Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass

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by Lewis Carroll, Donada Peters

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Begin at the beginning, and go on till you come to the end: then stop.'. So many readers were to take the advice of the King of Hearts that by the end of the nineteenth century Alice had acquired a pre-eminent and unassailable position in children's literature. Lewis Carroll's use of logic, by which the ordinary is translated into the extraordinary in an entirely…  See more details below


Begin at the beginning, and go on till you come to the end: then stop.'. So many readers were to take the advice of the King of Hearts that by the end of the nineteenth century Alice had acquired a pre-eminent and unassailable position in children's literature. Lewis Carroll's use of logic, by which the ordinary is translated into the extraordinary in an entirely plausible way, is delightfully combined with an exceptional knowledge and understanding of the mind of the child. Satire, allusion, and symbolism weave deeper and mysterious meanings, lending a measure of immortality to Carroll's remarkable fantasy.

Editorial Reviews

Children's Literature - Meredith Kiger
This interesting book of critical essays is part of a series created by Dr. Bloom to accompany his "Great Books" studies. Bloom suggests that a liberal education should include the study of 100 of the greatest books ever written. They are the basis of this series and are listed in the beginning of the book. There is some debate, of course, on what are the 100 greatest books. This edition about Alice's Adventures in Wonderland includes 12 critical essays by well-known authors such as J.B. Priestly, Phyllis Greenacre, and Florence Baker Lennon. The authors attempt to categorize Carroll's famous children's novel in terms of thematic content, particular elements such as fantasy or love and death, and his use of poetry. The essays make for challenging and interesting reading, but as even Dr. Bloom admits, "Carroll's genre evades every definition." Carroll's use of nonsense is an English tradition not easily explained, and continues, thank goodness, as evidenced in many Beatles songs and Monty Python performances. Differing from folk tales in its lack of clear moral lessons, Alice's reading remains an exercise in the kind of childlike fun that leaves one thrilled and a bit apprehensive at the same time. The book includes an afterthought by Dr. Bloom, comparing the "Alice" books to modern children's stories such as the "Harry Potter" books; a chronology of the life of Charles Dodgson (Lewis Carroll); an extensive bibliography; brief vita on the authors of the essays; and an index.
From the Publisher

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland appeals to all new generations, and Richard Kelly’s edition is a fresh and fitting jamboree for our time. For the first time, it gives us in a single book both Lewis Carroll’s early version of Alice’s Adventures Under Ground and the full version of the story. It encapsulates the major theories of what the book means, and it provides photographs that Carroll took and excerpts from his diaries and letters; it also offers examples of early reviews, imitations, parodies, and recollections of the author. Altogether it is a splendid cornucopia that is bound to become the ultimate Alice for us and for generations to come.” — Morton N. Cohen, Professor Emeritus, City University of New York, author of Lewis Carroll: A Biography, and editor of The Selected Letters of Lewis Carroll

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Product Details

Books on Tape, Inc.
Publication date:
Edition description:
Unabridged, 6 Cassettes
Age Range:
9 - 12 Years

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From Tan Lin's Introduction to Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There pursue what lies beyond and down rabbit holes and on reverse sides of mirrors. But mainly their subject is what comes after, and in this sense the books are allegories about what a child can know and come to know. This quest, as in many great works of literature, unwinds against a larger backdrop: what can and what cannot be known at a particular historical moment, a moment that in Lewis Carroll's case preceded both Freud's speculations on the unconscious and Heisenberg's formulation of the uncertainty principle. Yet because the books were written by a teacher of mathematics who was also a reverend, they are also concerned with what can and cannot be taught to a child who has an infinite faith in the goodness and good sense of the world. But Alice's quest for knowledge, her desire to become something (a grown-up) she is not, is inverted. The books are not conventional quest romances in which Alice matures, overcomes obstacles, and eventually gains wisdom. For when Alice arrives in Wonderland, she is already the most reasonable creature there. She is wiser than any lesson books are able to teach her to be. More important, she is eminently more reasonable than her own feelings will allow her to express. What comes after for Alice? Near the end of Through the Looking Glass, the White Queen tells Alice, "Something's going to happen!"

