Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll

Book CoverFrom ‘Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank, and of having nothing to do: once or twice she had peeped into the book her sister was reading, but it had no pictures or conversations in it, “and what is the use of a book,” thought Alice, “without pictures or conversations?”‘ So begins the tale of Alice, following a curious White Rabbit down a rabbit-hole and falling into Wonderland. A fantastical place, where nothing is quite as it seems: animals talk, nonsensical characters confuse, Mad Hatter’s throw tea parties and the Queen plays croquet. Alice’s attempts to find her way home become increasingly bizarre, infuriating and amazing in turn. A beloved classic, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland has continued to delight readers, young and old for over a century.

Published: 1866

Why I Chose It: When I saw this as a suggestion on my digital book shelf I couldn’t resist downloading it to read! I have never had the opportunity to read the book and I was very excited to start!

The Review:

Alice really is such a delightful story. It’s so much fun to read. I love this story because of it’s nonsense nature, and how the story doesn’t have a coherent plot or path – but that’s what makes it amazing. It doesn’t need to follow any sort of trail through Wonderland, it just needs to show us a glimpse of it. It requires such an imagination to picture this place and all the wonderful creatures in it. I also really love that we get to see Wonderland from every angle – from above it and below it as Alice grows and shrinks, and wanders through on her journey.

The characters in this book are fantastic. There’s just such a variety of creatures, from the Cheshire Cat, the White Rabbit, the Mad Hatter and the Queen of Hearts, and they somehow fit into this world all together and become intertwined by the end of the story. I actually think it’s a really neat aspect of the story that all the individuals Alice meets throughout the story all come together at the conclusion and interact with one another. And of course Alice herself. I love the way she describes things to herself, and how she doesn’t seem to be overly frightened of the world, just curious – more likely to think “Well that’s strange” and carry on her way. Yes she does cry at points, but she was quite young and I still liked her. :)

I also really love how much word play there is in the story. Between all the riddles and poems and silly nonsense that’s said in the story, there is quite a bit of cleverness, and I found myself smiling as I read. I really love it when authors are clever and creative with their words, and when writing is sometimes more about the words and how they relate to one another, rather than just about telling the story. I found myself re-reading paragraphs and pages, not because I had to but because I wanted to.

I don’t often read book reviews before writing my own, but I happened across a few on Goodreads while I was perusing, and I saw a really negative review that basically said that the book ‘makes no sense, has no plot, has complicated words  and should never be given to a child!’ I actually laughed out loud. I don’t think the book is supposed to make sense – or have a plot. It’s whimsical. As for children, I grew up with the Disney movie Alice In Wonderland and I love it, and I can’t wait to give this book to my children so that they can read it when they’re young. (Besides, what’s a good book if it doesn’t teach you a few words?)

My only sad part about this book is that I read it on my phone with an app. Why? It had no pictures. I got to about halfway through before realizing, and then had to sit there thinking maybe there weren’t any pictures in the first place, and it was all my imagination. But according to Goodreads/Wikipedia, there were pictures in the original. So I guess my phone doesn’t include them, which makes me really sad. But then again I’m not really sad because this means I get to read it again just for the pictures. And the story. And the words. Mmm, words.

Rating: 4 / 5

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