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The Silver Chair

The Silver Chair

Written by C. S. Lewis

Narrated by Jeremy Northam


The Silver Chair

Written by C. S. Lewis

Narrated by Jeremy Northam

ratings:
4.5/5 (321 ratings)
Length:
5 hours
Publisher:
Released:
May 24, 2005
ISBN:
9780060854409
Format:
Audiobook

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Description

Deep underground, a web of evil magic holds a prince in captivity.

Narnia ... where owls speak, where evil weaves a spell ... where sorcery enslaves the land.

Narnia is in peril, and only Eustace and Jill can help. Along with Puddleglum, a gloomy but valiant Marsh-wiggle, they are sent by the mighty lion Aslan to find Prince Rilian, heir to the throne. Their quest leads them past hungry people-eating Giants, and deep into the dark underground. But the true test for this noble band of friends comes when they face an evil witch and her deadly enchantments.

Performed by Jeremy Northam

Publisher:
Released:
May 24, 2005
ISBN:
9780060854409
Format:
Audiobook

Also available as...

Also available as ebookEbook

About the author

Clive Staples Lewis (1898-1963) was one of the intellectual giants of the twentieth century and arguably one of the most influential writers of his day. He was a fellow and tutor in English Literature at Oxford University until 1954 when he was unanimously elected to the Chair of Medieval and Renaissance English at Cambridge University, a position he held until his retirement.


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Reviews

What people think about The Silver Chair

4.6
321 ratings / 50 Reviews
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Reader reviews

  • (4/5)
    Very vivid descriptions. He paints pictures in the mind magnificently!
  • (3/5)
    Of the 6 books, I like this one the least (still have The Last Battle to go) as it is SLOW, until the last few chapters. The last third of the book is on par with the other 5 books. Also, for most of the book, the two main characters are very unlikable. There problems with the audio, especially at one of the key points of the story.
  • (4/5)
    Great recording. However there is some skipping on the audio at certain points in the book.
  • (5/5)
    This book might be my favorite of the series (behind the Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe of course!!)
  • (4/5)
    I’ve always loved this book, and the narrator is excellent. However, the audio quality has some issues, and chapter 11 is difficult to hear (static). It’s an important story point, so I’m hats a bummer. But it’s still a wonderful listen! ?
  • (5/5)
    Exciting story, super interesting with great content too! It doesn't get much better than this!highly recommend:)
  • (4/5)
    I love the whole Narnia series. This book had occasional static in the recording.
  • (3/5)

    1 person found this helpful

    The recording is a little messed up in a few places. But the book is good.

    1 person found this helpful

  • (5/5)
    Great series, I loved these as a kid. Read them over and over again.
  • (5/5)
    Once again C.S. Lewis went beyond the borders of Narnia for another "Narnian" book - and once again, he came up with a new character with enormous humor and appeal for children.

    In this case, the character is Puddleglum the Marsh-Wiggle. He guides Jill Pole and Eustace Scrubb as they "follow the signs" on a quest given them by Aslan. They must rescue the lost Prince Rilian, son of Prince Caspian.

    There are several points at which characters are irritatingly oblivious to the obvious, throughout the book. I'll give no spoilers, but they're rather obvious. And Aslan comes off as something of a nagging wanker; what's with the mysterious "signs"? Jerking people around with hints and confusing portents may represent some sort of divine test of their moral fiber, but in my book it's just irritating. As Lewis himself seems to realize, since Aslan says at the end "I shall not always be scolding."

    It's towards the very end of the book that we get a flash of that imagination that made The Voyage of the Dawn Treader such a refreshing change in the Narnia series. The deep land of Bism sounds quite interesting, and I wish Lewis had set a Narnia story there.

    All in all, The Silver Chair is quite an exciting and well-told story. It's clear that Lewis' considerable talents as a writer continued to develop over time. The later Narnia books are better than the earlier ones, although The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe does have a special quality that makes it particularly memorable.

    (As always, I must note that recent editions have been burdened with an incorrect ordering by the publisher. The books should be read in the order in which they were written and published, NOT the order indicated by the numbering of modern editions. The publisher's recommended order spoils many of the nicest surprises, and I regard it as pure idiocy.)

    One small point, however: there are a number of rather dated Briticisms which have changed greatly in meaning since The Silver Chair, at least in the United States. I had a hard time keeping a straight face while reading some of them aloud.

    For example, within seven pages I found these three gems:
    "Gay," said Puddleglum with a deep sigh. "That's what we've got to be. Gay." ...

