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The Chronicles of Narnia Boxed Set Paperback – Box set, March 5, 2002
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It was described as being "Used - Good", but it arrived in excellent condition (no noticeable tears on the book itself with only slight page wear). This version came with a book jacket which is identical to the hard cover itself, so I threw away the jacket which was well worn. Also, the book description says "text only", which is strange, because this copy has tons of the original illustrations in full-color (I'll try to post pictures soon).
I feel like I hit the jackpot with this purchase and I highly encourage everyone to get this copy ASAP, because I've noticed the price of the "all-in-one" books skyrocketing lately (Barnes and Noble used to have a "leather"-bound copy for $20 three years ago which is $100 now). I sure hope these books don't go out of print, but if they do, you'll be glad you purchased this particular version, because it'll be passed down the family.
Five stars for Lewis. HOWEVER, I do not love this edition. I read so many reviews and lost track of which edition had the books in my preferred order. I know people can have strong opinions about this. ;) I personally much prefer the series in order of publication and this edition has the books "out of order."
I'm now a father in my mid-50s who first discovered Narnia as a teen and, later, read the novels aloud to my children. We have several sets of the books now sprinkled across several households. A few years ago, I discovered this particular audio set of the books -- including every word in the books -- read by some of the world's greatest voices. I owned an earlier audio set of these recordings, then was looking for a gift set. Here, in one box, there's a 1-volume complete paperback edition, plus the best audio recordings I've ever heard of the books. Just think about the names: Kenneth Branagh, the world-renowned Shakespeare revivalist, and Derek Jacobi, who so many people have loved on BBC and PBS. There's Patrick Stewart, so well known to TV sci-fi fans, and the terrific Lynn Redgrave. I carry these in my car and I've listened to them more than once.
So, you may be looking specifically for a hardback gift set; or you may really love those colored illustrations; or you may want a set "just like the ones" you enjoyed years ago. (I've also highly recommended the new 2010 edition of "A Year with Aslan: Daily Reflections from The Chronicles of Narnia," which divides excerpts of the novels into 365 daily readings, if you'd like that kind of daily spiritual approach to the novels.) Those are all laudable goals and choices. But THIS set is a really cool way to reawaken the wonderment of Narnia. Enjoy.