Thursday, January 20, 2011

Book Review: Inside The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

I've previously blogged about Devin Brown's first two inside guides to Narnia and Prince Caspian, and once again, he's on top form as he dissects CS Lewis' third Chronicle of Narnia, The Voyage of the Dawn Treader. As with the earlier books, Brown follows the chapters of the book through, pointing out interesting links to other CS Lewis writings, possible sources and inspirations, as well as drawing out the meaning of the text and applying it to the heart of the listener.

The Chronicles of Narnia are, of course, primarily childrens' stories, but many adults enjoy the stories, or can remember them from childhood. On reading this series of books, you'll be reminded of the stories, and find much more to enjoy the next time you return to the originals! It is obvious that, because the Chronicles are 'rich with meaning', Brown has worked hard to discover and explain the layers of meaning in an accessible and memorable format.

Consider some of these great lines:

'Like the White Witch and Miraz before him, Eustace is unable to see any flaws in himself.' (p. 28)

'A tyrant's only version of happiness... requires that he or she take happiness away from others.' (p. 53)

'Like all who share his spiritual blindness, the first lesson Eustace has to learn is that he has lessons to learn.' (p. 55)

'We are reminded that Edmund does know about the pain of sin and, even more, about the pleasure of repentance.' (p. 110)

These are just a sampling of some of the great ways we're led through the voyage, finding the lords, encountering dragons, stars, and coming to the end of the world and glimpsing Aslan's country. If you haven't picked up the Narnia stories in years, read them, and then Brown's commentaries; if you already love Narnia and Aslan, you'll love them more as a result of this book.

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