My sister got me the complete Chronicles of Narnia for Christmas, and I am reading them all now. Since it has been years since I have read any of them, it feels like I am reading them for the first time.
The Magician's Nephew is the one that C.S. Lewis intended to be read first. In short, it is about the creation of Narnia and the Professor's (Digory's) childhood. It is a very intriguing story, and the creation of Narnia is beautifully described.
I was expecting a lot more from the book, to be honest. There really was not a lot of action. Much of the book focused on Polly and Digory's discovery of new worlds through the manipulation of Digory's Uncle, the magician. It is important to know how Narnia began, I suppose, but this book really doesn't work as the beginning of the series, in my mind. I still think he should have The Lion, The Witch, and the Wardrobe first because it is a much more intriguing story. Then the reader can have questions like "How did Narnia begin?" and "Where did the White Witch come from?" answered in a prequel that is read later.
I have found a measure of comfort in these books, though. I enjoy reading stories where the people escape the pain of their own world and find a Narnia where everything turns out okay in the end. I am looking for my Narnia.