Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Farewell, Narnia

I finally made it through The Chronicles of Narnia.

The Last Battle was strange, and violent, and pretty good. It was nice to see numerous characters - both lead and supporting - express the kinds of feelings you might reasonably have if your world was (literally) going to hell.

The end was very Biblical, but Lewis managed to surprise me: there's a race called the Calormene, and they are dark-skinned and live in the desert and worship a god other than Aslan. So basically they are Arabs. We learn that one Calormene has made it to Heaven - I mean "Aslan's Country" - because he was very noble, despite following a god other than Aslan. Aslan basically says that all the good he did in the god Tash's name, was actually done in Aslan's name, which is why the Calormene gets to go to Aslan's Country. Lewis appears to be suggesting that if you are a good person, this is all that counts. That's an unexpected conclusion, considering how Old Time Religion he is in previous books.

Overall, I'm glad to be done with this series. It's not as good as its reputation. But they are such a fundamental piece of fantasy literature, that reading them helps the rest of the genre to make more sense.

Kind of like how the Star Wars prequels aren't that fantastic, but Robot Chicken is much funnier if you have seen the prequels.

Next up, Stranger in a Strange Land by Robert Heinlein. I'm waiting for my library of choice to get the copy they ordered. While I wait, I'm taking a little break to read the Fables comics that I bought with my birthday gift cards.

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