    "All right. Gay's the word," said Scrubb. "Now, if we could only get someone to open this door. While we're fooling about and being gay, we've got to find out all we can about this castle."
    and
    She made love to everyone - the grooms, the porters, the housemaids, the ladies-in-waiting, and the elderly giant lords whose hunting days were long past them. She submitted to being kissed and pawed about...
    and
    ...the children soon took no more notice of it than you would of hooters outside the window...
    It is, of course, dreadfully unfair of me to take these quotes out of context. They had quite a different meaning back when C.S. Lewis wrote them, and in context, they're quite innocent. Still, they were a bit unsettling to come across when I read them aloud. As I recall, I changed "made love to" to "made friends with" on the fly.

    There are similar examples in some of the other Narnia books, but The Silver Chair is the most extreme case.

    I might also mention the BBC television adaptation of this book. It featured Tom Baker (best known as Doctor Who) in the role of Puddleglum, and he did his usual outstanding job. But some of his best lines were cut, which surprised me - particularly since my rendition of them while reading to my son earned me some very enthusiastic laughs.
  • (4/5)
    I love that Lewis introduces us to a new protagonist in nearly every book so that, in introducing Narnia to that character he is re-introducing it to us. Unlike most series of today, Lewis doesn't waste his time repeating lots of information from books past, which I love. Instead, he adds even more detail to Narnia -- introducing more characters and more layers to the strange world.

    Puddleglum may be my favorite character in any of the books I've read so far of the series and Eustace and Jill make for fantastic substitutions for the Pevensies.
  • (3/5)
    This one isn't as good as the others. It's a little too predictable, and some of its moral points are a bit trite. So so.
  • (4/5)
    In The Silver Chair we return to Narnia with Eustace Scrubb (the tag-along cousin of the Pevensie's in Voyage of the Dawn Treader). Some time has passed since Dawn Treader and Eustace is at a boarding school. As the book begins, he's just run across a classmate Jill Pole who's crying after being bullied. They are commiserating together about how awful school is and how nice it would be to get away. Eustace starts romanticizing his times in Narnia and before long the two children want to go there. At the same time, the group of bullies is rapidly approaching to continuing their bullying efforts. They find themselves cornered by a door that is always locked. In desperation they try the handle, and it is surprisingly unlocked…and whisks them away to Narnia.Like the previous books, Eustace and Jill are a bit disoriented and unsure of their location upon arriving. In this instance, they aren't in the kingdom of Narnia but rather high high high up in the kingdom of Aslan Himself. This introduction to the world seemed more unique than some of the other entrances to this mystical land. Eustace and Jill find themselves perched on a cliff so high that they aren't entirely sure what they're looking at below them. They encounter Aslan and are given a quest before being blown off (quite literally) to the kingdom of Narnia.Aslan gives the children a quest to find and return the long lost prince. We learn that the prince is the son of Prince Caspian from the previous two adventures. Eustace is a little dismayed that he didn't get to talk to Caspian and he's also surprised to find that Caspian is now an old man on the verge of death. We learn that the prince went missing after seeking revenge for his mother's death. Many quests were undertaken to find him, but years later there has been no success.The children seek allies to help in their quest and are guided into the company of a Marsh Wiggle named Puddleglum. I loved the character of Puddleglum. First of all, the Marsh Wiggle creature characteristics are fun in themselves just physically. As a character Puddleglum is a lot of fun because of his personality and the way he interacts with everything. To some degree, he seems to be the eternal pessimist, always imagining the worst possible outcomes to any situation. At the same time, he often finds the most realistic perspective (once you shave away some of the more unlikely scenarios). He also has a bravery and insight that really helps the kids out along the way.As part of their instructions, Aslan provided certain signs that would help them on their way. They continually "muff up" finding or recognizing the signs until it's too late. Naturally this makes the adventure a lot more interesting, but it certainly frustrates matters for the group.As the kids encounter various people, creatures and clues along their way most of the time I found the encounters to be fairly predictable (even though the kids and Puddleglum didn't immediately jump to the obvious conclusion). Still, the encounters were pretty fun. There were a lot of different elements and adventures throughout the story. Each new area was unique and interesting. I found it interesting that we make our way almost to the very end of the book before we come upon the source of the title…The Silver Chair. While it played a key element in the story, I really would like to have had a little more development of the Chair. To learn more about it. To perhaps have found another object, weapon or item that used the same magic as the Chair. I really found it to be very interesting. I also loved the final confrontation with the witch. That whole scene was lightly suspenseful and creepy the way she wrapped them in her spell.After the successful conclusion of the adventure, I was a little surprised at the sort of postlogue encounter with Aslan and Caspian. As far as the plot of the story, it was completely unnecessary, but it did provide the author with a chance to expand his allegorical allusions. I felt like the God allegories for Aslan were more heavy handed than they'd been in previous books. Granted, there were some pretty overt situations in the earlier books as well, but this time it felt like Lewis was pulling the curtain back even a little farther in case you didn't happen to catch on earlier. He doesn't explicitly say anything overly religious, but the allegory felt even more straightforward to me in this book than it had in the earlier novels.I really enjoyed this story. As I said, I found a number of the elements to be predictable and I would liked to have seen some elements (especially the Chair) to have been developed a bit more. But overall, this was a lot of fun. I especially loved the characterizations in this book, particularly Puddleglum. They were super fun.This is a great addition to the Narnia adventures and makes me look forward to the conclusion in The Last Battle.****4 out of 5 stars
  • (3/5)
    Incredibly imaginative and beautiful. If you are religious, you can enjoy the immense allegory in the series, if not, enjoy it for the marvel that it is.This is my least favorite of the series. It's just very awkward and unusual. When I saw the movie version, I was embarrassed to have my mother walk in on me watching it; the book was the same, just a quieter embarrassment.
  • (5/5)
    Narnia ... where giants wreak havoc ... where evil weaves a spell ... where enchantment rules.Through dangers untold and caverns deep and dark, a noble band of friends are sent to rescue a prince held captive. But their mission to Underland brings them face-to-face with an evil more beautiful and more deadly than they ever expected.
  • (5/5)
    Eustace Scrubb ventures back to Narnia with his schoolmate Jill Pole. There they are sent on a mission to rescue Prince Rilian, who has been kidnapped by an evil witch. This is another lovely installment of the Chronicles of Narnia. Very cute.
  • (3/5)
    The last two books are definitely not in line for my favourites. There are various factors -- one of which is simply that I don't like seeing Narnia come to an end! But the main one is that I don't find Jill, Eustace and Puddleglum that compelling as main characters. Or Rillian, for that matter, even though he's Caspian's son. They're quite realistic and human, and lack the nobility that Peter, Susan, Edmund and Lucy have, I think. Perhaps too realistic. I want to kick Jill a lot of the time for making excuses and not doing what she knows is right. Nobody else is much better. Puddleglum is an interesting idea for a character, but I don't find him that compelling.

