Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Book Review: ALICE'S ADVENTURES IN WONDERLAND by Lewis Carroll, illustrated by Camille Rose Garcia

 I did it; I finally nailed down a classic this year. I tend to struggle on some of the older classics and this one was no different for me. At 160 pages it might as well have been double. I found myself rereading pages at a time. Why I am not really sure but I think it was because I was trying to make sense of the nonsense style of writing or at least justify it. A struggle as it was, it was well worth the read because now I know the real story of Alice.

Alice the curious little girl actually fell down a well not a rabbit hole. Of course she was chasing the white rabbit in the waistcoat. The world she fell into was a wonderland of non-sense. I found no mention of the twin boys that have graced many of the other tales and movies about wonderland which I was sort of disappointed about. I did find one part that has largely been omitted from recent works. It was when Alice made her way to the Duchesses house. A frog in a uniform, which was an oddity to Alice in its self, guarded the home but she ventured further and found upon entry into the Duchesses house it was filled to the brim with pepper. The cook of the house was randomly throwing pots and pans at everything and everyone. Curiously the Duchess sat in the middle of the violent cook and the cloud of pepper nursing a baby that she thrust to Alice to care for. Funny part was when Alice gazed at the baby at first she could not decided if it was a human baby or a pig. She abruptly decided it was a pig and let it run off into the woods while she continued on her adventure.

3/5 Good to know but it made no sense at all but what else was there to expect? I did not expect it to make sense. It was worth the effort and the illustrations were lovely to gaze upon. Masterpieces in themselves I was aw stuck by how well Garcia captured the non-sense in a truly modern gothic fashion. A must have for any art enthusiast library. I do hope that since the movie has created so much hype about Alice that this version can draw a whole new generation of lovers of the classic Alice in Wonderland. I wish I had read this in a group that could discuss the underlining in this book. I just know that there is so much more to it than what I got out of it.

From the Web on Alice

"In the eighth chapter, three cards are painting the roses on a rose tree red, because they had accidentally planted a white-rose tree that the Queen of Hearts hates. Red roses symbolized the English House of Lancaster, while white roses were the symbol for their rival House of York. Therefore, this scene may contain a hidden allusion to the Wars of the Roses".

"In 1931, the book was banned in Hunan, China, because "animals should not use human language" and it "puts animals and human beings on the same level". In Woodsville High School in Haverhill, New Hampshire, the story also was banned, because it had expletives, references to masturbation and sexual fantasies, and derogatory characterizations of teachers and of religious ceremonies".

Amazon: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

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  1. Great and honest review! I agree with you on several points. Yes, the book doesn't make sense and it's not supposed to. It's like Carroll wrote down some opium-induced dreams.;) Great illustrations, though!

  2. I've read the original story too..well, wait no, I listened to the audiobook back in December. I recently bought a book copy, but not the version you have. I do like your version though, all the pretty illustrations! I might have to get it just for that!

  3. Irena, HA ha very good point. What makes it so weird is he never shared the motivation behind the story. I have heard many stories like Alice was abused child and wonderland was her escape, that Lewis was in love with a little girl, or it could just be the simple truth that he wrote it for a little girls amusement and there was no hidden motivation.

    Almybnenr, I am sad to say this is one of the books I do not own. I got it from my local library and I can say as soon as I come into some book money I am going to buy it. I think if I had done it the audio route I might have understood more . There is something about having read read to me that makes it sink in more.

  4. i have this version of alice (among many other versions!!) I looove the illustrations, i think they are absolutely gorgeous!! The cover looks great on your page too with all the colors coordinating :)

  5. If you ever read Carroll's Through the Looking-Glass, Tweedle-dee and Tweedle-dum make an appearance in that book. :)

  6. Ah,well then we will both be acquiring it as soon as we have the means LOL!
    I've heard the other "stories" you have too, about the motivation for the book. I have no idea what is true. Ah well, at least we can still enjoy it.

  7. This book is an eye-popping treat. The illustrations are wild for lack of a better word at the moment. I am a traditionalist and even though I can appreciate this edition, I still prefer the original illustrations.

  8. Carrie, I need a version I sadly do not own one. I know what a pity not even one copy. I have to have this one the more I think about it. I want it. I am a pretty colorful person in general and I am drawn to it I tend to go for the vibrant colors. It is funny it is like the book knew it belonged here drawing me in with its color power.

    Katy, I plan on hopefully getting to it this year. I would like to read the full real one of it before the end of the year. I kind of had that feeling they were in the next one but was really unsure. Thank you for verifying it.

    Almybnenr, I agree it is not one that is to be over thought because there are no real answers to be had. I lately went on a big book binge so I have to lay off for awhile which makes me so so so mad! I realized today I forgot to check my library's online site to pre-order by turn for The Red Queen by Philippa Gregory, so now I am hold number 25. I am mad I want that one bad too.

    Librarypat, I too can appreciate this one but I would prefer the classic. I still just can not believe that one high school banned it, to me it is shocking. Classics's never die they just get better with age.

  9. OH, I can't wait to read The Red Queen either....I didn't even think about putting it on hold. I'll have to do that today and see how many people will be in front of me.

  10. Almybnenr, see I opened my big fat mouth and today I got the email about an Arc for The Red Queen. I am so excited I will be getting a UK arc, I can not wait to devour it. When I put my hold on the library is said that there would be 10 copies and you could only keep it for 7 days. Which is a bummer but I bet we both could finish it in less than a week. I hope to have a giveaway for it but we will have to see.

  11. Oh that is AWESOME!
    It saddens me though...I wish there would only be one version rather than a US or a UK version. That way we could all read the same thing. I'd like to read it how it was originally intended, instead of a version with the spellings and slang changed.

  12. Almybnenr, I know I feel the same way but it will have a different cover. I will probably have to put this one to the test and see what the differences are. I wonder if it could be much, I hope not. I tend to like the UK covers better but....lame I have the US version of the white Queen so I will have to buy it anyways so they match.


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