The Last Battle – Likes and Dislikes

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The Last Battle – Likes and Dislikes

Postby Pattertwigs Pal » Sep 07, 2009 12:23 pm

I thought it would be kind of fun to figure out an average NarniaWeb ranking of the books so I was putting people’s rankings in to a spreadsheet. I noticed that so far people tend to either rank The Last Battle very high on the list or very low on the list. I know one page of rankings (all there is at the time I’m typing this) isn’t much to go on, but I remember noticing the same sort of thing on the last forum. I looked briefly at a couple of the pages of the old thread and it that it was often very high or very low. So, I’m wondering what it is about the Last Battle that tends to make it high on some peoples list and low on other people’s list. My questions are:
1. If you really like the book, why do you really like it?
2. If you don’t like the book or like the book less that the most of the other books, why do you feel that way?
3. If you are somewhere in the middle, what do you like and what do you dislike about the book?
If you don’t want to answer the questions specifically, you can also just list / explain likes and dislikes.

I want to give people a chance to think on this before I share my views, so I’m going to wait awhile to post.
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Re: The Last Battle – Likes and Dislikes

Postby narnian1 » Sep 07, 2009 1:03 pm

I think it's a great book, it has the best ending for the series.
(notice said it *has the best ending* rather than saying *it's the best ending/book*).

(I will not get into the comparisons with Christianity here in this section)

Dislikes:
Shift, a great character, just not at all my favorite. I dislike how he fulls all the narnians into believing he's the mediator for Aslan when the stories they know of him aren't ever like this. Aslan always talks personally to people. Worse still, the narnians know this and question it quickly, but are fooled instantly once again.

Puzzle, I dislike how he can never think for himself, great danger he caused for many.

the Narnians, I can't believe they would truly believe Aslan would suffer them to be taken to Calormene and work. It angers me. Then we have the dwarfs who choose not to be in any side, so in the final stand kill all the narnians that were coming to aid- none of them ever making it to help. Then they turn on the others.

It's a great story,
but it aggravates me, I know it need to happen to have the wonderful contrast we see in the last few chapters but man is it painful to read.

Likes:
Tirian and Jewel, I love them both for their heroics and continuing belief in the real Aslan. Prior to the final chapters my favorite part is when Tirian is bound to the tree and he recollects all the former times Aslan came to the rescue, and he goes through most of the books. Beautiful but sad moment for me, and I hope it gets captured perfectly in the movie.

Best:
The real Narnia, of course this is what makes the book so wonderful.
After all the dark days and suffering they just had, now they come into peace and light. Forevermore they will live in Aslan's Country.
I love they not only do they have real Narnia, but also a real England.
I absolutely love that all past good characters are re-united in this glorious moment, beginning with Reepicheep. A moment which very nearly made me cry the first time I read it as it is truly wonderful and emotional.

I like too that it ends that Narnia really didn't end but it's only really just beginning...


conclusion:
I place it last because the majority of the book is so frustrating to read,
but I absolutely LOVE the ending. The ending *is* among my favorite parts of all the books.
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Re: The Last Battle – Likes and Dislikes

Postby icarus » Sep 07, 2009 1:15 pm

Its not that i dislike the book, but there are a few things i dislike about it.

For a start, it is probably the only "Narnia-centric" book in the series. In all the other books (HAHB included) the story is told from the perspective of the children, and we discover the world of Narnia and all the associated magic/adventure/excitement through our shared experience with them. In The Last Battle, the children are almost peripheral to the story. The story begins in Narnia, and most of the story is told from the perspective of the Narnians. Though the same might seem to be true of HAHB, that story does still retain the key elements of escapism and discovery, which i think make the chronicles so great. For me, The Last Battle sorely lacks both those qualities.
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Re: The Last Battle – Likes and Dislikes

Postby TheGeneral » Sep 07, 2009 2:36 pm

Yeah I agree with icarus quite a bit. Also, it's the last book, so I'm automatically sad while reading it :( . The fact that they were all killed in our world wasn't a happy thought, and somehow it just seemed less 'Narnia-like'.