    It doesn't help that this book is fairly dreary. Snow, stone, cold, giants, underground, sunless seas... there are some beautiful, beautiful sections, like the description of Bism, and little gems about Narnia, like about how serious it is to ask a centaur to stay for the weekend. Overall, though, I find it hard to get into and sympathise with the characters.

    I do find myself tearing up, even now, at Caspian's death and renewal.
  • (3/5)
    Eh, Narnia. I just can't warm to it. Too episodic, and I always end up tripping over the allegory. After seeing a documentary that posits that each Narnia book corresponds to one of the planets in the medieval understanding of the cosmos, I picked up The Silver Chair because it was the next one in order I hadn't yet read. I might just get the book which inspired the documentary ([Planet Narnia]) and put the rest of the Chronicles aside. I don't know. I want to like them. I'll allow as how this one held my attention more than the dreadful, interminable Voyage of the Dawn Treader. Blee.
  • (4/5)
    I was unaware of C.S. Lewis' Cristian interests when I read the book and was able to enjoy it without the association. Fantasy has never been my favorite genre, I had tried to read his first book in the series as a teen and was left uninterested. Reading this book as as adult though, I was able to see the beauty in it. I found it a warm, imaginative creation. It dealt with friendship and bravery, and thoughtful clues to a great puzzle.
  • (5/5)
    Deep, dark and dirty, down to the caves to find a missing prince. The characters of this book, though they are not Pevensie children, are wonderful, flawed and curious.
  • (3/5)
    The sixth book in the Chronicles of Narnia series follows Eustace Scrubb and Jill Pole as they travel through Narnia on a mission from Aslan to find King Caspian's missing son, Rilian.For me, while the individual plot elements were great ideas, they fell a little short in execution. The quest for the missing prince should have been interesting and exciting, but mostly I felt annoyed by the characters, particularly Jill who is the most dominant character in the narrative. And once again, sexism reared its ugly head. While I recognize, these stories are a product of their time, I was particularly annoyed by the implication that the Head of Eustace and Jill's school was a poor leader because she was a woman. However, I did enjoy the climax of the novel which was vivid and exciting. Definitely not the best book in the series but not a bad story either.
  • (5/5)
    A timeless book with a timeless message. Thrills and allegories galore, this easy to read book might surprise by its depth. It makes it even better when you know a little of the background of C.S. Lewis and who he wrote this book for. Trust me, it's pretty interesting in itself.
  • (2/5)
    I wasn't very fond of this book, let alone the series. The characters spoke in such a formal tone, I almost abandoned it. Plus, a few parts were just a little lame, and the twists were a little boring. In my opinion, I'd stick with the movies.
  • (5/5)
    This is the FIFTH book in the Chronicles of Narnia, in publication order (although I like to read this one right after The Voyage of the Dawn Treader, switching this one with The Horse and His Boy).This one was always a bit of a strange volume to me. I never particularly liked Jill, and the difficulties facing our heroes weren't as satisfying. It lacked the same kind of magic present in other installments since the Pevensies aren't in this one. But it does contain possibly my favorite quote of the whole series: "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."
  • (5/5)
    One of the things I like best about this Narnian adventure is that Jill and Eustace are successful in their quest, despite making mistakes and not always getting things right the first time around while trying to follow Aslan's instructions. I think that is a lot like life. God has given us commandments, but we aren't always very good at following them - we get distracted and hungry and bored. But we can still be successful at life if we keep trying. I loved Puddleglum, the Marshwiggle - he was good for lots of laughs from my kids along the way!
  • (4/5)
     Classic, great, a must-read. Some volumes are more enjoyable than others though.
