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Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass: reissued

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass: reissued

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Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass: reissued

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Apr 16, 2015


Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass have captivated the imagination of adults and children alike since they first appeared more than a hundred years ago. Since that time many artists have attempted to capture their dreamlike combination of impossible events, precise detail and weird logic. Mervyn Peake is one of the few to have succeeded. Famed worldwide for his Gormenghast trilogy, Mervyn Peake was also an illustrator of rare and wondrous talent, whose editions of Treasure Island and The Rime of the Ancient Mariner are universally admired. In the 1940s he was commissioned to produce a set of 70 pen-and-ink drawings to accompany Lewis Carroll's two classics, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass. They are among his best work as an illustrator. Unavailable in any edition since 1978, these extraordinary illustrations, many of which were drawn on poor quality wartime paper, have been restored to their former clarity and crispness by a combination of old-fashioned craft and the latest computer technology. They are now meticulously reproduced, for the first time, as they were meant to be seen. This exquisite two-volume set is the first edition to do justice to two great English eccentrics.
Apr 16, 2015

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Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass - Lewis Carroll


Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Introduction by Will Self

How the Story Was Told

I Down the Rabbit-Hole

II The Pool of Tears

III A Caucus-Race and a Long Tale

IV The Rabbit Sends in a Little Bill

V Advice from a Caterpillar

VI Pig and Pepper

VII A Mad Tea-Party

VIII The Queen’s Croquet-Ground

IX The Mock Turtle’s Story

X The Lobster Quadrille

XI Who Stole the Tarts?

XII Alice’s Evidence

Through the Looking Glass

and What Alice Found There

Introduction by Zadie Smith


I Looking-Glass House

II The Garden of Live Flowers

III Looking-Glass Insects

IV Tweedledum and Tweedledee

V Wool and Water

VI Humpty Dumpty

VII The Lion and the Unicorn

VIII ‘It’s my own Invention’

IX Queen Alice

X Shaking

XI Waking

XII Which Dreamed It?

A Note on the Illustrations

About the Authors


A small boy sits on a beige square of carpet, which sits in turn on a herringbone parquet floor. A vertical flap of window, with uncompromisingly metal mullions, is pushed open into privet suburbia. The boy sits among a slew of records, 45s and LPs, some in their sleeves, some out. In front of him is a portable record player, a heavy, foursquare cabinet, with grey cloth stretched over its wooden sides, a black lid, and a rubber mat on the turntable. The speaker is inside the cabinet, covered with a perforated piece of board. The boy has prised this up at one side, so that the staples have come away from their housing. When he plays records he peeks inside the workings of the record player to see the valves heat up and glow.

The LPs are dramatisations of Treasure Island and The Count of Monte Cristo, there’s also a London Symphony Orchestra recording of Prokofiev’s Peter and the Wolf, with Peter Ustinov doing the narration. The boy likes to play a 78 of The Songs of Tom Lehrer – he gets a kick from the strident piano and the abandonment of the man’s singing, without having the slightest idea of what’s being sung about. The boy quite likes the classic dramatisations, but they’re wordy and the narrative is drawn out to the point where it’s difficult for a four-year-old to follow. He far prefers one of the 45s. This too is a dramatisation, but it’s an adapted one. The small boy doesn’t know this – any more than he knows who the actors are playing the parts. All he does know is that these few short scenes from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland are wholly ensorcelling.

He lies with Alice on the riverbank, feeling with her the intense, almost sickly torpor of a hot summer afternoon in childhood. He darts with her in pursuit of the White Rabbit – the avatar of all the animals children wish to ensnare. He falls down the White Rabbit’s burrow with her, their slow-motion descent echoing the plunge into unconsciousness, into dreams of flying. And once down below, he wanders in her train, through the hypercast of the fervid imagination itself, encountering a talking, disputing animalkind, whose crazy propensity for illogic mirrors his own perception of the adult world.

