Family Guide to Caspian

A Family Guide to Prince Caspian, Christin Ditchfield
(Crossway, 2008), pb., 123 pp.

I am late commenting on this book since it was released to coincide with the movie. However, the movie was a real disappointment so we can simply carry on talking about the book. 🙂

This little book gives a brief introduction to C. S. Lewis, a description of the key characters, overview of the plot and concludes with some recipes and activities that connect with Prince Caspian. The bulk of the book is a discussion of spiritual themes (with suggested Bible readings) in Prince Caspian walking chapter by chapter through the original book.

I see where this could be helpful to families, especially if they have not read Lewis before or are not very familiar with Lewis or Narnia. A danger could be turning the reading of Prince Caspian into a bible study chapter by chapter and failing to appreciate the story as it is (though I am sure this is not intended by the author of this guide). Lewis was big on enjoying a story in its own right and allowing lessons to emerge naturally. In our reading of the Narnia books, theological discussion arose readily. This Guide can help to get the ball rolling if necessary, but should not tie down the reading.

In closing- and for what it is worth- I was disappointed with the movie. It simply reinforces my conviction that with good literature, the movie is never as good as the book. As a genre, literature is superior to film for telling a story. In this specific case this was made even worse by so much tinkering with the original story. In spite of the comments in The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, that women are not intended to be combatants, Susan is shown as a warrior (note further conversation about this here). Most bothersome to me, was the peevishness of the Pevensies, just as in the previous movie. In the books the children are fallen and yet have some nobility. In the movies- as par for our times- nobility is lost. There is little inspiring in High King Peter. The children, except for Lucy, are petulant pouters. They are unbearably “small” in comparison to the characters in the books. So whatever you do with the movie, make sure you read the book!

One Comment

  1. I was able to overlook some of the departures from the book in the film version of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe. For the most part I thought that movie was pretty well done. In Prince Caspian, however, I was aghast at the significant things that were altered (or even cut out) and replaced. I’ve talked to some people who enjoyed the film and said the book was boring, so they had to make it more “exciting” and they justified the changes made to Peter and Susan. I found I couldn’t enjoy the film really at all. Maybe I’m too picky about my stories, but I like them to be faithfully represented in movie form.

    I am looking forward to the new Hobbit movie though.

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