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Category Archives: Narnia

The Last Battle Review

The Last Battle

Published: 1956
Pages: ~172
Completed: Yes
Enjoyed: So-so

Seriousness: Tone no, subject yes
Genre: Children/Fantasy
Difficulty: Some complex metaphors/imagery
Rating: PG

Recommend: Not as much as the other Narnia books

Up next … The Little Prince, by Antoine De Saint-Exupery.

 
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Posted by on November 28, 2012 in Narnia, Review

 

Where’s the Adventure?

Narnia signs off with a bang. Or rather, an account of the end of days and an attempt at representing heaven.

The Last Battle remains the most overtly Christian of the Narnia series (which is probably saying a lot), and – unfortunately – one of the least interesting/exciting. The main characters spend most of their time as fairly passive observers of events, fantastical though those events may be.

The latter part of the book depicts the end of Narnia, as Aslan calls the inhabitants, winnowing the disloyal, and welcoming the loyal to the real Narnia. It’s an interesting presentation of “heaven”, that will be nigh-impossible to capture on film should they ever get around to making any more (though this looks increasingly unlikely – the production company has apparently lost the film rights).

I can readily imagine people with different religious beliefs being put off by the whole thing; even, occasionally, other Christians. One of the characters encountered in Paradise is a Calormene (read “horrible-swarthy-heathen-arabic-stereotype”), who has been told that his loyal and honest service to Tash is counted as if it were to Aslan. This is all very feel-good and so on, but a somewhat debatable interpretation of the Bible. That said, God will save whom He wants to save, and I certainly don’t know what His exact criteria are.

It also has one of the strangest finales I’ve ever read (paraphrasing):
“What’s wrong, child?”
“Oh, Aslan, we’re sad because we’ll have to leave!”
“Don’t worry, you’re all dead, so you can stay.”
“Yay!”

For all that, though, it does express one idea rather nicely: The reason we love this world is that sometimes it looks a bit like heaven.

 
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Posted by on November 25, 2012 in Narnia

 

What Do You Mean It’s November?

The days, weeks, months have flown by; it’ll be 2013 before we know it. *le sigh*

So what have I been up to that’s kept me away from you, faithful reader(s)? Well, besides end-of-year busyness at work, updating Rose Red’s website, not responding well to daylight savings*, and a trip away for a relative’s wedding, not a great deal of reading.

We’ve progressed a little further in The Last Battle, and it continues to be fairly depressing and not-bedtime-story-ish. A lot of the religious/political allegory is too on-the-nose to make for an enjoyable read.

Harry is in stasis. It doesn’t seem to have hurt him so far. I think he’s quite happy to put off his next torturous detention with Umbridge.

I’ve been enjoying a book my brother lent me called “The First 50 Pages”. It’s about how to start your novel well so that readers/publishers/agents/etc. don’t throw it away after reading the first chapter/page. Lots of good advice that I’d mostly encountered before in one form or another, but coherently organised and with good examples and explanations that help make the concepts more concrete.

I’ve also been having great and deep ponderings on the topic of morality (inspired by the strangest of things, but then that’s how my mind works), but I’ll save that for a later post. (It will probably be loooong.)

* I recall someone in my family remarking that whichever party abolishes daylight savings had their vote.

 
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Posted by on November 10, 2012 in General, Harry Potter, Narnia