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Read extracts from The Chronicles of Narnia

Enter C.S. Lewis's world of Narnia, where there are Talking Beasts and witches, quests and adventure.

india Updated: Mar 24, 2006 11:52 IST

The Magician's Nephew

C.S. Lewis


Paperback


Publisher: Harper Collins


Pages: 220


Price: Rs 125


ISBN: 0-00-723379-5

Narnia ... where Talking Beasts walk ... where a witch waits ... where a new world is about to be born.

On a daring quest to save a life, two friends are hurled into another world, where an evil sorceress seeks to enslave them. But then the lion Aslan's song weaves itself into the fabric of a new land, a land that will be known as Narnia.

And in Narnia, all things are possible ...

 The adventure begins



Here is an excerpt:

Chapter One

The Wrong Door

Polly had discovered long ago that if you opened a certain little door in the box-room attic of her house you would find the cistern and a dark place behind it which you could get into by a little careful climbing.

The dark place was like a long tunnel with brick wall on one side and sloping roof on the other. In the roof there were little chunks of light between the slates. There was no floor in this tunnel: you had to step from rafter to rafter, and between them there was only plaster.

If you stepped on this you would find yourself falling through the ceiling of the room below. Polly had used the bit of the tunnel just beside the cistern as a smugglers' cave. She had brought up bits of old packing cases and the seats of broken kitchen chairs, and things of that sort, and spread them across from rafter to rafter so as to make a bit of floor.



Here she kept a cash-box containing various treasures, and a story she was writing and usually a few apples. She had often drunk a quiet bottle of ginger-beer in there: the old bottles made it look more like a smugglers' cave.

DigoryDigory quite liked the cave (she wouldn't let him see the story) but he was more interested in exploring.

 The dark place was like a long tunnel with brick wall on one side and sloping roof on the other. In the roof there were little chunks of light between the slates. There was no floor in this tunnel: you had to step from rafter to rafter, and between them there was only plaster....

"Look here," he said. "How long does this tunnel go on for? I mean, does it stop where your house ends?"

"No," said Polly. "The walls don't go out to the roof. It goes on. I don't know how far."

"Then we could get the length of the whole row of houses."

"So we could," said Polly. "And oh, I say!"

"What?"

"We could get into the other houses."

"Yes, and get taken up for burglars! No thanks."

"Don't be so jolly clever. I was thinking of the house beyond yours."

"What about it?"

"Why, it's the empty one. Daddy says it's always been empty since we came here."

"I suppose we ought to have a look at it then," said Digory. He was a good deal more excited than you'd have thought from the way he spoke. For of course he was thinking, just as you would have been, of all the reasons why the house might have been empty so long. So was Polly. Neither of them said the word "haunted". And both felt that once the thing had been suggested, it would be feeble not to do it.

"Shall we go and try it now?" said Digory.

"All right," said Polly.

"Don't if you'd rather not," said Digory.

"I'm game if you are," said she.

"How are we to know we're in the next house but one?"

They decided they would have to go out into the box-room and walk across it taking steps as long as the steps from one rafter to the next. That would give them an idea of how many rafters went to a room. Then they would allow about four more for the passage between the two attics in Polly's house, and then the same number for the maid's bedroom as for the box-room. That would give them the length of the house.

When they had done that distance twice they would be at the end of Digory's house; any door they came to after that would let them into an attic of the empty house.

"But I don't expect it's really empty at all," said Digory.

"What do you expect?"

"I expect someone lives there in secret, only coming in and out at night, with a dark lantern. We shall probably discover a gang of desperate criminals and get a reward. It's all rot to say a house would be empty all those years unless there was some mystery."

"Daddy thought it must be the drains," said Polly.

"Pooh! Grown-ups are always thinking of uninteresting explanations," said Digory. Now that they were talking by daylight in the attic instead of by candlelight in the Smugglers' Cave it seemed much less likely that the empty house would be haunted.

When they had measured the attic they had to get a pencil and do a sum. They both got different answers to it at first, and even when they agreed I am not sure they got it right. They were in a hurry to start on the exploration.