  • (3/5)
    I started the series with The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, making this the fifth book I've read in the series, and so far it's my least favorite. I wasn't going to proceed with the series after the first book I read, because I found the blatant Christian Allegory annoying, but friends told me that, except for The Last Battle, that aspect of the books becomes less evident--and I pretty much found that to be the case, including in this book, although it's hard not to see it when Aslan the Lion enters the story. And actually, in a way I almost enjoyed that aspect this time. Call it Stockholm Syndrome, but I thought that entire scene with the Witch and the Marsh-wiggle Puddleglum debating was a cool version of Plato's Allegory of the Cave. It's not a philosophical view I ascribe to, but I had to give Lewis snaps for presenting rather sophisticated philosophical/theological concepts through the workings of a magical spell in a children's story.What annoyed me here were the slaps at co-educational, secular (and democratic/republican ie non-monarchial) education through the school the children Jill and Eustace attend. "Experiment House" has a Head who *gasp* "was by the way, a woman" and where "girls are not taught to curtsy." Quel horror! It irritated me so much--even though it's a very small part of the story, that it was hard for the story's admitted charms to come though. I think much of the accusations I've read that Lewis' Narnia is racist or sexist is mostly Politically Correct hogwash. His girls are every bit as smart, brave and capable as his boys--and as important to the story. But all that does make me cringe.As usual though, Lewis does exhibit a prodigious imagination and powerful imagery in this quest tale as well as winning touches of humor and whimsy. Puddleglum is a great comedic character and settings like Bism unforgettable. It's been obvious reading these that Narnia is as influential in fantasy as Tolkien's Middle Earth. With messenger owls, giants, feasts and the evils of the color green connected to snakes I'm reminded of Rowling's Harry Potter tales just as the warrior mice of Prince Caspian made me think of Jacques' Redwall and the talking horses of The Horse and His Boy made me think of Lackey's companions in her Valdemar books. And it's more obvious with every book Pullman's His Dark Materials is the anti-Narnia.So, bottom line is as a fan of the fantasy genre I'm glad I'm finally catching up with this series. Were I a parent I might feel ambivalent giving this to my children--Lewis' values aren't mine. But I also tend to think it's best to just feed kid's imaginations and not worry books like these are going to indoctrinate them. I know people of all faiths and no faith who loved Narnia as a child--and I can understand why.
  • (5/5)
    Once again...I loved it. C.S. Lewis has seriously created such a wonderful series of books. This one is another perfect "escape" book. As cliché as it sounds, I absolutely adore it when I can pick up a book, begin reading and forget about the world I'm in. I loved this book because of the adventure and the quest that these children were sent on. The versatility of these books (and this one, in particular) is amazing--it can be read as a simple fantasy story but also as a metaphor for Christianity. Puddleglum was my favorite character out of this book. I will admit that at first, I found his constant pessimism about everything slightly annoying, but after a while, I began to appreciate it for its endearing quality. For some reason, I also found Jill's character to be slightly annoying. I'm not entirely sure why, but she just seemed very whiny to me, even from the beginning. As I said before, I loved this book for it's Christian metaphors...Aslan as a Jesus-figure...the temptations of Satan...how everyone in Underworld was sad and miserable...even the Heaven scene at the very end was amazing. Overall, I have to say that this is one of my favorite Narnia books, for sure.
  • (4/5)
    See review for #2, "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe."
  • (5/5)
    The Chronicles of Narnia rightfully deserves its place among the greatest novels of all time. Smaller in scope than the Lord of the Rings, but not less influential, Lewis creates a world that wonderfully mirrors our own.