Wednesday 5 December 2012

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (Alice Book 1) - Lewis Carroll

Title: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland (Alice Book 1)
Author: Lewis Carroll
Genre: Fantasy
Published: 1865
Formats: Hardback/Paperback/Ebook

Available at:
Project Gutenberg (Free Ebook)
The Book Depository
Amazon UK

“Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” by Lewis Carroll is another one of those classic novels that I have managed to avoid reading. To be honest, I am not a big fan of the various movies either as I found them all to be a little bit random for my liking so I wasn’t sure how much I would actually enjoy reading this. However, as the ebook was free on Project Gutenberg I decided to finally take the plunge and give it a try.

For anyone living under a rock who doesn’t know the story, it follows a young girl named Alice who follows a rabbit down a rabbit hole into a fantastical and magical world. Whilst undertakes a mad cap adventure in which she encounters talking animals, potions that change her size and a royal court made up of playing cards.

If the plot above sounds rather silly and nonsensical then this would be because it is. There really is no distinct plot and the characters are quite weakly developed. I suspect children may enjoy the various random leaps from one crazy event to the next as it would stop them getting bored. However, as an adult it meant I found it hard to get engrossed or feel something for the characters, especially when you consider the rather cheap method Carroll uses to end the story. None of this was helped by the fact that I also didn’t like Alice as a character; she irritated me with her obnoxious tendencies and bouts of temper tantrums. For a young child like Alice this type of attitude can be par for the course but it really didn’t endear her to me at all.

I did still find the book quite enjoyable however as some of the various events Alice encountered on her journey were imaginative, colourful and at times rather amusing. In addition Carroll does a great job in portraying the entire adventure from Alice’s viewpoint even if she as a character annoyed me. The way in which she reacts and tries to rationalise what she is seeing against the black and white way she has been taught does come across as something a child would do. Then of course we also get to see Alice’s mind wander off in various tangents which reminds me of how my own young daughter can sometimes act.

Overall, I did enjoy finally reading this classic and for all the randomness and strange events, I managed to understand and follow it a lot easier than some of the movies. At times the book is varied and fun but it is let down by the weak and at times rather cruel characters in addition to a disappointing plot and finale. Personally, I will probably give “Through the Looking Glass” a read in the future just to see if Carroll can create something that captures both his imagination alongside an entertaining story.

Challenges Book Counts Towards:
Ebook Reading Challenge (Workaday Reads)
Free Reads Challenge
Speculative Fiction Challenge
Year of the Fantasy Classic Challenge


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