The 45 lasts only a few minutes – seven on each side. A few short scenes of liberating misrule – and yet they stay with him always. The drenched, avian competitors collapsing beside the pool of tears following the Caucus-race; the Dodo intoning ‘Everybody has won and all shall have prizes’; Bill, the poor little lizard, being kicked high into the air by Alice the giantess; the supercilious Caterpillar with its inane inquisition; the Duchess and the Cook singing their sinister song to the pig baby; the playing-card gardeners cravenly slopping paint on the rose bushes in the Queen’s garden. And most of all the Mad Hatter’s tea party, where time itself has been abandoned, and the demented repartee has a triumphant edge to it, teetering as it does between delirium and hilarity. Every time he plays the record, the small boy feels himself to be walking away from the tea party with Alice, and like her he half hopes that they’ll call him back. And along with her, the last thing that he notices are the Mad Hatter and the March Hare trying to put the Dormouse into the teapot.

For the small boy this was his expulsion from Eden. The time spent listening as the Dormouse explained that three sisters who lived in the treacle well drew treacle was for him as golden as treacle itself. Years later and so uncomfortably grown up that it’s as if he has eaten the wrong side of the Caterpillar’s mushroom to become upright in a world both workaday and terrifying, the phrase ‘they drew treacle’ still arises, unbidden, in his inner ear. And when this happens, it always evokes the piquant mood of curiosity he remembers as a child. The pun is no stale joke, it’s a numinous fulcrum, well able to lever apart the realms of connotation and perception. For a child, the possibility that the same word can apply to two different states of affairs implies the existence of multiple worlds. And for an adult who can yet again apprehend that mood, the same obtains.

It’s this curious form of metempsychosis that a text becomes capable of engineering when it attains the status of a children’s classic. If you read Catcher in the Rye again when you’re an adult, it won’t manage to reacquaint you with the view of the world you had when you were an adolescent reading it for the first time – and by extension it won’t make you feel the intensity of Holden Caulfield’s psychic growing pains. By the same token an adult classic, read first when you were immature, and then reread in adulthood, will reveal different facets both of itself and the world. Only the children’s classic can plunge you straight back into the timeless and the inchoate, into the realm where imagination is unbounded and curiosity unbridled by disappointment, or cynicism, or both.

I first encountered Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland through that 45 record, revolving on its portable player, then I was read the whole book aloud by my mother. Then I read it for myself, leafing through a particularly luxurious edition, replete with the Tenniel illustrations as full-colour plates, each one covered with a sheet of textured tissue paper. In my own childhood such phrases as ‘drawling, stretching and fainting in coils’, had the status of family shibboleths – if you could pronounce them with the right emphasis it meant that you were one of us. And in the course of time I’ve come to sing to my own children ‘Twinkle twinkle little bat’ (which always produces a chorus of dissent), and ‘Speak roughly to your little boy’ (which conversely, invariably provokes hilarity, especially if there’s a little boy on hand to jiggle unmercifully). And the queries ‘Do cats eat bats?’ and ‘Do bats eat cats?’ force such rapid revolutions on my children’s imaginations that I can feel them give way to conceptual dizziness. It’s another inter-generational epiphany.

I’ve long been aware of the ever widening torrent of Carrolliana and I’ve never been unaware of the extent to which Wonderland has marched with other demesnes. The number of writers, artists, musicians and film makers either directly or indirectly influenced by the book is legion: from James Joyce to Jefferson Airplane. In our own era the very name ‘Wonderland’ has been sinisterly adumbrated by the activities of child abusers on the Internet. But it isn’t my intention to open up the controversies surrounding the latent or implied sexuality of Alice’s creator here (and by extension his creation); although that being noted, it is worth remarking that when Mervyn Peake’s illustrations first appeared in Britain, in 1954, Graham Greene said of them, ‘Your Alice is a little bit too much of a gamine.’

No, for me the text itself has always been with me, forming some of the fundamental antinomies that constitute my imagination: the juxtaposition of the quotidian and the fantastic; the transposition of irreconcilable elements; the distortion of scale as a means of renouncing the sensible in favour of the intelligible; and most importantly, abrupt transmogrification conceived of as integral to the human condition. On this reading, I am always falling down a hole, checking the labels on marmalade jars as I float past them; I am constantly trying to draw a muchness; all my life I’ve been attempting to shinny up the legs of a glass table; and the squeals of babies have – for me – always had a porcine note.

