No Reservations: Narnia
Narnia, No Reservations, RPF
General, Crossover, Meta
Short (Words: 6,228)
note: rec'd on fancakeAuthor's Summary:
I’m crammed into a burrow so small that my knees are up around my ears and the boom mike keeps slamming into my head, inhaling the potent scent of toffee-apple brandy and trying to drink a talking mouse under the table.Review:
Anthony Bourdain meets Reepicheep! I can't believe I haven't rec'd this one yet. It sounds so crack-y but it's not. It's well done as a story and it actually has something kind of profound to say. This story is about a real travel show going to a perfect place but it's not quite what you might expect. Because what they find isn't a predictably Narnia-esque discovery about goodness and faith as beauty (which would never work with a No Reservations
crossover). But nor is it, as in many deconstructions of perfection, that it's a place where surface perfection hides an ugly truth.
They find, as so often happens in No Reservations
, that traveling somewhere fantastic is seldom everything you'd imagined, but that doesn't make it any less perfect or less beautiful and that encountering new cultures is a journey of self-discovery but a relativistic one with meaningful uncertainty and bigger questions rather than the obvious answers of a life lived unchallenged. And when it comes to Narnia specifically, they find that there is a strange power to perfect even if its not what they imagined perfect would be. And in a weird way, I think that combination really speaks about a kind of faith independent of religion. It's a faith that CS Lewis probably wouldn't recognize as such, but still. And it does it without talking about faith at all, but by talking about Narnia.
And I'm not sure that message could have been told quite so well or quite so profoundly (and especially not so efficiently - this is less than 7k words, remember) without using Narnia's allegory and No Reservations
' template of (paradoxically) ambiguous discovery as a medium - which I think represents the pinnacle of fanfiction.
Now, I don't actually know if Edonohana set out to write a profound commentary on faith and the clash of imagined ideals and reality. It's entirely possible they just thought it would make for a funny story - and it is funny and it has beautiful descriptions for people and places and food (that amazingly manage to stand in pretty effectively for the missing visuals of No Reservations
) too. The Anthony Bourdain voice is incredible and just perfectly nails both the snarky irreverence and the relativistic acceptance of canon... which is a little trippy beside the allegorical fantasy world of Narnia. Maybe I'm reading into this things that aren't actually there. But that in itself sounds a lot like a line out of No Reservations
, so maybe there's something to it after all.No Reservations: Narnia (on AO3)podfic available (on AO3)
- though frankly the author got Anthony Bourdain's voice so spot on that I really recommend reading it because part of the magic of the crossover is how easy it is to hear him narrate it
Now with cover art: