Thursday, May 26, 2005


The first of the Narnia (The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe) movies will be in theaters Dec. 9th. A sneak peek is available.

It looks amazing. I am curious as to whether they will be as true to the spirit of C. S. Lewis's writings and theology, or if they will water it down somewhat as Peter Jackson did in the LOTR trilogy, thereby giving short shrift to the Christian undertones. It may be more difficult for them to do, as Lewis himself, while best friends with Tolkien, chastised him a little for not making the LOTR more obviously an allegory (Tolkien detested allegory claims and sought to avoid them), but Lewis strove to do just that in his Narnia books.

I have been wanting to read the Narnia books for years, but just never seemed to get to them. I am only now finally reading the LOTR books after having absorbed and fallen in love with the movies. But the age-old question remains: Is it best to read the book before the movie, or vice-versa?

In the LOTR's case, I am glad now that I saw the movies first. The books are incredibly rich in subject matter, and there is no way that Peter Jackson could have put everything on screen. He's been somewhat unfairly vilified for this, but there is no pleasing the purists as we all know. On one hand, the movies may have made more sense for me the first time around had I read the books, but movies are only a few hours...books can go for days and weeks. The pleasure I've received from reading the books after the fact has been grand. There are still so many surprises in store as I read.

I'm going to take the opposite approach with Narnia...mostly because there are seven books instead of three. They are on order and I'm anxious to read them later this summer...after I finish "The Two Towers" and "The Return of the King."

What a gift these two close friends gave to the world. Middle-Earth and Narnia. Shall we ever see their likes again?


At 4:19 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Generally speaking.. best to read the book first. Braveheart, Gladiator, Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, Quo Vadis, Romeo and Juliet..The Ten Commandments... The Passion of the Christ.. oh yes, those are read-firsts. :-) Also, if one reads the book first, then even if one forevermore misses out on seeing the movie, or doesn't see the whole thing, or it's too disappointingly adapted, one won't have missed the story entirely, which is where the heart of an author lived.


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