Book number 16: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll.
What it is: Simply, it is about, well, Alice in Wonderland!
What I liked about it: What is not to like about Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (free download here)? I loved it. It’s fun, funny, and everything’s “curioser and curiouser,” plus “it’s always tea-time” so what can be better?
As a character, Alice is my hero. She is brave, embraces change, minds her own business, and has muchness. Somehow I find it odd, a children’s book this long but I find it very cool and also highly relevant for adults. Truthfully, how many people have the guts to go down a rabbit hole without as much caring how to get back up? That’s balls, people. Alice does her thing because she has to, wants to, and is better for it:
“It was much pleasanter at home when one wasn’t always growing larger and smaller, and being ordered about by mice and rabbits. I almost wish I hadn’t gone down that rabbit hole – and yet – and yet – it’s rather curious, you know this, sort of life! I do wonder what can have happened to me! When I used to read fairy-tales, I fancied that kind of thing never happened, and now here I am in the middle of one! There ought to be a book written about me, that there ought! And when I grow up, I’ll write one – but I’m grown up now.“
I think if Alice became a guy and ages by miles Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland almost mimics The Unlikely Pilgrimage of Harold Fry feel to it; the going despite not knowing, with the not knowing part the most important. I particularly loved the conversation with the caterpillar:
“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?
That depends a good deal on where you want to get to.
I don’t much care where –”
Then it doesn’t matter which way you go.
– so long as I get somewhere.
Oh, you’re sure to do that, if you only walk long enough.“
See, even the walking bits figure. Also the one with the Cheshire cat, where they agree that they are all mad. I always repeat this one from the Harold Fry book, “If we don’t go mad every once in a while, there’s no hope.” When I was younger, I didn’t promote this view really, but I realized if I’d stay walking in the same direction I’d eventually kill myself so I got crazy and picked life and here we are. 🙂
Another great thing about Alice is she sees the positive in the negative: “Well! After such a fall as this, I shall think nothing of tumbling down stairs! How brave they’ll all think me at home! Why, I wouldn’t say anything about it, even if I fell off the top of the house! (Which was very likely true.)” How many times do you hear people say that?
What I didn’t like about it: At times I had to go back and reread pages. I get lost in the English and the way it’s narrated 😆 but it proved alright if I focused enough. It’s really entertaining and whimsical. Children’s books truly rock (read The Ocean at the End of the Lane too if you are into this kind of thing.)
Recommended for: Classic and children’s lit fans but I guess if you simply want to be inspired to be whimsical and crazy, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is a good pick and is truly a lot of fun.
Note: The first project for this year is to finish the book reviews I’ve been procrastinating on since forever. Sorry.