The Big Read

No. 30 – Alice in Wonderland, Lewis Carroll Read 31/1/14

I know this was supposed to go up yesterday but contrary to popular belief I do leave the house occasional thus making daily blogging harder.

But anyway, Alice in Wonderland. It is one of the most bizarre books ever written. I know everyone jokes that Lewis Carroll must have been on drugs but it really does feel like that. There is no logical cause and event progression; suddenly there is a Duchess and a Queen when we were in a world of talking animals. Things appear to happen for no apparent reason and I’m still not sure I really understand half of what was going on.

The thing to do when reading Alice in Wonderland is just to go with it. Suspend your disbelief and join in whole heartedly with this crazy, crazy world, you will find it much more enjoyable as a result. Once you get past the odd nature of the plot you start to appreciate Carroll’s excellent use of language. There is a lot of rhyme and verse, which also adds to the absurdity, but also he manages to convey Alice’s child like nature and the innocence with which she accepts everything that happens to her. Suddenly, after a few pages of reading I was lost in this world and it was Carroll’s language that swept me along.

I think it is marvellous as a children’s book because it feels as if it has come out of the mind of a child. I was reverted to a way of thinking about the world whilst reading this book that reminded me very much of the days when I would hide behind my Mum’s legs if a stranger approached. It is with wide-eyed fascination that Alice sits down for tea with the Mad-Hatter instead of logically analysing the situation and assessing the risks as an adult may have done, it is refreshing to see that celebrated rather than criticised. Plus talk about imagination. This novel could be seen as an exercise book written to try and encourage children to use theirs.

I wish I had read it earlier, it wasn’t nearly as difficult as I had believed it would be although I was glad of a reminder of childhood as an adult.

Rating: 3/5

Would recommend to: 6+ years

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