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.
Jam-packed with critical insights and historical context, this discussion of C.S. Lewiss Chronicles of Narnia from Millers double perspectivesas the wide-eyed child who first read the books and an agnostic adult who revisits themis intellectually inspiring but not always cohesive. Finding her distrust of Christianity undermined by her love of Lewiss indisputably Christian-themed world, Salon.com cofounder and staff writer Miller seeks to recapture [Narnias] old enchantment. She replaces lost innocence with understanding, visiting Lewiss home in England, reading his letters and books (which she quotes extensively) and interviewing readers and writers. Lengthy musings on Freudian analysis of sadomasochism, J.R.R. Tolkiens Anglo-Saxon nationalism and taxonomies of genre share space with incisive and unapologetic criticism of Lewiss treatment of race, gender and class. The heart of the book is in the first-person passages where Miller recalls longing to both be and befriend Lucy Pevensie and extols Narnias shining wonders. Her reluctant reconciliation with Lewiss and Narnias imperfections never quite manages to be convincing, but anyone who has endured exile from Narnia will recognize and appreciate many aspects of her journey. (Dec. 3)Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.