Book Review: Alice in Wonderland

I can vividly recall watching Disney's version of Alice in Wonderland as a child. I loved the cartoon movie and characters. When I heard that there was a new version of this classic coming out in theaters, I knew that I had to read the original.

I had often heard tales about the author, Lewis Carroll, being on drugs while writing this story. I am glad to have read the original if only to have realized that this was not true. The original story is far from "trippy". It reads like any children's adventure and is less bizarre than many other children's stories I've read or heard. In fact, it's a fun little story, but anyone looking for a huge revelation or deeper significance to a lot of the plot will have to make it up.

There are some great quotations, though. Here are a few of my personal favorites:
"But I don't want to go among mad people," Alice remarked. "Oh, you can't help that," said the Cat: "we're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad." "How do you know I'm mad?" said Alice. "You must be," said the Cat, "or you wouldn't have come here."

"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," said the Cat.
"I don’t much care where--" said Alice.
"Then it doesn’t matter which way you go," said the Cat.
"--so long as I get SOMEWHERE," Alice added as an explanation.
"Oh, you’re sure to do that," said the Cat, "if you only walk long enough."

" Well! I've often seen a cat without a grin," thought Alice; " but a grin without a cat! It's the most curious thing I ever say in my life!"

"Tut, tut, child!" said the Duchess. "Everything's got a moral, if only you can find it."

In addition to interesting quotations, there is some cool artwork in the original text. Here's a favorite of mine, the Mad Hatter:

I love these ink sketches even more than the Disney art. There's a a whole lot of raw imagination in these sketches. Not that the much-loved Disney cartoons are not amazing. They're just colorful and a bit extreme. I loved these spare, restrained drawings because they were so less complicated. The book is full of them, yet I wanted more.

Now that I've seen the old Disney version, read the original text, and studied a bit about Lewis Carroll, I think that I am ready to see the new 3-D movie. It looks like a spectacular adventure!