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Other Books of Enchantment

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Other Books of Enchantment

Postby Guest » 20 Feb 2007, 19:16

This topic has probably been addressed in previous threads, but I haven't been back to the wardrobe for a few years.

I got my first set of the Chronicles at the age of 11. They enchanted me and were the birth of my love for reading. My naivete led me to think that all works of fiction were this enchanting. How sorely disappointed I quickly became. There have been a few other books that gave me a glimpse of the joy that I'd experienced in the Chronicles. A couple of examples are:

- Works by Stephen Donaldson, especially the Thomas Covenant series.

- The Book of the Dun Cow by Walter Wangerin. A wonderful "supposal" although depressing at times. Then again, so is The Last Battle.

I'm wondering what other books this community has read that has given them a similar glimpse of joy.

Blessings,

- Dan -
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Re: Other Books of Enchantment

Postby Sven » 20 Feb 2007, 20:29

Dan65802 wrote:- The Book of the Dun Cow by Walter Wangerin.


Did you know there was a sequel, The Book of Sorrows?

I'll add to your list The Wind in the Willows.
Rat! he found breath to whisper, shaking. Are you afraid?
Afraid? murmured the Rat, his eyes shining with unutterable love.
Afraid! Of Him? O, never, never! And yet -- and yet -- O, Mole, I am afraid!
Then the two animals, crouching to the earth, bowed their heads and did worship.
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Book of Sorrows

Postby Guest » 20 Feb 2007, 20:32

I've had The Book of Sorrows on my shelf for about a decade. I'm worried at how depressing it will be. If Dun Cow brought me down, I've heard that Sorrows might lead me to suicidal tendencies!
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Postby Sven » 20 Feb 2007, 20:36

Well, I don't know about suicidal, but it is one to cry through.
Rat! he found breath to whisper, shaking. Are you afraid?
Afraid? murmured the Rat, his eyes shining with unutterable love.
Afraid! Of Him? O, never, never! And yet -- and yet -- O, Mole, I am afraid!
Then the two animals, crouching to the earth, bowed their heads and did worship.
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Postby Stanley Anderson » 20 Feb 2007, 20:38

Sven wrote:Well, I don't know about suicidal, but it is one to cry through.


Book of Sorrows was almost as depressing as Mostly Harmless:-)

--Stanley
…on a night of rain Frodo smelled a sweet fragrance on the air and heard the sound of singing that came over the water. And then it seemed to him that as in his dream in the house of Bombadil, the grey rain-curtain turned all to silver glass and was rolled back, and he beheld white shores and beyond them a fair green country under a swift sunrise.
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Postby A#minor » 20 Feb 2007, 23:30

Lord of the Rings is at the top of the list, of course.

Another obvious choice is George MacDonald's The Princess and the Goblin, and The Princess and Curdie, not to mention At the Back of North Wind.

Any book written by E. Nesbit (a favorite author of Lewis') but especially Five Children and It, The Phoenix and the Carpet, and The Enchanted Castle.

Knock Three Times! by Marion St. John Webb is one of my favorite tales of enchantment. It's definitely comparable to CoN.

Another pretty tale is Granny's Wonderful Chair by Frances Browne which is really a compilation of several shorter stories into one big story where the characters all finally meet in the end.

I'm sure I'll think of some more later. Classic children's fantasy is a hobby of mine.
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Postby Stanley Anderson » 21 Feb 2007, 15:22

For that pure enjoyment of wonderment and exploration of an unknown and fascinating place that I remember feeling so strongly with the Narnia books, I also felt it with two of Arthur C. Clarke's books. The first was Clarke's first novel The City and the Stars (it is a novel length expansion of the novella Against the Fall of Night which is wonderful too, though best to get the entire novel if one can). It is not just "in the future", but millions of years in the future -- how can an author possibly presume to extrapolate that far into the future? But Clarke does it without having it seem dated as many Science Fiction books are susceptible to. (By the way, there was a sequel to Against the Fall of Night, not by Clarke, called Beyond the Fall of Night that is interesting, but in no way compares to the wonder I felt for the original.)