When people ask me (as they often do) what books have influenced me most as a writer I almost always detail the same three: Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, Kafka’s Metamorphosis and Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. What these three share is marvellous confidence in the primacy of the imagination, and a conviction that the fantastic is anterior to the naturalistic. Swift’s masterpiece is a declaration of the polymorphous character of human society, Kafka’s of human biology, and Carroll’s of reality itself. For me, the revelation at the end of a narrative that it has all been a dream is never unconvincing. A myriad other books have shaped me as a person, and have told me things about the world, but it’s these three that have provided a blueprint of what it can be like altogether to subsume the way other people view this world. When a writer tells me that the book that has influenced her most is Ulysses or Madame Bovary or even The Naked Lunch, my suspicions are aroused; for these are texts that are securely located in an adult realm, which take the fact of literary composition as a given. Is it any surprise that the lives of people resemble novels, when those people read too many novels about other people, who in turn read novels?

Having dealt in my own way with the text, a few remarks need to be made about Mervyn Peake’s illustrations for this edition of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. It’s often said that the illustrated text compromises the imagination, and that, by giving particular form to what’s envisioned by a reader, the illustrator vitiates the act of reading. Peake himself remarked on the paradox that the more vivid the scene conjured up by a writer the less in need of illustration it becomes.

However, this is a difficult contention to maintain when it comes to Alice, because Carroll worked closely enough with Tenniel for the text itself to refer the reader specifically to his illustrations. Tenniel’s illustrations for Alice were thus a given, and that alone (rather than any intrinsic virtue they may possess) may explain why it is that others have found it so difficult to supplant them. Peake himself recognised this, saying of Tenniel’s work, ‘He is inviolate, for he is embedded in the very fabric of childhood memories. It doesn’t seem to matter that his superb powers of invention are to some degree negated by a dreary technique.’

By ‘dreary’ Peake was undoubtedly referring to the leaden cross-hatching, and the use of undifferentiated planes of colour, which typify Tenniel’s work. These are quite distinct from Peake’s own fluidity of line, let alone his subtle interpenetrating of stippling and adumbration. The Tenniel illustrations are hieratic – many of them take the form of tableaux. Certainly Tenniel’s Alice is a plangently Victorian miss, a mannish boy-woman, let loose in a crowded, bourgeois drawing room of painfully arranged knick-knacks and taxidermy. Whereas Peake’s Alice is more eroticised and more downbeat. In the opening drawing, the curve of her hip acts as an insinuating portal to the netherworld, and her eyes are dilated with dewy astonishment. Yet Peake’s animal characters are more anthropomorphised than Tenniel’s; the White Rabbit is trousered, the Caterpillar affects buttons and pantaloons. Only with the Cheshire Cat (who looms over the Red Queen’s croquet match like a malevolent, curiously vulpine deity), does his bestiary become remotely beastly.

As for Peake’s other human characters, they tend more towards cartoon than Tenniel’s. His Red Royalty are asinine fashion victims, porting suspension-bridge headgear; his Mad Hatter is a proto-Bash Street Kids character, distinguished also by a crazy chapeau. Father William’s insolent son is an inter-war swell, togged up in a lounge suit. The Duchess – somewhat at variance with the text – is a chinless wonder in an Empire-line dress. But the important thing about Peake’s illustrations is their deftness. They’re delicately poised at the crossroads where travelling along one carriageway whimsy meets the grotesque, and traversing the other his understated line dips beneath Carroll’s hyperboles. What Peake completely understood was that the requirement of fidelity in the realm of the fantastical is entirely supplied by coherence rather than correspondence. His illustrations are all recognisably of the same realm, and therefore they are as valid a depiction of Wonderland as Tenniel’s, and arguably the best one achieved since his.

A final word. Curious. Many years of reading many books has led me to a somewhat bizarre literary critical theory, namely that all significant texts are distinguished by the preponderance of a single word. In Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland that word is ‘curious’. (In The Brothers Karamazov it’s ‘ecstasy’, but that needn’t concern us here.) The word ‘curious’ appears so frequently in Carroll’s text that it becomes a kind of tocsin awakening us from our reverie. But it isn’t the strangeness of Alice’s Wonderland that it reminds us of – it’s the bizarre incomprehensibility of our own.


All in the golden afternoon

Full leisurely we glide;

For both our oars, with little skill,

By little arms are plied,

While little hands make vain pretence

Our wanderings to guide.

Ah, cruel Three! In such an hour,

Beneath such dreamy weather,

To beg a tale of breath too weak

To stir the tiniest feather!

Yet what can one poor voice avail

Against three tongues together?

