Which comes first: Magician, or Lion?

My, my. Some of my children are quite exercised that the publishers of The Chronicles Of Narnia have been arranging the book sets so that The Magician’s Nephew comes first, rather than The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. I never thought it was of great importance, but now that National Review has taken a stand, I guess I stand corrected!

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6 Responses to “Which comes first: Magician, or Lion?”

  1. ShapeNoteSinger Says:

    I’ve always thought that LWW was a better ‘first book’ than MN eventhough MN happened first. …..but however you get in–get in!


    ps–you should give NR a hard time about the difference between a stepson and a son-in-law!

  2. GravyGal Says:

    Well, I read your article…all I have to say is (as Evan frequently says) “Beans”.

    National Review is so dumb about this! When I read the Chronicles of Narnia,I read MN first and thought it was so cool to learn how Narnia was created, and did not feel that the “significant suspense” was lost.

    Furthermore, I see Mr. Miller’s argument about opening and closing sentences in the two books as totally ridiculous. The line that ends LWW, he states, is:
    “It was only the beginning of the adventures of Narnia.”
    This is obviously a suspensful ‘clif-hanger’ sort of line, but for this book to be read after MN, I feel it still holds it’s suspense. It says to me that this was the beginning of Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy’s adventures in Narnia. Or could even be taken as the first Narnia adventures ever to be written down. LWW’s opening line is: “Once there were four children whose names were Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy. This story is about something that happened to them when they were sent away from…” A book written about four children who come upon this world of Narnia. I do not understand the ‘harm’ in knowing of the beginning of the world that the story is set in before the characters in the story know about it.
    My reason for reading the series in chronological order is simply the great background that MN is going to give you. How much better will you understand stories about a place after you have read about and understood the creation of that place?

  3. ThePizzaPizzaMan Says:

    Well phooey on Ems, she is so dumb.

    I liked the article and I think that Mr. Miller pegged the key issue when he showed how LWW introduces Narnia better than MN.

    I am glad to be in the company of Mr. Miller and the Movie Makers and for that matter, Jeb Bush.

    Besides that, I think that learning the “present” and then going back to learn the “history” is a much more effective literary (and movie-making) tool.

  4. multifarious me Says:

    Well, as much as I dislike to disagree with Ems on any point (don’t know that I ever have up till now) I have to say…I stand with Eric, Jeb, and the others.
    To me, one should first read them in the order Lewis meant them to be read, the order they developed in his mind, and then, to catch the details, coincidences and such in a different order, read them all again in chronological order, then throw them into a bowl, stir them around a bit, pull one out at a time and read them again! It is definitely alright to overdose on these books.
    I miss every single Ritchie. Beans…what an Evanish thing to say; I love it.
    And just for the phooey of it, what are y’alls ideas so far about the movie? I’d like to hear a pre viewing opinion from my most correct and agreeable friends and comrades.

  5. MullTrain Says:

    This is indeed a serious issue.


    I personally read the books in the order that they were written, and then years later (uh, this summer, that is) read them in chronological order because my one-volume set (not as cool as the individual books, but cheaper) has them that way. I must say that I greatly prefer them in the original order (LWW first).

    But I think that is mostly just personal preference based on the fact that I read them that way as a kid.

    Also, any time an author writes “prequels,” I always like to read them after the original book, just because I like to follow the author’s train of thought, so to speak.

    But ultimately the important thing is just to read them at all!

  6. GravyGal Says:

    K - I suppose I’m looking forward to the movie. Looks like they did a good job on the effects. They will probably mess up some part of the story (I hate when they do that–LOtR was very disappointing to me in that way).

    Ps. Eric - you are so dumb.
    Pps. Sorry about my bad spelling and paragraphs that run together. I’m only in college…

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