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Terrible Reviews of Great Books: The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe

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There is no such thing as a universally loved book. Each month, we’ll feature a book from Time’s list of the best 100 English language novels of all time. From the nasty to the snarky to the downright absurd, we’ll highlight some of the strange reasons why some people hate these great reads. This month we’ll be taking a look at reviews for The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis.

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe was probably a reason why a great number of us explored wardrobes in our relatives houses in the hopes of discovering a magical world.  I loved it as a child. In fact, I loved the whole series. I have not reread the book as an adult and, truth be told, I would probably find the Christian symbolism (which when over my head as a child) to be irritating.

The book had remarkably few 1-star reviews on Amazon. Of 1,764 reviews the average rating was 4.7 stars. There were only 31 1-star reviews and most of those were complaints about a specific edition or format.  So this month we combined one-star ratings from Amazon and Goodreads. Let’s take a look at a sampling of one star reviews (my comments in blue):

NOTE: I did not edit for grammar or spelling. All reviews were copied exactly as posted on Amazon. You can read all 1-star reviews here.

  • Horrible bad grammar boring story violent parts such a bad book. Don’t waist your money trust me. It’s a horrible book.
  • Okay, I rarely say this about a book, but this book was so boring, I couldn’t even finish it! I could not relate to it what- so- ever. If you want an interesting series with adventure and a magical twist with some creativity, read the Harry Potter series. Because wizard children are much more relatable that non-magical children.
  • I didn’t like this book much because the story was boring and I don’t like fantasy story. Fantasy it is just made up by author’s thinking and it doesn’t give me any interest. It can’t be happening in real world and also it is not even true story, I mean that’s why people call fantasy but it is just author’s imagination. I can’t agree with story because I’ve never done before and I know that is not a true. I personally only read fantasy novels that are true stories.
  • Read it, but only if you like so called ‘timeless classics’ that don’t have any action! I tried to read this book once, and I kept pushing myself to finish it, but I could not! It was just so boring and strange! Edmond’s a jerk – I mean, if you saw a strange person riding about on a carrige pulled by reindeer, would you stop and ask them if you could have turkish delight? That is a good point and thus the book’s fatal flaw.
  • THIS IS SO NOT MY TYPE OF BOOK. IT WAS OK IF YOU LIKE FANTASY THAN ITS THE BOOK FOR YOU. IT IS KIND OF OK BUT AS I SAID I DONT LIKE IT! THE ONLY PART I LIKED WAS THE END! THANK YOU FOR READING THIS REVIEW! I WILL BE WRITING MORE! (ON BETTER BOOKS). I AWAIT WITH BAITED BREATH! 
  • With a Lion and a Witch in the title there isn’t much action. Just the discovery of a magic world, talking animals, a death, a resurrection, a war, and four children becoming kings and queens.

Goodreads 1-star reviews

  • Awful book, it as if someone read Matthew through John, and then said these four gospels are good but it would take a master writer to retell them with talking animals and have it be worse to the point of complete boredom. I think this person and I could be friends.
  • I would not recommend this book because it is very long and takes a while to get to the point. I wonder what this person would think about In Search of Lost Time?
  • So basically, read the bible. I forgot how preachy this book was until a reread. I can’t believe we read this to children. 
  • All I got out of it was the boy liked to eat Turkish Delights. I hate Turkish Delights and really did not appreciate this book either. Can’t really argue with the fact that Turkish delight is disgusting.
  • This book lacks any kind of depth and the religious undertones is a turnoff. I think I will stop at book one… Use of “undertones” is perhaps not the wisest when trying to prove lack of depth.
  • My relationship to The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe may have been more positive if I’d discovered it as a child. Unfortunately, as an adult, both the overt religious analogy and the faint whiff of sexism (screw you Santa Claus, women shouldn’t fight but you have no problem with a 13-year-old boy?) cloud the story in a thick moral funk that overpowers the inventiveness of the flora and fauna that occupy the otherworld of Narnia. Santa Claus is clearly sexist. No wonder I didn’t always get what I wanted for Christmas.

We want to hear from you? Did you read this book? What did you think?

Coming up next month: The Lord of the Flies

Want to read more? You can check out our past Terrible Reviews of Great Books:
The Great Gatsby
The Catcher in the Rye
The Lord of the Rings
1985
To Kill a Mockingbird

7 Comments Post a comment
  1. The reviews are hilarious!

    Liked by 1 person

    June 29, 2016
    • I know! I love trying to pick out which ones to use because they are all so funny

      Like

      June 29, 2016
  2. I can’t even with the Turkish Delights review!

    Liked by 1 person

    June 29, 2016
  3. Tracy S #

    That’s why I never got a pony for Christmas! You meanie, Santa!

    Liked by 1 person

    June 29, 2016
  4. I love the use of the classic cover -it’s the same one I had as a child.

    Liked by 1 person

    July 25, 2016

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