Imperious Prima flashes forth

Her edict ‘to begin it’ –

In gentler tone Secunda hopes

‘There will be nonsense in it!’

While Tertia interrupts the tale

Not more than once a minute.

Anon, to sudden silence won,

In fancy they pursue

The dream-child moving through a land

Of wonders wild and new,

In friendly chat with bird or beast –

And half believe it true.

And ever, as the story drained

The wells of fancy dry,

And faintly strove that weary one

To put the subject by,

‘The rest next time –’ ‘It is next time!’

The happy voices cry.

Thus grew the tale of Wonderland:

Thus slowly, one by one,

Its quaint events were hammered out –

And now the tale is done,

And home we steer, a merry crew,

Beneath the setting sun.

Alice! A childish story take,

And with a gentle hand

Lay it where Childhood’s dreams are twined

In Memory’s mystic band,

Like pilgrim’s wither’d wreath of flowers

Pluck’d in a far-off land.

Chapter I

Down the Rabbit-Hole

Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank, and of having nothing to do: once or twice she had peeped into the book her sister was reading, but it had no pictures or conversations in it, ‘and what is the use of a book,’ thought Alice, ‘without pictures or conversations?’

So she was considering in her own mind (as well as she could, for the hot day made her feel very sleepy and stupid), whether the pleasure of making a daisy-chain would be worth the trouble of getting up and picking the daisies, when suddenly a White Rabbit with pink eyes ran close by her.

There was nothing so very remarkable in that; nor did Alice think it so very much out of the way to hear the Rabbit say to itself, ‘Oh dear! Oh dear! I shall be too late!’ (when she thought it over afterwards, it occurred to her that she ought to have wondered at this, but at the time it all seemed quite natural); but when the Rabbit actually took a watch out of its waistcoat-pocket, and looked at it, and then hurried on, Alice started to her feet, for it flashed across her mind that she had never before seen a rabbit with either a waistcoat-pocket, or a watch to take out of it, and burning with curiosity, she ran across the field after it, and was just in time to see it pop down a large rabbit-hole under the hedge.

In another moment down went Alice after it, never once considering how in the world she was to get out again.

The rabbit-hole went straight on like a tunnel for some way, and then dipped suddenly down, so suddenly that Alice had not a moment to think about stopping herself before she found herself falling down what seemed to be a very deep well.

Either the well was very deep, or she fell very slowly, for she had plenty of time as she went down to look about her, and to wonder what was going to happen next. First, she tried to look down and make out what she was coming to, but it was too dark to see anything; then she looked at the sides of the well, and noticed that they were filled with cupboards and book-shelves: here and there she saw maps and pictures hung upon pegs. She took down a jar from one of the shelves as she passed; it was labelled ‘ORANGE MARMALADE’, but to her great disappointment it was empty: she did not like to drop the jar for fear of killing somebody underneath, so managed to put it into one of the cupboards as she fell past it.

‘Well!’ thought Alice to herself, ‘after such a fall as this, I shall think nothing of tumbling down stairs! How brave they’ll all think me at home! Why, I wouldn’t say anything about it, even if I fell off the top of the house!’ (Which was very likely true.)

Down, down, down. Would the fall never come to an end! ‘I wonder how many miles I’ve fallen by this time?’ she said aloud. ‘I must be getting somewhere near the centre of the earth. Let me see: that would be four thousand miles down, I think –’ (for, you see, Alice had learnt several things of this sort in her lessons in the schoolroom, and though this was not a very good opportunity for showing off her knowledge, as there was no one to listen to her, still it

