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?