• The Magician's Nephew

  • The Chronicles of Narnia, Book 1
  • By: C. S. Lewis
  • Narrated by: Kenneth Branagh
  • Length: 3 hrs and 55 mins
  • 4.7 out of 5 stars (118 ratings)

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The Magician's Nephew

By: C. S. Lewis
Narrated by: Kenneth Branagh
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Publisher's Summary

Written after The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe but designed by C.S. Lewis to be read first, this enchanting prequel, with its story of time travel, sorcery, and magic rings, is essential reading for anyone who wants to learn the backstory to the biggest movie release of the year. Hurled back in time to the birth of a new world, two young friends get caught in the epic struggle between Aslan and his nemesis the White Witch.

In the never-ending war between good and evil, The Chronicles of Narnia set the stage for battles of epic proportions. Some take place in vast fields, where the forces of light and darkness clash. But other battles occur within the small chambers of the heart and are equally decisive.

Journeys to the ends of the world, fantastic creatures, betrayals, heroic deeds, and friendships won and lost all come together in an unforgettable world of magic. So let the adventures begin.

This was the sixth book written in The Chronicles of Narnia. It now stands as the first book in the series.

©1955, 1983 C.S. Lewis Pte. Ltd (P)2005 HarperCollins UK

What listeners say about The Magician's Nephew

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Entertaining

I watched the movies and now started reading the books. Its shorter than i expected, but well written, and very well done in performance.

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great performance

Kenneth Branagh's performance is fantastic, he does a great variety of voices, really bringing the story alive. easy listening

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Very enjoyable

The book takes you on a great journey of fantasy. Great characters including the King of kings, Aslan.

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Where it all began

Where does The Magician's Nephew: The Chronicles of Narnia, Book 6 rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

The Magician's Nephew is one of the best narrated novels I have listened to so far. Kenneth Brannagh does a great job especially with the Cockney accent of the cab driver.

Who was your favorite character and why?

The cabbie is my favourite character with the Cockney accent and his rags to riches story.

Which scene was your favorite?

The scene where the witch tries to tempt Diggory into taking the Apple for himself is my favourite scene, as Diggory has to overcome his fears and his selfish nature to not give into temptation and to do the right thing.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The temptation scene again and when Strwberry was given wings and renames Fledge. They are only a couple of the moments that moved me in this story.

Any additional comments?

This is where it all began so if you rereading this series start with this book first and read in chronological order instead of the publishing order.

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Narnia is Born - Genesis reconceived

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Not as a stand alone story, but most definitely if my friend was interested in listening to 'The Chronicles of Narnia'.

I would strongly recommend that they begin their adventures in Narnia with this story.

Who was your favorite character and why?

I liked the cabbie so much - Frank - by name and nature. One who was a king in both of his worlds.

Which scene was your favorite?

My skin tingles when I remember the birth of Narnia - to the song of Lion.

Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

Definitely not a strong reaction.

This very much a prequel, a story that helps to make sense of the next book - ' The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe'.

Without this book that one is diminished, but this book most definitely needs to be linked with the series.

Any additional comments?

This is a must-listen prequel. All the books are relatively short, so no time is wasted.

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Meredith
  • 10-26-05

I think it's great!

i think it's great because i like listening about Uncle Andrew. He is a bit funny. It is very exciting and my favourite bit is at the end when Digory is happy again.

Frances Age 7

23 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Nicholas
  • 11-28-06

Outstanding ;-)

I had my reservations. I thought it might be a bit old, a bit flakey.. dare I say a bit passe... HOW WRONG WAS I??
This has to be one of the best books I have downloaded (and I'm a 26yo man!)The magical imagery really took me somewhere I haven't been for sixteen years.

19 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • mollymoon1
  • 12-30-10

And so it begins....

For anyone who didn't know that there are several books before The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, here is the introduction. I didn't know this book existed either until I was a teenager, and had already explored the above story. Now I can enjoy the very beginning all over again with my own children. It's a great book to tuck them up in bed with and/or listen to together. It lays the foundations of Narnia and explains several other things you may come across (like the lamp post in the wood or why some of the animals talk!). The story is nicely told, easy to follow and, of course, a classic.

6 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • David
  • 05-17-06

My kids loved it

I downloaded this for my 7 year old daughter who was captivated from start to finish. A superbly narrated book that will be enjoyed by adults and children alike.

5 people found this helpful

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  • H
  • 11-05-13

Captivating adventure

What did you like most about The Magician's Nephew: The Chronicles of Narnia, Book 1?