And I don't like monkeys lol
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Re: The Last Battle – Likes and Dislikes

Postby littlgriz » Sep 10, 2009 9:04 am

i love the book :)
hi thanks fore riting me
im a Member of the Gollum/Smeagol appreciation club"
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Re: The Last Battle – Likes and Dislikes

Postby Pattertwigs Pal » Sep 10, 2009 12:28 pm

narnian1 wrote:It's a great story,
but it aggravates me, I know it need to happen to have the wonderful contrast we see in the last few chapters but man is it painful to read.

I like too that it ends that Narnia really didn't end but it's only really just beginning...

conclusion:
I place it last because the majority of the book is so frustrating to read,
but I absolutely LOVE the ending. The ending *is* among my favorite parts of all the books.


Narnian1: I agree with a lot of what you said, especially the parts above.
The first part of the book makes me so angry. X( Shift is, in my opinion, the worst villain in the series. I hate how he takes advantage of the Narnians. I also put blame on Puzzle for not thinking for himself. He knows it is wrong to pretend to be Aslan but lets Shift convince him to go along. However, the Narnians also make me angry. They remember that Aslan is not a tame lion but forget all about the part of him that is good. At times Tirian and Jewel make me angry too. Tirian does not heed what Roonwit tells him and even after he is convinced something is wrong he doesn’t listen to Roonwit’s advice. I also can’t help feeling that if Tirian spent less time at his hunting lodge and more time paying attention to what was going on in his realm he would have figured out the ape’s plot much sooner. He and Jewel aren’t sure it isn’t Aslan who is doing all of those things for quite awhile. Tirian doesn’t realize it until the ape says Aslan and Tash are the same. I also am upset they are so rash. The part where the dwarves shoot the horses is horrible. I think part of the reason the first part of the book bothers me so much is because I can’t help thinking “If I were in that type of situation would I know it wasn’t true?” :-s I certainly hope I would see it for lies, but I can’t be one hundred percent sure. The scary thing about the book is that there really are people out there like Shift who can convince people of things they oughtn’t believe. (Hitler for example) Because the first part of the book is dark and extremely frustrating, I put it last on my list of ranking.

The part inside the stable is much better and once I get to that part I can really enjoy reading it. There are a couple of spots I’m not sure of, but those relate more to the Christianity section. I like the imagery of the world ending. I’m glad there is a real Narnia and a real Earth. I like seeing the characters from other books too. I like the reference Lucy makes to the stable in our world and the change that comes over Aslan. I’m glad that the Pevensies’ parents make it to Aslan’s Country too.

Icarus, I hadn’t thought about it being the so Narnian centered. I actually don’t mind that, since part of what I like about the Chronicles is that each story is different. You’re right though, LB is lacking something that the other Chronicles have. I can’t put my finger on exactly what it is for me however. It might have something to do with discovery. Although they discover things in Aslan’s Country, it is a different kind of discovery.

TheGeneral, I can see how it could be considered an unhappy thought that they died in our world. I think Lewis does a good job of showing the positive side of their death. I never feel sad that they are dead in our world because they are in Aslan’s Country and the get to stay there.

tinasattler, Why do you love the book?
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Re: The Last Battle – Likes and Dislikes

Postby malkah » Sep 11, 2009 2:22 pm

Dislikes: The feeling of helplessness throughout the whole first section. Narnia is being destroyed before their eyes, and everyone seems paralyzed to do anything about it. If Puzzle would just say no, if the Narnians would just stand up for what they know to be true...
Pattertwigs Pal wrote:At times Tirian and Jewel make me angry too. Tirian does not heed what Roonwit tells him and even after he is convinced something is wrong he doesn’t listen to Roonwit’s advice. I also can’t help feeling that if Tirian spent less time at his hunting lodge and more time paying attention to what was going on in his realm he would have figured out the ape’s plot much sooner.

This angers me too; especially in the beginning, when his own people are being murdered by Calormenes and he has no inkling of it, and then dares to think that Aslan might be responsible. However, I think Tirian is meant to be rather heedless and rash at first. It's the loss of all hope and his choice to fight when others simply submit that makes him the king he should be.

Likes: I do love "the faithful few," Tirian, Jewel, Poggin, and the characters who join them at the Stable.
TheGeneral wrote:The fact that they were all killed in our world wasn't a happy thought, and somehow it just seemed less 'Narnia-like'.

Pattertwigs Pal wrote:TheGeneral, I can see how it could be considered an unhappy thought that they died in our world. I think Lewis does a good job of showing the positive side of their death. I never feel sad that they are dead in our world because they are in Aslan’s Country and the get to stay there.


