The Horse and His Boy (Chronicles of Narnia, #5) by C.S. LewisI feel more conflicted about this book than any of the other Narnia books. On the plus side, the story is stronger and CS Lewis manages to keep his blatant editorializing to a minimum (maybe because none of the characters are transplants from wartime London).
But holy crap, the modern reader will find his racist descriptions pretty hard to swallow. He reintroduces his devious, smelly, turban-clad race, the Calormen. A lost white boy is raised among them and he is sad until he is finally reunited with the beautiful white people of Narnia.
Ive read an argument that Lewis isnt *really* racist because he portrays one Calormene character in a positive light. But thats like Sarah Palin gushing about her gay friends to prove shes not homophobic. Inviting a lesbian coworker to your annual moose BBQ is not enough to overcome an active campaign against gay rights. For Lewis, commenting that one Calormene lady is a good storyteller is not enough to over come the contempt he feels towards his own Arab stand-ins.
The Horse and His Boy by C.S. Lewis
It was illustrated by Pauline Baynes and published by HarperTrophy. In a town south of Calormen lived a boy named Shasta. He lived with a poor fisherman named Arsheesh who treated Shasta none too kindly. Shasta always wondered what lay to the north beyond the hills but his curiosity was punished by Arsheesh who demanded that Shasta attend to his work. It happened one day that a noble came from the south and stopped at Arsheesh's home.
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All reviews for: The Chronicles of Narnia
Yes, I know this is breaking one of the cardinal rules of reading aloud—that the reader must be excited about what he or she is sharing. - These notes were contributed by members of the GradeSaver community. The story revolves around a young Calormene by the name of Shasta.
Bree, the horse, has been kidnapped from Narnia and longs to return there. Shasta, on the verge of being sold into slavery, decides to run away with him in search of the home he's always dreamed of. But the journey is full of surprises and fraught with dangers, and when the companions uncover a treasonous plot, it also becomes a race against time. It was enough of a surprise for Shasta to discover he wasn't the son of Arsheesh the fisherman. But when Bree, the talking horse, whisks him away from the cruel land of Calormen in search of the safe and happy of Narnia where High King Peter rules, Shasta finds himself up to his ears in mystery and adventure such as he could never imagine in his wildest dreams. Their journey is charged with fear and danger, intrigue and adventure, as they make their way in disguise through the city of Tashbaan, past the eerie tombs, then on by burning day and silvery night over the harsh desert to the high mountains of Archenland. Even when Narnia is in sight, Shasta realises he must finally conquer his fear.