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Paperback The Chronicles of Narnia : The Voyage of the Dawn Treader Book

ISBN: 0590254790

ISBN13: 9780590254793

The Chronicles of Narnia : The Voyage of the Dawn Treader

(Book #3 in the The Chronicles of Narnia Publication Order Series)

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Book Overview

This description may be from another edition of this product. The BBC Radio production of The Voyage of the Dawn Treader is a delightful two-hour sail on the most fabulous ship in Narnia. Lucy and Edmund, with their dreadful cousin Eustace, get magically pulled...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Voyaging

The second volume of the Narnia Chronicles closed with the possibility of Lucy and Edmund -- though not their older siblings -- returning to Narnia. "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader" makes good on that story, with the intrepid pair (plus a whiny cousin) returning on a strange sea voyage. After the events of "Prince Caspian," Lucy and Edmund are sent off to stay with their obnoxious cousin Eustace. But when they admire a picture of a strange ship, suddenly all three kids are sucked in -- and land in a Narnian sea. On board the ship is King Caspian, now fully grown, who is determined to find a bunch of knights exiled by his murderous uncle, even if he has to go to the edge of the world (literally). Lucy and Edmund are thrilled to be back in Narnia again, but Eustance proceeds to make trouble any way he can, complaining and causing trouble among the crew. But there are problems more horrifying than any of them can guess, from dragons to sinister "gold water" to a region filled with their worst nightmares. "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader" is one of Lewis's most original and tightly-written Narnian adventures. It's also a bit of a break from form. After two books of battles against evil tyrants, "Voyage" simply goes where no man/woman/mouse has gone before, and gives us a view of the Narnian world as more than one isolated little region. And in some ways, it's also the darkest Chronicle. Lewis explores the theme of greed here -- greed for power, beauty, money and magic -- and has some scenes both chilling and majestic. But his archly humorous style peeks through in several places, whether it's pompous mouse Reepicheep or tea with a reclusive old wizard. Edmund and Lucy are their usual plucky selves, albeit a bit more mature than before. But "Voyage" also introduces one of Lewis' most interesting characters in Eustace Clarence Scrubb. Like Edmund, Eustace is initially a peevish, lying boy who generally makes trouble, but slowly learns his errors. But unlike Edmund, Eustace doesn't have to ally himself to the baddie to learn that. "Voyage of the Dawn Treader" was a turning point for the Narnia Chronicles, as well as the one that began venturing into darker territory. Engaging and tightly written.

questing after the Kingdom

I have put off reviewing "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader" for a long time. There is no other book I have so longed to recommend to others, but I have felt (and still feel) totally inadequate when it comes to expressing what a wonderful story this is. I could go on for days about all the wonderful things contained here. That said, I will try and focus on only a few aspects of this book and then plead with you to read it.First, I must note that I feel this story should be read in the context of the entire Narnian series. It stands on its own nicely enough, but the deep background of the previous tales adds richness and texture to the tale.Secondly, I must note that this book is highly enjoyable because it works on two levels. The tale as a whole is the story of a journey into unknown lands. With each new place they visit, the whole is broken into wonderful episodes. My favorite episode (with the exception of the ending) is the island where dreams come true...its not what one would expect.The character of Eustace is my favorite of all the humans in the Narnian books. This story is partly a tale of his transformation. This seems to be a universal human desire; but Eustace, like all who truly seek transformation must, finds impossible to reform himself. This is an especially timely lesson for our "self-help" culture at the beginning of the twenty-first century.This brings me to what I like best of "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader." Let me preface what I say here by making it clear that no one hates heavy-handed use of allegory as much as I do. However, the allegory that is "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader" is one of the greatest things of beauty I have ever encountered. In one form or another we are all questing after an unseen kingdom. Be it the kingdom of God, Materialism, or simply of the Self--we are all, like Caspian and his pals, on a quest. I don't wish to give away any endings, but let me just say that the greatest truth Lewis expresses in his book is that no one can reach the True Kingdom on their own. I urge you to read this book. If I could only have a handful of books, this one would definitely be among them. I give "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader" my highest recommendation.