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1195 Bewertungen / 290 Rezensionen
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  • (4/5)
    Classic Alice! I loved this book (both of them really), though loved Wonderland more so than Looking Glass. Lewis Carroll definitely had a bit of an imagination and it translates really well in the story. It's in many ways a story of acceptance, being yourself, and being kind (because who else hates how the Queen treats everyone!?).
  • (2/5)
    I watched the movie, "Terminal", and after thought, "Why have I never read "Alice in Wonderland"? So I did! And to use an Alice-ish phrase, it was just a bunch of gobblydeegook! I mean, it was cool to read as a chance to discover where all of the popular characters and poems came from, and to compare it with the Disney film I grew up with! But really, it's just a lot of nonsensical adventures that mostly dabble in wordplay and weird-as-heck creatures! Don't get me wrong, some are rather witty and insightful. But, for me, it all reads like the author may have eaten too much of that mushroom himself!
  • (4/5)
    Having seen a number of versions of the book made into movies was not at the top of my reading list. Was interesting to see how the movies have taken bits and pieces of both of the stories and made them into one. Most of us are familiar with Tweedle Dee and Dum being in the story which is actually from Through the Looking Glass. But didn't know that the Mad Hatter and March Hare are stuck at tea time due to an argument with time. Also who knew that Humpty Dumpty is a whole chapter in the book. was interesting to read. Wonderland is much easier to read than Looking Glass. Looking Glass seems to jump around a lot.
  • (3/5)
    I enjoyed reading this classic in it's original form, although it amazed me any publisher touched it - they certainly wouldn't today. And it amazes me more that it became a 'classic'! Alice's Adventures in Wonderland was enjoyable in it's nonsense, but Through the Looking-Glass made little to no sense in the majority of its scenes. Now I am at least family with where stories of Humpty Dumpty, TweedleDum & TweedleDee and many others originated. Happy I read it, but glad it is over!
  • (4/5)
    This is a really beautiful recording of Lewis Carroll's classic children's books. In the first, Alice sees a rabbit wearing a waistcoat, who pulls a watch out of his pocket and frets about being late, and she follows him down his rabbit hole. She finds herself in a surreal and comical landscape, with food that makes her shrink or grow when eaten, talking animals, a cat that appears and disappears in stages, and a royal court composed of a deck of cards ruled by the King and Queen of Hearts.

    In the second, on a dark winter day, Alice walks through a looking glass that has turned to mist, into the mirror house. Once through, she finds that outside the range of what's visible in the mirror, it's very different indeed. Here, she finds herself in a chess game, with living Red and White chess pieces, as well as talking flowers, fairy tale creatures such as Humpty Dumpty, and even the food served at a fancy dinner party speaks and has personality. Also, here, it's summer, not winter.

    Whether you've read Alice's adventures before or not, this is a delightful listen.