Then, with a great shock, they saw that they were looking, not into a deserted attic, but into a furnished room. But it seemed empty enough. It was dead silent. Polly's curiosity got the better of her

"We mustn't make a sound," said Polly as they climbed in again behind the cistern. Because it was such an important occasion they took a candle each (Polly had a good store of them in her cave).

It was very dark and dusty and draughty and they stepped from rafter to rafter without a word except when they whispered to one another, "We're opposite your attic now", or "This must be halfway through our house". And neither of them stumbled and the candles didn't go out, and at last they came to where they could see a little door in the brick wall on their right.

There was no bolt or handle on this side of it, of course, for the door had been made for getting in, not for getting out; but there was a catch (as there often is on the inside of a cupboard door) which they felt sure they would be able to turn.

"Shall I?" said Digory.

"I'm game if you are," said Polly, just as she had said before. Both felt that it was becoming very serious, but neither would draw back. Digory pushed round the catch with some difficulty. The door swung open and the sudden daylight made them blink.

Then, with a great shock, they saw that they were looking, not into a deserted attic, but into a furnished room. But it seemed empty enough. It was dead silent. Polly's curiosity got the better of her. She blew out her candle and stepped out into the strange room, making no more noise than a mouse.

The other six books in the Chronicles of Narnia.

 Clip from the movie

The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe

C.S. Lewis


Paperback


Publisher: Harper Collins


Pages: 203


Price: Rs 125


ISBN: 0-00-723319-1

They open a door and enter a world

Narnia ... a land frozen in eternal winter ... a country waiting to be set free.

Four adventurers step through a wardrobe door and into the land of Narnia -- a land enslaved by the power of the White Witch. But when almost all hope is lost, the return of the Great Lion, Aslan, signals a great change ... and a great sacrifice.

 
 A wild gallop for freedom

The Horse and His Boy


C.S. Lewis


Paperback


Publisher: Harper Collins


Pages: 240


Price: Rs 125


ISBN: 0-00-723380-9

Narnia ... where some horses talk ... where treachery is brewing ... where destiny awaits.

On a desperate journey, two runaways meet and join forces. Though they are only looking to escape their harsh and narrow lives, they soon find themselves at the centre of a terrible battle. It is a battle that will decide their fate and the fate of Narnia itself.

Prince Caspian
C.S. Lewis

Paperback
Publisher: Harper Collins
Pages: 240
Price: Rs 125
ISBN: 0-00-723381-7

 A prince fights for his crown

Narnia ... where animals talk ... where trees walk ... where a battle is about to begin.

A prince denied his rightful throne gathers an army in a desperate attempt to rid his land of a false king.

But in the end, it is a battle of honour between two men alone that will decide the fate of an entire world.

A voyage to the very ends of the world

The Voyage of the Dawn Treader
C.S. Lewis
Paperback
Publisher: Harper Collins
Pages: 272
Price: Rs 125
ISBN: 0-00-723382-5

Narnia ... where a dragon awakens ... where stars walk the earth ... where anything can happen.

A king and some unexpected companions embark on a voyage that will take them beyond all known lands. As they sail farther and farther from charted waters, they discover that their quest is more than they imagined and that the world's end is only the beginning.

A prince imprisoned - A country in peril

The Silver Chair


C.S. Lewis


Paperback


Publisher: Harper Collins


Pages: 266


Price: Rs 125


ISBN: 0-00-723383-3

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.

 
 The last battle is the greatest of all battles

The Last Battle


C.S. Lewis


Paperback


Publisher: Harper Collins


Pages: 224


Price: Rs 125


ISBN: 0-00-723384-1

Narnia ... where lies breed fear ... where loyalty is tested ... where all hope seems lost.

During the last days of Narnia, the land faces its fiercest challenge -- not an invader from without but an enemy from within. Lies and treachery have taken root, and only the King and a small band of loyal followers can prevent the destruction of all they hold dear in this, the magnificent ending to The Chronicles of Narnia.