So, I love the Chronicles of Narnia. I mean, LOVE it. The Husband and I seriously considered Caspian as a name for one of our son’s. (We ended up using a different C. S. Lewis character name from a different book, but still.) If I wasn’t missing several years of pictures because of a couple of computer crashes, I’d show you that for my first son’s first Halloween, we actually dressed up as The Lion (the Scientist), the Witch (Me), and the Wardrobe (the Husband). We’re just a little obsessed with the man and his work.
Right now, we’re in the middle of reading the entire seven book set to the older two boys and they are loving it. I insist on reading them in the order in which they were written, the way, as far as I’m concerned, the author intended them to be read. This means that as we’ve already read The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, Prince Caspian, and The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, in that order, and we are now at the part that I like least about the entire series: The Silver Chair. I feel like I’m trapped in Narnia.
Don’t get me wrong. It has it’s moments, and God bless ’em, Jill and Eustace try. Oh, and Rillian…yeah, Rillian. I had the biggest book crush on him from the moment I first read the book when I was 14, which is kinda sick considering I had the biggest book crush on Caspian, his father, when I first met him two books earlier, but I digress. I like Eustace, ever since he turned into that dragon in …Dawn Treader and then realized what an absolute ass he had been and shaped up into a pretty decent guy. The characters are not the problem with this book.
I can’t quite pin down why this is the only book of Lewis’ that I don’t absolutely love. (See? I enjoy his work so much that this is the harshest criticism I can manage.) The plot kind of drags and the action just isn’t there like it is in the others. And this is why, every time I read this book, I feel as if I’m trapped in Narnia, and not in a good way.
You may be wondering why I don’t just skip it. Hello? Have we met? My name is Bridget and I’ve got OCRD, or Obsessive Compulsive Reading Disorder. It’s a rare condition which means that, once I start a book, or a series, I can’t stop until I’ve read every single word, even if I’m re-reading it for the 18th time. Even when it gets depressing (hello, Anne’s House of Dreams). Even when I don’t really care for it all that much (hello, Son of a Witch). And even when it makes me feel like I’m trapped in one of the slowest moving stories ever written which feels even slower when being read out loud to little boys who ask a million questions and interrupt every three lines. It’s a terrible condition and has caused me to finish many an unworthy book before. Some people, like my sister Barbara, are lucky enough to not have it. She can toss a book aside the second it gets yucky (hello, Anne’s House of Dreams). Not so much for me.
And so, tonight and every night I can manage to get the baby to sleep before the big boys, I’ll be sitting in an uncomfortable folding chair in their bedroom, inching forward through the land of Narnia, praying I make it out sometime before September.