    I received a free copy of this audiobook from the publisher.
  • (4/5)
    Good grief, this book is WEIRD. Carroll had aura-inducing migraines and probably took LSD to cope with it, which makes for a book... exactly like this one. It is a great read, though, especially for anyone with a love of words. The puns themselves are worth your time, and Alice is a delightful character. It's also an important novel in literary canon, though usually given to too young an audience. Personally, I think a life is unfilled until at least the first stanza of the Jabberwocky is memorized and recited at random. (Fun game: combine drinking and this as a read-aloud!) I'd recommend reading both books combined. For a similar book suited for a younger audience, "The Phantom Tollbooth" is a wonderful novel.
  • (4/5)
    I think everyone should read this book at least once. It's a weird fantasy tale, but it's easy to see why it's a classic.
  • (4/5)
    So brilliantly whimsical - or whimsically brilliant!
  • (4/5)
    I love the writing of Lewis Carroll. His brilliance shows through his use of whimsy and the way he plays with words. Also he was able to write a main character whom I absolutely detest, a sure sign of true life within a book. Definitely worth rereading.
  • (5/5)
    Alice in Wonderland is a good book for kids-I know because I am a kid. A 7 year old girl to be exact But really I think that Alice in Wonderland is a good book for all.
  • (2/5)
    I think you either have to be really young or on lots of drugs to enjoy this book. It made my head hurt. I prefer things to make sense, I guess.
  • (5/5)
    SLOW DOWN. This book is full of stories you think you know from the cobbling together of many movie versions and society's collective memories, and it jumps from one bit of nonsense to another, so it's easy, particularly as an adult, to dash through it like a white rabbit. But, though these works were ostensibly written to a young girl and are often treated as children's books (even by Carroll himself in the preface to a second edition of "Through the Looking-Glass," which is included in this volume), they are chock-full of ingenious language that you really need to stop and think about to truly appreciate. Lovely thing that, how the English don't write down to children. I've heard that "Alice" is some sort of allegory for the new mathematical ideas of the time. I don't know whether that's true. But from a linguistic standpoint alone, this book is a treasure trove. The poetry and punnery are second to none, and constructed not just with an eye on artistry, but with a real intent to comment on how language (and by extension society) works.The Barnes and Noble edition of this book is a great buy, featuring the original Tenniel illustrations and a very informative introduction. Unlike other volumes in the series, this one is not overly annotated, nor do the footnotes and endnotes presuppose that the reader must be seven years old. As always with these editions, the end of the book offers up works inspired by what you have just read, along with a variety of critical comments. As a 2004 edition, the former of these things is not up-to-date enough to acknowledge the recent Tim Burton adaptation, and is certainly not an exhaustive list anyway (after all, how could they forget the Star Trek episode "Shore Leave?"), but, as W. H. Auden suggests in the critical comments, Carroll is probably near the top of the list of the culture's "most frequently cited without attribution" authors, so where would one begin?
  • (3/5)
    This gave a interesting insight to parts of the mind normally unexplored or given much thought to. Carroll puts and empahtic look on the dreamworld that we all enter but don't ussually give much thought to. It opens up this world to further consideration and review.
  • (4/5)
    Really very clever writing. It's hard to believe that he was a perv ... I just can't see it. Too much imagination goes in to the story to think his imagination lie elsewhere. Carroll was thinking outside the box before that was really done.
  • (4/5)
    Wow...this has to be one of the most bizarre, unusual, bugged-out, acid trips I've ever encountered. In others words, it's PERFECT! I have no words except that everyone should read this.
  • (4/5)
    There's a reason Alice has remained popular for years - her story is always entertaining, a nice break from reality, yet never entirely mindless. Looking for the meaning behind Carroll's nonsense is a pursuit that will never grow old.
  • (4/5)
    Alice's Adventures in Wonderland -This is a fun kids book and a very fast read. It all starts with Alice dreamily sitting under a tree with her sister when she sees a rabbit wearing a vest with a pocket watch exclaiming to itself how late it is. Things just get weirder from there.This is THE classic dream sequence book and as such thing with dreams I am sure there is a great deal 'interpreted' from this. However, I was not reading it for deep insights and mostly enjoyed it. I did find that Alice had one extremely irritating habit, of interrupting all the story tellers in the story with inane questions and comments, usually immediately after the said individual said "Don't interrupt". I think it's because I like stories and I constantly had the urge to tell Alice to 'Shut up! let him tell his story!'Through the Looking-Glass-Another really fast read. This time Alice goes through the looking glass over the mantle to enter Wonderland and once again has all kinds of strange and interesting adventures. It's kind of funny that with some characters she meets, she doesn't want to get into an argument because it doesn't seem right, and others she seems to be spoiling for a fight.This story seemed to be more focused on the big game of chess, and there was quite a bit more poetry recitation in this one. What I found really funny, was Alice was more than willing to recite rhymes and poems to others but always tried to avoid having to listen to others recite to her. Fun book and I found this one to be more enjoyable than Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.
  • (5/5)
    I read this to my 6 year old daughter. We both enjoyed it a great deal. In addition to being masterfully imaginative the writing is wonderful. The way Carroll plays with words is so much fun-- my daughter thought so too. This book is not just for kids, there are layers and layers of linguistuc magic to appreciate at different ages.
  • (4/5)
    Alice falls down the rabbit hole and has many adventures Just as charming now as when it was published in 1965
  • (5/5)
    This has been an amazing journey with Alice. This book is so oddly smart, imaginative, original, thought-provoking, satirical, funny, weird, and fun.
    It is like nothing else that I have read. I am amazed <3
  • (4/5)
    This book is just fun. Everything about it is fun. :)
  • (3/5)
    In this classic children's story, the reader follows Alice along on her adventures, running into all sorts of oddball characters, such as the Chershire Cat, the Catepillar, the Mad Hatter, and the March Hare. In the world described, known as "Wonderland," anything seems to be possible if the conception is right, as Alice initially enters it falling down a well, and therefrom becomes tiny, then 9 feet tall and skinny, subsequently running into these characters after having followed the "white rabbit." Within the story lie poems which describe the particular character or scene; one of which "Father William," describes old age to his son. I found this book very hard to get through. The characters themselves are interesting, and the book offers artwork to accopany the pictures, but the storyline continuity and descriptions themselves made the story quite dull. When the reader finds out her Adventures were just a dream, the surprise did not inspire any emotive response from me, nor did I even care. I found this book to be gravely overrated, and not worth the time.
  • (5/5)
    My first introduction to Alice in Wonderland was seeing the Disney movie when I was little. I remember enjoying it, but at the same time being annoyed by the confusing nature. I read the book a couple years later. At the time I loved the storyline but was thoroughly frustrated by the books' lack of cohesion. I reread Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass recently, and I found them entertaining in an entirely new fashion. If you try to force sensibility into any of the situations, you will miss out on the enjoyability of the random. Both books are the closest to reading a dream I have ever come upon, due to the randomness of the events. It is a fun read for adults and kids alike.
  • (5/5)
    A classic work of fantasy; I highly recommend The Annotated Alice, which reveals the logic puzzles and satire buried in the nonsense.
  • (4/5)
    This book is very interesting. It follows the movie Alice and Wonderland very closely but Through the Looking Glass does not. This book could be used in a class to get children thinking of fairytales and to strike up conversations about what objects might think if they could talk. Try to teach empathy.
  • (2/5)
    Pretty disappointed with the book. :(

