Hear All of C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia Novels as Free Audio Books


I have not seen the sec­ond two of a promised sev­en films based on the nov­els in C.S. Lewis’ The Chron­i­cles of Nar­nia series. But I tend to agree with sev­er­al crit­ics of the first filmed adap­ta­tion, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe: “The PG-rat­ed movie feels safe and con­strict­ed,” Peter Tra­vers observed, “in a way the sto­ry nev­er does on the page.” Although Lewis “did noth­ing to hide his devout Chris­tian­i­ty” in his alle­gor­i­cal Nar­nia books for young adults, nor in his grown-up sci-fi fan­ta­sy series, The Space Tril­o­gy, Lewis on the page comes across as a rig­or­ous writer first and a Chris­t­ian apol­o­gist sec­ond. Except, I’d argue, for his work of explic­it­ly pop­ulist, and rather facile, apolo­get­ics, Mere Chris­tian­i­ty (orig­i­nal­ly a series of radio lec­tures), his fic­tion and pop­u­lar non-fic­tion alike present readers—whatever their beliefs—with chal­leng­ing, inven­tive, wit­ty, and mov­ing ways to think about the human con­di­tion.

Lewis’ immer­sion in Euro­pean Medieval and Renais­sance lit­er­a­ture in his day-job role as an Oxford don—and his ecu­meni­cal, almost Jun­gian, approach to lit­er­a­ture generally—gives his fic­tion a seri­ous arche­typ­al depth that most mod­ern reli­gious nov­el­ists lack, mak­ing him, along with fel­low “Inkling” J.R.R. Tolkien, some­thing of a lit­er­ary saint in mod­ern Chris­tian­i­ty. Though it may offend the ortho­dox to say so, Lewis’ nov­els cap­ture a “deep mag­ic” at the heart of all mytho­log­i­cal and lit­er­ary tra­di­tions. And they do so in a way that makes explor­ing heavy, grown-up themes excit­ing for both chil­dren and adults. Though I’ve per­son­al­ly left behind the beliefs that ani­mat­ed my first read­ings of his books, I can still return to The Chron­i­cles of Nar­nia and find in them deep mag­ic and mys­tery.

There’s no deny­ing the enor­mous influ­ence these books have had on children’s fan­ta­sy lit­er­a­ture, from Har­ry Pot­ter to Lewis’ athe­ist antag­o­nist Philip Pull­man. I look for­ward to shar­ing his books with my daugh­ter, what­ev­er she ends up mak­ing of their reli­gios­i­ty. I’ve still got my tat­tered paper­back copies, and I’ll glad­ly read them to her before she can tack­le them her­self, but I’m also grate­ful for the com­plete audio record­ings of The Chron­i­cles of Nar­nia, avail­able free online and read by Eng­lish child psy­chol­o­gist and author Chris­si Hart. In install­ments of two chap­ters at a time, Hart reads all sev­en of the Nar­nia books, The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, Prince Caspi­an, The Voy­age of the Dawn Tread­er, The Sil­ver Chair, The Horse and His Boy, The Magician’s Nephew, and The Last Bat­tle.

You can hear the first two chap­ters of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe above, and stream or down­load the remain­ing chap­ters, and the remain­ing six books, at Ancientfaith.com. Although Hart and the Ancient Faith site who host her read­ings clear­ly approach the nov­els from an explic­it­ly Ortho­dox per­spec­tive, I don’t think read­ers need to share their beliefs, or Lewis’, to enjoy and appre­ci­ate the sto­ry­telling mag­ic of The Chron­i­cles of Nar­nia.

And it should be not­ed that CS Lewis Pte. Ltd. grant­ed per­mis­sion to put these record­ings online, accord­ing to the Ancient Faith web site. The record­ings are there­fore list­ed in our col­lec­tion, 1,000 Free Audio Books: Down­load Great Books for Free. Enjoy.

Relat­ed Con­tent:

C.S. Lewis’ Pre­scient 1937 Review of The Hob­bit by J.R.R. Tolkien: It “May Well Prove a Clas­sic”

Watch Hand-Drawn Ani­ma­tions of 7 Sto­ries & Essays by C.S. LewisWatch Hand-Drawn Ani­ma­tions of 7 Sto­ries & Essays by C.S. LewisWatch Hand-Drawn Ani­ma­tions of 7 Sto­ries & Essays by C.S. Lewis

The Only Known Record­ings of C.S. Lewis (1944–1948)

Josh Jones is a writer and musi­cian based in Durham, NC. Fol­low him at @jdmagness

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  • Patricia Varesio says:

    There’s only one thing I have to say besides this is the best site I’ve ever come across for gain­ing knowl­edge. I wish I had found it a lot soon­er! I’m 71 years young & have been look­ing for intel­li­gent, inter­est­ing, infor­ma­tive & fun sites — for­ev­er! Well, it seems like for­ev­er! All of the free books, audio, music, lec­tures etc.…… Thank you!!! I can only hope I live long enough to go through the archives!!! Thank you again! I love you!!! Keep up the won­der­ful work you do to keep peo­ple like myself hap­py!

    Sin­cere­ly, Pat

  • heaven says:

    i have herd its a nice book but i have the feel­ing its not my type i like clas­sic dra­ma fight­ing and bunch f dif­fer­ant stuff what is it like. heav­en­ly­mar tovey­deh

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