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