    I thought I would like it a lot but so many of jumping around and constant changing that made me feel like I got lost...several times. Had a hard time to stay motivated to read but I did finish the book.
  • (5/5)
    A brilliant children's classic that doesn't talk down to its readers. Its heroine is far from perfect and the characters she meets are almost subversively zany.
  • (4/5)
    It's not that I'm not willing to take children's literature seriously-- although it is true that I do not consider "Grimm's Fairy Tales" to be children's literature, but merely the finest book ever written (since Angela's Ashes is actually written *too* well)-- but I'm not sure that this meandering little adventure deserves to be compared to 'Stuart Little'-- or 'Charlotte's Web', if you like-- although I suppose that, in the field of children's literature, age must be equivalent to innocence. Tolstoy, for example, would have made a fine author of children's literature.... or Charlotte Lucas! (Actually Charlotte Lucas might have done a fine job.) But I suppose that I ought to be fair and admit that this 'Alice' of Lewis here is somewhat of an improvement over *that other Lewis*....Although, fine, full disclosure-- it's a little bit difficult for me to take Mr Lewis seriously after knowing that he wanted to use Euclid's original Greek manuscript as a learner's textbook-- and not just that, but as *the only one*!-- which is a stupid idea, and *not just* a stupid idea. It's as pedantic as possible, and it's the sort of thing that makes me wonder how open he really was to 'persuasion'~~ which in turn makes belief in his 'friendly uncle with small girl-child friend' story seem like a rather credulous sort of thing.... He starts to sound more like "Uncle Jack" from "Meet the Fockers" to me. Those little kids, like frightened little hens, can be so.... credulous. Although I know that all that might come off as being unduly in favor of the little goat-children, hahaha, but....Well, I will say that it is mildly less mildly disturbing than your average Tim Burton movie-- ha! ....But. But even though I thought that it was surely better than Tim Burton or C.S. Lewis, but, then, I saw that it was so boring, that it was.... pretty much the same. I mean, Latin grammar and French history? Really? I mean, is this a book for girls, or bearded old men gone cracked and gone off to climbing trees like boys? I mean, I was waiting for him to start going, 'Fifteen birds in five fir trees....'.... but at least *that* was not put out as being for *girls*! Oh! And chess! Yes, sir!Chess and Mr Collins for Alice! .... God, it almost makes me wish that Dvorak-- I mean, if Euclid's buddy can, then why not.... oh no, wait. 'Stabat Mater'. Never mind. Anyway, it's certainly not happy like Mozart or the Hugh Grant film about the pirates. (7/10)
  • (4/5)
    "We're all mad here." I love the humor, I love the creatures (from the Cheshire Cat to the Mad Hatter) but more than anything I love the sheer joy the reading invokes every single time I pick up the book. The imaginative, crazy-pants, bizarre story of a young girl who falls through a rabbit hole and lands in Wonderland rightfully earned its place among the 'classics' of literature.
  • (4/5)
    Alice in Wonderland is a story that I knew but never read. I finally picked up the illustrated version (via Kindle), and it surpassed my expectations -- it's refreshingly absurd and a great escape from the working life.

    I wasn't as hooked on Through the Looking-Glass, perhaps due to the abundance of nonsensical poetry. But it's well worth reading too if you can get the two books in a set.