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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Research
This is a wonderful book full of meanings and delightful little side details about Charles Dodgson. This book has the answers to many of your questions about the both Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass; why did he do this, what did he mean by this... It also includes secret meanings, such as a name from one of his friends, or he did this because he had...
Published on March 10 2001 by favoritebooks

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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Like Having Cliff Clavin Reading over Your Shoulder
You're right: I have no one to blame but myself. (Fool me twice, shame on me.) I'd read another book annotated by Gardner before, so I knew something about what his notes were like. Still, I thought, who better to explicate the puns, colloquialisms, and mathematical, logical, and philosophical references in _Alice_ than one of the great polymaths of our time, a...
Published on June 27 2003


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Research, March 10 2001
This review is from: The Annotated Alice: The Definitive Edition (Hardcover)
This is a wonderful book full of meanings and delightful little side details about Charles Dodgson. This book has the answers to many of your questions about the both Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass; why did he do this, what did he mean by this... It also includes secret meanings, such as a name from one of his friends, or he did this because he had O.C.D. Annotated Alice is perfect for research papers (or reading for one's own pleasure) for it gives you some information on verses, his life...all those major details. For example, did you know that most if not all of his poems were a satire on another well-known nursery rhyme or poem. It is easy to tell in the following nursery rhyme what on what poem Carroll made a satire.
Twinkle twinkle little bat
How I wonder what you are at
Up above the world you fly
Like a tea tray in the sky
Twinkle twinkle little bat
How I wonder what you are at
This seems simple enough, but do you know of what rhyme, "Beat Your Baby When He Sneezes" is a parody? The original poem was a song for babies to go to sleep. You will find all this info. and more. Cheers!...
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Like Having Cliff Clavin Reading over Your Shoulder, June 27 2003
By A Customer
This review is from: The Annotated Alice: The Definitive Edition (Hardcover)
You're right: I have no one to blame but myself. (Fool me twice, shame on me.) I'd read another book annotated by Gardner before, so I knew something about what his notes were like. Still, I thought, who better to explicate the puns, colloquialisms, and mathematical, logical, and philosophical references in _Alice_ than one of the great polymaths of our time, a connoisseur of puzzles, and an aficionado of Victorian literature? Plus, it's hard to deny that _The Definitive Edition_ is a handsome one.
Well, Gardner has really outdone himself this time. The notes go on and on and on, eclipsing the actual text in length. While Clavin might interrupt a conversation on the Bermuda Triangle to point out the little-known fact that it's really shaped like a tetrazidrhomboid, Gardner thinks that when a character uses an idiomatic expression involving ferrets it would be relevant to mention a get-together that ferret owners recently held in New York City's Central Park. Much of the inside information Gardner does provide is along the lines of telling us that this character is based on Alice Liddell's third cousin, once removed, or that that character is named after Dodgson's pet gerbil.
I think Gardner may have finally succeeded in turning me off of annotated editions for good.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Everything You Wanted To Know About Alice..., Dec 26 2000
By 
J. Carroll "Jack" (Island Heights,NJ) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Annotated Alice: The Definitive Edition (Hardcover)
Anyone who enjoys Alice's adventures will appreciate the care and detail that was taken in preparing this version of Carroll's tales. Gardner's annotations are superb and you realize they are just the tip of the iceberg when delving into the complexities of Carroll's Alice stories. Easy to follow annotations accompany excellent Tenniel reproductions. With the addition of the excised "Wasp in the Wig" episode this is a must for anyone who enjoyed these tales and would like to get more information about their creation.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Finally a "translation" of Alice for the masses, Oct. 14 2003
By 
Giant Panda (Washington, DC) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Annotated Alice: The Definitive Edition (Hardcover)
I remember my frustrations with reading "Alice" when I was young. Apparently it was an interesting story about animals and weird things and so on, but very quickly my reading stumbled onto nonsense verses and things so strange I don't know what to make of them. As a child I quickly lost interest and put down my book, that is until I encountered this wonderful annotated version by Martin Gardiner. Having enjoyed Gardiner's countless mathematical books and Scientific American columns, I was intrigued by this book.
