on July 28, 2009
People tend to lump "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking-Glass (and What Alice Found There)" into one collection which has taken on the new title of "Alice in Wonderland". This is probably a product of the movies, which took bits and pieces from each and made a composite adventure. This was possible, because Lewis Carroll (a.k.a. Reverend Charles Lutwidge Dodgson) managed to make the stories so even in quality that they can be put together seamlessly. He also managed to keep the stories enough different, that one can still enjoy reading both of them one after the other, without the feeling that the second is just a retelling of the first.
To be sure, there are several ways in which the stories are similar, but not to the point where it detracts from the reader's enjoyment of the story. There are only three characters which appear in both books, one of which is Alice. The other notable characters (the Cheshire Cat, the Queen of Hearts, Tweedledum and Tweedledee, Humpty Dumpty, etc.) are well distributed between the two books. Thus there is a looking-glass between the two, just as the looking-glass plays such a key role in the second book.
The Penguin Classics edition of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass" includes both books including the illustrations by John Tenniel. It also includes the original "Alice's Adventures under Ground" which includes Lewis Carroll's artwork. For additional features, it includes `"Alice" on the Stage' an article which Lewis Carroll wrote after seeing a production of the stage version, and it includes preface's to the books which Lewis Carroll wrote in 1896 for the 1897 editions. There are wonderful notes for both books, and a very informative introduction by Hugh Haughton. There is other supporting material as well. To sum up, this edition has pretty much anything one could want, other than a complete collection of Carroll's work.
A last comment on the introduction, it covers the biographical information for Reverend Dodgson, and the information on how the stories came about. Some of this information may detract from one's enjoyment of the story, but one can certainly understand the decision to include it for those who are interested in Reverend Dodgson and his life. All in all, this edition is packed with everything and will suit those who just want to read the stories as well as those who want to delve deep into their origins.
on March 6, 2004
I'm not reviewing the story (we all know what a masterpiece it is :) but this edition is fabulous! It is actually two seperate dust-jacketed hardcover volumes, one for each tale, and they come in one very sturdy slipcase with beautiful art. For the current Amazon price it is a *total* bargain - I wasn't expecting it to be so nice. We also got the jigsaw puzzle book to go with it and it is also better than expected. They make a great gift for a lucky little gal!
For some reason Amazon bundles all reviews of every edition of under a single product making it very difficult to evaluate a particular one. So you may be looking for the Ingpen edition but unable to find an Ingpen review.
I fell in love with the Ingpen edition when I saw it in the store. Every page turn features an outstanding color illustration by one of the of the world's leading illustrators.
In Alice she says:'what good are stories without pictures?' We can read a story without a picture, yet when we have a picture it really helps us in imagining the story, and Ingpen has a great imagination when it comes to the picture story.
This is the kind of book you will leave on the coffee table just so you can show it off to your friends. Whether you are a parent or just reading it your own pleasure, I found reading it this way much better. I do own a pictureless version which I never got around to reading.
Sterling publishers have published other stories with Ingpen such as the Wizard of Oz. So if you wish to enjoy a classic story and to fire your visual imagination at the same time this is a great way to do it. I passed my version along to a niece and have the occasional pang of regret for having given it away.
I highly recommend it, think you will love it and hope this was helpful.
on August 11, 2000
"Through The Looking Glass" is, perhaps, not QUITE as good as "Alice's Adventures In Wonderland", but it's close enough to still rate five stars. Not, properly, a sequel to the first book, there is no indication at any point in it that the Alice (clearly the same individual, slightly older) from this book ever had the adventures in the first one; there is no reference to her previous adventures, even when she once again meets Tweedledum and Tweedledee. Obviously, the two books are intended as parallel adventures, not subsequent ones.
The most memorable bits from this book are doubtlessly the poem, "Jabberwocky", as well as chapter six, "Humpty Dumpty". But all of the book is marvellous, and not to be missed by anyone who enjoys a magical romp through silliness and playful use of the English language.
(This review refers to the unabridged "Dover Thrift Edition".)
on July 13, 2009
"... and go on till you come to the end: then stop." Good advice for reading this book, from the Red King himself.
To say that "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" is a classic would be to state the obvious. Published originally in 1865, it was taken from stories which the Reverend Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (a.k.a. Lewis Carroll) told to three girls, the daughters of Henry George Liddell, including Alice Liddell who is the basis for the heroine of the stories. The stories inside are wonderful and superb nonsense which appeal to readers of all ages, as long as you don't try to read too much into it. The stories are filled with all sorts of absurdities based on language, logic, math, and parody. If you obtain a copy which has notes that discuss what is being parodied, it will add to the fun, certainly, but it isn't necessary because even without the parody it is still great fun. Also, you can certainly find references online to help find the sources which are being parodied.
