Wednesday, August 15, 2012

Reviews From an HBN (Alice's Adventures in Wonderland - Lewis Carroll)

I remembered that I'm supposed to be rubbing it in the BBC's face this year, and that the next book on the list that I've read is Alice. I'm fully aware that as far as my usual reviews go, this one is sub-par, but...*shrugs*

Weary of her storybook, one "without pictures or conversations," the young and imaginative Alice follows a hasty hare underground -- to come face-to-face with some of the strangest adventures and most fantastic characters in all of literature. The Ugly Duchess, the Mad Hatter, the weeping Mock Turtle, the diabolical Queen of Hearts, the Cheshire Cat -- each more eccentric than the last -- could only have come from that master of sublime nonsense, Lewis Carroll. In penning this brilliant burlesque of children's literature, this farcical satire of rigid Victorian society, this arresting parody of the fears, anxieties, and complexities of growing up, Carroll was one of the few adult writers to enter successfully the children's world of make-believe, where the impossible becomes possible, the unreal, real, and where the heights of adventure are limited only by the depths of imagination.


And now for my pitiful review:

Adorable, but the twisted, eccentric bent in me prefers Tim Burton's adaptation. On its face, you'd think this was just a nonsense book, and to some degree you'd be right, but when you dig deeper there's more meaning than you realize. We can certainly sympathize with Alice, flung into a world she doesn't understand, but I particularly admire how she stays Alice throughout her adventure. Her encounters with all the strange and rather inhospitable inhabitants of Wonderland don't change her for the worse in the slightest (she was only dreaming about them, but that's not the point). The greatest wonder to me--no pun intended--is how Carroll wrote these books. Think of it; a grown man in the era he lived in not only possessing such a child-like imagination, but creating with it one of the most beloved children's books of all time. Bravo, sir!

Yeah, pitiful...I feel kinda ashamed of that one...

Your humble book nerd,

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