The other Clarke book that gave me that feeling of wonder was Rendezvous with Rama. Again, there were several sequels churned out, some with mild interest, but in no way, to me, comparing to the first book.

I might also add the Swallows and Amazons books by Arthure Ransome (there are 12 of them). These and the Clarke books of course do not have the "fantasy" and theological elements that Narnia has (though they have glimpses of something joyful in the human mind that somewhat corresponds I think), but they have that "longing for that distant hillside" that Lewis refers to in his description of joy (at least for me -- each person has their own particular sources of joy, I'm sure)

(Of course Wind in the Willows and LotR fall into place here, but they have been mentioned already.)

--Stanley
…on a night of rain Frodo smelled a sweet fragrance on the air and heard the sound of singing that came over the water. And then it seemed to him that as in his dream in the house of Bombadil, the grey rain-curtain turned all to silver glass and was rolled back, and he beheld white shores and beyond them a fair green country under a swift sunrise.
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Postby A#minor » 21 Feb 2007, 16:30

I was going to mention the Arthur Ransome books, but I figured they didn't really fall into the fantasy category and I'd already given a long list. But you're so right! The Swallows and Amazons books do give you that 'joy of living' feeling like CoN does.
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Arthur Ransome

Postby Guest » 21 Feb 2007, 16:42

What would be the first of the Ransome books to read?
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Re: Arthur Ransome

Postby Stanley Anderson » 21 Feb 2007, 17:32

Dan65802 wrote:What would be the first of the Ransome books to read?


The series is called the Swallows and Amazons series because the first book is called Swallows and Amazons

Here is a list of the books from a wikipedia entry:

Swallows and Amazons (published 1930)
Swallowdale (1931)
Peter Duck (1932)
Winter Holiday (1933)
Coot Club (1934)
Pigeon Post (1936)
We Didn't Mean To Go To Sea (1937)
Secret Water (1939)
The Big Six (1940)
Missee Lee (1941)
The Picts And The Martyrs: Or Not Welcome At All (1943)
Great Northern? (1947)
Coots in the North (unfinished at the time of Ransome's 1967 death, published in an unfinished form in 1988 with some other short works)

--Stanley
…on a night of rain Frodo smelled a sweet fragrance on the air and heard the sound of singing that came over the water. And then it seemed to him that as in his dream in the house of Bombadil, the grey rain-curtain turned all to silver glass and was rolled back, and he beheld white shores and beyond them a fair green country under a swift sunrise.
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Postby King Peter » 21 Feb 2007, 21:16

For me, the only book that I can even compare to CON or LOTR is L'Engle's A Wrinkle in Time.
"But if the Witch could have looked a little further back, into the stillness and the darkness before Time dawned, she would have read there a different incantation. She would have known that when a willing victim who has committed no treachery was killed in a traitor's stead, the Table would crack and Death itself would start working backwards." - The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe
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Postby Erekose » 21 Feb 2007, 21:22

"The Weirdstone of Brisingamen" and its sequel "The Moon of Gomrath"

Both by Alan Garner (sort of an almost LotR overlapping into Current Age)

"Elidor" also by Alan Garner (sort of a Dark LWW)

"Over Sea Under Stone" and the later sequels in what was to become "The Dark is Rising" series by Susan Cooper

A few others the titles and authors escape me for the nonce. Really must try to find the time to continue cataloging and reading!
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Postby BeeLayne » 22 Feb 2007, 05:07

The Squire's Tale (and sequals) by Gerald Morris
The Prydain Chronicles by Lloyd Alexander
The Redwall series by Brian Jacques
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Postby matdonna » 22 Feb 2007, 19:16

Don't miss Watership Down, by Richard Adams.

Thomasina and
The Man who was Magic
by Paul Gallico

T.H. White's The Once and Future King
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Postby A#minor » 22 Feb 2007, 23:51

I second the reccomendation for Watership Down, Redwall, and Dark is Rising.
And I'll add to the list what are commonly known as the 'Shoe' books by Noel Streatfeild. Ballet Shoes is my favorite, but Dancing Shoes, Theater Shoes and Skating Shoes are also quite good.
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