30. The Silver Chair by C.S. Lewis
So far, I like Jeremy Northam's narration best of all and think he should play Puddleglum in the next Narnia movie (this is slated to be the next one, but we will see if it EVER gets made).
I loved this book. This is my first book "post-C.S. Lewis Geek Out Self-Guided Walking Tour of Oxford" and two books about the Inklings. So I think C.S. Lewis is a genius bar none. So, I am listening closely to these Narnia books and realize the brilliance of his prose!
I am going to quote my favorite quote from the whole book. It is toward the end. So, if you don't want spoilers, do not read this!
For context, Puddleglum (a Marshwiggle who is incredibly negative about everything throughout the story), Jill, Eustace, and a prince are all trapped in the underworld by an evil witch. This witch uses her powers of enchantment to persuade these captives to forget about the world above, telling them that their idea of a sun stems from seeing lamps and wishing for a bigger and better lamp. Also, that their idea of a lion comes from seeings cats and wishing for a bigger and better cat. There is more here, and I will add more in this post once I have the physical book in my hands (I just have the audiobook right now).
Anywho, that negative Puddleglum, "Marshwiggles Up" and becomes the HERO of this story! Such a twist! Here is his priceless speech to the witch:
"One word, Ma'am," he said . . . "One word. All you've been saying is quite right, I shouldn't wonder, I'm a chap who always liked to know the worst and then put the best face I can on it. So I won't deny any of what you said. But there's one thing more to be said, even so. Suppose we have only dreamed, or made up, all those things -- trees and grass and sun and moon and stars and Aslan himself. Suppose we have. Then all I can say is that, in that case, the made-up things seem a good deal more important than the real ones. Suppose this black pit of a kingdom of yours is the only world. Well, it strikes me as a pretty poor one. And that's a funny thing when you come to think of it. We're just babies making up a game, if you're right. But four babies playing a game can make a play-world which licks your real world hollow. That's why I'm going to stand by the play-world. I'm on Aslan's side even if there isn't any Aslan to lead it. I'm going to live as like a Narnian as I can even if there isn't any Narnia. So, thanking you kindly for our supper, if these two gentlemen and the young lady are ready, we're leaving your court at once and setting out in the dark to spend our lives looking for Overland. Not that our lives will be very long, I should think; but that's small loss if the world's as dull a place as you say."My heart sang as I walked in the sunshine (above ground) and listened to this part!
Puddleglum's speech reminded me of Pascal's Wager.
I have so many friends who have "talked themselves out of believing." So this rang so true with me, and it is much of what happened when C.S. Lewis went from atheism to deism to believing in Jesus!
I don't know about you, but . . .