Quests for mastery are continually frustrated in the Alice books. In comparison with the ever—sane Alice, it is the various Wonderland creatures who appear to be ridiculous, coiners of abstract word games. Yet Carroll also frustrates, with equal precision, Alice's more reasonable human desires. Why, after all, cannot Alice know why the Mad Hatter is mad? Or why will Alice never get to 20 in her multiplication tables? In Carroll, the logic of mathematical proofs runs counter to the logic of reasonable human desire—and neither logic is easily mastered. To his radical epistemological doubt, Carroll added a healthy dose of skepticism for the conventional children's story—a story that in his day came packaged with a moral aim and treated the child as an innocent or tabula rasa upon which the morals and knowledge of the adult could be tidily imprinted.

Alice embodies an idea Freud would later develop at length: What Alice the child already knows, the adult has yet to learn. Or to be more precise, what Alice has not yet forgotten, the adult has yet to remember as something that is by nature unforgettable. In other words, in Alice childhood fantasy meets the reality of adulthood, which to the child looks as unreal and unreasonable as a Cheshire Cat's grin or a Queen who yells "Off with her head!" But even as she calls adult reality unreal, Alice, as the most reasonable creature in her unreasonable dreams, doesn't quite yet realize that the adult's sense of reality has already taken up residence in her. The principal dream of most children—the dream within the dream, as it were—is the dream of not dreaming any longer, the dream of growing up. For the adult, the outlook is reversed. The adult's quest is an inverted one: to find those desires again, in more reasonable forms—and this involves forgetting the original childhood desires (to become an adult) in order to remember them as an adult. The psychoanalyst Adam Phillips notes: "Freud is not really saying that we are really children, but that the sensual intensities of childhood cannot be abolished, that our ideals are transformed versions of childhood pleasures. Looking forward . . . is a paradoxical form of looking back. The future is where one retrieves the pleasures, the bodily pleasures of the past."1 The Alice books manage to show both these quests—that of the child to look forward, and of the adult to look back—simultaneously, as mirror logics of each other.

Like both Freud and the surrealists, Carroll implicitly understood that a child's emotions and desires appear omnipotent and boundless to the child—and thus make the adult's forgetting of them difficult if not illogical. Growing up poses psychological and logical absurdities. The quandary of a logically grounded knowledge constituted out of an illogical universe pervades both books. The questions that Alice asks are not answered by the animals in Wonderland nor by anyone after she wakens. It is likely that her questions don't have answers or that there are no right questions to ask. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass remain the most prophetic of the nineteenth century's anti-narratives, inverted quest romances, circular mathematical treatises on the illogical logic of forgetting one's desires. They display a logic that the child must master in order to grow up. As the White Queen remarks of the Red Queen: "She's in that state of mind . . . that she wants to deny something—only she doesn't know what to deny!"

