Narnia: Unplugged

NarniaSeriesby Brad Nelson
One of the best, if not the best, series of fantasy/sci-fi books that I’ve read is C.S. Lewis’ Narnia series. If you haven’t read them, do so for this is very fun experience and is easily better than the Harry Potter series because the stories are more varied and not so bloody long.

I did read the first five Potter books and enjoyed them, but finally hit “Potter fatigue.” But with the Chronicles of Narnia series, all seven books just flew by.

For tha Narnia series, I recommend reading The Magician’s Nephew last (or second to last) and starting with The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. It’s not a big deal, but you do miss something by reading The Magician’s Nephew first. A suggested order:

1. The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe: A Story for Children
2. Prince Caspian: The Return to Narnia
3. The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
4. The Silver Chair
5. The Horse and His Boy
6. The Magician’s Nephew
7. The Last Battle: A Story for Children.

But, Brad, these are *Christian* books with a lot of Jesus stuff hidden inside it. Why should I bother? Isn’t Lewis just trying to sneak in religion?

I think C.S. Lewis played more the role of the artist and let his imagination rip when he wrote this series. Yes, Aslan is a vague stand-in for Christ, but it feels less like he’s trying to slip in the Christian message and more like he’s desirous to write some good fiction.

To me, there is very little overt or covert Christianity, per se, in the series even though the religious love finding countless hidden Christ-like things in it. I’ve read the entire series with my usual attention for detail. I think most of the covert Christian stuff plays out in The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe. But the rest is just a grand battle between good and evil, something not at all foreign to The Lord of the Rings — which itself is apparently a vaguely Christian tale. But many of these themes are just inherent to the human condition.

If you haven’t read the books, stop now because a big spoiler follows:

In the first book, Aslan sacrifices himself. He allows himself to be the stand-in for Edmund, taking his punishment for him, taking his sins onto himself. And later (not very much later) Aslan comes back to life. That’s very Christ-like, of course, but otherwise they are quite different beasts. (“After all, he’s not a tame lion.”)

And the very ending of the series gives a somewhat heavenly promised-land spin on it, although it’s not quite what you will expect. And certainly the idea of some kind of Creator exists throughout the series. But most of the books are simply about the people trying to overthrow the rule of a bad king, or about an adventure off on a boat that comes to an island where there is a dragon, or a couple of kids getting caught up in magic, etc.

No doubt if you were trying to take possession of these books for Christianity, you’ll find Christian themes everywhere. And there are many there. But I just found the series to be pleasant reading, just as I found pleasant reading in the Potter books and not some secret attempt to convert me to the Wiccan religon. (I had a terrible argument with a Christian fundamentalist about the Potter series of books…he insisted it was tantamount to the word of the devil…I insisted it was just harmless storytelling.)

Although C.S. Lewis was a renowned Christian apologist, it’s possible for a devout Christian to fart and not have it be a Christian fart. To my mind, the Narnia series is just good fantasy that intersects with some religious or moral themes, but themes that are somewhat universal anyway. Good vs. evil. Overcoming obstacles. Being loyal to friends. Cooperating with one’s destiny. Etc.

I would recommend these books to devout Christian-haters. I think they’re that good and certainly don’t come across as tracts. And I’ve read two or three religious books by C.S. Lewis and the man doesn’t need to sneak his faith in. He’s willing to be quite upfront with it when he wants.

But maybe C.S. Lewis was thinking about politics when he wrote these. I don’t know if this line was directly taken from the book, but in the first movie there was one line in The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe that I never noticed before or that never caught my eye like it did this time. Edmund has sold out his own family (including Mr. Tumnus) several times already and, having finally outlived his usefulness, Edmund is in the White Witch’s prison. The cell next door contains Mr. Tumnus. At some point Janeane Garofalo comes in (that’s sort of how I picture the White Witch who is a very cold and angry…but with white hair, not black)…the White Witch comes in and tells Mr. Tumnus that it was Edmund who sold him out:

You’re here because he (points at Edmund) turned you in…for sweeties.

