Saturday, March 6, 2010

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Unlike most fairy tales, Alice in Wonderland isn’t very dark. Sure, there’s the off-with-their-heads! Queen of Hearts but she wasn’t really that scary and no one was actually beheaded. The King wasn’t quite the push over as I remember him being in the cartoon movie. He was just ditzy like most of the characters and offered pardon to all whose heads the Queen demanded. I never felt anxious for Alice, like she was in real danger, because she wasn’t. She manages to bully her way out of most situations by eating mushrooms and becoming too large for people to trifle with. This is definitely an ok story for little ones but they will likely find the original hard to read and many of the puns may be lost on them. The Mock Turtle episode was boring, his story lasting way too long for me. The caterpillar and Mad Hatter scenes were a lot of fun with their riddles. Alice was a silly little girl, rather ditzy and not very clever except for the fact that she has a fantastic dream. I enjoyed the poems at the beginning. They were my favorite part of the story. It seems that many of the characters are stand ins for people Carroll knew and so many inside jokes are not readily evident (nor do they need to be to enjoy the story). I read the story from The Complete Works of Lewis Carroll: A Wonderland of Stories, Nonsense and Wit.
Publisher: Penguin Books, 1988     Source: IC Public Library
Rating: 2.5 Stars                             Pages: 106 (p. 15-120 in this edition)

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