It never felt like they were dead to me; rather, that they were finally alive. And the way they died--surrounded by their dearest friends and in obedience to Aslan--I think it was beautiful! :)

Best: The ending, of course. Their whole journey through the New Narnia is one delight after another. And the very end, with the reunion of all the beloved characters, Aslan's transformation, and Lewis' beautiful lines about the Great Story, always leaves me in tears.
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Re: The Last Battle – Likes and Dislikes

Postby NaiadWaker » Sep 13, 2009 4:40 pm

malkah wrote:Dislikes: The feeling of helplessness throughout the whole first section. Narnia is being destroyed before their eyes, and everyone seems paralyzed to do anything about it. If Puzzle would just say no, if the Narnians would just stand up for what they know to be true...

Well, everyone has "Puzzle" moments. We've all been gullible, and I can tend to be that way, so I can relate to his situation.


It's a great book, but not my favorite:

Likes
Jill- She was very brave in this book. I love how she developed,as well as Eustace.
Tirian- One of the best Narnian Kings.
The Real Narnia- Beautiful. Absolutely beautiful.
The Dwarfs- I love how Lewis described their lck of faith- like it is here in our world.
Poggin- Such a faithful character!

Dislikes
Shift- AAAAAAH! I mean, C.S. Lewis did a great job with Shift, because I think he meant for us to hate him! I dislike him for all the reasons you have mentioned.
The Ending: Well, I didn't like how Aslan said one thing about the Pevensies' parents dying and then moved on. I mean, I would have rather had an emotional moment, or the parents not being mentioned at all!
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Re: The Last Battle – Likes and Dislikes

Postby Aslans Country » Sep 16, 2009 12:55 am

I think if I ranked the books from my favourite to least favourite LB would be somewhere in the middle. I just reread it again yesterday and I found that I really enjoyed it. I didn't really hate the beginning that much, and I love it from about halfway through.

What I don't like about it is that the story doesn't start with kids and isn't really told from the point of view of the kids. That's what makes the beginning kind of boring for me.

Another thing I found I didn't like too much was the way the older characters that had come back didn't seem to have much of an individual character to them: they seemed like different people from the ones I'd got to know throughout the series, especially Edmund.

Apart from that, I don't really have any complaints. I love the last battle, just before they go into the stable. They're all being so brave..
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Re: The Last Battle – Likes and Dislikes

Postby EveningStar » Sep 16, 2009 8:16 am

What makes some people so unhappy about the book is the same thing that makes them unhappy about the world. Namely that people do stupid things and mess up the goodness around them. Not a single thing that happens in that book is without a parallel in the world where we live.

The minute a stock starts down, everyone sells their shares so it will go down much, much further. During the pilgrimage to Mecca, one guy yells SNAKE! and 200 people die running away from it. No matter what a Televangelist, Actor or Jock does, even on camera, they end up "very sorry" and foolish people believe it and send them money. Joe's family is so poor, so he plunks down half his salary on lottery tickets before drinking and smoking up most of the rest--all because being poor is boring and depressing. Never mind that saving will end poverty and thus end the boredom.

So what exactly in the story is so wildly implausible? Nothing. Nothing at all. And that's sad. And it is realizing that the Narnians fare no better in their troubles than we do that makes us angry. We secretly hope some people on some world somewhere will not make the same mistakes we did, and we're disappointed when it's not the case.
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Re: The Last Battle – Likes and Dislikes

Postby narnian1 » Sep 16, 2009 3:31 pm

EveningStar wrote:What makes some people so unhappy about the book is the same thing that makes them unhappy about the world. Namely that people do stupid things and mess up the goodness around them. Not a single thing that happens in that book is without a parallel in the world where we live.



Yep! that's exactly my problem with it,
nevertheless it is a great book, but mostly due to that wonderful ending, quite unexpected for me too.
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Re: The Last Battle – Likes and Dislikes

Postby Lady of the Narnians » Sep 18, 2009 3:20 pm

I like the book!
But, I thought it was kinda wierd that Susan doesn't come back to Narnia with the other three.
And, I thought the battle could have been more exciting too.

