• The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

  • The Chronicles of Narnia
  • By: C. S. Lewis
  • Narrated by: Michael York
  • Length: 4 hrs and 21 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (16,402 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Don't miss one of America's top 100 most-loved novels, selected by PBS's The Great American Read.

Four adventurous siblings - Peter, Susan, Edmund, and Lucy Pevensie - step through a wardrobe door and into the land of Narnia, a land frozen in eternal winter and 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.

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is the second book in C. S. Lewis' classic fantasy series, which has been drawing readers and listeners of all ages into a magical land with unforgettable characters for over 60 years. This is a stand-alone listen, but if you would like to explore more of the Narnian realm, follow up with The Horse and His Boy, the third book in The Chronicles of Narnia.

Don't miss any of the books in C.S. Lewis' classic Chronicles of Narnia series.
©1950, 1978 C.S. Lewis Pte. Ltd (P)2000 HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"The only thing better than exploring Narnia with your children is having Michael York do it with you. With his precise, but lively, British accent, he eases listeners into the mysterious world hidden behind the wardrobe." (AudioFile)

"This classic tale celebrates its 50th anniversary with a delightful audio rendition. Actor Michael York's reading is a perfect match for this story." (School Library Journal

Featured Article: 95+ C.S. Lewis Quotes About Love, Life, Faith, Bravery, and Friendship


Born in Belfast, Ireland, in 1898, C.S. Lewis is perhaps one of the most esteemed and beloved authors of all time. His acclaimed classics range from The Chronicles of Narnia fantasy series to the theologically-specific Mere Christianity. As one of the world’s most respected authors, Lewis’s words of wisdom continue to inspire countless readers and listeners. Here are our favorite quotes from C.S. Lewis about friendship, love, life, and faith.

What listeners say about The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe

Average Customer Ratings
Overall
  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
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    12,696
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Story
  • 5 out of 5 stars
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  • 2 Stars
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Suitable for children

Michael York read this classic, and I doubt he read and loved it as a child. He reads it as if to a child --- the same is true of Derek Jacobi's reading of "Voyage of the Dawn Treader." So if you want this audio book for a child, that's fine. If you want it for you, it lacks depth. More could have been gotten out of it.

The best reading of C.S. Lewis I have found so far is Kenneth Branagh reading "The Magician's Nephew," the first in the Narnia storyline. In my opinion, it's a labor of love: he loved it as a child and really knows the book and how to read it.

150 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

Sound level a small problem

There ARE no lovelier fantasy tales for readers (and listeners) of all ages than the Narnia books. I greatly enjoyed this version. However, I found the variations in the volume in this audiobook to be problematic. They added to the dramatic effect, but Aslan's roars were often painfully loud, while narrative and dialogue were sometimes too soft. I couldn't seem to find a volume level that worked with either (1) my ears or (2) my MP3's players ability to equalize it.

117 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Great audiobook!

This is only my second foray into the land of audiobooks (after my first with Mary Shelley's "Frankenstein") and I am again pleased that I decided to use my commute time wisely! "The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe" has always been one of my favorite stories and I have not read it in almost 10 years. I'm so bogged down with other books I'm reading at the moment, so I decided to "read" it while in the car. The best part about this book, other than the lovely story, beautiful imagery, and wonderful characters, is Michael York's interpretation of the story. Other reviewers found him annoying, but I appreciated how he differentiated the characters. His enthusiasm during Lucy's discovery of Narnia is particularly wonderful. I enjoyed listening to this book very much and I highly recommend both the book and this particular audio version as well. Happy listening!

73 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Good story, but the volume was all over the place

The difference between narration and diologue volume was a bit much. I had to constantly adjust the volume as I was listening because the narrator would speak rather softly, then as soon as someone said anything with any amount of emphasis, I'd have to turn the volume down to keep the audio at the same level.

67 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars

marvelous book, annoying narrator

I have adored the Narnia books since I was a child, and the story is still magical for me. I?m giving this 4 stars because of the narrator. Mr. York reads _The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe_ as though he?s reading Peter Rabbit, as though his director told him, ?Now, Mr. York, please don?t read this in a way that will frighten the children.? He reads dark, scary passages with a patronizing smile in his voice. It?s very irritating. The good news is that the story?s brilliance still shines through, and Mr. York does not narrate the other Narnia books.

54 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

A magical beginning

The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is a classic children's story if there ever was one. The upcoming movie promises to be equally as brilliant and original as this when it was first published some 50 years ago.

In case you who don't know, the first dramatization of The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe was done in 1988 by the BBC. The movie has a distinctive British flair and is well done. It's out on DVD and VHS with a few nice extras.

Unlike the previous reviewer, I thought this audio edition was well done. It shows it's age a bit, I think the original recording was done several years ago to celebrate the 50th anniversary.

50 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Great series!

I highly recommend the whole series. The audio quality is great and the the narrators use entertaining voices for the different characters. Plus, it's cool to hear famous people like Kenneth Branaugh and Patrick Stewart reading. All the narrators in the series do a great job.

If you're a Christian, I also recommend reading some of C.S. Lewis's theology before reading the series because you see many of his theological ideas surface throughout the series and I think it adds richness to the experience.

If you're not a Christian, I still think the books are enormously entertaining and I remember enjoying them as a child before I knew that C.S. Lewis was a Christian and long before I was a Christian myself.

24 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Bring on the movie!

My son has gotten so many good books in audio lately and this is one of the better ones. My wife and I enjoyed listening to this. For anyone expecting another Lord of the Rings, this isn't it. The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe is a children's story of old, and like all children's stories of old it has a certain refreshing simplicity.

19 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    3 out of 5 stars

Not bad...

I liked actually reading this better. As much as I've liked some of Michael York's screen acting, I didn't quite appreciate his reading. It was a bit slow, and his voice didn't change much between characters.
The story itself is excellent, as always, but seemed to progress a bit slower than when I actually read it. Children would be able to follow along easily, though.

16 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    2 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Classic story, poorly performed

What did you love best about The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe?

Fantastic story, as good as when I first read it as a kid.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

The narrator (and sound engineer) really messed up this audio book in two ways. First, the narrator's choice of voices for one of the characters was so irritating that it made us (me, wife, 2 kids) want to stop listening. Fortunately, that was mostly just at the beginning.

The sound engineer let the volume vary so much between the dialogue (LOUD!) and narration (quiet) that you could not just passively listen to the story while, say, on a long road trip. You had to constantly monitor and adjust the volume because otherwise you were going to either miss parts the story or blow your speakers (which, when combined with one of the irritating voices mentioned above, was like an ice pick in the head).

This is a classic tale, it should have been a cake walk.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No

Any additional comments?

Still worth listening to but if an alternative version was available, I'd suggest going for that one.

12 people found this helpful

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