In honor of our trip to Disneyland (which was great, by the way – post to come later), I decided that I’d read the childhood classic, Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. I also read the follow-up, Through the Looking Glass, but I’m counting them as one book since they’re fairly short.
What a beautiful story!
This was my first time reading Alice, so the thing that surprised me the most is how different they are from the adaptations I’ve seen. Disney’s Alice in Wonderland pulled from both stories to create their adventure, so when I got through the first book, I was left wondering what happened to the sassy flowers. Once I got over my expectations about what the story should be, I had a lot of fun reading both tales.
- On one level, the stories are childish nonsense, which is very enjoyable to read. I almost wished I were reading it out loud to a kid so that I could throw some funny voices in (without Tim looking at me funny).
- On another level, it’s an intriguing story about how the adult world looks and feels to a child. How crazy the manners and traditions of adulthood must seem! Especially in Carroll’s time, when things were more structured than they are now. The Mad Hatter observes tea time all the time because his clock has stopped… which is just a bit crazier than deciding that an arbitrary time would be reserved for tea, from an outsider perspective. That’s how I interpreted it, anyway.
- My favorite part of both stories were the poems. They were lyrical and silly, impish but lovely. I really enjoyed them, especially “Jabberwocky” and “You Are Old, Father William.”
- Hmmm… hard to come up with something bad. I suppose they were both much shorter than I expected.
- The life of the author is extremely interesting. Lewis Carroll is a pen name that Charles Lutwidge Dodgson used to keep his children’s stories and academic writing separate. And though he was a master with words, his career revolved around mathematics and he was a member of the Anglican clergy.
Would I recommend it? Yes! If you have kids, read it with them. If you don’t, read it anyway!
What book is next? I’ve already started Confederacy of Dunces by John Kennedy Toole, then I’ll move on to the next book club pick.