This is a book that actually delivers what it promises. The large format of the book makes it easy to read and pleasing to the eye. The original drawings for the book by Tenniel are included, making it quite interesting. In the wide margins, Gardiner makes clear the countless curiosities, verses, puns, and mathematical oddities. Some of those things were meant to be understood only by a select group of people living in Oxford at the time Lewis Carroll wrote his work. Gardiner therefore draws upon a wealth of research by Alice fans all over the world to come to an understanding of all these oddities. The result is a much more enriching experience and much more pleasurable reading of the story.
At any rate, I don't take the Alice story as seriously as some of the fans do, but I was pleased I read this annotated edition once. I plan to find again my old childhood copy and re-read the story without annotation for enjoyment. Note that the annotated Alice went through various editions, this ("Definitive annotated Alice" being the third, most up-to-date and most complete, including the original illustrations by Tenniel and both sets of annotations in the original "Annotated Alice" and in the "More Annotated Alice". This is the edition to buy.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Strickly for real Carroll fans, Dec 12 2002
By 
Bernard M. Patten "Book worm" (Seabrook, TX United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Annotated Alice: The Definitive Edition (Hardcover)
In the case of Alice, we are dealing with a very curious, complicated form of nonsense, which explores the possibilities of the uses and abuse of language and is actually based on a profound knowledge of the rules of logic. In fact, most of Carroll's apercus and all his joked are inversions of the rules of logic or plays on words. Reason is here in service to imagination and not vice-versa. The wealth of material which Carroll presents for the illumination of his philosophy is almost without end. The more I read Alice, the more I realize the books are dense enough to defy complete exegesis. Carroll's genius lies in the ability to disguise charmingly the seriousness of his concerns and to make the most playful quality of his work at the same time its didactic crux. This annotation version helps by telling us about some aspects of the era and setting that Alice and Charles Lutwidge Dodgson lived in, about Christ Church, and Duckworth etc. but it misses the details about the main points of logic that are being made by Carroll. So far I haven't found a satisfactory text that does that. Perhaps I will have to write one myself.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Master of Nonsense, Jan. 14 2002
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Bryan A. Pfleeger (Metairie, Louisiana United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Annotated Alice: The Definitive Edition (Hardcover)
The Annotated Alice provides a treasure chest of information on the two Alice books and on the man, Lewis Carroll who was responsible for their creation.
Martin Gardner provides annotations throughout the texts of both Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There. Gardner's annotations help explain the inside jokes and mathematical and linguistic puzzles that fill the stories.
Reading the Alice books as an adult is quite a different experience than it was as a child. The books' complexity really stands out on a careful reading. In fact, what are generally regarded as children's stories can be amazingly frustrating to read due to the complexity of the language and the almost constant stream of puns that are sometimes lost on modern audiences. One must remember that the stories are told purely for fun. Unlike other Victorian children's literature one gets no morals, plot development, or character development here. Alice is a yound child who stays a young child throughout her adventures. She neither matures or learns anything from her adventures.
This is a very nice volume in its own right. It contains complete authoritative texts of both books and includes the supressed episode "The Wasp in the Wig." The original Tenniel illustrations are crisp and clear. The only difficulty is that the annotations are placed on the same page as the text in a small column that sometimes supplies more information than the text itself. The annotations themselves range from the definitional to the clearly eccentric. One can read all of them or only the ones that he or she is interested in.
On the whole this is an excellent volume well worth the effort to read if one has any interest in the world of nonsense literature.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The name of this review is called "Haddocks' Eyes", Feb. 22 2001
By 
"limespider" (Littleton, CO USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Annotated Alice: The Definitive Edition (Hardcover)
I finally, and seemingly permanently, misplaced the 40 year old copy of 'The Annotated Alice' (which I had pilfered from my mother's bookshelf) for the last time. I can't go more than a month or two without it so I rushed to buy a new copy...just weeks before the more beautifully bound 'Definitive Edition' was published. No matter, now I have two (perhaps even three if the original turns up).
