Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll
Published Nov 1865/1871 by Macmillan
Format: e-book; 161 pages
Also From This Author: The Hunting of the Snark, Jabberwocky
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My Rating: 3/5
…did not enjoy this book? I have only ever heard good things about Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass (I read them both), but try as I might, I could not get into them. I’m familiar with the story, because I own and love both Disney movie versions, so I automatically assumed that I would love the novel as well. I was sadly disappointed.
Currently I am fighting a cold, so I don’t have the creative energy to eloquently pen all of my opinions on Alice and her…strange…dreams, so allow me to sum them all up in the ever reliable Pros and Cons format!
Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass:
Pros: My favorite character, and perhaps the only one who never annoyed me, was the quizzical Cheshire Cat. I would have loved to see more appearances (and disappearances and reappearances) by him! I think the reason I loved him so much is because the Cheshire Cat is the most reasonable out of all the Wonderland creatures. The things he said actually did make sense.
Another character who amused me was of course the ever-popular Mad Hatter. Who doesn’t love him? I would have also appreciated more scenes with him, so I thank Tim Burton for fulfilling that desire in his 2010 film.
Fortunately, the live flowers weren’t quite as annoying in the novel as they are in the animated movie. Along with the little skit about the Walrus and the Carpenter, the live flowers bit is my least favorite scene in the movie.
Cons: Parts of this book honestly gave me a headache, mainly because it was really hard to follow. It’s like reading about a dream someone had after taking one too many Benadryl, which is actually probably why a lot of people like this story. I understand its uniqueness as a work of literature and I appreciate Carroll’s ability to break conventionality, but I have come to realize that books written in this type of nonsensical format are not my cup of tea. I might be inclined to put Alice on the same bookshelf as Coleridge’s Kubla Khan, although if I had to choose between the two of them, I’d much rather read Alice.
Another con was that so many of the characters drove me insane. Alice, for one…I could not connect or relate to her on any level. And the Red Queen was undoubtedly my least favorite (main) character, although that’s not surprising to me since she’s also my least favorite character in the animated movie as well (Helena Bonham Carter makes her more likeable in the live-action film, at least in my opinion). Why was she in the story so much?
Other characters I did not appreciate were the White Queen and the White Knight, whom I really did try to like! Mainly because I pitied his clumsiness.
Alice had got so much into the way of expecting nothing but out-of-the-way things to happen, that it seemed quite dull and stupid for life to go on in the common way. [Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland chapter 1]
- Love this. Let’s all be always expecting the unexpected :)
“It’s rather curious, you know, this sort of life!” [Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland chapter 4]
- There was a nice group of little quotes like this one that helped me like the novel in some ways.
Suddenly, a footman in livery came running out of the wood–(she considered him to be a footman because he was in livery: otherwise, judging by his face only, she would have called him a fish)… [Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland chapter 6]
- There is no significance in this quote other than the fact that it literally made me laugh out loud.
“We’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.” [Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, chapter 6]
- Ain’t that the truth, Mr. Cheshire Cat.
“Where do you come from?” said the Red Queen. “And where are you going?” [Through the Looking Glass, chapter 2]
- After reading this line, the lyrics to “Cotton-Eyed Joe” were stuck in my head for a while…thanks to a recent episode of The New Girl (sorry! I love when my worlds collide!)
I know that I may have been a bit all over the place with this post, but it’s about Alice in Wonderland so anything goes! Honestly, it wasn’t the worst book I have read (I rated it 3/5 stars on Goodreads), but it was a big disappointment for me. That’s what happens sometimes when you set your expectations high. I should have approached it like I did Jane Eyre, which I thought I would hate and now it’s one of my favorite novels.