Other than to say that the book is about Alice's adventures it would be difficult to say that there are any great lessons here, other than perhaps to not take things too seriously. At the same time there are certainly some running themes throughout the stories. Size is a key element at some times Alice is very tiny, and at other times incredibly large, and food and drink are the main triggers for these changes. Sense and nonsense is another running theme as there are those who try to make sense out of the nonsense, and others who just enjoy the ride.
The book opens with Alice following the white rabbit down the hole, and plummeting deep into the Earth. She meets many characters in her adventures, like the White Rabbit, a mouse, a lizard named Bill, a Caterpiller smoking a hookah, the Duchess, the Mad Hatter, the March Hare the Cheshire Cat, the Mock Turtle, the Red Queen, and many others. The adventures include her descent into Wonderland, her loss of identity with her changes in size, her babysitting a baby which turns into a pig, the endless tea-party, a very unusual croquet game, listening to the Mock Turtle's story, and of course the trial at the end.
The stories clearly have long lasting influence as well. In books, movies, music, and art, there are countless examples of works based on the Alice Adventures as well as references to them. One thing those works have done is led to some confusion with regards to the Alice stories. Characters like Tweedledum, Tweedledee, Humpty Dumpty, and the Red Queen are not in this book, but rather in the sequel "Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There".
on September 22, 2003
I couldn't put it down, man. I checked this book out at the local library and read through the opening 130 pages in one sitting until I was falling asleep at three in the morning. Lewis Carroll's classic tale of adventure and fantasy "Alice in Wonderland" is one of the best books I've ever read.
The story is about a little girl, Alice, who falls into a very deep rabbit hole, seemingly straight to the middle of the earth! Her adventures once she lands are as wonderfully imagined as any in the history of literature. Her encounters with the White Rabbit, the Mad Hatter, the King and Queen of Hearts, the Duchess, The Mock Turtle, The Gryphon, and The Wise Old Caterpillar are as fun and as pure and as well intended as any characters I've ever read a writer write.
The story behind how Alice in Wonderland came to be is equally interesting, and one worth reading up on. That Carroll wrote it without any pretension to selling it, or for money, or even to publish it, is truly one of the remarkable stories of world literature. His motives were pure, and (at least to me) this is one of the reasons why this book is so dear and so readable.
I highly recommend "Alice in Wonderland" to readers young and old and can only say that I look forward to reading "Through the Looking Glass" next! A marvelous, wonderful book, as fun as any book I've ever read.
on July 1, 2003
My mom first read this book to me when I was seven years old. Because I was only in first or second grade, Alice in Wonderland scared the heck out of me. I remember parts were pretty horrific and confusing. I kind of hated it. It was like Stephen King for a first grader- which, if you ever go to a website on Lewis Carroll, shouldn't surprise anyone because Carroll had loads of problems and was pretty much tripped out while writing this (I think).
Now that I'm older, I decided to re-read Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. While reading it, it's hard to decide whether this is just a load of imaginative creativity, or a metaphor of something deeper that is true in society today, or true in the 1800's. Well, I guess you can read it either way- but there is definitely some deep stuff in here. Many poems will stop and make you think, and as the story progresses you can't help but feel like you are Alice (which is pretty amazing, because this isn't like Lord of the Rings or anything, it's basically a fairy tale on drugs).
Definitely, definitely, definitely do not hesitate to pick this book up and read. Another review said it was disturbing- well, in some ways it really is. But the characters and the plot line (or lack of!) keep you interested and keeps you reading. AIW and TTLG are must-haves in anyone interested in fantasy/sci-fi, along with Chronicles of Narnia and other great classics.
on June 15, 2004
Years ago while we were on a trip I picked up three summer classics for some light reading. One of them was 'Alice'....Even tho I had read it as a child, I had forgotten just how wonderful Carroll's book was......Recently I was in a bookstore and noted that once again summer classics are out and it was in the pile once again. It can be read and enjoyed by all ages, but I think the subtleties can be best enjoyed by those who are a bit older e.g. the Mad Hatter's Tea Party, the croquet game featuring the Queen of Hearts etc. I was reminded of how much the tea party reminded me of a previous job that I had involving a variety of board members.
I guess there is only only one word to describe this classic, 'timeless'.
on February 15, 2002
In this book you find out about a little girl named Alice who falls down big holes, eats strange mushrooms, and shakes a chess piece so hard that it turns into her kitten. Join Alice in her adventures in wonderland and through the looking glass. This book is so totaly unpredictable and exiting that you can't put it down. It also makes you wonder and wish this could happen to you. Take a walk through Alice's imagination and read this book.
(I'm so cool.)
on March 14, 2004
This is a must for "Alice" collectors of all ages. The art is beautiful and the design is unusual.
I disagree with the Booklist reviewer that the design makes for difficult reading or is distracting. The design flourishes enhance the reading experience.