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Inside Narnia: A Guide to Exploring The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe [Paperback]

By Devin Brown (Author)
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Item Specifications...

Pages   256
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.9" Width: 6.26" Height: 0.73"
Weight:   0.69 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Sep 1, 2005
Publisher   Baker Publishing Group
ISBN  0801065992  
EAN  9780801065996  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Discover the land of Narnia--where the everyday and the mystical mingle

Do you know all there is to know about this land and its creator?

Why does the wardrobe lead to Narnia only at specific moments?
Were the children modeled after any particular people in C. S. Lewis's life?
Why did Lewis choose the animals he did, and why did he allow them the ability to talk?
Such questions are explored in this riveting analysis of C. S. Lewis's magical world. Tracing through The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe chapter by chapter, Devin Brown explores fascinating symbols, hidden meanings, and easily missed details that swirl in and around Lewis's famous story.

Whether you're a book or movie lover--or both--Inside Narnia will heighten your understanding of a world where the real and imaginary come together.

Publishers Description
The Chronicles of Narnia series has sold over 85 million copies worldwide and single-handedly introduced people of all ages to the central doctrines of Christianity. Anticipating the December 2005 Walden Media/Walt Disney Pictures release of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, this book guides readers through the novel that started it all.
Inside Narnia offers a close reading of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Tracing through the book chapter by chapter, Devin Brown explores the features of C. S. Lewis's writing, supplies supplemental information on Lewis's life and other books, offers comments and opinions from other Lewis scholars, and shows the work's rich meanings.
Insightful and thorough, Inside Narnia will dig deeper into Lewis's magical world to reveal biblical truths that often go uncovered. Fans of C. S. Lewis and those who will meet him through the upcoming film release will want to read this book.

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More About Devin Brown

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Devin Brown (PhD, University of South Carolina) is a Lilly scholar and professor of English at Asbury University in Wilmore, Kentucky, where he teaches courses on C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien. He has written, taught, and lectured on Lewis extensively for more than ten years. He has authored a number of books related to Lewis, including Inside Narnia. In 2008 he was invited to serve as scholar-in-residence at the Kilns, Lewis's home in Oxford.

Devin Brown currently resides in Lexington, in the state of Kentucky.

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Reviews - What do our customers think?
Excellent Analysis  Mar 27, 2007
Inside Narnia was one of the many books published in advance of the recent movie adaptation of C.S. Lewis's The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe. In this book Devin Brown, a Lewis scholar and aficionado, offers a detailed look into the world of Narnia, digging far beyond the surface, and exploring this magical world. Having just read The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe with my children, I decided to read this as a commentary of sorts, to see what I had missed and what I would want to look for the next time I read the book.

Brown begins the book just where he should: with a rationale for the book's existence. There are, after all, many similar titles available. He replies that the strongest reason for any new work must be that it first takes an approach not taken before and then must cover ground that has not been covered before. He does both of these. His approach to the story is in the first place literary rather than primarily devotional. He moves through the book chapter-by-chapter, providing literary analysis and supplying "a good deal of supplemental information from Lewis's life and other writings." He also offers comments and opinions from a wide variety of other scholars. In many ways the book is a running commentary rather than a collection of essays. "My claim is this: although The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe can be simply read and enjoyed by a child, it can also be read seriously by adults because it is a work rich with meaning. Some of this meaning will be discovered simply by spending time with the text and paying close attention to what Lewis has written. Further meaning will be seen by drawing connections--connections not only to other passages within the novel but also to other works by Lewis, to the events of Lewis's life, and to the world of other writers who influenced Lewis. ... I contend that this twofold approach--first, a careful reading and the second, adding these kinds of connections--will result in greater enjoyment of an already enjoyable book."

Because this book is primarily a literary analysis, it does not contain a great deal of discussion about the story's religious elements. There are many other books that look at the story from that angle. Devin focuses instead on language, on consistencies and inconsistencies in this story and Lewis's other writings, and on the life experiences that stand behind the story. I really felt, as I read Inside Narnia, that the author was unlocking a great deal of the story to me.

Where Brown does deal with religious elements, he typically does so in a manner that is fair even if not thorough. He is careful to point out that this story is not meant to be an allegory for the story of the Bible. He writes "No topic surrounding the Narnia stories has been so misunderstood or has had so much written about it as the question of whether they are allegory." He ultimately turns to Lewis who affirms that the books actually stem from this kind of thought: "Let us suppose that there were a land like Narnia and that the Son of God, as He became a Man in our world, because a Lion there, and then imagine what would happen." While there are certainly obvious parallels between the witness of Scripture and the story told in the Narnia books, they are not and were not meant to be true allegory. This means that we should not go looking too deeply in our quest to find religious significant under every rock and in every crevice in Narnia.

