Saturday, May 22, 2010

'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland'-Review


ISBN: 9780140620863

Length: 149 pages

Opening Line:' 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 conversation?'


I chose to read Lewis Carroll's novel 'Alice's Adventure's in Wonderland, after seeing the recent Tim Burton film version of this book (well actually, it's a film which incorporates 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland' with its sequel 'Through the Looking Glass') and I wanted to compare the two. Also, as I read this book when I was a lot younger, I wanted to see if, being someone who is now their late 20's, I would have a different perspective on this novel.

Most of us know the plot by now. A young girl named Alice, happens upon a white rabbit with a waistcoat and pocket watch, complaining that he is late. Alice follows the rabbit through a rabbit hole and into Wonderland.

Whilst there, she shrinks and grows to impossible heights, thanks to crazy cakes and drinks, takes part in a court trial and meets many weird and wonderful creatures including The Mad Hatter, The March Hare, The Mock Turtle and the masochistic Queen of Hearts, whose hobbies include croquet and frenzied beheading.

Firstly, as this is a children's book, nothing can be taken seriously with this novel. The plot is a little flimsy. In fact, those who thrive on plot development, may as well leave this novel alone because at times, the plot makes no sense at all!

However, what I like about this book, is that Lewis Carroll has the ability to write in such a way as to make the impossible, possible. It is as if we are transported into the imagination of Carroll and Wonderland itself.

The characters are eccentric and amusing, but also there are hidden depths within them. For example, at first glance The Mad Hatter may just seem....well mad, but through the text there are hints of sadness and poverty, which give the character an extra element. Also The Mock Turtle, shows that not only is Carroll an eccentric writer, but also there is a sensitivity to their writing. There is a lot of humour within the novel, some of it done in a subtle way. I particularly like the comments that Alice makes, whilst she talks to herself, of her surroundings. It's like there is a role reversal and Alice is the adult, looking on the creatures as children.

If you don't have a sense of humour, then maybe this book is not for you. However, I found 'Alice's Adventures in Wonderland' a short, fun read. It will enable you to leave reality for a while and let your imagination run riot.

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