We all have rules when it comes to carrying on reading a story: I can excuse a flawed plot if the writing is good, but I can’t do the other way around. Some people carry on reading even if the writing isn’t the best, just as long as the plot is interesting enough to make them want to know the end of it.
There are, however, many other things that can put us off reading a book, and I never thought I’d ever find myself not wanting to read C.S. Lewis—specifically, The Chronicles Of Narnia.
First, I must disclose that I read my first Narnia book when I was a bit older than I probably should have been for this sort of tales; I don’t believe that there is exactly an age to read any kind of story, but reading Harry Potter as I grew up, rather than reading it already as an adult, had a major impact in what the books mean to me, and I can only guess that I would have appreciated Narnia’s own magic even more so if I had read it for the first time as a child. I was already in my mid-twenties when I picked up The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe.
I fell in love with the book even before the actual story began; C.S. Lewis’s dedication to his godchild took my breath away, and truly set the pace to what I could expect of his writing.
I read the first book with delight, and I was ready to pick the second up when I had a chat with a friend who pointed out to me that Aslan was, in fact, a representation of Jesus. Well, I would have never read the lion as a symbolism for Christianity—I saw it as just another important character—but this revelation affected me more than I was expecting.
I was raised a Christian: I attended mass every Sunday until I was 21 years old, and although I’ve distanced myself from religion throughout the years, I have nothing against those who choose—or need—to believe in it. Somehow, however, learning that Aslan was C.S. Lewis’s way of sneaking the figure of Christ into the story, put me off of reading the rest of the collection in a way I couldn’t have anticipated.
I still intend to eventually go back to the world of Narnia, because I’m certain the following stories are as good as the first, but I’m not completely sure I’ll be able to enjoy it all as much as I would have if I hadn’t been informed of what Aslan truly aims to represent.
How about you? Have you ever been put off a book because of a detail unrelated to the writing or the plot of the story? Share it with the Book Riot community!