Book Review – Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

“If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn’t. And contrary wise, what is, it wouldn’t be. And what it wouldn’t be, it would. You see?”

The perfect cure for ‘normal’, an unusual ailment which people try to get for some reason, only to find that its symptoms are incredibly boring and restrictive. Grinning cats, bizarre doors. Painted roses and vicious Jabberwocks, and all in time for tea, so don’t leave your top hat behind.

Alice is a spiritual cousin to fairytales, but rather than dancing with the dark and gruesome side of fantasy like fairytales do, Alice chose to take the more colourful path, and be surreal and whimsical. Rather than horrifying, the creatures of Wonderland are quirky rhyme addicts and (mostly) harmless.

The ever-shifting daydream of Wonderland has come to be associated with so many things – from psychedelics and madness to creative inspiration… and I suppose there are those who suspect white rabbits all secretly carry pocketwatches. None of them are ‘wrong’ interpretations, no such thing, for it’s really up to you, just like your own dream. I think, in my own opinion, Wonderland is like life unveiled by pretensions – unknowable, curious and beautiful. Of course it’s strange, but isn’t that part of its wonder?

A sweet, endlessly eccentric story which shaped surreal fantasy into a door which anyone could fit into without need of magic potion, and teaches us never to forget or dismiss imagination and what may seem unbelievable, for nothing is impossible. Impassable, perhaps, but never impossible.

“And ever, as the story drained the wells of fancy dry,
And faintly strove that weary one to put the subject by,
“The rest next time–” “It is next time!”
The happy voice cry.
Thus grew the tale of Wonderland.”

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