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About Narnia...

This "classic" isn't a classic over here (France. We have plenty of children classics and I never even was into them, so I never felt the need to explore foreign classics for kids either. The only ones I know are those adapted in animated features by Disney. Never read anything by Dr Seuss or Roald Dahl).

When I finally heard about it, it was in an article pointing out how it was a vessel for the author to convey his Christian faith, which cut me any intention to read it ever, classic or not.

I'm still pondering whether or not I'll watch the movie. On one hand, the White Witch looks nifty.

On the other hand, if it's like the other kids "must" everyone is gushing about, that make me go "uh?" (like the Baudelaire twins thingy)...
I mean, I've had to be quite lenient on the first 3 books of Harry Potter, book 4 is the only one I really liked, and that was because I put a lot of effort into forgetting the house elves stuff and all the useless kiddie stuff.

Plus, the CGI lion looks awful in the trailer. If that's the overall level of special effects I can expect... Yeah, right, whatever. Use a real lion if you can't pay a CGI one, dammit.

Comments

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kahvi_elf
Dec. 12th, 2005 12:51 am (UTC)
It isn't a "classic" here either. I have the impression that the books were a bit more promoted since the LOTR film here. I only know Narnia and the author because my German and Religous Education teacher was a big fan of him. The first I read by CS Lewis was one of his religous texts. I read the frist two Narnia booklets (they are very thin books). They are ok. Not bad, but not THAT great IMO. Fast to read and atmospheric in an "Old England/fairytale/grandpa talks about good ol'times" way. It also has pedagogic flavor... He writes like a teacher.

hiyami
Dec. 13th, 2005 07:29 pm (UTC)
> I have the impression that the books were a bit more promoted since the LOTR film here.

It seemed to me that a lot of people (and medias) discovered after LOTR that there IS a strong culture of fantasy books, and you don't need to be a geek to enjoy them. After Harry Potter, there's been a trend of releasing book series about kids who find out they have a magic talent, or who are caught into magic adventures.
But I get bored easily, so really I can't read more than one of those, and I already started HP so I want to know the end... even if I couldn't be bothered reading the book 6 after the disappointment that book 5 was.

> Fast to read and atmospheric in an "Old England/fairytale/grandpa talks about good ol'times" way.

Uh, I never really liked that much either. I finally finished reading Peter Pan, after letting it "sleep" for a while because I found it tedious to read... And it has the same flavor I think.
It's a sort of writing that doesn't work on me, unless it's done by Neil Gaiman because he makes it sound more modern.

> It also has pedagogic flavor... He writes like a teacher.

lol That doesn't make me want to read it more ;)
So yeah, in a way I'm glad they're releasing it as movies, because I may go watch the movies to know the story, and not bother to read the books that way... Not sure I'm going to *pay* to see the movies, though. Maybe wait until they are on TV.

And I even think I might wait to only watch Harry Potter 6 and 7 on the big screen, rather than reading them.
demondoll2001
Dec. 17th, 2005 04:19 am (UTC)
Y'know what? I tend to think that these books could a culture-specific then!

I really loved Peter Pan and The Narnia series, but then again, I grew up in an Anglophone culture where these books were a huge big deal. And everyone had read them. I think because these sorts of themes are basically British themes with a British point of view.

I'm wondering....do they have any similar sorts of books in French that are for kids? Besides "Le Petit Prince", which I've already read.
hiyami
Dec. 20th, 2005 08:48 pm (UTC)
> Y'know what? I tend to think that these books could a culture-> specific then!

Maybe not so much. Except in that it must be "harder" to grow up in an English speaking country without reading them.

I know several people who love those books, like a lot of them love LOTR. But neither really worked for me.

I like storytelling to tell a story, with enough details to set the background and make it "real", but not so many that it burdens the plot.
Flowerish descriptions like Anne Rice's or Tolkien's bore me out my mind, especially when they aren't even useful to the plot or the ambiance really.

I mean, if you describe that a chair has ornaments shaped as a dragon, it better be there to tell the reader something about the chair owner's culture or personality, otherwise frankly I don't want to read about it.

Also I like authors who flesh out their characters. The LOTR characters only became "alive" for me after watching the first movie, because at least I had a face to put on their names then. But other than that, in the books they don't hook me. The first time I tried reading LOTR, when I was 15, I even confused Aragorn and Gandalf when they were called by their nicknames (what is it in English? Strider and Greysomething?).

I don't recall any character from a kid's book that I would relate to, or find "real" as a character. Even the HP characters are pretty two-dimensional.

> I'm wondering....do they have any similar sorts of books in > French that are for kids? Besides "Le Petit Prince", which
> I've already read.

It's a hard question. I don't really remember any, but I used to only be interested in sci-fi and similar stuff... Ahead of my age a bit. I think stories about kids my age always bored me. I read stuff happening to teens, even when I was younger.

What I remember are series borrowed from UK like Enid Blyton's, fairy tales (Perrault's, etc), all the things that Disney adapted, and "old" classic like the Comtesse de Ségur's "Les Malheurs de Sophie".
http://www.ricochet-jeunes.org/eng/biblio/author/segur.html
Jules Verne's books, Alexandre Dumas' and all the books of this kind (adventure) are also considered as kids litt.
Some European classics like the Black Stallion, David Copperfield... There are a lot of "kids classics" I had never heard of before I saw them adapted in anime.

They have a list in English here :
http://www.ricochet-jeunes.org/eng/biblio/index.htm

I heard of most, not even all... But I don't recall reading even half of them.
I think until 11-12 I mostly read mythologic stories and a collection of books about tales from other continents / countries.
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