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The Chronicles of Narnia Hardcover – October 26, 2004

4.7 out of 5 stars 2,778 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

To commemorate the 50th anniversary of the world's earliest glimpse into the magical land of Narnia in The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Pauline Baynes, the first illustrator of C.S. Lewis's enchanting creatures and remarkable landscapes, has hand painted her original black-and-white pictures for a beautiful new full-color collection of all seven volumes in the Chronicles of Narnia series. In keeping with the otherworldly, earthy nature of the stories, Baynes's colors are muted yet rich, tending toward warm greens and golds, printed on lovely smooth, high-quality paper. This stunning gift box is truly a gem, containing, in addition to the best-loved classic, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, The Magician's Nephew, The Horse and His Boy, Prince Caspian, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, The Silver Chair, and The Last Battle. Each title also features Baynes's original cover art from the 1950s. Whether entering Narnia for the first time (lucky you!) or the hundredth, visitors to the land beyond the Wardrobe will gasp in delight to see the fauns, lions, unicorns, and children of Narnia bloom with new life and delicate color. (Ages 8 and older) --Emilie Coulter --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

Review

'The magic of C. S. Lewis's parallel universe never fades.' The Times --This text refers to the Paperback edition.
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The latest book club pick from Oprah
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Product Details

  • Age Range: 8 and up
  • Grade Level: 5 and up
  • Series: Narnia (Book 36)
  • Hardcover: 784 pages
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Narnia; F First Edition edition (October 26, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0060598247
  • ISBN-13: 978-0060598242
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 2.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2,778 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #12,259 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By K. Sudhakar on November 24, 2005
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Let me start by saying that I loved these stories as a child. I read "The Lion, the With and the Wardrobe" in fourth grade as a part of class. I was reluctant to read it and had no interest (school kids are like that) but I was sucked into the story very quickly. I had my parents buy me the boxed set and I believe I ended up reading 5 of the 7 books. I absolutely love this story.

After at least 40 minutes of Googling, I finally found out what the difference between the "adult" version and the regular version is. Apparently the "adult" version includes some essay material about the literature and each book contains a synopsis of information you'd need to know from the other books to read the one you're holding. Other than that, only the packaging is different. The stories all remain the same. I only wish Amazon.com would have provided me this information and saved me the time.
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Format: Paperback
The order in which the Narnia Chronicles should be read and published is a matter of great controversy. In my view, the answer to this question lies in a proper understanding of the deeper level of Narnia. When read on an adult level, the Narnia Chronicles function as a powerful medium used by Lewis to impart powerful spiritual truths about Christianity and theology. But these spiritual truths are conveyed more by Biblical allusions than by rigid allegory. This also has implications for the order of the volumes in this series.
The publishers of this edition have elected to follow the chronological order of the series: 1. The Magician's Nephew; 2. The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe; 3. The Horse and His Boy; 4. Prince Caspian; 5. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader; 6. The Silver Chair; 7. The Last Battle. The chronological order makes the books more strictly allegorical than they really were intended to be, and gives the impression that they are an extended allegory rather than incidental allusions, an incorrect impression in my view. Despite all the talk about allegory, it seems to me that Lewis is more fond of incorporating Biblical allusions where and when he pleases, rather than working with a strict and rigid allegory that tightly binds the plot. Certainly the central Biblical themes of creation, fall, redemption and consummation are present, and form the broad chronological coat-hanger on which the series rests. But ultimately Lewis does not want us to become obsessed with chronology, but with content.
Thus there is something to the vehemence with which so many readers argue that the books must be read in the order in which they were first published, namely: 1. The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe; 2. Prince Caspian; 3. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader; 4. The Silver Chair; 5.
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Format: Paperback
What can I add to the discussion of the Narnia books themselves? They're fantastic, and, as a long-time reader of Lewis's work, all I can say is that it's heartening to see that new generations are continuing to discover how wonderful the Chronicles of Narnia are, just as I did about 20 years ago. It's also great to see how many adults continue to treasure them, just as I do today.
The only thing I would say to first-time readers is the same thing that a lot of other reviewers are saying: DON'T READ THE BOOKS IN THE ORDER THAT U.S. PUBLISHERS ARE PUTTING THEM OUT THESE DAYS! Lewis always intended the Narnia books to be published and read in the order in which he wrote them: LWW, PC, VDT, SC, HHB, MN, and LB. It's true that, near the end of his life, Lewis pondered the notion of having the books published and read in chronological order -- but only after an extensive set of internal revisions.
As it turned out, Lewis never had the chance to complete those revisions. So, as they stand now, the books really should be read in the original sequence. For one thing, that's the only way for new readers to discover Narnia in the way that Lewis himself discovered it. Since Lewis never got around to his intended rewriting, the overall story unfolds much more meaningfully -- and much more dramatically -- when it's read OUT of order. For instance, part of the enjoyment of reading The Magician's Nephew is realizing just how a land that the reader has already fallen in love with actually came into being; there's an almost archaeological ("oh, NOW I understand") feel to it. If you read MN first, you miss completely that very important -- and very rich -- subtext.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I purchased this particular Narnia set because of the box art displayed in the ad - it's the one we had when I was a kid, and I've been trying to find it for awhile. However, when it arrived I was disappointed to find a new version of the set, with art from the movies, which, frankly, I just don't like, and it's not what I ordered. I contacted the seller about this, thinking I would be able to exchange them, but was informed that the new version is the only one they keep in stock. The customer service rep said I could return them, or they would give me a $5 discount (I assume on a future purchase). Because this was a gift, I just opted to keep the books, though I did appreciate the offer.

I'm giving this seller three stars because 1) they are selling a different version than is advertised, and because they ignored my suggestion to change their ad pic to reflect the version which they are selling.
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