Saturday, June 13, 2009

Book Review: "Alice's Adventures In Wonderland"

At least I think that's the correct word order.

This will be the first of three book reviews, of which this one will be the only review (sort of) of a book that is only half read.

"G, not to point out the incredibly obvious, but didn't you READ this when you were just a lad?"

Good question. My good people, let me introduce to you one of the few people who have never read the book or seen the movie during his lifetime. I know most of the pop culture references associated with the book/movie, know useless drivel about Lewis Carroll (rumor has it he was infatuated with children) and Alice (based on a real person). I now completely understand the video "Don't Come 'Round Here No More." by Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers (the cameo of Dave Stewart playing the caterpillar smoking the hookah is priceless), and I even know where to get my hands on the X-rated non-cartoon version of said movie (please don't ask me to explain this one, simply Google it for yourself).

So, this review will be done in an Q & A style, since the book is only half read, but the story is very well known to me (as to all of you). We begin at the beginning.

1} Why are you reading this in the first place? Because I haven't started on volume 3 of The Swords of Talera yet. I finished #2 some time ago, but I wanted to write a review of that one first before delving into the next one. And since writing at work is, due to serious time sensitivity/labor sensitivity issues, not a safe thing to pursue, this was the next best thing to do.

2} Where did you get this copy from? Well, I have this tiny pocket version that I originally bought for my son back in '94, with the intent of reading it to him, with the vain hope of him getting into reading (no dice. he only likes reading video game mags right now). But since he didn't, it spent the better part of fourteen years buried in the cellar, before I found it during one of my futile efforts to find some newspaper stuff that I'd saved from my library job.

3} What was your first impression of the book? Hmmm...I found the Victorian era style of prose very easy to read and understand. I was already exposed to it, to a small degree watching the Sherlock Holmes mysteries and to a larger degree of being aficionado of history, so unlike most people, who've only been exposed to the bastardized Disney swill that passes for Victorian prose and thus wouldn't have the foggiest idea this side of a spendthrift Democrat of understanding Lewis Carroll, I actually got the gist of what he was writing.

4} How do you like it so far? Actually, it's pretty interesting. Right now, I'm at the croquet game. I'm understanding the pop culture references a little bit better, like the aforementioned Tom Petty video. I hate to sound like a broken record, but the video does a wicked interpretation of the book up to the Queen of Hearts croquet game. Forget about the lame Jefferson Airplane song "White Rabbit", this one is much better.

5} Would you recommend this book and what are the chances that you'll finish it? I highly recommend this book as read aloud to a child under the age of 8, or to an adult above the age of 21 (yes, an adult. one of my many strange talents that very rarely makes the light of day, is that I can do nifty read alouds with just about anything that strikes my fancy. Dr Seuss is a fave of mine, as well as regional dialects of sorts. Can do an average Jamaican when the mood strikes). As for when I'll finish it, probably when I get back to work and when things calm down enough to where reading is a perfectly enjoyable escapism. Right now, reading at work isn't quite that yet.

I do hope you enjoyed this little non-sequitor of a book review. Tune in next time for either a book review on the second volume of Charles Gramlich's excellent book series The Sword of Talera, or a review of a new western by Johnny D. Boggs called Soldier's Farewell.

Not sure which yet, but they should be interesting.


  1. Reading out loud is a great way to enjoy a good book (and even more fun when the book isn't so good). Who could read Dr. Suess and not want to read it to anyone who will listen? lol!

    Fun review of a classic, G!

  2. I used to do what I called "dramatic readings" of whatever Dr. Seuss I could lay my hands on. I used to do all kinds of voices (still do on the rare occasion the mood strikes) when I would read.

    Crack people up like you wouldn't believe.

  3. I really did like this book. It has just the touch of surrealism that I craved. Very well done, and an influence on me.

  4. The book itself is a very interesting read. I look it at this way: I spent a lot of time being exposed to the strage world that was called "Victorian England", and coupled with the fact that I read other fanatsy books of this type before reading this one, it almost seemed be taken as normal for me to see inanimate characters talking.

  5. I loved Alice - good for you for reading it now.

    One of my favorite things is reading books "after all this time" - I recently read Anne of Green Gables. Wonderful book.

  6. Another book I haven't read yet, but have seen the movie and know a ton of pop culture about it, is The Wizard of Oz.

    Go figure.

  7. That would be a great one to read. Maybe someday.

  8. This one? Or the Wizard of Oz?


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G. B. Miller

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