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186 of 188 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A 'must-read' for anyone serious about C.S. Lewis
I continue to be astonished by the sheer depth and breadth of research, investigation and knowledge exhibited by those who are passionate about the writings of C.S. Lewis; even those who are not professional academics or theologians go to tremendous lengths to understand and relate small details of Lewis's life and the background to his writings. Michael Ward's book goes...
Published on 9 Mar. 2008 by T. Cooke

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18 of 32 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars An Unproven Thesis
This is a scholarly work rather than light holiday reading but is, nevertheless, worth persevering with. Michael Ward's thesis is that the Narnia books of CS Lewis contain three layers: the stories themselves, the Christian messages and a third layer which Ward thinks he has discovered: that the books were planned around the astrological characteristics (as understood in...
Published on 17 Aug. 2009 by Mr. J. Hastings


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3 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A serious scholarly review, 12 July 2009
By 
P. H. Lloyd (Bedfordshire, UK) - See all my reviews
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This is a serious scholarly treatise on C.S. Lewis and his interest in the planets both in myth and in science. As such it is fairly heavy going and not for the light reader who loves Narnia. It is well documented in footnotes and seems to me to be an excellent treatise.
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5 of 11 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Dangerous waters for any CS Lewis reader..., 21 Jan. 2010
By 
Mr. Jason D. Ward (uk) - See all my reviews
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I would have thought that literary criticism of CS Lewis very dangerous waters given his own comprehensive demolishing of even the best criticism in "Fern Seed and Elephants." And we are now further away from him than even his critics in his day.

Did CS Lewis ever say that Narnia is based on seven planets? If he didn't, then caution is to be advised from here onwards...
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3 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 7 July 2009
By 
John H. Gates - See all my reviews
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Bought this for a present for an avid reader of C S Lewis who is currently enthralled with the book.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 3 Nov. 2014
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This review is from: Planet Narnia: The Seven Heavens in the Imagination of C. S. Lewis (Paperback)
bought as a recommendation for a present
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8 of 29 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Welcome to the Ivory Tower, 9 Nov. 2010
By 
Rusty (London, UK) - See all my reviews
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I hadn't read any of the Narnia novels before I saw a BBC documentary about Michael Ward and his new literary theory. The documentary made a riveting case for the "planetary" argument and I instantly wanted to know more about it... so the first thing I had to do was read all 7 books in the Narnia series.

And I have to say - my enthusiasm waned with each book. "The Lion the Witch and The Wardrobe" and perhaps "The Magician's Nephew" are the best of the lot. As time wore on and I waded through twee identikit chapters full of convenient plot twists, one-dimensional characters and increasingly unsubtle Christian allegory... I began to find C.S. Lewis a chore to read.

And the biggest chore was yet to come. Michael Ward has spent 30 years studying and teaching Lewis - and I think it's fair to say that he's totally out of touch with the everyday reader. Granted, his argument is an important one in academic circles and his book needed to be written in a style that would impress his peers... but this makes it entirely inaccessible to the general public.

Ward also assumes that you, the reader, have an intimate knowledge of Lewis' obscure theological essays, his poetry, his sci-fi novels, etc. I know nothing about any of these... and vast tracts within this book were entirely lost on me. He also assumes that you, the reader, have an interest in and a cultured understanding of Christianity. If you have just one or neither, many pages of this book will be clear as mud to you.

I think I also question Ward's attitude to his own theory. Consider this statement: "I must say that the making of this discovery has struck me as something analogous to a scientific breakthrough or even a religious revelation." And also this, when Ward describes how he felt immediately prior to his discovery: "...the atmosphere in the room suddenly became somehow intense and palpable. It was a most unusual experience and I went back to my theological college in a kind of daze. Exactly what had happened to me, I did not know, but I felt it to be of tremendous import."

Something about this sort of hubris turned me off. There are more important things in the world than another protracted study of the Narnia novels. This book left me cold, bored and wondering why scholars try so hard to put their own words into the mouths of authors who can no longer speak for themselves.
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting, 25 Sept. 2013
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I bought this for my husband as he was interested in reading this book. Not sure if he ever finished it.
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0 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Book, 27 Dec. 2013
By 
Dr. Raymond L. Kahn "Caesar Augustus" (Bedford, England) - See all my reviews
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Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Planet Narnia: The Seven Heavens in the Imagination of C. S. Lewis (Paperback)
Purchased as a gift for my wife - I have nothing more to say about it so why should I?
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