Published: 27th November 1865
Finished reading: January 9
‘Alice was beginning to get very tired of sitting by her sister on the bank, and of having nothing to do: once or twice she had peeped into the book her sister was reading, but it had no pictures or conversations in it, “and what is the use of a book,” thought Alice, “without pictures or conversations?”’
So begins the tale of Alice, who follows a curious White Rabbit down a hole and falls into Wonderland, a fantastical place where nothing is quite as it seems: animals talk, nonsensical characters confuse, Mad Hatters throw tea parties and the Queen plays croquet. Alice’s attempts to find her way home become increasingly bizarre, infuriating and amazing in turn.
There is a reason why this book is such a much loved classic. It is a pure delight to read, and there are moments within it that really demonstrate how pages can contain joy and splendour. Of course, it is all rather strange, but also very imaginative as each new and entertaining character is introduced.
Being just a short story, it has a very fast pace as Alice explores all of the peculiarities of Wonderland, constantly fluctuating in size along the way. Lewis Carroll’s light-hearted and whimsical writing style is fun to read, and there are many memorably meaningful lines sprinkled throughout, as well as some impressive witticisms.
Alice is an engaging and adorable protagonist, and I enjoyed reading about her suppressed thoughts and reactions upon encountering each inhabitant of Wonderland. Of all the other characters, I really liked the Mock Turtle and the Cheshire Cat.
Overall, this is a weird yet truly wonderful classic that epitomises why we so love reading. The imagination, the array of characters, the humour, and the jovial writing style all combine to make it an excellent book.