Team Lewis or Team Alcott?

Good morning everyone and apologies for this short but sweet and almost totally promotional post. I’m thrilled to announce that Dedication for kindle is now  .99 cents this week only as is my other ebook, The Malorie Phoenix. It’s part of a promotion done by me and my buddies of the Wet Noodle Posse, the 2003 Golden Heart finalists who are still friends and slapping each other with wet pasta products as called for–our own Diane Gaston is also a Noodler. We have a lot of great books priced at .99 and you can read about them, and see other Noodler books here at the Cyber Book Sale. (And I don’t know about you but a lot of my cyber week shopping has not been for gifts as such. Gifts for me, yes. My kindle is bursting at its seams.)

Today is the birthday of both C.S. Lewis and Louisa May Alcott and I’m wondering whether you’re a Lewis or an Alcott fan and whether it’s possible to be both. Me, I’m a Lewis girl all the way, even though I find his sexism, his heavy handed religious propaganda, and his careless worldbuilding (if it was winter all the time, how did people eat?) just plain annoying. As for Alcott, I think she’s pretty preachy too, and I can never, never forgive her for marrying wonderful, vibrant Jo off to a German caricature, although I guess his sausage worked well enough to propel her into the final subjugation of motherhood in Little Men (has anyone read that? Don’t, please). But I never got Alcott the way I did C. S. Lewis and Narnia. She never fired my imagination or (occasionally) blew me away with her writing

How about you? Lewis or Alcott? Why?

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9 years ago

I really don’t like Lewis for all the reasons you cited. I came to Alcott as an adult, having somehow skipped LW when I was a kid (rereading Anne of Green Gables and Little House books too much, I guess!), but I found it surprisingly good. Alcott’s life and contributions to American lit exceeds Lewis’s contribution to English lit, so I’m Team Alcott!

Kate Dolan
9 years ago

Great question – I think we need to stage more author battles like this. I haven’t read Alcott since I was in middle school and I too was highly dismayed that Jo ended up with the fatherly boring guy while the whining Amy got Laurie. My mom tried to explain why it made sense, but I didn’t buy it. As for Lewis, I loved the first few Narnia books (why have they never made a movie out of the first one? I like it the best). Then I started to lose interest. I read some of his science fiction a couple of years ago and that is really clunky. His theology books, however, are amazingly good – they make good logical sense, come straight to the point and are easy to read. The Screwtape Letters completely changed the way I think of happy endings in fiction and in real life. So I vote Lewis.

Diane Gaston
9 years ago

I never read Lewis, actually, so I can’t say if I’d prefer him to Alcott. I totally agree with you about Little Women, though. I so desperately wanted Jo to marry Laurie.

But I must credit Little Women with helping me fall in love with books. I still have my book from childhood, although I couldn’t find it when my daughter was ready for it. Now we have 2 copies.
She preferred The Babysitters Club….

I never read Little Men…was too crushed by LW, I guess. I think it was about her nephews, though.

Diane Gaston
9 years ago

Forgot to say….The Wet Noodle Posse promo is TOTALLY WORTH IT. Check it out and fill those Kindles and Nooks!!!!

Elena Greene
9 years ago

Probably no surprise to anyone who knows me–I’m deplorably undiscriminating–but I enjoyed both.

I wasn’t asupset by Jo not getting with Laurie as I was when Eowyn didn’t get Aragorn in LOTR. Now, that was a disappointment.

9 years ago

I only ever read the Narnia Chronicles of Lewis, which I adored. Never read any of his other works but did see Shadowlands- does that count? 😉 And I read most of Alcott’s. I didn’t adore them but they were reread quite a few times. The fat German sausage comment did make me snort my drink! I remember being bitterly disappointed in Laurie but I liked the professor and I could understand the choice Alcott made. The meg/brooks pair made me nuts- I’d have told him where he could stuff it. And, there was another book (possibly series) about an orphaned girl with a clan of male cousins- that one’s Victorian gender issues really grated on me. More than Jo and mothering a school of boys.

And, yes, to Elena re:Aragorn and Eowyn! Tragic!

Cara King
9 years ago

I guess I’m the only one who didn’t want Jo March to marry Laurie!

I was nine when I first read the book, and even then I thought Laurie a little boy compared to Jo’s more fully-rounded person. As a kid I didn’t understand Mr Bhaer at all, and was aware that I didn’t; now I think he makes sense. She needed someone strong she could fight with, not a boy who’d go sulk when she lost her temper. 🙂

Elizabeth Kerri Mahon
9 years ago

I adore C.S. Lewis and Louisa May Alcott but I would suggest that people also read the thrillers that she wrote under a pseudonymn which gives you a very different view of her. I’ve also read several biographies of her which are very interesting. I’ve always felt that Laurie was just too much in the friend zone for Jo to fall in love with him. I didn’t mind her falling in love with her German particularly since he was played by Gabriel Byrne in the last film version.

9 years ago

I have all the problems you have with Lewis (as well as some pretty insidious racism thrown in for good measure).

I’ve never read Alcott, so I’d like to remain impartial.