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Inside the Voyage of the Dawn Treader: A Guide to Exploring the Journey beyond Narnia

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  • Posted October 23, 2010

    Best Commentary on Voyage of the Dawn Treader

    Devin Brown's Inside Narnia series is three sevenths of the way to becoming the only *complete* commentary on the Narnia books. It is already the best.

    Like with Inside Narnia and Inside Prince Caspian, Brown walks the reader chapter-by-chapter through Voyage of the Dawn Treader. But unlike other books on Narnia, which often focus exclusively on the connections within the work to other aspects of Lewis's thought-or to explaining the literary sources for Lewis's mythical creatures-Brown mentions these connections but also devotes considerable time treating the book as a work of master-class writing. Which it is.

    Readers (like me) for whom VODT is the pinnacle of the Chronicles need not worry that Brown unweaves the book's powerful magic. As a critic, Brown adopts Lewis's model for criticism, which is wary of too much reading between the lines. Brown points out clear connections to Lewis's other work, illuminates the book's literary features and allusions, but avoids the "mare's nests" often caused by over-interpretation. This is a book that sends you back to the original with greater appreciation and enjoyment.

    Recommended for book groups or high-school-and-up classrooms, and especially for serious fans of VODT, who are legion.

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