But, other than that, it was a good book! :D
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Re: The Last Battle – Likes and Dislikes

Postby NaiadWaker » Sep 21, 2009 5:27 pm

Yes, the battle could have definitely been more exciting. If they make a movie version, they'll most likely up the excitement level.
Well, due to the influence of Susan's movie attitude, I wasn't surprised that Su didn't get to Aslan's Country. (I read the books after seeing both new Narnia movies.)
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Re: The Last Battle – Likes and Dislikes

Postby Lady of the Green Kirtle » Sep 23, 2009 12:27 am

:x I LOVE the book (although it makes me cry every time i read it :(( ) Yes, it does seem sort of hopeless at the beginning but the end makes it all worthwhile. I love the concept of the New Narnia and how it is so much larger and more real than the old one (it reminds me of how Lewis describes heaven in his book The Great Divorce) All of the reunions were great, and I like the way that the characters feel as if Aslan's Country is there real home, like Jewel said "I have come home at last! This is my real country! I belong here. This is the land I have been looking for all my life, though I never knew it till now. The reason why we loved the old Narnia is that it sometimes looked a little like this. Bree-hee-hee! Come further up, come further in!" (also read Hebrews 11:13-16).
The one thing I didn't like about the book is that we are sort of left hanging as to what happened to Susan. I know the book says that she is no longer a friend of Narnia, but what happened to her when the others died? Was she in the train accident too? If so did she survive or not? If she wasn't in the train accident where was she? Personally I like to imagine that she was nowhere near that accident. Although it would be sad for her to have lost her whole family so tragically, at least then there would be some hope of her becoming a friend of Narnia once again and reuniting with them some day.
I guess the book is really sort of bitter-sweet, some people love that about it and others not so much.
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Re: The Last Battle – Likes and Dislikes

Postby Dekkie » Sep 23, 2009 4:54 pm

Currently, the Last Battle is my favorite Chronicle. I can't really put my finger on a specific distinct reason as to why it is... but let me attempt to explain some of the reasons I love this book.

Characters: Ah, this story has so many wonderful characters. Returning to the story we not only have Jill and Eustace, but also nearly every Narnian hero we've grown to love also makes an appearance. The new characters are splendid as well. King Tirian is arguably my favorite character in the entire series. I'm not sure if it's because of his honor or his nobility or his faithfulness as the Last King, or something else, but I really love his character. Shift is a great villain. Though he doesn't inspire terror as some other villains in the series (eg. Jadis, LOTGK), nor is he one of the more comical villains (eg. Uncle Andrew, Rabadash). Instead, Shift is crafty and deceptive, making him my "most hated" villain in the Chronicles.

Story: This is such a powerful story. It has grabbed me in a way that none of the other Chronicles have. Its sadness and joy and the heroism of the characters amidst uncertainty are among the things that have drawn me to this book. Yes, these things appear in the other Chronicles, but, IMO, they are presented most powerfully here. Also, this book seems really relevant to our time. Just as Shift, Rishda, and the gang spread the lie that Tash and Aslan are really the same person, people today often embrace and spread the same lie about Christ and other gods.

Personal: I can remember listening the the last episode of Focus on the Family Radio Theatre's adaptation of this book on the radio when I was younger. The sheer joy and excitement the characters experienced in the New Narnia and the adventures they were going to have there really helped me to get excited about heaven.

Looks like I came up with some pretty good reasons for having this book as my favorite! Man... writing this has made me want to go and read it again...
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Re: The Last Battle – Likes and Dislikes

Postby daughter of the King » Sep 24, 2009 6:05 pm

For me, The Last Battle is a tie for first along side of The Horse and His Boy. Why do I like it? I can hardly ever put my finger on it, but C.S.Lewis makes the ride worth while. Yes, there is sadness and anger to begin with, but that makes the joy at the end all the more precious. Some of my favorite characters also appear here. Jewel, the most noble of beasts(since Reep left that is........). Tirian, yes he is rash, but I think it is mostly out of desperation and helplessness. He cares for his people, and will not wait "the tenth part of a second" before going to help them. And Puzzle, poor, dear, gullible Puzzle. Shift uses him badly, but in the end, it is Shift who is being used by the Calormenes. Puzzle eventually comes to his senses.
And the ending! Coming home to the True Narnia and "the story that no one on Earth has ever read." It's beautiful. I don't think it would be as beautiful if we didn't have to go through the last battle fought by the last king and so on through the stable door. Without the darkness to compare the light to, the light becomes meaningless.
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