie.”

* ‘But as the chair broke, there came from it a bright flash, a sound like small thunder, and (for one moment) a loathsome smell.’

* “And there’s one thing about this underground work, we shan’t get any rain.”

* “When you meet me here again, you will have come to stay. But not now. You must go back to your own world for a while.”

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader – A Discussion (may contain spoilers)

I think because I haven’t read The Voyage of the Dawn Treader as many times as earlier books in the series I under-estimated how good it was.  It’s an exciting tale with interesting characters and a plot that is full of twists and turns.

NOTES:

* Amazingly (unlike all of the rest of the book in the series), the characters don’t get into Narnia until page 12.  Necessary because of the introduction of Eustace Scrubb, a brand new character.

* The description of the Dawn Treader is vivid and you can imagine how it looks and where everything is located.

* I liked the inclusion of Eustace’s diary during the storm – it made it more realistic.

* The story of how Eustace turns into a dragon and subsequently has a change of heart about how he feels about Narnia and his comrades is delightful.

* One of my favourite parts of the books is when they are on the Island of the Voices and when Lucy goes into the magicians house.  Suspenseful, and the description of the house is fascinating.

* I always found it sad when they leave Reepicheep at the end of the world and when Aslan tells Lucy and Edmund that they would not be returning to Narnia.

QUOTES:

– ‘There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it.’

– ‘To be strictly accurate, he began to be a different boy.  He had relapses.  There were still many days when he could be very tiresome.  But most of those I shall not notice.  The cure had begun.’

– ‘The others were too exhausted to see what Lucy saw.  There, a few yards behind them, the loop of the Sea Serpent’s body got rapidly smaller and disappeared into a splash.  Lucy always said (but of course she was very excited at the moment, and it may have been only imagination) that she saw a look of idiotic satisfaction on the creature’s face.’

– ‘It would have been nicer if there had not been strange signs painted in scarlet on the doors – twisty complicated things which obviously had a meaning and it mightn’t be a very nice meaning either.’

– “Dearest,” said Aslan very gently, “you and your brother will never come back to Narnia.”

First Lines

photoMaybe I have too much time on my hands but I decided to go through my library and find some first lines that captured my attention in an attempt to improve my own writing skills.

Here they are;

* ‘It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.’ – Charles Dickens A Tale of Two Cities

* ‘I am an invisible man.’ – Ralph Ellison Invisible Man

* ‘When I think of my wife, I always think of her head.’ – Gillian Flynn Gone Girl

* ‘There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb. and he almost deserved it.’ –  C.S. Lewis The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

* ‘This is a story of what a Woman’s patience can endure, and what a Man’s resolution can achieve’ – Wilkie Collins The Woman in White

* ‘In the days following the holocaust, which came to be known as the Great White, there was death and madness.’ – Isobelle Carmody Obernewtyn

* ‘It was a little before nine o’clock, the sun was setting into a bank of smoky violet cloud and I had lost my way.’  – Susan Hill The Small Hand

* ‘My name was Salmon, like the fish; first name, Susie’ – Alice Sebold The Lovely Bones

* ‘One thing was certain, that the white kitten had had nothing to do with it: – it was the black kitten’s fault entirely’ – Lewis Carroll Through the Looking Glass

* ‘Jack Torrence thought: Officious little prick.’ – Stephen King The Shining

* ‘When I stepped out into the bright sunlight from the darkness of the cinema, I had only two things on my mind: Paul Newman and a ride home’ – S.E. Hinton The Outsiders

* ‘I don’t really know what I am doing here.’ – John Marsden So much to tell you

* ‘Amerigo Bonasera sat in New York Criminal Court Number 3 and waited for justice: vengeance on the men who had so cruelly hurt his daughter, who had tried to dishonour her.’ – Mario Puzo The Godfather

* ‘Far out in the uncharted backwaters of the unfashionable end of the Western Spiral Arm of the Galaxy lies a small unregarded yellow sun.’ – Douglas Adams The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

* ‘I haven’t laid eyes on the island in several years.’ – Dennis Lehane Shutter Island