My five year old son loves audiobooks and he listened to this three times in succession. I hoped this would be a good introduction to the Narnia series for him, as he could not read such a long book yet and it did not disappoint. I loved listening too, as I read the books many years ago and had forgotten them.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Magician's Nephew: The Chronicles of Narnia, Book 1?

The first appearance of Aslan.

Have you listened to any of Kenneth Branagh’s other performances? How does this one compare?

No, but this book has made me want to listen to more of his performances.

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

Yes

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mr
  • 10-17-11

The real Narnian origin

Branagh is great in this first book of Narnia, with all the heartwarming tics we expect from C.S Lewis in his veiled origin for the beginning of this narrative epic.

4 people found this helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Anthony
  • 12-28-10

A Great Buy.

I have not read these books since I was a child, I was pleased to see all 7 books on this site. A good quality reading.

4 people found this helpful

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  • Cassie
  • 09-06-19

One of my favourites, beautifully done.

This is a wonderful story, a prequel to The Lion, The Witch and The Wardrobe, and has always been one of my favourites for its beauty and imagination. I have heard the abridged version, but this unabridged recording is brought to life superbly by Kenneth Brannagh. He is a superb actor, who's reading is never self - conscious but sensitive and alive, each of the characters fully realised without a hint of their being patronised.
I can highly recommend this book.

3 people found this helpful

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  • Ken
  • 08-17-15

Great story

I read this book when I was 10. Twenty years later, it didn't fade. The Magician's Nephew is my favorite in the series. Because this is exactly how you should feel when a wonderful adventure begins!

There is something wrong with the rating system. I want to give five stars to the story but it does not allow me to do so...

3 people found this helpful

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  • M
  • 10-06-19

Love it

Such memories of this world. I can't even explain how much Narnia means to me

2 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Carl
  • 07-07-18

Annoying extremes in volume of characters

Had to keep adjusting the volume to accommodate the crazy up and down volume of the different characters' voices.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 07-27-20

Story is amazing, performance frustrating

This is a favourite of mine so was thrilled to find it as an audiobook. However, I think another listener pointed out that some voices are performed louder than others which is a bit jarring especiallyfor those who like to listen as they fall asleep. The hoity-toity voice for Jadis does NOT fit at all, in my opinion. She doesn't seem intimidating or royal, it sounds very unauthentic and an odd choice to go with. For me it threw the story off and irritated me regularly. The cabby was performed way too loud as well. anyway, overall story is A+ it's my favourite from Narnia chronicles, but the performance was not easy to listen to at times. disappointing.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Risa Craig
  • 11-12-22

A short tale suitable for all ages

I look forward to reading this to my children someday. Thoroughly enjoyed Kenneth’s narration also, a great choice.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-15-22

an enjoyable story that is well written and read.

highly recommend this story. Cs Lewis is a master story teller. I was surprised by the humour.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 06-20-22

Absolutely fabulous

Kenneth Branagh’s narration was magical. Thankyou for transporting us to another world. A must listen to for family on the road. We were captivated.

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    4 out of 5 stars
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  • Ray Cocker
  • 10-19-21

A book to set up the rest.

This book is a setup for things to come so don't expect an extravagant story. A must read though. Whether you've chosen to read the books by publication order or read this first - its still a mandatory read to make sense of the Narnia series and how it came to be.

I found the performance enjoyable and actually prefer the different voices as it helps with confusion of whom is speaking.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 10-05-21

brilliant

We'll listen to this series over and over. Old school values for the kids with adventure and wonder.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Dane Ehrlich
  • 09-09-21

A truly excellent story beginning

From my childhood I recall an obsessive love of the fictional land of Narnia and as an adult and father myself I look at the same world with new insight and admiration for the complexity and realism of the characters who engage in fantastic pursuits in believable ways. Excellent narrational quality is genuinely immersive as well here. Highly recommended!!!

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  • Rebecca
  • 08-03-21

Loved it!

I hadn’t read this prequel in a very long time and so I love listening to Kenneth read it. I’m going to listen to the whole series. It’s amazing that Lewis can just get on with the story and allow an imagination to take you along rather than over explain and become boring.
The stories are short though and not worth one whole credit when some novels could be 55 hours and worth one credit.

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  • Liss and Pen
  • 04-03-21

Ah, Sweet Memories.

I always wanted to revisit the stories I enjoyed in my youth, and this one holds up! It is so wholesome, too. The performance is good, but the volume varies a fair bit throughout between narration and characters exclaiming, so be careful with headphones.