If you don’t know the story of Alice by now, you live under a rock. And if you think you really do, then perhaps you have read this book.
Now, this isn’t the first time I have read the book that brought along the Disney movie and warped your perceptions of the actual story like every other piece of literature the mouse company has touched. Yes, it includes Alice following a white rabbit down a neverending rabbit hole. She does grow and shrink, and indeed meet hats and mad hatters. However, there were no tweedles and an awful lot of poetry.
I think that’s what this book ultimately was. A collection of poetry strung together by absurd happenstance. No wonder people say this has no plot, it was never the purpose. Though I’m not quite sure why Carroll decided to frame the book in such a way. Or maybe this is just a trope of classic literature for children sometimes. I’m not entirely sure, as as someone who hasn’t written poetry since school and certainly hasn’t read much I’m afraid I don’t have much validation or knowledge on how good or bad this is.
Except that maybe Carroll should have stuck to one or the other. By the end of this dream sequence it felt like an excuse to cram as much poetry together as possible before returning to the threads of a plot there were. The structure of this novel – notice how I don’t say story – had an obvious bias to the poetry. Needless to say, I skimmed past a lot of poems.
Which is weird, when the poems are not what is considered so iconic about this book. In the non poetic parts, the fever trip of wonderland is very vivid and whimsical. It is a world to certain have fun in, being in all manner of sizes. I’m surprised that some bits were left out such as the pig, even when it was before the poetry dump. It made me thankful that Disney made so many changes just so I could re-remember new things about this book and its fun play on words.
I’m only reading the next book with the knowledge that there is an actual plot there and if my memory serves me well I actually found it quite entertaining. The only way is up it would seem.
Alice in Wonderland gets a score of 3/5. I’m not a fan of poetry, especially not in this form.