Oh, man, I’d never realized how clever C.S. was about clearly demarcating good from evil, freedom vs. tyranny, courage vs. selling out. In any tyrannical regime, you will have people selling each other out for Sweeties. We’re doing this right now in our own country as people sell out freedom and future generations by continuing to vote themselves more “sweeties.” Oh, this corruption runs deep and C.S. really had an eye to exposing just what corruption is. Whether it has more Cosmic roots and implications, I don’t know. But he nailed the human ones. Marvelous.

And speaking of movies, I thought the first Narnia movie did an extraordinary job of capturing of the flavor of the first novel. It can’t be easy to transfer a book to a movie. It’s so rarely done well. I loved the Harry Potter books, and some of the casting was quite extraordinary in the movies. But I found much of the story to be dull compared to what it was in the book. But then, there so much going on in those often quite gigantic books that, somewhat necessarily I suppose, the Potter movies tended to be just bookmarked scenes, here and there, strung somewhat into a movie.

But the first Narnia film was truly extraordinary in capturing the look-and-feel of the book. Unfortunately, I found the Prince Caspian second movie to be a bit of a drop-off. The first three-fifths of this second movie were quite good but it got bogged down in battles which often made little sense. The Prince Caspian book itself is actually a quite engaging story, but the actor who plays Prince Caspian in the movie was dull. And whereas in the first movie this set of unknown (to me, at least) actors who played the children worked very well, I think they showed their lack of range in the second film where they were required to play more than just a fish out of water. Their rough edges served the feel of the first movie but were a drawback in the second.

In fact, I think the second book, Prince Caspian, is so good you should bypass the movie (on the chance you haven’t see it) and go right to the book. It’s too good of a story to spoil with a partial re-telling. The second movies fails to portray the truly wondrous and mystical nature of the Narnian world in contrast to the Telmarine (human) one. • (2411 views)

Brad Nelson

About Brad Nelson

I like books, nature, politics, old movies, Ronald Reagan (you get sort of a three-fer with that one), and the founding ideals of this country. We are the Shining City on the Hill — or ought to be. However, our land has been poisoned by Utopian aspirations and feel-good bromides. Both have replaced wisdom and facts.
This entry was posted in Book Reviews. Bookmark the permalink.

30 Responses to Narnia: Unplugged

  1. Timothy Lane says:

    I had read Prince Caspian, but I believe none of the others (that I recalled, as we shall see), when an animated version of The Lion, the Wtich, and the Wardrobe came on TV about 30 years ago. Watching it, certain memories from childhood came back. In particular, I vaguely recalled Turkish delight being significant in a book, and also a group of children in some other world. The scene in which Jadis called up various monsters reminded me of a scene from it, in which the author described various monsters in her army — including, for some reason, creatures called orkneys. So I read the book and found that particular scene.
    Since then, I’ve read all the books except for The Horse and His Boy, although I will also so that they come very close to the line at which a juvenile book becomes too juvenile for an adult to appreciate (closer than The Hobbit, for example, which I’d read in 1969). I was already familiar with Lewis’s space trilogy and Screwtape, and in fact already had the Narnia books. I’ve also read a couple of books about Lewis (or the Inklings, the Oxford literary group he and Tolkien founded).
    I definitely agree that the religious message is not overpowering. In fact, some of my friends who introduced me to the books are themselves non-religious. I will also add that I had no trouble finishing the Harry Potter series. For that matter, the juvenile novels of Robert Heinlein are excellent books for adults as well as younger people; I had gotten just a few pages into Citizen of the Galaxy when I stopped momentarily to say to myself, “This is why Heinlein is the master.” (Incidentally, the reason I was reading the book was that my friend Joseph Major had written an article on it for FOSFAX. These articles have since been collected, along with an additional one, into the book Heinlein’s Children published by Advent Books, which is run by one of our contributors.)

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Very neat connection with Heinlein, Tim. And I downloaded a sample of “Citizen of the Galaxy” on my Android tablet. I may check that out after I finish with my Charlie Chan novel.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        I don’t think I’ve read any of the Charlie Chan novels, though I’ve seen a few of the movies long ago. You may not be aware that Chan was inspired by an actual Honolulu detective. A Chinese immigrant named Yunte Huang wrote a book (Charlie Chan) about this, which I reviewed in FOSFAX 217 (I titled the review “The Yellow Non-Pareil”) and definitely recommend.

