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text 2017-07-04 13:04
4th July 2017
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Other Stories - Lewis Carroll

Curiouser and curiouser! 

 

Lewis Carroll

 

July 4, 1862: Charles Dodgson (a.k.a. Lewis Carroll) took three young sisters on a boating trip and told them a story about a girl who went down a rabbit hole. The tale became the basis for Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

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review 2017-03-03 00:33
Alice in Wonderland
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll,John Tenniel

Yes I'm 38 years old and just now reading this book for the first time. I'm sure there are hundreds of books I didn't read as a kid that I probably should have. As for this one, it was very enjoyable. I probably would've loved it as a kid just for it being so strange and weird, but as an adult, I love most how ironic it is. The word play, the whacky hijinks, Alice's existential crisis, and just watching Alice try to figure out how to Escape the Room she first lands in was a lot of fun. I never saw the entirety of the Disney movie either, just bits and pieces. I've only seen the Johnny Depp movie, which is post-Alice in Wonderland, in full. Why I did that, I don't know. I must've been feeling in need of punishment for some transgression at the time. 

 

It was fun reading a classic like this, which I've absorbed a lot of through pop culture references, but have no real clue what to expect of the actual book. It was fun, easy to read, and certainly something that both children and adults can get something out of. 

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text 2017-02-28 14:25
Month in Review: February
Guapa - Saleem Haddad,Andreas Diesel
The Semester of Our Discontent - Cynthia Kuhn
Lagoon - Nnedi Okorafor
On the Edge of Gone - Corinne Duyvis
Young Blood - Stephanie von Harrach,Sifiso Mzobe
Alice's Adventures in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll
Der Susan-Effekt - Peter Urban-Halle,Peter Høeg

February brought grim winter weather and some solid novel reading, helped along by slow times at work. I was also ill for a week and didn't get much of anything done, so progress on my bigger reads stalled. Adorno and Le Guin are still stuck in my Currently Reading queue, there's some reviews I need to catch up on, but overall I'm quite happy with my first full month on BookLikes. 

 

 

4.5 star reads: 

 

Saleem Haddad: Guapa

Corinne Duyvis: On the Edge of Gone

 

4 star reads: 

 

Nnedi Okorafor: Lagoon

Lewis Carroll: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

 

2.5 star reads: 

 

Cynthia Kuhn: The Semester of Our Discontent

Sifiso Mzobe: Young Blood

Peter Høeg: Der Susan-Effekt

 

 

Looks like 2.5 stars are my go-to rating when I didn't quite enjoy a book but didn't hate it either. And I need to write more reviews of novels I do enjoy! 

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review 2017-01-21 04:07
Playing Chess
Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There - Lewis Carroll,Peter Glassman,John Tenniel

Hot on the tails of the rabid success of Alice in Wonderland comes the similar, but somewhat different, sequel. The absurdity of this volume is of the same scope as the original, but in many cases, being a sequel, it seems to lack some of the uniqueness of the original. One thing I noticed with regards to the original is that there simply did not seem to be any plot. Thus, the absurdity of the entire volume was complete. There was no reason for Alice to be there, and no goal that she had to reach, and the end simply comes all of a sudden.

 

However, come the sequel, we have a plot and a quest. Initially Alice simply wants to see what is on the other side of the looking glass, and sure enough, she enters a world that is similar, but different, to our own. In a way it is a world of opposites, so when she is thirsty she is given a biscuit (when what she really should have asked for is a biscuit, because more likely than not, she would have been given a drink).

 

The story is based around a game of chess, and there are numerous metaphors in relation to the chess board. For instance the journey across the third square (Alice is a pawn so she starts on the second square) is by train which represents the pawns ability to jump the third square. The queen moves at a rapid pace, which is representative of the queens ability to move as far as she likes, and the knight stumbles, representative if the rather odd way that the knight moves.

 

As for the quest, well, as soon as Alice meets the queen she decides that she wants to be a queen, so the queen tells Alice that she must move to the other side of the chess board, and in doing so, she will become a queen (which is a rule in the game of chess). Some have said that the story itself was written by Carol when he was teaching Alice Liddle how to play chess, though I must say that I did not learn all that much about the game of chess in this book.

 

It is interesting how some of the characters from this story make their way into the other story in the more main stream productions (though I am not talking about the Tim Burton movie here). For instance Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum seem to appear in the Alice in Wonderland story in the films when in fact they appear in this book. It is also noticeable (and something that I did not realise until I read this) was that the poem Jabberwock appears in this book. I always believed that Jabberwock was a poem that Carol had written separately from this book. By the way, this is what a Jabberwocky looks like:

 

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/d/d0/Jabberwocky.jpg/220px-Jabberwocky.jpg

 

 

 

I quite like the pictures that Carol put in the book, and some of them seem to be quite absurd in themselves. For instance there is a scene on the train when the ticket inspector comes along and asks Alice for her ticket (and I have found myself on the wrong side of a ticket inspector, as we probably all have, though I will also have an aversion towards the ones on the trains in Italy). However, it was quite bizarre how he seemed to always look at her through a pair binoculars, like this:

 

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/4/4c/Through_the_Looking_Glass_Gentleman_dressed_in_paper.png

 

 

The ending was pretty cool as well, because the story ends with her shaking the red queen and suddenly waking up from her dream world and realising that she was doing this:

 

 

 

Oh, and look at who also makes an appearance in the story:

 

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d5/Peter_Newell_-_Through_the_looking_glass_and_what_Alice_found_there_1902_-_page_110.jpg

 

Not that Humpty actually first appears here. He was no an invention by Carol, but actually had been around in his own nursery rhyme a long time before hand (though according to Wikipedia the first appearance was in a book of nursery rhymes published in 1870, two years before Through the Looking Glass).

 

 

 

 

 

Source: www.goodreads.com/review/show/630760976
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review 2017-01-10 01:14
Alice in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll

Please note that the version of this book I am here reviewing is one printed in Stockholm in 1945, though the book is in English, so the illustrations would not be the same as in this version.

 

I suddenly felt the desire to read this book/these stories, though it turned out I had in fact many years ago read “Alice in Wonderland”, since I found the story so familiar.

 

Obviously these stories are classics, and I couldn´t give them less than five stars.

 

Alice goes down a rabbit-hole, and then falls down a deep well, and this is how she lands in Wonderland. I found the story charming and entertaining.

 

I didn´t find “Through the Looking-glass” quite so readable, however, perhaps because I tired of reading a children´s book that was pure fantasy and not filled with the usual sort of information I seek in a book. In this story, as indicated by the title, Alice goes through a looking-glass and finds a world where everything is back-to-front, reversed.

 

Alice seems to be participating in a chess game and runs around with the Red Queen and the White Queen, meets a Knight, and so on, and eventually becomes a Queen herself (she began as a pawn and made it to the other side of the board),

 

Lewis Carroll certainly had an amazing imagination. The illustrations are amusing, and when reading certain passages I found myself searching through the book to see whether there perhaps were illustrations of the incidents I was reading about.

 

I would think these were wonderful stories for a small child, or perhaps not one that is that small, as there are many passages and conversations which require a somewhat developed intellect to comprehend. But I really don´t know whether children of the modern world of TV, TV games, and computers would appreciate them. I can at least recommend them to grown-ups who have retained their imagination and sense of play! Enjoy!

 

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