My point is that this book contributed more to my understanding of logic and wordplay than several semesters of college philosophy classes. If you've read this far then I am probably preaching to the choir but 'Alice in Wonderland' can hardly be classified as a childrens' book, dispite Disney's attempts to do so. The concepts Lewis Carroll and Martin Gardner bring to this tale cover such areas as set theory, meta-language, Aristotelian logic, topography, game theory, several pre-Socratic logic paradoxes, and even quantum physics. Yet John Tenniel's original illustrations remain as an welcome tether to the original publication.
Gardner does a wonderful job of bringing all the various aspects of these two stories together as he illuminates layer upon layer of meaning that might not be evident to an American audience or, for that matter, a 21st century one. My favorite gems are the French and German translations of The Jabberwocky.
This book ranks in my top five favorite books of all time.
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5.0 out of 5 stars The Looking Glass Shows Hidden Humor, Jan. 21 2000
By 
Ian (New York) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Annotated Alice: The Definitive Edition (Hardcover)
I always enjoyed the twisted logic and unique sence of humor that I found in Lewis Carroll's Alice tales, the only problem I encountered was that some of the jokes required information that was no longer common knoledge. For example: when Alice continually misquoted the old English nursery rhymes I found myself wondering what the actual versions were, information that every child in Victorian England could have easily told me but that has since been lost to obscurity. After reading through this book I found the answers to all my original questions as well as many that I never considered asking. At first I thought that the commentary would strip the original work of its character and reduce it to a lifeless shadow. I found that the commentary did exactly the opposite, in a surreal way it made the book even more entertaining to read. The incredible detail of the commentary and the wide range of topics covered made the comments themselves seem part of the insane illogic that pervades the realms of wonderland and looking glass house. This does not mean that the coments themselves are insane or illogical, on the contrary they are all intresting and many offer new insights into the books, what makes the commentary so entertaining is how the story of "exactly 7 and one half" Alice is juxtaposed with comments on how the structure of the plot relates to physic and Robert Oppenheimer. Altogether I found the Annotated Alice to be a wonderful read and a gorgeous book which I recomend to anyone who enjoyed the original tales.
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4.0 out of 5 stars we are all mad here..., March 4 2001
This review is from: The Annotated Alice: The Definitive Edition (Hardcover)
When I drecided to buy a copy of Lewis Carroll's Alice books, I did not expect this. When I saw this book on the middle shelf of the local cain-bookstore, I had to buy it. When I started to read it, I found myself bypassing the notes just to read the book. But, then again, shouldn't that be the way it's done? Anyway, when I went to the bookstore again I bought a copy of the complete works of Lewis Carrol so that I could read his poetry. When I read it I was shocked. There is a whole other alice book not included in the annotated alice. 'Alice's Adventures Underground' is nowhere to be found. This was strange considering the detail and colletiveness given by Mr. Gardener. You would think this would be included. But it is forgiveable. This is something noone should be without.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Can't be too definitive, June 24 2002
By 
bernie "xyzzy" (Arlington, Texas) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Annotated Alice: The Definitive Edition (Hardcover)
Not knowing what you do not know it tells you everything. This book appears to be stand alone logic and fun on the surface. Some may even think it is a children's book. If so why all the courses and scholarly writings on the story?
Some things are self evident as being so short that you can touch your toes. Others may take some time as the reason hatters are mad is the process includes mercury so even if it was directed at a particular person or not hatters are mad. Still when was the last time you used a bathing machine? Knowing some of information can enhance the enjoyment of reading the story.
You get the original illustrations to boot. So when you are finished perusing this book it can be used as a coffee table conversation book.
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The Annotated Alice: The Definitive Edition
The Annotated Alice: The Definitive Edition by Lewis Carroll (Hardcover - Nov. 18 1999)
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