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          The Chan book I’m reading now is “The House Without a Key.” The first 1/4 of it is brilliant, a very well-written book about this Boston guy having to go from Boston to Honolulu via San Francisco. Really great stuff, just from the standpoint of good writing.

          Then it sort of bogs down in what seem the inevitable plot twists and proliferation of suspects. Rather dull at this point. But I’ll stay with it.

  2. faba calculo says:

    Brad, interestingly enough, the order you suggest is the original order (though I found your alternate suggestion of reading the Magicians Nephew last as heresy…EVERYONE knows the Last Battle goes last!!! lol

    These books are good reads, and quick. Even as a child I got to the point where I could read them all in a day, and I was never a fast reader (although by “day”, I mean 16 hours).

    It’s strange, in the end, what parts of books stick with you. The thing I can put my finger on and say, “This changed how I looked on the world” was in The Horse and His Boy, when it turns out that (SPOILER ALERT!!!) the main character is really the price of Archenland and heir apparent to the throne. The prior heir apparent is thrilled at the change of affairs, because of how much being a king in Archenland blows, as the job description is “in war, the king charges first and retreats last; and in famine, the king eats the least and smiles the most”.

    Oh, that we had leaders like that!

  3. CCWriter CCWriter says:

    I’ve read all the books several times, and seen the movies to date.

    The most interesting thing for an English major is the symbolism. Scholars have discussed whether the Narnia series is good literature or not, whether it’s childish fluff or clunky allegory, based on their perceptions. For instance, what’s Father Christmas (St. Nicholas) doing in the first book? Isn’t he out of place in Narnia? Many concluded that there are certain bits of symbology that seem disorganized or superfluous, even amateurish, and wondered why, when they know Lewis is capable of better.

    Turns out that’s not the case at all. Michael Ward, in his brilliant 2008 book “Planet Narnia,” figured out that Lewis’s intent was based on the traditional classical and medieval mythography of the seven planets (that would be Jupiter, Mars, Sol, Luna, Mercury, Venus, and Saturn) and their attributes and themes (which were really quite robust and detailed) expressed as spiritual values, and that in each book the plot line and details and atmosphere hew to and express the spiritual values associated with that piece of the mythos. Once you know what the key is to each book, it all falls into place, and every element works harmoniously and proportionately with the others.

    Ward is a clergyman and a Lewis scholar, which uniquely suited him for solving a puzzle or mystery that Lewis built in to these books apparently without telling anyone–which was really very like Lewis to have done. The upshot of it, as Ward makes clear, is that Lewis uses scholarship and art to express religion and spirituality on such a macro level that he gets the ideas into people’s hearts and heads much better than if he told an overtly and specifically Christian story.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Sounds like an interesting book. I thought having Father Christmas in there was a nice element.

      • CCWriter CCWriter says:

        Not just nice, but thoroughly appropriate. Father Christmas, in his red outfit, is part of the Jovian (the planet Jupiter) symbolism the author intended, if we go along with Ward’s analysis (which I do). In the traditional planetary mythography, red is a Jovian color; Jupiter drives away winter. Jupiter is the king, and his demeanor is cheerful and festive. Aslan, of course, is presented as a King, and he makes kings and queens of the children. Oh, and when Peter gets through the wardrobe into Narnia, he exclaims “By Jove!”

        • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

          I’d have to read the book to see where the author is coming from, but it seemed to me that Santa Claus was another reminder of the many disguises that the Creator (Christ) puts on…including the face of a lion.

          • CCWriter CCWriter says:

            Of course. The way Lewis saw it, the Creator used pagan belief systems to get truth to mortals, even if the truth had to be somewhat filtered. Lewis’s novel “Till We Have Faces” is partly about that.

            • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

              Looks like the Pope is doing a bit of that too. He’s found another face, a bit of a two-face. I’m still eye-rolling over this comment:

              Everyone has his own idea of good and evil and must choose to follow the good and fight evil as he conceives them. That would be enough to make the world a better place.

              From the lips of a Pope, complete and sanctioned moral relativism. If Hitler thought forwarding the idea of a Master Race was good, well then, he’d just be making the world a better place.

