Reviewing The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis
Far be it from me to criticize a successful writer of great literary renown like C.S. Lewis. However, I found it interesting to comment on his work from my perspective as struggling childrens novelist. It was surprising that writing styles have changed so dramatically since 1950. Reading this book was definitely a trip back into the past.
The first thing that struck me was his breaking character to address me, the reader. This parenthetical switch to second person in the middle of a narrative stream was a real shocker. It did tend to personalize the reading experience, however it jerked me out of my reading dream state. I know that rules are made to be broken and the form and function of grammar has changed since 1950, but Im not ready to try this trick.
Another writing process methodology that Lewis employed was an explanation for the young reader of emotions expressed or shown by a character. It demonstrates his recognition that his young readers may not be familiar with a feeling experienced by one of his characters. He did this on several occasions in the novel and his sensitivity to the immaturity of his readers, I found impressive.
Finally, I picked up the second book of the seven book series, Prince Caspian. I was surprised to discover a very brief outline of the first book within the first chapter of this book. Every book in a series must stand alone, but Lewis found it necessary to help his readers by relating events from the first book. This helps me determine how much of my first novel to mention in the sequel.
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