Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Colin Duriez fixes his eye upon Narnia

Approximately two hours ago, I finished reading the Colin Duriez title A Field Guide to Narnia, published in 2004. My experience reading it was enjoyable. It contains a few little, annoying errors (annoying to me, anyway), but these are all quite minor. I consider the book thought-provoking and readable, and I learned something new (typically more than one thing) about Lewis's thought and way of writing with every chapter. The third part of the book, "The A-Z of Narnia: Beings, Places, Things and Events," will serve as a nice little encyclopedia of Narnia and makes me especially glad that I bought the book as opposed to merely borrowing it.

I expect there will be a lot of books with Narnia as their subject matter coming out soon, given that the first Narnia film made by Walden Media is set for wide theatrical release this December. I am suspicious that a lot of these "companion" books aren't going to be good or well researched (as was the case with more than a few books which I shall not name that sprang forth from publishers around the time that Peter Jackson's LotR adaptations made it to the cinema). These links (one, two) should illustrate why I tend to think that will be true for Narnia also. Duriez's examination of Narnia will likely be significantly better than the vast majority of the books dealing with Narnia that are inundating bookstores even now and those that will arrive in the months ahead. Even should my pessimistic predictions prove unfounded, I would still recommend A Field Guide to Narnia to you.

Related: In terms of C.S. Lewis's writing in general and reference works, I have always felt very pleased with my copy of The Quoteable Lewis.