              To C.S. Lewis’ credit, he took authentic (or at least Christian) morals and dressed them up in other faces. But he wasn’t being two-faced, just creative. But it’s just hilarious (and a bit frightening) to see the world’s largest Church now being run by the equivalent of a naive and stupid hippie.

              • CCWriter CCWriter says:

                Well, I’m not sure I would interpret what the Pope said as allowing enough relativism to justify Hitler.

                Remember that the Hitlers of the world usually announce that they’ve left notions of “good” and “evil” behind. If you read up on fascism, you’ll soon see they’re entirely pragmatic and about power. They don’t bother trying to tell you “murder is good.” They don’t even bother to call it murder. They just do what they want.

                To refer once more to Lewis, Screwtape said the Enemy wants people thinking not in terms of right or wrong, true or false, but “strong, or stark, or courageous…the philosophy of the future.”

                But if people are actually thinking in terms of even an approximation of good, calling it good and considering it in opposition to evil, then in my opinion their very acceptance of the concept will tend to lead them along the path to more good and less evil.

  4. Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

    Continuing the conversation with CC:

    The Nazis certainly thought they were building something good. And when they murdered Jews, they thought they were getting rid of something bad. Or when they euthanized the mentally ill. Or, you name it. Few people who do bad things think they they are doing bad things, thus the incredible stupidity of the Pope’s remark.

    If good is simply to be left up to people’s individual whims then, by definition, there is no “good” there is merely personal preference. The Pope is a clown, nothing less.

    How this relates to C.S. Lewis, hell if I know. But whether he was right or wrong, Lewis believed in an objective right and wrong. Anyone so naive as to think that we can just label “good” whatever predilictions little Johnny has (Hey, let me light the cat’s tail on fire!) has absolutely no business being the leader of a moral institution such as the Catholic Church.

    • Kung Fu Zu says:

      “but in this particular way Shakespere is a very typical moralist. Whenever he alludes to right and wrong it is always with this old implication. Right is right, even if nobody does it. Wrong is wrong, even if everybody is wrong about it.”

      G.K. Chesterton from “Tom Jones and Morality”

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        Another splendid GK quote. The Holy Grail of the Left is the therapeutic idea that conflict arises from believing in right and wrong. If you then just remove the “borders” then kumbaya will commence. The problem is, there really is right and wrong and it does not enhance human civilization to deny it. But it’s a very pleasing self-conceit to believe otherwise.

        For instance, whould we have been better off to embrace, rather than refute, Ed’s religious stereotyping? We certainly might have avoided conflict, but is that the highest or only principle? Is there not a truth, that once it is sold down the river in the name of conflict avoidance, becomes corrupted and thus harder to maintain?

    • CCWriter CCWriter says:

      I don’t think you understood what I said. I pointed out that the Nazis, Stalinists and their ilk have a tendency to repudiate the concept of “good” as being outmoded. They do not attach the label “good” to the things they decide to do, or “bad” to the things they want to get rid of. They think it’s a bourgeois and arbitrary distinction. If they attempted any justification (which most of the time they didn’t bother to)) they would perhaps claim they were building something inevitable, powerful, whatever, but they considered “good” to be beside the point.

      I therefore stand by my claim that anyone who has “good” in their frame of reference at all, has a functioning moral compass and therefore does not consider the idea to be purely arbitrary and automatically assignable to their predilections. Depraved behavior cannot be justified and if someone attempts to do it the absurdity will be obvious.

      • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

        They do not attach the label “good” to the things they decide to do, or “bad” to the things they want to get rid of.

        Fine. And from their point of view, this is a superior, advantageous, or “good” way to do it. That goes to the heart of the Pope’s rather Oprah-ish bit of popular pap. Left to our own devices, “good” is whatever tends to be advantageous for some group (or individual). They may not use the word “good” (you seem hung up on words). But it amounts to the same thing.

        There is no morality, let alone religion, without some objectivism in regards to right and wrong. That is the point of anything that can be termed “good”….a point that the Pope doesn’t seem to understand. He just spouts more of this Kumbaya stuff. We’re all just supposed to exude nicey-nice emotions and then everything will work out.