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Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass 4 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 1500 reviews.
Bran More than 1 year ago
I've never read the book before last week and must say that disney must have had something against Lewis Carroll because they butchered this amazing book by making that cartoon. This book has an amazing amount of detail that will keep you imagining about each chapter for hours. I would recommend this book to anyone with an open mind and a wild imagination. Instant Classic on my shelf
India16 More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book. It was very strange, but it kept me interested. My favorite character throughout this whole book was the Caterpillar. I liked how even after changing into a beautiful butterfly, he still remains the same snarky personality. I also enjoyed the descriptive language, and the real-ness that the author brought to Alice.
Rhiannon89 More than 1 year ago
This is a book I can see reading to my children someday (that is, if I ever have any). I'm 19 and I never knew that "Alice in Wonderland" was a book before it was a Disney "Classic". My sister and I were wondering around Barnes and Noble and she stumbled onto this book. She purchased it and attempted to read it but she's only 12 and therefor couldn't really understand some of the wordings (It's written in an old style). I was bored one rainy day and picked it up. I couldn't put it down until I'd finished the whole thing. It's a lovely book and it really does remind me of being a child. I giggled a lot throughout. Overall, good read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I decided to read this book after seeing the Tim Burton movie. It had been years since I had seen the Disney cartoon Alice and Wonderland and I remember seeing a Disney version of Alice Through the Looking Glass. In order to remind myself of what I hd seen I decided to read the book and get the original story since I never read it before. I was not overly impressed by the story but enthralled with the imagination and creativity of the world that Alice "falls" into. However I now have more respect for the classic and I definitely think it is something everyone should have in their library as a reminder of what real creativity and imagination was like without being gruesome and gory.
TulaneGirl More than 1 year ago
So many times during my day to day life, I find occasions to quote this fabulous book. It's philosophical nonsense seems to make very much sense in my life. Many times I find myself thinking like Alice and giving myself very good advice, such as, "if you drink much from a bottle marked 'poison,' it is almost certain to disagree with you, sooner or later."
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I own the physical copy of this book and I have to say it was wonderful. The book was a little fast for me; I found it hard to follow at some points. One second Alice was talking to the hookah-smoking caterpillar, the next she's God only knows where. At times, I found myself hating Alice for her foolishness. I mean, seriously, who follows a rabbit down a rabbit hole? The plot over all was all right, it's the significant detailc the story's told in that makes this story a literary classic.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I loved the cover of this book, the old fashioned style. It stood out over all the other copies of Alice in Wonderland. And of course it is a great classic story. I am very happy with my purchase. This book is a keeper.
AndrewWalker More than 1 year ago
This is one of the deepest works of literature I have ever perused. Deep, taking the meaning here of perplexing and complicated, yet thoroughly enthralling. Both works take on the same general shape (fantastical worlds of surrealism) but with completely unconnected plots. However, this point lacks relevance--as does most of the plot line (if one can find it.) What relevance and meaning there is to be found comes from what one decides to glean from it. The conclusion I arrived at was this enigma of a tale is worth a read, if for no other reason than to challenge one's own thought processes and interpretative capacities. Put simply, Alice/Looking Glass is an infinite enigma of pure imagination.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was very happy with this book. As a child through adulthood, I had heard and seen the "Alice in Wonderland" story numerous times. However, reading this book gave me a different perspective on Alice's story. I had always thought Alice in Wonderland was one story that told of Alice's adventures in Wonderland. After reading this book, I learned that wasn't true. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland was written years before Through the Looking-Glass and they are actually 2 separate stories. I thoroughly enjoyed traveling with Alice through her Adventures and I also learned quite about a Lewis Carroll in the introduction of this book. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass is a must-have for a classic readers library.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I just startd to read it and saw they called chapter 1 chaptee 1!!!!!! i thought it was so cute i still think it a great book though. From, A book worm (again)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Plenty of scanning errors, but they're mostly minor. Most 's have been turned into ^s for some inexplicable reason. Still, sadly, a better scan than most, and has both Alice books.
crawlDR More than 1 year ago
After seeing the images in the recent 3D movie, I wanted to read this book, again. The forward and appendix provided explanation of Lewis Carroll's life which helped me understand the context of the book better and clarified some of the recent controversy about his relationships with children. Additionally, there was a translation of Jabborwocky which was great.
OctoberHoliday More than 1 year ago
