18 Feb 2012

THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS.

THROUGH THE LOOKING GLASS* by LEWIS CARROLL with illustrations by SIR JOHN TENNIEL.

The below book synopsis may well give away too much information, if do you desire to read it then please feel free to highlight the text.

Through The Looking Glass, And What Alice Found There is as funny and fantastic as its predecessor and companion masterpiece Alice's Adventure's In Wonderland. Alice 'lightly jumped down, into a world peopled by chess pieces (the game itself is woven into the story and Carroll gives the moves in the very first page of the book **) and oddly-different nursery rhyme characters. Tweedledum who gets so cross because his 'nice new rattle' is spoiled and his brother Tweedledee who recites for Alice the superb nonsense poem 'The Walrus and the Carpenter'. With Alice you will meet Humpty Dumpty, who helpfully explains to her the meaning of that other masterpiece of nonsense verse 'Jabberwocky' and the kindly, dotty White Knight who likes to protect his horse's legs from sharkbites.
...... Inner front cover.

FIRST SENTENCE (Chapter 1): One thing was certain, that the white kitten had had nothing to do with it - it was the black kitten's fault entirely.

MEMORABLE MOMENT (Page 126): "I see nobody on the road," said Alice.
"I only wish I had such eyes," the King remarked in a fretful tone. "To be able to see Nobody! And at that distance too! Why, it's as much as I can do to see real people, by this light."

Through The Looking Glass = Through The Mirror - a mirror being an object to be found in many a women's handbag/purse. A perfect choice for the reading challenge that is .....
- A book with something you'd carry in your pocket, purse or backpack category.

Despite my mam insisting that I did read this as a child, I have no recollection of it whatsoever unlike Alice's Adventures In Wonderland which I can picture myself reading as if it were yesterday. Mind you, how much I actually remember of the book is doubtful given that it was a long time ago and I've since seen many tv/film adaptations which tend to lump the two books together under the banner of Alice In Wonderland making knowing which book was which quite difficult.

Anyway,

A particularly nice version of the book, this Macmillan New Children's Edition contains all of John Tenniel's original illustrations plus eight coloured drawings that have not been used since 1911 as well as a piece entitled The Wasp In A Wig which was deleted by the author before the final printing and has only now been included AND an Easter Greeting from the author who by the way was really named Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, a Reverend, Lewis Carroll was a pseudonym.

Lacking any real magic for me, the characters just didn't seem as endearing for one thing though this was likely because the White Rabbit was missing.

Not so much a story as Alice venturing from one strange thing to another, this I felt was more a collection of nonsense literature which, by its very definition, defied any logical reasoning, and thus was far too surreal for my tastes ....... as were the rhymes which included 'classics' such as the overlong 'Jabberwocky' and, the even longer, more tedious 'The Walrus and the Carpenter'.

Not a book for me I'm afraid, I can't help but wonder what today's children would make of it.

*Unable to locate the MacMillan version I read, I bring you the nearest product which is a Penguin publication.
** This is not to be found in all editions, let alone publications, of this book.


12 comments:

Betty Manousos@ Cut and Dry said...

as a child i loved anything by Lewis Carroll, but i'm afraid i have no recollection of this book either.

alice's adventures in wonderland is my all time favourite!

Mary (Bookfan) said...

It didn't appeal to me when I was young but now I think the illustrations would. I was more a Nancy Drew girl back then :)

naida said...

Great review. I know what you mean about this one and Alice in Wonderland being mixed in together as far as tv and film adaptations. I thought this one was fun, but the first is my favorite. I don't know what all the hubbub is about the jabberwocky poem. I do enjoy Carrols riddles and silliness though.

anilkurup said...

I have only read the adapted versions . Must read the original, which many say is a thing apart. Thanks for the review.

joan said...

hi i'm with everyone else, I recall reading Adventures but not this one and i'm sure i also must have read it, great review thanks and I loved your post on dragons, I've a couple of crochet dragons on the go i must get them finished sometime

Kelly said...

In my mind, it WAS lumped with the first book. Maybe I just read stories from each that were maybe printed in an anthology?

Very good choice for the challenge.

joan said...

hi again guess what ??? I've just read my emails and I've been chosen to be a giver for World Book Night and its all due to you and your blog
It would give me great pleasure to send you a copy, my chosen book is The Book Thief (if you haven't already got one that is)
joan

Suko said...

Petty, thanks again for your honest review. Seems you missed the White Rabbit.

Lilly said...

I do like Alice through the looking glass. But like you I did find the rhymes a bit too long and tedious.

Kalyan said...

Nice reading the review...the books are a favourite anytime

Joy Weese Moll said...

The book I had as a child had both Wonderland and Looking Glass in the same volume. I remember enjoying Wonderland more for much the same reasons.

GMR said...

Hmm...come to think of it, I dont believe I've read this set of adventures either. Might have to correct that if only to add it to the classics read list....thanks for the share!