        Well, that’s a nice and decidedly Utopian thought. But in the real world, there is no morality or Cosmic good without a healthy sense of right and wrong. And that means stating clearly that some people (such as Islamists) aren’t on the correct side of the line. Kumbaya is just a way to self-delude about some of life’s harsh realities. When Francis of Assisi went to meet with some Islamic leaders (and expecting to be martyred) he didn’t say, “Oh, you’ve got a nice religion there. Let’s all just get along.” Instead he proselytized Christianity as better. And it is better.

        But to have a sense of the real good (instead of a personal or fake good) is precarious in the best of circumstances. Everybody has an angle. But to say that good is simply up to the individual’s assessment is extreme negligence on the part of the Pope in his duties of being a moral and good leader.

        I therefore stand by my claim that anyone who has “good” in their frame of reference at all, has a functioning moral compass and therefore does not consider the idea to be purely arbitrary and automatically assignable to their predilections.

        That’s the problem. Whose “good” are we talking about? What frame of reference? There are people running around out there who think they have a most refined moral compass but are wreaking havoc on society. It’s not enough to just delcare oneself having a good sense of right and wrong. You actually have to have that.

        I’ll grant that coming up with an objective idea for good for any and all situations is problematic, at best. But without a firm awareness and understanding of the propensity of all people to label as “good” whatever is personally advantageous to them is to miss the subjective aspect of this.

        And to actually not only miss this but to come out and praise personal subjectivity regarding what is “good” is the realm of Oprah-fied ninnies. This is the kind of fortune cookie wisdom that comes from the Left, not deep contemplation of Christianity.

        • Timothy Lane says:

          This is basically tribal ethics: whatever is good for the tribe (or bad for its enemies) is good, and whatever is bad for the tribe (or good for its enemies) is bad. Collectivist ideologies such as Nazism, Communism, and modern liberalism all tend to rely on a very tribal ethics, which ultimately comes down to their worship of the State (as long as they control it).

          • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

            Exactly. Well said, Timothy.

          • Kung Fu Zu says:

            It is clear that humans are basically tribal. The difference in the USA is that the predominant tribe (Anglos-Saxon whites) have tried to get beyond this. Perhaps a noble aim, but the other tribes keep voting on basis of tribal membership.

  5. Kung Fu Zu says:

    “Well, I’m not sure I would interpret what the Pope said as allowing enough relativism to justify Hitler.”

    The Pope said:

    ” Everyone has his own idea of good and evil and must choose to follow the good and fight evil as he conceives them. That would be enough to make the world a better place.:

    That is a VERY broad relativistic statement about good and evil. The Pope may not mean for his statement to be interpreted in a way that could lead to Hitler, but the fact is, the statement is so opened ended that some people will/must carry its implications to the logical end.

    Frankly, the statement is on the level one hears too often from overly earnest college sophomores and over drinks at dinner parties where most people don’t know each other. It is similar to the refrain, “people are alike all over the world”, another thoughtless statement so vague as to be meaningless as well as incorrect.

    As God’s representative to mankind, the Pope had better get his head on straight and give more thought and depth to what he says. After all, the Devil is in the details.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Frankly, the statement is on the level one hears too often from overly earnest college sophomores and over drinks at dinner parties where most people don’t know each other.

      That’s exactly what it is. I hope you got a chance to read that excellent article by George Neumayr.

      Listen, I’m not sure that I believe in a personal god who knows me and cares about me. I remain a skeptic. But the entire premise of Christianity is based upon the idea of an objective reality (a law embedded into the Cosmos by a Law Giver) that is transcendent and supreme.

      To then say “Everyone has his own idea of good and evil and must choose to follow the good and fight evil as he conceives them” is just completely bonkers. It denies the basic problem we humans have with morality. Our emotions are usually a very poor guide. And even if this were not the case, it is inherent to human nature to call “good” whatever it is that advances our own personal ambitions and desires. We humans will do so automatically. We will, in the blink of an eye, rationalize almost anything.

      And the very idea that something can be rationalized suggests there is a standard that is more objective than just our personal opinion.

      I think it’s hard for some to grasp just how “out there” some of these Orders (such as the Jesuits) actually are. This is such a fundamentally ridiculous statement that, as Thomas Sowell might say, it could only come from “intellectuals.” As Dennis Prager might say, you could only learn this kind of really stupid stuff in college (seminary or otherwise).

