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The Chronicles of Narnia: Never Has the Magic Been So Real (Radio Theatre) [Full Cast Drama] Audio CD – Audiobook, CD

181 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 - 12 years
  • Grade Level: 3 and up
  • Series: Radio Theatre
  • Audio CD
  • Publisher: Tyndale Entertainment; Unabridged edition (June 1, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1589972996
  • ISBN-13: 978-1589972995
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 5.4 x 3.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (181 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #70,389 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

PAUL McCUSKER is the Peabody Award-winning writer and director of the audio drama "Bonhoeffer: The Cost of Freedom," along with the multiple award-winning audio dramatizations of "The Chronicles of Narnia," "The Screwtape Letters," "A Christmas Carol," his original series "The Luke Reports: The Life of Jesus" (honored as Best Audio Drama by the prestigious Audie Awards) and "The Father Gilbert Mysteries" (also an Audie Award nominee), all for Focus On The Family Radio Theatre.

Apart from dramatizations of C.S. Lewis' "Narnia" and "Screwtape," he also scripted the original audio drama "C.S. Lewis At War" and written the companion book "C.S. Lewis & Mere Christianity: The Crisis That Created A Classic." His work has extended to writing the detailed footnotes for "The Annotated Screwtape Letters" for HarperOne. (It is the first authorized annotated edition of any book by C.S. Lewis.)

McCusker is also a writer and director for the long-running children's audio program "Adventures in Odyssey," scripting over 250 episodes as well as 2 of the animated video series, authoring 18 spin-off novels, and serving as the general editor for "The Imagination Station" chapter books. For adults, he has written the Gold Medallion-nominated "Epiphany," "The Mill House" and, with Dr. Walt Larimore, "The Gabon Virus" and "The Influenza Bomb." His plays and musicals have been performed in churches and community theaters across the country. One, "A Time for Christmas," was a Dove Award nominee. His lyrics have been put to music by the Grammy Award-winning Michael W. Smith.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

199 of 200 people found the following review helpful By Living it up TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on July 24, 2005
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Let me start by saying that I've read the Narnia books many times in the past 30 years and believe they are some of the best fantasy books ever written. I was hesitant to buy this audio version as I do not care for audio books in general. However, I was searching for something to listen to while recovering from surgery and hoped that this would be better than an audio book since it is billed as "Radio Theatre."

WOW! The quality of the production (the music score, voices, sound effects...the whole production) is outstanding. I have been able to visit Narnia in the quiet, dark comfort of my room. It has been a truly enchanting experience to be able to go there with my eyes closed in a truly relaxed state of mind.

My heart was pounding during moments of suspense and I felt absolute joy during the victories experienced in the various books...there were scenes that moved me to tears (even though I knew what was coming...the anticipation was far greater listening to this production that it is when I read the books). They did such a great job of capturing scenes such as Aslan singing creation into being in the Magician's Nephew.

I could go on like this for quite some time, but hopefully you get the idea. I will listen to these stories again and was also very nice to fall asleep to. This set is a BARGAIN for $33.00. I am buying several more to donate to a local hospice, as well as for Christmas and birthday presents.

I absolutely recommend this specific version of the Chronicles of Narnia to anyone from 8 to 88 who has even the faintest hint of imagination alive in them! If you're old enough to be a fan of "old-time radio theatre," you'll find yourself in listener's heaven for a lovely 22 hours!
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93 of 95 people found the following review helpful By Mark Baker - Carstairs Considers HALL OF FAMETOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on August 31, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Fifty years ago, the world was introduced to a fantasy series about another world when Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy entered Narnia through a magic wardrobe. Now anyone can enjoy the stories in a new way thanks to these wonderful recordings.

This set contains radio drama versions of all seven books. There are a total of nineteen CD's and over twenty-six hours of adventure. Each story has been fully dramatized and is presented with a full cast, sound effects, and background music - everything to bring the story fully to life. The stories stick very close to the books. Paul Scofield serves as our narrator, describing settings and actions so we aren't left out of a moment. Additionally, Douglas Gresham, C. S. Lewis' stepson, gives us some trivia about the creation of each book in his roll as host of the set.

Of course, every adaptation is going to have some drawbacks to fans from another media. The biggest for me is Aslan. I found his voice too slow for my picture of the character. Scenes with a large number of people were often a little hard to follow when the voices sounded similar. And do take the warning seriously. This set isn't for young children as some parts could scare them. Over all, these are minor quibbles of a die-hard Narnia fanatic.

While nothing will replace the books, this set is another great way to enter a fun fantasy world. I used it to make the miles fly by on a couple road trips. Highly recommended for Narnia fans of all ages.
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37 of 38 people found the following review helpful By A. Wen on July 17, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Focus on the Family did a wonderful job on all 7 stories. The dramatizations are terrific with music and sound effects and voice acting that are all powerful and moving. The stories creatively add to the stories (like the short introductory scenes for each story) without ever moving away from the works by CS Lewis. I know the written stories very well. The dramatizations shorten the stories but I never felt like anything was lost. My children went for the books to learn more after hearer the productions. Altogether, these are great entertainment for kids and adults.

As an aside, I enjoyed these so much that I looked into the newly released unabridged readings for the same story. Each is performed by a single actor. I heard the audiosamples and they are drastically less moving than the productions by Focus on the Family. Make sure you buy the right set!
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Irish Rose on June 7, 2005
Format: Audio CD
These recordings are beautifully done. Anyone who loves the books should not be disappointed, they are only minimally abridged and all the voices are very well cast. Music, sound effects all add to the atmosphere and I think Narnia really comes to life. I listened to all 7 throughout a few days, and when finished wanted to start again! For anyone who hasn't read the books this would be a good introduction to them, suitable for all ages - I've loved the series since I first read it at about 12 years old and I'm 42 now! An added bonus is the introduction and epilogue to each story given by Douglas Gresham, Lewis's stepson. His personal anecdotes and background information all delivered in his lovely deep toned voice add to our enjoyment.
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24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Larry Gott on September 1, 2005
Format: Audio CD
Where is the SIX star rating that this deserves? This CD or cassette series is worth the $100.00 I paid for it when it came out a few years ago, but is worth much more now that it can be bought at much lower prices! I'm a bit jealous of new purchasers.

I have read the CoN perhaps 8 times. But the last three times, I have interspersed them with this excellent radio presentation.
I have listened to these in both the (1) order in which they were written, and (2) the new chronological order. I am in the midst of my fourth hearing, and I am thrilled and delighted every time by the faithfulness to the books, the delivery and quality of the acting (a different actor per part) and the high quality production of the music.

And speaking of faithfulness to the books: I would say that they have done a quality Readers Digest condensed version of the books -- where even the authors say it is hard to tell what has been left out. At a guess, I'd say they have recorded 70% of the story, but have left in 98% (if not 100%!) of the important parts.

This set is heads and shoulders better than the *very poor* set done back in the late 70's by Michael York, Claire Bloom, and others, where huge gaps are missing in the stories. Plus, they totally ignore the fact that certain events should build on what went before -- but the prior events are not there. This is only reading, no music, no sound effects, no nothing (avoid ISBN 0694524662).

Not so this set! Prepare to be delighted. Lucy will tug at your heartstrings -- and you'll want to rush over to England and adopt her. At the first hearing, I thought Aslan could have been done better --but I have now warmed to this Aslan who is now an old friend.

Note that this set has 18 cassettes, as opposed to the non-recommended one which has 7 cassettes. Obviously much more of the story is included here in this Family Radio Theatre set!

Buy and enjoy!
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