The Classics Club: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

My result for The Classics Club’s last wonderful Spin feature was Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll. I was very pleased with this outcome as I already had a copy of it waiting on my Kindle and it is a nice short novel which I doubted I would have any problem finishing for the 1st October deadline.

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland begins one sunny afternoon when a young girl named Alice follows a white rabbit down a rabbit hole into a strange and wonderful land. There Alice is to set off on an extraordinary adventure first falling, then across a pool of tears, through woods and miniature doors, to finally arrive in the beautiful rose garden of the King and Queen of Hearts. This land is full of talking animals, rhyme, magical food, and a very unusual game of croquet. I thought Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was a short and magical tale as I expected but I wasn’t really prepared for quite how surreal it was all to be. Having read this I now think the Disney film Alice in Wonderland (1951) really is rather tamed down! I now realise the surrealist film Alice (1988) and the recent Alice in Wonderland (2010) are closer to the mark adaptations.

Alice the protagonist of these adventures is young, independent, intelligent, and rather spirited which she will need to be in this new and unusual land. There are many things that Alice will have to face in Wonderland that will contradict all that she has ever known or learnt before. Quite unnervingly she even starts to question who she really is and whether she can be who she thought she was after all. I liked Alice but we get to know so little about her background and life outside of Wonderland that I never felt I truly got to know her. During her adventure Alice is to meet an eccentric and colourful mixture of characters including the White Rabbit, the Hatter, the Cheshire Cat, the March Hare, the Duchess, the Queen of Hearts, and the smoking Caterpillar. All interesting, mad, and charismatic characters which are hard to forget.

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is the first novel I have read by Lewis Carroll although I have read some of his poetry before; including the fantastic Jabberwocky. I thought Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was well-written with a realistic childlike voice and wonder. I loved all the colourful characters, the use of magical food, and rhyme within the story. My only niggle would be I would have enjoyed more description of Wonderland. Like Alice herself I never truly felt like I knew Wonderland but then again with how surreal this novel is may be we’re not supposed to really know it.

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is a short and magical children’s classic. I highly recommend to those who enjoy the classics and fantasy novels. This is my 17th read off my Classics Club list. I look forward to reading more about Wonderland in Through the Looking Glass.

Have you read this? What did you read for the Spin?

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25 thoughts on “The Classics Club: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

  1. I tried to read this when I was about 10 and couldn’t get into it. Since then, I’ve only got to know the story via the movie versions (and hearsay!)
    Glad to hear that it holds up to an adult reading – maybe I’ll have to try it again :-)

    1. Brona now I know how surreal this story is I’m not sure I would have got on very well with it as a child either! As an adult I have more patience to the give the book time to get going.

  2. Great comments! I read this book late last year and enjoyed it, but I also felt you don’t get to really know Alice. Through the Looking Glass is on my TBR list so it will be interesting to compare books.

    1. Hello! Thank you for stopping by and commenting :-) Always lovely to hear off a new face. I was so intrigued by other commenters saying they loved Through the Looking Glass even more than this that I have already started it!

  3. I’ve started this a few times but never read it in its entirety. I’m pleasantly surprised that it’s more 2010 film than Disney, even though I suppose it fits the dark fairytale idea. I like what you’ve said about not knowing Wonderland, frustrating perhaps but suitable. Well done on 17 books!

    1. Thank you Charlie! I think the number 17 has really snuck up on me, I really didn’t think I’d read quite that much but very pleased about it :-) I can sympathise with having started this book several times I thought it wasn’t the easiest book to get hooked by. I’m eager to try to find out more about Wonderland so I don’t think it will be long before I start Through the Looking Glass.

  4. Random House’s Vintage (I think!) re-released this last year so I have a copy, but I still haven’t read it. I really must though! We all know the story, but I wonder just how many have actually read it.

  5. Ah, great classic fantasy! I love the surreal nature of Wonderland, though I remember at times wishing that the plot had a little more coherence to it…I think Through the Looking Glass was slightly more focused.

  6. Hey! I love this book! Read it when I was younger and it’s never really left me. It’s absolutely baczerk, and that’s why I love it. :)

    ~Gillian
    youngyankeelady.blogspot.com

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