Sunday, March 28, 2010

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
by Lewis Carroll
Barnes and Noble Classics Series (January 2004)
286 pages (includes Through the Looking Glass)
Source:  Personal Copy
Challenges:  You've Got Mail Synopsis: 
Alice begins her adventures when she follows the frantically delayed White Rabbit down a hole into the magical world of Wonderland, where she meets a variety of wonderful creatures, including the Cheshire Cat, the hookah-smoking Caterpillar, the Mad Hatter, and the Queen of Hearts—who, with the help of her enchanted deck of playing cards, tricks Alice into playing a bizarre game of croquet.

My Thoughts:
My husband and I read constantly to our daughter and recently set out to read longer stories, instead of only picture books.  Because of the recent release of Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland movie (which our daughter is too young to see anyway), the idea of reading Alice's Adventures in Wonderland struck me as a good idea.  Having lived under a rock for my whole life, apparently, I have never read the book, nor have I seen the Disney movie.  So beginning a few weeks ago, J and I snuggled under the covers almost every night before bed, and read this one for the first time together.

I was really disappointed.  I feel horrible for saying that.  Whenever I read a book that others rave about, and in this case is a classic, I feel that I am a literary traitor or something.  The story was OK for me - I enjoyed all of the different characters that Alice happened upon along her journey.  I think that I may have set my expectations too high for the writing itself, and was frustrated the nonsensical talk of the characters, and scenes that played on a little bit too long to be valuable to the storyline. 

I was pleased with the ending - for a few brief pages, I found myself enjoying beautiful writing and I wanted it to make up for my lack of appreciation for the rest of the story.   

J's Thoughts:
My daughter liked that there were a few drawings sprinkled through the story, which was a change from our recent read of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.  Her favorite part was "when Alice was swimming in her pool of tears."  A part that she didn't like was "when the baby turned into a pig." 

I may reread this one again on my own. Because I read it out loud, some of the magic may have been lost.

Your turn:  Did you feel the same way that I did, or did you just love Alice's Adventure's in Wonderland?  Is there a favorite part that I should reread, which may just change my opinion?


  1. I haven't read this (that I can remember) but I imagine it's rather a strange story.

  2. I had to smile at how similar our backgrounds are with this book...I only just read it for the first time a few months ago and I had never seen the Disney movie. Just no attraction to this story at all but I decided to read it for a challenge. I did have a different reaction...I had so much fun reading it. A huge part of the enjoyment was the edition I read illustrated by Helen Oxenbury...very different from Disney's interpretation and just so gorgeous. If you do decide to read it once more, I highly recommend finding this edition at the library or bookstore.

  3. Adorable photos! This about sums up the movie for me (2 stars). I love J's thoughts.

  4. I don't think I've ever managed to get through Alice in Wonderland, though maybe I should try again. If you're looking for children's classics, I *do* recommend Peter Pan. It's got a nice dry wit to it. They made a live action version in 2006 or so that probably adheres most faithfully to the book and is absolutely wonderful, though geared a little more toward older kids. One of the few cases where I really liked a movie more than the book on which it's based.