Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Thoughts: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

I’m temped to post a title, and leave this whole post at that. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland can do that to a person.

The whole thing starts when a little girl named Alice sees a rabbit take out a pocket watch. Out of curiosity, she follows him down a rabbit hole, and encounters creatures like the Mad Hatter, a sleeping dormouse, a smoking caterpillar, an insane queen, and more out-of-this-world characters/people/animals.

I’m going to be honest here. I didn’t understand Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland very well. Okay, I didn’t understand it at all. Maybe I could have understood it better with an annotated version? Or SparkNotes? But maybe it’s not supposed to be understood. Maybe it’s supposed to be a fun, nonsensical book for kids. Or maybe that’s just me making excuses for myself. Har-har.

I do think that the book was written by a very intelligent person, though. It’s crazy, but it’s the kind of crazy that’s intelligent. While reading/absorbing the craziness, I almost started to feel like I could actually understand it, that a dormouse who talked in his sleep actually made sense. Aside from that “almost sane” feeling, there’s also a ton of wordplay, and fun little poems.

Overall, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was a fun read. I didn’t stop to think about the characters’ movies, the theme, or THIS-IS-AN-IMPORTANT-PIECE-OF-LITERATURE. I just let the prose and Alice’s thoughts wash over me. No pressure.

Rating: 4/5

10 comments:

Kristi said...

I started reading it for the first time last month, but it didn't grab me in the first few pages so I put it down. I'm glad to hear you enjoyed it. Maybe I'll pick it back up this week and try again.

Red said...

I'd recommend reading the annotated version. It's great and explains a lot of the references made.

Zibilee said...

I have never actually read this, and sort of feel bad about it. It sounds as if I probably wouldn't understand it either, but it might be fun to give it a little perusal. Thanks for sharing your thoughts with us!

Audra said...

I read an annotated version a few years ago -- and while I can't say I enjoyed AAiW, I had a very good time with it and the footnotes.

Brenna said...

I still haven't read this and the recent plethora of neat looking editions has made me want to pick it up. I think I'll listen to Red's suggestion as well and get an annotated version.

Shannon said...

I read this to my daughter a couple months ago and had the same feeling, that there was MUCH of it that I was not getting. I think most of the "nonsense" is based on or mocking something but I do not have the historical context to get it. I'd like to read an annotated version too!

simplerpastimes said...

I don't think I've ever thought about whether or not I've "gotten" this book, probably because I read it as a child, when things didn't need to make sense. It would be neat to read this in an annotated version though. Alice has actually been referenced a lot over the years in books and music, especially the poems. Apparently we don't have to 'get' something to be drawn to it...

Trisha said...

I got this book through SwapTree last fall, intent upon reading it, but it was like the moment it entered the house my interest was gone.... I'm contrary like that. :)

Erin said...

Oh thank goodness...I didn't really "get" it either! The randomness was too much for me. I can see where it has its merit for some, but it's just not my cup of tea.

booklush.com said...

chiming in with a resounding, I didn't get it either! I read the version you have pictured there too... over the annotated edition that I own. I suspect this was a mistake but I wanted to see if the book would hold up without outside interpretations and explanations. For me, I don't think it really does. But I'm willing to give it another try in the future with handy dandy notes!

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