Interestingly, this book made me realize what it is about Lewis's world that kept me from falling in love with it as I did with Tolkien's Middle Earth. I think the real difference is in the completeness of the world. In The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe we see a world that very obviously has not been thought through to the extent that Middle Earth has been. Narnia has many clear and obvious flaws. Some of these were reconciled in further books, but many were just left unreconciled. There is much about Lewis's world that just doesn't make a lot of sense. I can see now that this kept me from believing the world as I did with Middle Earth.

All-in-all, Inside Narnia was a good and valuable read and one I enjoyed a great deal. It put to rest the haunting memories of high school level literary analysis that seemed to award not truth but originality in dissecting stories we knew nothing about written by authors we had never heard of. This book, on the other hand, represents the work of a man who has studied both the author and his work. It opens up the story and allows us to see what we certainly would not otherwise know. I definitely recommend it to anyone who has read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
The Inside Story!  Nov 8, 2006

The Inside Narnia Guide was given as a Christmas gift last year to our granddaughter in conjunction with the Chronicles of Narnia Gift Box Set.
This guide was an excellent selection for her and she has told us several times how much she enjoyed reading it.
The fact that her first name is the same as the author's was an added bonus!
Based on her appraisal, I recommend this as a great addition to the Chronicles of Narnia Set. ~ Mrs. B.

A Commentary on TLWW  Jan 9, 2006
Since The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe was printed in 1950, almost four-dozen books have been published on the Narnian Chronicles, and most of these in the past few years. The danger in writing a book on Narnia today is that so much has already been said. Devin Brown sets the standard in the Preface to Inside Narnia in describing how his book is different: "The strongest reason for any new work must be that is (1) takes an approach not taken before or (2) covers ground which has not been covered. I would offer both these reasons for Inside Narnia." (7)

Many books on Narnia focus mostly on the devotional or spiritual elements of Lewis's books; however, Devin Brown sees value in a literary approach. "By devoting an entire work to The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, I hope to provide the kind of close literary analysis it warrants and also supply a good deal of supplemental information from Lewis's life and other writings. In addition, I offer a wide selection of comments and opinions from other scholars, here for the first time collected in a single work." (7)

As Brown notes, Inside Narnia is very much like a running commentary on the first of the Narnian Chronicles. Throughout the book, Brown highlights many of the debates and insights that have generated in the past 55 years. Though he draws from a wide range of authors and scholars, he relies heavily on the work of Colin Manlove, Peter Schakel, Donald Glover, and Peter Ford.

This sort of scholarly commentary makes for a book that feels very academic, though the tone and language is far more accessible than most academic works. The insight Devin Brown provides can only come from lengthy research in the field, research that Brown skillfully employs. The result is another unique book on Narnia that should not be missed. Inside Narnia is a valuable introduction to the literary world created by C.S. Lewis with The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
A Walking Tour through the Wardrobe  Oct 2, 2005
If "The Chronicles of Narnia and Philosophy" is written for philosophy buffs, "Inside Narnia" is written for literature lovers. Here is the book that English literature professors at colleges everywhere have been praying for - a preface to "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" in the tradition of C. S. Lewis's "Preface to Paradise Lost."

This is a smart, critical guide through Narnia, with Devin Brown dropping glorious bits of "behind the scenes" information and careful analysis. Like any good critic, Brown's book enchants his subject, sending us back to it with renewed interest.

Like any good tour guide, Brown speaks in a clear and accessible style, navigating Lewis's literary and biographical sources with ease - pointing out the similarities to (among others) J. R. R. Tolkien, who was both a literary and real-life influence on Lewis.

A delightful read, for those who identify with Peter, all the way up to those of us a bit more like the Professor.

*****Phil Tallon - St Andrews, Scotland*****
A surprisingly fascinating book!  Sep 22, 2005
Clive Staples Lewis (1898-1963) is remembered for two things - his great works of Christian theology (Mere Christianity, The Great Divorce, and many more) and his Chronicles of Narnia books. Now, many books have been published on the theology of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (TLWW), but this book looks at TLWW as a work of literature. Going through TLWW chapter by chapter, and indeed section by section, Dr. Devin G. Brown (professor of English at Asbury College, Wilmore, Kentucky), gives the reader a fascinating commentary on what is happening and what it means.

I must say that this is a surprisingly fascinating book! The author begins with the dedication at the beginning of TLWW, and goes through the entirety of the book, explaining and clarifying just about everything. Now, don't get the idea that this book is a dry academic work. In fact, the author does an excellent job of hold the reader's interest.

If you are a fan of C.S. Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia, then this is the book for you. It provides the reader with a deep understanding of this seemingly simple Christian classic, telling you things you never would have guessed. I highly recommend this book.

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