Monday, 17 January 2011

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll

Publisher: Penguin Classics
Format: Paperback
Published: 1865
Number of Pages: 4oo
Book: Bought
Genre: Classic, Fantasy, Fiction, Nonsense, Children's Classic
Recommended Age: 9+
Contains: No: Violence, Sexual or Drug References Or Swearing
However, the language could be a little difficult, confusing or boring for some

“Contrariwise... if it was so, it might be; and if it were so, it would be but as it isn’t, it ain’t.  That’s logic.”
‘I had sent my heroine straight down a rabbit hole... without the least idea what was to happen afterwards,’ wrote Lewis Carroll, describing how Alice was conjured up one ‘golden afternoon’ in 1862 to entertain his child-friend Alice Liddell.  His dream words of nonsensical Wonderland and back-to-front Looking-Glass kingdom depict order turned upside-down: a baby turns into a pig, time is abandoned at a disordered tea-party and a chaotic game of chess makes a seven-year-old girl a Queen.  But amongst the anarchic humour and sparkling word play, puzzles and riddles, are poignant moments of nostalgia for lost childhood.  Original and experimental, the Alice books give readers a window on both child and adult worlds.

The quote says it all: the entire book is completely and utterly insanely upside-down.  It is also, however, very funny and a good read for both children and adults.  I absolutely adored it! 
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was far more childlike and innocent compared to Through the Looking-Glass, which from the poem that comes before the actual book seems to be a far darker, more sinister story....  And, as it turns out, it was.
Wonderland is beautiful and bizarre, at times so completely daft that it makes you laugh out loud.  I love the character of Alice, the practical girl who finds herself speaking complete and utter nonsense after spending only a few minutes in the topsy-turvy world that is Wonderland.  The only downside to the story: its far, far too short, being only eighty-odd pages.  I could have gone on reading about the crazy talking animals and insane hatters and hares forever, and was actually sad and disappointed when I had finished it.
Through the Looking-Glass has more of a story line than the first book, being all about how Alice enters yet another magical world through a mirror in her home and how once there tries to become queen through a real life game of chess where she’s a pawn.  It has all the humour and madness of Wonderland, just with a slightly darker theme.  It’s also longer, which is a very, very good thing in my opinion, as I love the craziness that are the worlds created by Carroll.   However, I’d just like to mention that neither of the books are like the new Tim Burton film about Alice, although a mixture of the two are very similar to the orignal animated Disney film.
All in all, one of my favourite mainly children’s classic, and very high up on my fave classics list.  It was a fun read, and I felt right at home in the world Carroll created as I myself am completely bonkers.  I would recommend it to anyone and everyone who wants to be amused....

Star Rating:
4 Out of 5

Read This Book If You Liked:
The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
Inkheart by Cornelia Funke

1 comment:

Midnyte Reader said...

Great review! These are on my list.