The Magician’s Book,
A Skeptic’s Adventure in Narnia
Written By: Laura Miller
Published By: Little, Brown and Company an Imprint of Hachette Book Group, 2008, First Edition, 320 pages, hardcover
“The Magician’s Book is very disappointing; a literary criticism that makes for a heavy, disjointed read.”
Product Description – From Amazon.com
“THE MAGICIAN’S BOOK is the story of one reader’s long, tumultuous relationship with C.S. Lewis’The Chronicles of Narnia. Enchanted by its fantastic world as a child, prominent critic Laura Miller returns to the series as an adult to uncover the source of these small books’ mysterious power by looking at their creator, Clive Staples Lewis. What she discovers is not the familiar, idealized image of the author, but a more interesting and ambiguous truth: Lewis’s tragic and troubled childhood, his unconventional love life, and his intense but ultimately doomed friendship with J.R.R. Tolkien.
Finally reclaiming Narnia “for the rest of us,” Miller casts the Chronicles as a profoundly literary creation, and the portal to a life-long adventure in books, art, and the imagination.”
The Magician’s Book is not what I was hoping for and I have been putting off the review because I dislike writing really negative reviews; I have to be honest with my readers though, so here goes. I’ll start with the good points: the cover is beautifully illustrated, the title is really catchy and this book is fairly well researched. For me, that’s pretty much everything positive that I have to say. I’ll be the first one to admit that I am not a huge Narnia fan (though I liked the movies) and it could have a lot to do with my negative response to this book. I’m not sure that Narnia fans would find this book overly appealing, but only they can say. I found this critique to be very long-winded, tiring and not very interesting. For those who are die-hard fans of Narnia who also enjoy the dissection of the author’s life relating to the Narnia story/world, it might make a compelling read. The analysis, interpretation and moulding of the fictional story mixed in with pieces of non-fiction fact…well it was all too strange for me to enjoy. This book might have decoded the world of Narnia for all of the fans out there, but somehow I doubt it. The reader should know that The Magician’s Book is a blend of Literary Criticism and Fan Fiction. There is an index included at the back of the book.
♦♦ (2 out of 10 Diamonds) – I did not like it
A special thanks to Hachette Book Group for sending me a copy to review.
Copyright © Book Reviews By Bobbie — Bobbie Crawford-McCoy