An "Odyssey" for Children

After reading the very first line, "There was a boy called Eustace Clarence Scrubb, and he almost deserved it," I realized that I had made a huge mistake beginning "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader" half an hour before bedtime. More exciting and adventure-packed than the two preceeding books (in the original ordering, of course), "The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe" and "Prince Caspian", it is hard to put down.The main characters that readers will recognize are King Caspian, Edmund, Lucy, and Reepicheep. Sadly, Peter and Susan have since become too old to reenter Narnia; but the story does amazingly well even without them. Here, Eustace, who will reappear in "The Silver Chair", is introduced for the first time. They are an interesting bunch, all providing something essential to the story, especially Reepicheep (whose character and personal history are developed further) and Eustace (who experiences a wonderful kind of redemption).The Dawn Treader is a ship King Caspian built in order to fulfil an oath made on his coronation day to find the seven lords and friends of his father that his uncle Miraz had sent to explore the Eastern Seas. Every two chapters or so, the Dawn Treader stops at an island, where its crew and passengers have a small adventure-within-the-larger-adventure, discover the fate of each of the seven lords, and learn good moral lessons. For instance, one island, called the Dark Island, is a place where dreams come true. It may sound wonderful, until you realize that the dreams that come true are not the pleasant daydreams, but the nightmares. After the last island, the passengers even reach, or very nearly reach, the End of the World. Though I compared this book to Homer's "Odyssey" in the title of this review, I must add that it can also be likened to John Bunyan's "The Pilgrim's Progress". This voyage is not guided by fate and devoid of reason, but is blessed by Aslan (who symbolizes Jesus) and is full of meaning and purpose. It does not merely represent the passage through life, but the passage through life _as a Christian_. That may be why one reviewer complained that this novel is overly preachy. Yet we readers are human, after all, and in need of being preached to now and then. Another thing that may surprise readers is the chivalry with which Lucy, the only girl on the ship, is treated by the men. Though it not "politically correct," as Eustace himself points out at the beginning, it has a certain rightness to it. Remembering how the March girls in Louisa May Alcott's "Little Women" played at being good in imitation of the character Christian in "The Pilgrim's Progress", only to realize that their game was really a way of life, I can say that it would be wonderful if children today could apply the allegories in "The Voyage of the Dawn Treader" in the same way. Parents, take note: it is easier to ask a child, "What would Edmund tell you about forgiving someone who has done wrong, like Eustace?" than to launch into a weary ser

The best of the series

Our old friends Lucy and Edmund Pevensie join their nerdy cousin Eustace, in this book, in a journey through a portrait of a ship, to the seas off the coast of Narnia. There, they meet their old friend Prince Caspian, who is adventuring across the seas to explore the far reaches of his world. He is also searching for a group of lost nobility from Narnia, who apparently had been marooned on various Narnian islands years before. They all travel from island to island, and have many challenging adventures.Of all the Narnia books, this is probably the one where C.S. Lewis gave himself the most freedom to just tell a story, without being "in-your-face" about the allegorical meanings of everything. There IS a lot of allegory, but he makes it part of a story here, rather then constructing a story just as an excuse to make up a context for an allegory. It's a terrific tale for children or adults. Absolutely two thumbs up.I just want to recommend a few books, for anyone who may be curious about what sources C.S. Lewis drew upon for this story. I'll let you discover them for yourself, but the titles are: "Phantom Islands of the Atlantic," by Donald S. Johnson, and "New Worlds, Ancient Texts" by Anthony Grafton. Also -- if anyone's interested in learning about the cultural context of C.S. Lewis' personal problems with science education, which are pretty obvious in the way he talks about Eustace, then I recommend looking at "The Two Cultures" by C.P. Snow. You'll see what I mean.

Plot Overcomes Allegory: Hurray!

This is the best of the Narnia series. C.S. Lewis allows the plot to get away occasionally from his strict form of Christian allegory. Moreover, the book is funny and episodic and exciting. And it's about getting to know yourself and changing what you don't like. Unexplored waters and unknown lands create a magic of their own in which Lucy and Edmund and, especially, Eustace -- having magically found themselves on board the Dawn Treader --can come to terms with their weakness and strength. The Dark Island, where all dreams (not just good ones!) come true, Deathwater Island -- the place of greed, Dragon Island, where Eustace turns into a dragon (which, of course, he was on the inside all along), Ramandu's island, the sea people's land, the house of the Retired Star, and more, reveal what stuff these children are made on. What their mettle is may not always exemplary, but in this book at least, characters can change. Eustace can be un-dragoned and become a changed child (having dragon skin a foot deep ripped off by a lion would, I think, inevitably result in change). This is a book of deep, miraculous possibility. As a child, I read *The Voyage of the Dawn Treader* until it fell apart, and I've gone through another copy since.My only criticism is this: C. S. Lewis, having loosened his strangle-hold on his constricting Christian allegory, occasionally seems to feel obliged to bring in something really ham-handed. It's most annoying. The most egregious intrusion occurs when the children encounter, in the middle of nowhere, a milky white lamb frying fish on the open grass. How the heck does a lamb fry fish? Where does he get fish? Where does he get the frying pan? Why do we *need* this for the plot? The Lamb of God (Christ), communion, fish. Cringe. It's all tossed into the pot and left somehow to be digested. There are fabulous Christian allegories; this is not one of them. I would to say that this is the only place in the entire series where C.S. Lewis' allegory truly and absolutely and utterly crashes and burns. But one Lamb doesn't stop this from being a great book. *The Voyage of the Dawn Treader* provides delight, wonder, and best of all, a promise of a second chance for every one of us.
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