Another charming wonderland

‘Through the Looking-glass’ – Lewis Carroll


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Through the Looking-glass – Lewis Carroll

When Alice steps through the looking-glass, she enters a world of chess pieces and nursery rhyme characters who behave very strangely. Humpty Dumpty, Tweedledee and Tweedledum, the dotty White Knight and the sharp-tempered Red Queen – none of them are what they seem. In fact, through the looking-glass, everything is distorted.

If you have read Alice in Wonderland and are keen to read this next adventure, be advised that Carroll writes with entirely new characters. Whilst we still follow Alice on her adventure,  I didn’t find the characters as loveable as in the first story.

This time we follow Alice through the looking-glass and she finds herself involved in a giant game of chess. Like the first story, the dialogue is witty: full of puns and literal meanings.  I found this aspect most enjoyable but sometimes found these conversations a bit tedious. There is also considerably more poetry in this story so if,  like me,  poetry doesn’t set your heart racing, don’t be surprised if your mind starts to wander.

This characters in this story largely consist of the giant game of chess that Alice is involved with. Tweedle dee and Tweedle dum feature and I couldn’t help but picture Matt Lucas from the film adaptation. I think my favourite characters would have to be the knights. Such simple creatures who constantly fall off their horse, I couldn’t help but feel sorry for them,  especially when it was clear they were trying so hard!

Through the Looking-glass doesn’t have quite the same level of charm as Alice in Wonderland‘ but I am still glad I read this. Carroll’s use of language is most entertaining, such as the ‘Jabberwocky’ poem and the arguments Alice has with so many of the characters, but I don’t think the story is quite as charming. To summarise, I don’t think you would miss out if you did not get round to reading this as I think there are far worthier books in the world that demand attention.


An essential must-read fairytale

‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ – Lewis Carroll


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Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland – Lewis Carroll

Journey with Alice down the rabbit hole into a world of wonder where oddities, logic and wordplay rule supreme. Encounter characters like the grinning Cheshire Cat who can vanish into thin air, the cryptic Mad Hatter who speaks in riddles and the harrowing Queen of Hearts obsessed with the phrase “Off with their heads!” This is a land where rules have no boundaries, eating mushrooms will make you grow or shrink, croquet is played with flamingos and hedgehogs, and exorbitant trials are held for the theft of tarts. Amidst these absurdities, Alice will have to find her own way home.

‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ began as a story told to three little girls in a row-boat, near Oxford. Ten year old Alice Liddell asked to have the story written down and two years later it was published with immediate success. Carroll’s unique play on logic has undoubtedly led to its lasting appeal to adults, while remaining one of the most beloved children’s tales of all time.

This story has all the elements that a classic fairy tale can offer: talking creatures, magic potions and loveable characters. I read this story when I was a young girl and I honestly think that I have got even more enjoyment from it now.  It’s like Lewis Carroll’s 19th century written version of ‘Shrek’  – whatever the age you will find something new to enjoy from the story.

Whilst the Johnny Depp adaptation is visually stunning,  ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’ is a literary dream.  The puns and witty conversations that Alice has in Wonderland are funny to read and Carroll plays with language whilst still keeping this a fun and light-hearted story.  If you have not read the book but have seen the film, I implore you to read this (and it is one of the classic novels that are free to download) because there is so much on offer that will delight imaginations, both young and old.

I really enjoyed reading this and felt the story was a lot shorter than I remembered it to be! The croquet scene was so funny to read and the image of the hedgehogs escaping (they are the balls in the game), the flamingos not cooperating (the bats), and the general chaos caused by the Queen of Hearts made this delightful to read.

This novel should be an obligatory read for all because of how much it has to offer. Disregard what you feel you know from watching film adaptations and immerse yourself into Carroll’s timeless Wonderland. It’s not just Alice’s adventures in Wonderland, but Alice’s adventures in Wonderful.