Don't get me wrong, this is actually one of my favorite stories. Thing is, there isn't much of an actual story, is there. It's a book about a girl who falls asleep and dreams she's fallen down a rabbit hole and into a strange world where she meets a bunch and AMAZINGLY created characters and gets into a couple sticky situations. That's all really, it's a fun, colorful story without a point. Because of the lack of plot, it's a very difficult story to form any emotional connection to. Lewis Carroll had an amazing mind, and Wonderland is a beautiful adventure through his world, but making Alice have next to no character growth forces us to remain at arms length from the magical world he created, almost denying us passage in. Alice hardly changes from when she falls asleep to when she wakes up. There is not really a disernable climax, and while she does find herself in plenty of peril, there has to be an effort made in order to see any danger she is in. The reason I do love this story, and the main reason I think it's worth reading, is because of the incredible range of characters. They're all so well-known and interesting. I love to read all of my favorite characters, especially the Hatter and the Cheshire-Cat. They all have such insane personalities, a sense of glorious freedom and fun, but coated with an obvious danger, and that makes them all the more appealing. Quite honestly, I'd switch places with Alice, just to play croquet with the Queen or converse with the Caterpillar, or dance with the Mock Turtle and the Gryphon. I could easily spend years sitting with the Dormouse, the March Hare, and the Hatter, sipping tea and just giggling. Really, I think Wonderland is the place for me. Besides the fun characters and interesting situations, there isn't much to the story. It has a lack-luster plot and only the tiniest of messages that comes in near the end. It also teaches us quite an important lesson, but that one may be a little obvious. Deserving of the classic status, definitely, and one of my favorites, but not the best.
GoldenEye2D More than 1 year ago
A little research told me that this story was made up during a 5 mile row boat trip, told to three girls, one of them named Alice. I thought this was pretty interesting. Alice in wonderland is great, very creative, and very imaginative. Alice falls into a world that is much like a dream, and it flows well from one incident to the next. Through the looking glass was harder to follow because it jumped into each event. Our dreams tend to put us from one place to the next with no journey. It is patterned like she's walking through a giant chess board. However, I do like that everything Alice does is backwards. Contrariwise to the mirror she walked through. Very creative. I would definitely share this book with a child. It may be confusing at times, but it is fun.
HorseLover9895 More than 1 year ago
I am a 10 year old homeschooler and I absolutely loved this book!! I could not put it down!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is great; it is a great escape from life. I recommend it to anyone!!! :-)
Amajorbibliophile More than 1 year ago
"Alice in Wonderland," by Lewis Carrol is a truly amazing book, filled with imagination and creativity. While reading, the reader will find that the author truly has a wonderful gift of being able to transport anyone anywhere with his words. Alice's adventure in Wonderland is like no other, a tale which will surely capture the reader's heart!
Guest More than 1 year ago
These are the kinds of books that add to a child's already creative and imaginative nature. However, they are also for adults as well.
Guest More than 1 year ago
The wierdness and abstract perspective depicted in Lewis Carroll's engaging novel may seem like complete and utter insanity at first, but when you take the time to really read between the lines you find were right!! Sometimes it's good for your mind and health to just stop worrying and enjoy a nice bout of good-humoured insanity once in a while. Even still, you may find some worthy life lessons to follow in this book of glorious nonsense, such as the symbolism of the dream rushes in Through the Looking Glass. All in all, an excellent read!
Guest More than 1 year ago
It is understanding how a much younger person would find this book boring without being able to relate to it at all. But I think that that is what makes this book golden, as it has been for years. Many people have seen the Disney version of 'Alice in Wonderland.' However I found it to be much more thrilling to read the original, therefore you should too.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Starting with Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, I thought it was a strange,but good book. The Mock Turtle, Queen of Hearts,The White Rabbit. They're all good characters! Through the looking Glass I liked better than the first. The idea of going through a mirror into another world I think is wonderful! The poems Jabberwocky,The Lion and the Unicorn and Tweedledee and Tweedledum were great! This book will expand a child's imagination.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Such begins the insane, beautiful poem 'Jabberwocky' in Through the Looking-Glass. Alice In Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass are both splendid. I will choose to focus on Through the Looking Glass, however, as it has remained my favourite for several years. I believe it is a tale for all ages. Every time I read it, I gain some new little bit of insight. The imagination poured into the story will amaze you, as you hop through a mirror and into a world of living chess pieces and epic poetry told by weird little dancing men. In the end, I realized that it is very much like a crazy dream that you wake up wishing you could remember more of. Its really marvelous, so you must read it.
Anonymous 12 months ago
“Alice in Wonderland” and “Through the Looking Glass,” written by Lewis Carroll, is an enchanting and clever book. Alice is a girl that gets lost in daydreams and imagines a whole new world with mad hatters, talking rabbits, and a world where anything can and does happen! It is a book full of adventure and happiness. I recommend reading this book because, though Alice is a girl of a young age, Carroll seems to relate her to both the old and young reader, making them feel the sense of child-like wonder again. Whoever you are, your mind will become more creative and quirky by the end of your reading… in a good way! Carroll has a different style of writing, so be prepared to broaden your horizons. Great read! I recommend it to the whole family!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Illagi More than 1 year ago
I got the new flexi-formant edition of the book which makes it lighter so you can carry it around in a bag it feels to soft and worry it might tear easy. The book it shelf contains Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. Great stories though I can see why some might not like it.