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Book Jacket

Trade Paperback
792 pages
Aug 2005
InterVarsity Press

A Reader's Guide Through the Wardrobe

by Leland Ryken & Marjorie Lamp Mead

Review  |   Author Bio  |  Read an Excerpt   |  Interview


Millions have loved C. S. Lewis’ Narnia books over the years. With the recent release of the movie The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, a plethora of books have appeared about the life and work of this talented Oxford scholar.

A Reader’s Guide Through the Wardrobe provides a unique look at Lewis’ first Narnian chronicle. The authors use each chapter of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe to demonstrate a literary device employed by Lewis. From the basics of the beginning chapter, showing how stories are begun, to “the role of myth” as the tale is winding down, the authors have done an expert job matching the varied chapters to themes. So expert that it starts to feel like Lewis wrote 17 separate little books.

While this focus may stifle cross-referencing between chapters, it helps readers to pause and look at the individual parts of the story instead of rushing through (the authors do stress reading the book purely for enjoyment first before dissecting it). Detailed, thought-provoking prose explains the literary terms, and clearly-marked questions offer opportunity for discussion. The careful attention to how Lewis used various elements is especially helpful to writers.

In Part 2 of this book, the authors describe Lewis’ literary influence, how The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe was received, and the Christian vision of the book, plus give a brief biography of Lewis. The in-depth study may scare off some readers, but Ryken and Mead’s book is quite readable despite scholarly leanings.  I highly recommended A Reader’s Guide Through the Wardrobe for Narnia fans. -- Katie Hart, Christian Book

Book Jacket:

In this interactive, informative book, literary expert Leland Ryken and Lewis scholar Marjorie Lamp Mead unlock the door to The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, inviting you to step inside--deeper and deeper, past the musty fur coats--and gaze in wide-eyed wonder once again at the magical, wintery world Lucy first found.

A Reader's Guide Through the Wardrobe helps you examine the story from Lewis's point of view, shedding light on his imagination and use of literary forms. Even further, Mead and Ryken serve as your guides through this first Narnia adventure, providing an inside look at characters, setting and framework. Here is a book that will help you see The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe as Lucy first saw Narnia--with fresh, new eyes, childlike wonder and anticipation for the adventure that lies ahead.