The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman

UnknownNeil Gaiman is one of my favourite authors.  His stories are cleverly woven with intricate details and disturbing thoughts.  I loved Coraline and The Graveyard Book.  The Ocean at the End of the Lane was in the same league.

I know this phrase is overused in the reading world but this book was difficult to put down.  It was quite a simple story yet its impact was immense.  A child’s worst nightmare is to be taken by unknown creatures in the night.  For the boy in this book nightmares become reality.


* ‘Why didn’t adults want to read about Narnia, about secret islands and smugglers and dangerous fairies?’

* ‘But they have promised you to me, so I will have something to play with; something to keep me company in the dark.’

* ‘Huge, they were, and sleek, and ancient, and it hurt my eyes to look at them.’

* ‘And people change as much as oceans.’

* ‘I was wearing the right clothes for a hard day.’

The Last Battle by C.S. Lewis – A Discussion (contains spoilers)

English: Map of Narnian world as described in ...

English: Map of Narnian world as described in The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I have come to the end of my  Narnia journey.  It is pleasing to know that I can still read the whole series as an adult and still appreciate Lewis’s wondrous characters and settings.  The last book in the series I have to say is probably my least favourite maybe its because I know that it is the end Narnia – or is it?


* I enjoyed how the Ape (Shift) tricked poor Puzzle the Donkey into wearing the lion skin and pretend that he was Aslan.  However, I didn’t really like the character of the Shift (not that I am supposed to because he is the villain) but there just hasn’t been any mention of apes as characters throughout the chronicles so I found it a little odd.  I think it would have been better if the last villain of Narnia was yet another evil queen.

* The last King of Narnia, Tirian (a descendant of Caspian) and his unicorn Jewel are fitting heroes for the last book.

* I did like the fact that most of the characters from previous books came back (Peter, Edmund, Lucy, Reepicheep, Puddlegum, Aravis, Corin, Tumnus, Polly, Digory – to name a few), however Susan was not included as she had lost her faith in Narnia which I found a bit confusing as I don’t think her character reflects this.

* The ending is slightly far fetched, they die in a train accident (yes all of them) in the real world, Narnia has been destroyed and they are all going to live happily ever after in Aslan’s country.

* The absence of Susan was disappointing.  I don’t understand why she was not included in the book and Lewis never explained what happened to her.  Did she loose her whole family in the train crash? If so what a depressing life she shall now lead.


* “They have chosen cunning instead of belief. Their prison is only in their minds, yet they are in that prison; and so afraid of being taken in that they cannot be taken out.”

* “One always feel better when one has made up one’s mind.”

* “Yes,” said Mr. Tumnus, “like an onion: except that as you continue to go in and in, each circle is larger than the last.”

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.


* 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.


* ‘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.”

Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis – A discussion (contains spoilers)

Prince Caspian

Prince Caspian (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The fourth book in the series sees the four Pevensie children return to Narnia only to find that it is a very different place than when they reigned.  I find this book one of the most interesting in the series.  The character development of Caspian and the plight to restore Narnia to what it was makes it a fascinating read.


* Again Lewis dives right into the story, the children are back in Narnia by the second page.  No mucking around in the real world.

* When the children find out they are at the ruins of Cair Paravel and take their gifts you feel the same sense of adventure brewing as in The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe.

QUOTES from the Prince Caspian by C.S. Lewis

– ‘That’s the worst of girls,” said Edmund to Peter and the Dwarf. “They never can carry a map in their heads.”
“That’s because our heads have something inside them,” said Lucy.’

– ‘Things never happen the same way twice.’

– “Anyway,” he continued, “ghosts or not, you’ve saved my life and I’m extremely obliged to you.”

The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis – A Discussion (contains spoilers)

photoThere is a reason why this book is one of the best sellers  of all time.  Although I am particularly partial to the first book in the series (The Magician’s Nephew), this story was and still is one of my favourites.

Discussion Notes:

* I love the way C.S Lewis gets straight into the story.  By the end of the first chapter Lucy is already through the wardrobe and the reader knows all the background information they need to.

* The wardrobe itself  – As a child I would climb into wardrobes just to see if one of them would lead me to Narnia.

* The Lamp Post – Another integral non living character of the story.  The lamp post is where everything begins and ends.  I love lamp posts because of this story

* The scene where Aslan is tied up and killed by the queen was always horrific for me.  I remember the relief I felt the first time I read the book when Aslan comes back from the dead.

* Some of my favourite Quotes-

‘The whole wood is full of her spies.  Even some of the trees are on her side.’  – Mr. Tumnus while he is escorting Lucy back to the wardrobe.

‘When I’m King of Narnia the first thing I shall do will be to make some decent roads.’ Edmund on the way to the witch’s house.

* ‘Each piece was sweet and light to the very centre and Edmund had never tasted anything more delicious’ – Whenever I read this description of Turkish Delight, I crave it!

The Magician’s Nephew by C.S. Lewis (A Discussion – Contains Spoilers)

DSC_0083This is my favourite book in the Narnia series.  I think that it is so under rated and I can’t understand why movie makers always skip it!  This book reveals how Narnia was created.

Discussion Notes:

* The book gets straight into the action after a brief introduction of the characters (Polly and Digory) who you like immediately.

* I loved the concept of going to another ‘world’ via the magic rings.

* The wood between two worlds with all of the small pools is also a fascinating idea.  When I was little I would imagine what other kinds of worlds existed in each pool.

* I always found the deserted city of Charn quite eerie, especially when Digory and Polly enter the room where all of the frozen figures are sitting.

* The character of Uncle Andrew is hilarious – yes he is selfish but he gets his comeuppance when the animals of new Narnia think he is a tree and try to plant him into the ground

* The creation of Narnia by Aslan is one of my favourite parts of the book – especially when the lamp post grows

* The characters of good and evil  – Aslan was my hero growing up and the queen terrified me.  Lewis portrays them perfectly  without being stereotypical.

* The ending sets the stage for the next book perfectly – I often forget that the wardrobe was built from a tree grown from the seeds of the apple from Narnia.