      This is how deep the rot goes in the Catholic Church. This guy took the name of Francis of Assisi but he’s just a poser. He’s just another Oprah-fied man who has simply learned the language of “nicey-nice” talk. But there is very little substance behind it. And inherent to morality is that there BE substance…at least a substance deeper and more substantial than, in essence, “If it feels good, do it.” I mean, Jesus.

      Lucky for me I don’t have to give two cents about the Pope. But we can unfortunately see him as just another piece of Western Civilization (Christendom) crumbling at our feet.

      • Timothy Lane says:

        In discussing “Hansel and Gretel” in Danse Macabre, King described the wife as amoral (she really sees nothing wrong with abandoning the children) and the husband as actually evil (he knows abandoning the children is wrong, but goes along anyway). Of course, I consider amorality evil, and would say that the husband lacks moral courage, but that’s a detail. The problem is that the Pope’s message presumes some sort of acceptable moral code. The jihadists who murdered all those people in Kenya for the sake of their 72 virgins were acting on the basis of conscience, however perverted.

  6. ladykrystyna says:

    It’s funny, Brad, that you didn’t notice as much Christianity in the stories.

    I read The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe in my childhood, but never got interested enough to finish the series.

    Funnily enough I learned later that there was a Christian theme to it.

    But I caught a bit of the movie one day and it was he scene you discussed above re Edmund and Aslan’s sacrifice. Even after all those years in Catholic school and going to church, I never really fully understood all that. But that scene for some reason got throuh to me. It actually left me in tears.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      That the Christianity wasn’t overt (other than Aslan, of course), I give him credit for. In order that a faith doesn’t become a mere superstition wherein the point is to buy the favor of a God, one must have principles that can live and be articulated in other ways. If not, then religion just tends toward various forms of idol worship.

    • Timothy Lane says:

      I had the first book when young (probably during my 2 years at a Catholic school in Greece), but remembered virtually nothing (including the author and title). By the time they did a cartoon version in the 1980s, I was familiar with Lewis from later and in fact had all the Narnia books. After some parts of the TV presentation reminded me of that book, I finally got around to reading it and came to a specific item (the list of types of creatures supporting the White Witch, and especially its inclusion of orkneys) that I somehow remembered after all those years.

  7. John Kirke John Kirke says:

    Coming to the conversation late, and no time to write at length, but a couple quick things from this Friend of Narnia.

    – I like that Professor — Digory from Magician’s Nephew. Nice last name, too.

    – Yes, absolutely, the books are great for kids in part because of their length: the pace is one reason why I like The Hobbit over The Lord of the Rings.

    – And YES INDEED the order matters, and publication order is a much better read than chronological order. You’ll find a lot of arguments for why, including in McGrath’s biography and even an old article by John J. Miller at NRO. The sub-titles listed above (“story for children”) hints at the proper bookends, LWW presents a better introduction to Narnia, and Ward points out that The Last Battle ends in a (lit.) jovial mood, better matching the end to The Lion, The Witch, & the Wardrobe.

    I hate to be so cynical, but I suspect the publishers are invoking the one letter Lewis wrote to a kid about reading in chronological order to keep LWW from being first: you’re less likely to buy just the one book (the most famous and popular volume) if it’s presented as Book 2 rather than Book 1.

    – CCWriter is ABSOLUTELY right that Michael Ward’s thesis is brilliant and persuasive, but Planet Narnia is a fairly academic book. He reworked the material into something a bit friendlier for general readers, “The Narnia Code, and I would recommend that book first for anyone who doesn’t have an entire shelf (or two) devoted to books by and about C.S. Lewis.

    • Brad Nelson Brad Nelson says:

      Yeah, a great name the professor has. And I’m glad to find someone else who agrees about reading according the date of publication. I’m trying to do the same in regards to the Allan Quatermain series by H. Rider Haggard. Although (major spoiler alert) you learn of Quatermain’s death at the end of the second novel, it’s quite intriguing following the author as he weaves back and forth, momentarily flirting with the disjointed, but it all seems to work. I think we learn of his second wife before the first. And we learn of his son’s death before we ever meet the son.

      It makes for a different sort of story arc, but I find it fascinating all the same. And I wouldn’t want to try to cobble it together into chronological order. I think I would be missing something.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *