Title: Through the Looking-Glass
Author: Lewis Carroll
Series: Alice in Wonderland #2, Word Cloud Classics
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Classics, Easy reading, Fantasy
Publisher: Word Cloud Classics
5th sentence, 74th page: And only one for birthday presents, you know.
In 1865, English author CHARLES LUTWIDGE DODGSON (1832-1898), aka Lewis Carroll, wrote a fantastical adventure story for the young daughters of a friend. The adventures of Alice-named for one of the little girls to whom the book was dedicated-who journeys down a rabbit hole and into a whimsical underworld realm instantly struck a chord with the British public, and then with readers around the world. In 1872, in reaction to the universal acclaim *Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland* received, Dodgson published this sequel. Nothing is quite what it seems once Alice journeys through the looking-glass, and Dodgson’s wit is infectious as he explores concepts of mirror imagery, time running backward, and strategies of chess-all wrapped up in the exploits of a spirited young girl who parries with the Red Queen, Tweedledee and Tweedledum, and other unlikely characters. In many ways, this sequel has had an even greater impact on today’s pop culture than the first book.
This was just as weird, convoluted and slightly insane as the first Alice book. Which, of course, I loved. There is something about the amazing waxing and waning, lyricism that Carroll lends to his work that makes it impossible to put down. Again, there is no really clear beginning, middle and end, but it somehow still works brilliantly. Maybe after I read this a thousand more times I’ll truly find the beginning, middle and end… but until then, I enjoy the jumpy, random storyline.
Although there isn’t a strict storyline within Through the Looking-Glass, there are quite a few fun little commentaries on the world that we live in and the way we speak. Again and again throughout this story, I questioned a lot of the things which we automatically say. I questioned their origins, and why they mean what they mean. It was a very different way to look at the history of English and the culture in which I live.
I was expecting Through the Looking-Glass to be very different to this. I have seen Tim Burton’s version of Alice in Wonderland, and I thought that the storyline would follow that a lot more closely. And whilst it is possible to see where the different stories crossover and intersect, there are many moments that have also been created so that neither story is like the other. It all just keeps getting curiouser and curiouser!