Yes, finally… it ended! I finished reading the seven books of the Narnia Chronicles and finally I can have an opinion of my own about CS Lewis’ books. I say this, and I repeat it once again if you have read the previous six posts I published about the books, because my intention to start reading the Narnia Chronicles started with a comment on Twitter saying that the ending was «very bad». Before reading my opinion of this book (devoid of literary interest and importance at all, that is, my opinion) I highly recommend reading the books. The feeling you will experience upon completion is one that does not happen very often. Seriously.
This book is different from all the others: it begins in a very negative tone, very depressing and it seems to be the end of the world of Narnia, from almost the very first line, to then move on to a world of LSD, with ethereal and fantastic descriptions, all focused on Aslan’s figure. And then, the book ends in such a way, such a strength on a mental level, it will take readers a few days to cope with the situation, especially if they really liked the more childish tone of the previous six books.
I never understood why there were so many comments about Catholicism regarding CS Lewis’ books, because it takes a lot of imagination to compare Aslan with God. However, in “The Last Battle” it is not only evident, this comparison, it is exacerbated.
Racism and sexism. In The Last Battle, yes, there are some sentences that will make many eyebrows rise, but taking into consideration that they were written in the 50’s, maybe, (and just maybe), at the time they were written this was the standard for the world. I don’t think you have to look at a book with a current perspective, (or at least not with JUST a current perspective) or you will get very angry reading old books.
If you want to enjoy an interesting reading that shows all kinds of opinions about this book (what this book generates in the readers), I recommend that you read the profile of the book in Goodreads. Here one reader will say something like «5 stars, incredible ending» and the next comment will be lke «1 star, what a terrible ending”, and so on throughout almost 5,000 comments (at least at the time when I was writing these words, that was the number of comments): https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/84369.The_Last_Battle
As I have been doing in all the previous books, here is the name of the book, The Last Battle, in different languages:
- “The last Battle” – the original in English.
- “La última batalla” – Spanish, same as the original.
- “Der letzte Kampf bzw. Der Kampf um Narnia bzw. Die Tür auf der Wiese. Eine Geschichte aus dem Wunderlande Narnia” – oh German, you never cease to amaze me. Translated into English, the German title means “The last battle, or the Battle for Narnia, or the door to the prairie. A story from the wonderland of Narnia”.
- “La Dernière Bataille“ – French, same as the original.
- “L’ultima battaglia“ – Italian, same as the original.
- “A Última Batalha“ – Portuguese, same as the original
- “さいごの戦い“ – Japanese,… c’mon German, even in Japanese it’s the same as the original!
Final comment: I think that literature should arouse in us different sensations, even negative ones, like hatred, or surprise or discomfort … I think a book is successful when it makes us feel something. I am sure I will not forget this book, yes, because of its ending. And I think, I will need to agree with that tweeter comment from seven posts ago…
Book quote: “All their life in this world and all their adventures in Narnia had only been the cover and the title page: now at last they were beginning Chapter One of the Great Story which no one on earth has read: which goes on for ever: in which every chapter is better than the one before.”
Keep on reading,
Questions to answer in the comments:
Have you read the series of Narnia? And what about “The Last Battle”? Did you like it? Do you agree with my final comments? Have you read any similar books you would recommend, for someone who would like to read more of the same genre? Please answer all these questions in the comments!