This is my second Seanan McGuire short story (the first being The Mathematical Inevitability of Corvids) and it is just as twisted! In a less sick, going to kill someone way. But in a twisting of words and riddling kind of way. After finishing each paragraph I would take a deep breath. Just because the way the sentences stream into one another was so intensely done that I wouldn’t breathe. It almost worked like one whole sentence.
I don’t know if I’d ever willingly go on a tour through Wonderland. There just seems to be far too much that can, and will, go wrong. And this short story reinforces that idea. I definitely only ever want to read about Alice’s adventures… the real place just seems far too dangerous and bizarre.
Sometimes it is fun to imagine what happens to the characters after you turn the last page of the story. Especially when you are dealing with characters such as Alice from Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. It’s not a story that has a clear beginning and ending. And it’s one that leaves a lot of imaginative license – there aren’t a lot of very specific plot lines and it gives a lot of fluidity and manoeuvrability to the storyline.
I loved this take on the tale of Humpty Dumpty. He is gross, creepy and annoying. And yet there is a weird connection between him and the king. The fact that this weird, grotesque relationship is told through the eyes of an inventor and the queen’s sister kind of makes it all the more fun. Alongside the word spinning and twirling that seems to be an aspect of anything influenced by Lewis Carroll.
This sent shivers up my spine. It gave me goosebumps. And I had to actually walk away from my computer, clean the house and make sure there were no ghoulies in it before I could even consider writing this review. It was that damn creepy. But also amazing. And something I will read again. In the middle of a very well-lit day.
I enjoyed this short story far more than I was expecting. I thought that it would be a slightly lame recap on the filming of a rework of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. And it was that. But it really wasn’t lame. The description of the film, the characters and their issues (both within and without the film), even the setting were such a beautiful contemporary and modern approach to an old classic.
The idea for the Mad Hatter in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland comes from the idea of mercury poisoning in hatters. So I loved the idea of a short story based around this idea. Especially one that still encompasses the innocence of Alice and the land of Wonderland.
I thought that this story was going to be about Tweedledee and Tweedledum. Until I slowly realised that it is about an orangutan in the circus… which Tweedledee and Tweedledum are part of. Talk about a rapid change of direction!
I felt like this short story was a kind of prequel to the rivalry that seems to feature throughout many of the Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland retellings. At a young age, sisters Lily-White and Ruby-Red already have an intense rivalry. And although they get along famously within this story, there are the seeds of discord in all of their interactions… and on completing this story, there was kind of an uncomfortable feeling that lingered, making you think of the future of the two queens…
One of the things that I love about Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is the incredibly insane wordplay. The fact that nothing quite makes sense and you feel like you’re on an intense trip. Well, Sherman captures that feeling perfectly in her short story, My Own Invention. It probably didn’t help that I had had a few glasses of wine when I read this story…