Teaser Tuesday: Alice in Wonderland

This week’s Teaser Tuesdays is another classic I’m reading for the first time- Alice in Wonderland (actually 2 novels- Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Alice Through the Looking Glass).

I have been wanting to read Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll for some time but somehow never got around to it.  I wasn’t that into fantasy as a kid so didn’t really bond with the animated film or have a desire to read the book.  Now as an adult I love the animated film and am reviewing it on my youtube channel on Wednesday.  I am also reviewing the Tim Burton Alice in Wonderland which I hate and everyone kept excusing it because ‘it’s more accurate to the book’.  I figured I better read it and decide for myself.

Well, I’m delighted to tell you aside from character similarities there is much more in common with the animated film than the Burton.  I found no chosen one, prophecy, battle or anything of the kind!

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of A Daily Rhythm.

Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page (or I like to do the page I’m currently reading)
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers.

alice bookThis week my sentence is on page 29 of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (Chapter 4- Advice from a Caterpillar).

“Who are YOU?’ said the Caterpillar.

This was not an encouraging opening for a conversation. Alice replied, rather shyly, `I–I hardly know, sir, just at present– at least I know who I WAS when I got up this morning, but I think I must have been changed several times since then.’

`What do you mean by that?’ said the Caterpillar sternly. `Explain yourself!’

`I can’t explain MYSELF, I’m afraid, sir’ said Alice, `because I’m not myself, you see.’

`I don’t see,’ said the Caterpillar.

`I’m afraid I can’t put it more clearly,’ Alice replied very politely, `for I can’t understand it myself to begin with; and being so many different sizes in a day is very confusing.’

alice and caterpillarWhat I like about this scene is it pokes fun at the silliness of philosophy and people who think they are asking such deep and thoughtful questions when in reality it can be just as much nonsense as anything else.

I was really surprised how much I liked Alice and Wonderland.   For some reason I was expecting all the nonsense and whimsy to be a bit annoying in book form but I liked it.  It’s charming and Alice is an inquisitive, curious character to bring us into this world.
It’s really more a grouping of short stories more than a traditional narrative and I liked that approach. Through the Looking Glass has a little more structure with the chess pieces and the queens, but I liked meeting all the characters and hearing their stories. There’s a lot of humor in there and it’s just very enjoyable. I can see why it is a classic and a favorite of so many people.

I really liked the inventiveness of Wonderland and not knowing what kind of story was coming around the bend.  Was it going to be the Queen of Hearts playing croquet, a Dodo in a caucus race, or Humpty Dumpty having his great fall.  It all clipped along very well and was engaging and funny.  I think it holds up quite well.  Like I said, I liked it much more than I thought I would.

9 thoughts on “Teaser Tuesday: Alice in Wonderland

  1. I’ve said it before but I just don’t know what to think of this book or the sequel. The problem is I try to review books somewhat objectively, and this just has no plot, character development, narrative structure, central conflict, or anything to really critique. All you can do is say whether you subjectively think it’s funny or not – I thought sometimes it was, or came close, but not enough to really merit reading it. I just…. dunno.

    1. I disagree with all you said. It’s about a girl who thinks that a world of nonsense would be better. She gets chance to enter that world and find out for herself. I really loved it! It’s funny, imaginative, and I found Alice to be a very likable heroine. The conflict is the land of Wonderland and what will come around the corner next. The characters are hilarious. I look at it as more of a grouping of short stories in this world than a traditional novel. Each their own I guess

      1. Maybe in the Disney movie, Alice thought a world of nonsense would be better. Here, she just randomly stumbles into it almost as soon as the book starts and doesn’t give much of a reaction except to get frustrated occasionally. But despite this she thinks about what a wonderful dream it was in the end. She only serves as a tool to move through the paces and never develops. All the conflict is resolved or disappears quickly, and a lot of said conflict is just Alice getting confused.

        I can’t really see it as a group of short stories because there is so little structure they barely qualify as that.

        It’s kind of critic-proof.

      2. I should admit I’m speaking more about Through the Looking Glass than this book because this one at least has the final paragraph that is really touching and thought-provoking. It makes the story about childhood and imagination, and that’s all it really is about, I suppose. As you said, imagination.

  2. Again I don’t think it’s bad. I just never really found it a complete enough picture to appreciate. You have to have a certain mind-set and I just don’t. Even 2001: A Space Odyssey had some structure, and the monolith and the philosophical questions about life to tie it all together. It also had more of a complete story about the history of man’s control over the universe and what it leads to. But I’m glad someone was able to appreciate this. It took me a while to appreciate A Wrinkle in Time, so maybe someday I’ll read this and really understand it.

    1. Fair enough. I think maybe it’s also refreshing to read something so different and I did feel like it is a bunch of short stories of these things and creatures Alice meets in Wonderland. I liked it. 🙂

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