Alice in Sunderland: An Entertainment

Alice in Sunderland: An Entertainment

by Bryan Talbot

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Overview

Sunderland! Thirteen hundred years ago it was the greatest center of learning in the whole of Christendom and the very cradle of English consciousness. In the time of Lewis Carroll it was the greatest shipbuilding port in the world. To this city that gave the world the electric light bulb, the stars and stripes, the millennium, the Liberty Ships and the greatest British dragon legend came Carroll in the years preceding his most famous book, Alice in Wonderland, and here are buried the roots of his surreal masterpiece. Enter the famous Edwardian palace of varieties, The Sunderland Empire, for a unique experience: an entertaining and epic meditation on myth, history and storytelling and decide for yourself — does Sunderland really exist?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781630084042
Publisher: Dark Horse Comics
Publication date: 12/17/2014
Sold by: Penguin Random House Publisher Services
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 328
File size: 223 MB
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About the Author

Bryan Talbot is a British comic book artist and writer, best known as the creator of The Adventures of Luther Arkwright; its sequel, Heart of Empire; and the award-winning The Tale of One Bad Rat. He collaborated with his wife, Mary M. Talbot, to produce Dotter of Her Father's Eyes, which won the 2012 Costa biography award.

For more please visit bryan-talbot.com/biog/index.php. The author lives in Wigan, Lancashire, England.

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Alice in Sunderland 3.6 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
To call this heavy tome a graphic novel may be stretching it. This biography on Lewis Carroll, the 19th-century author of i Alice's Adventures In Wonderland /i , and its sequel i Through The Looking Glass /i , is so packed with information that it seems more like an encyclopedia. Fortunately, it does not read like one. Talbot painstakingly explores the connection between Carroll and Sunderland, a city west of London, where Carroll spent much time visiting his nieces. The narrative becomes part-travel guide, part-screenplay, part-fairytale, all fun. Where fact and fiction blur, Talbot works in Carrollian experts to give their take on the truth. He does not shy away from controversial subjects either, such as allegations of Carroll's paedophilia. Non-fans may find the book a bit intimidating, though, as even literature scholars will likely have to re-read the story a few times to take everything in. Comic lovers will enjoy spotting the different and distinct artwork inspired by different artists. From Herge's Tintin-like cartoons to Alex Ross' photo-realistic paintwork, every style is a marker for different scenes. My only complaint - tipping the scales at almost 4kg, the book is literally a hefty read.
bobmcconnaughey on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
i pretty much agree w/ the both the takes that the Emperor and toohotty have on Alice in Sunderland. It IS a slow book, esp. for a graphic novel, to get through - it's very dense, in terms of information, and you really don't know how much of what you're reading is the author's fantasy/story as opposed to "fact." I rated it a bit higher, in part because I did keep coming back to it. On the other hand our son, who's both an Alice and graphic novel fan found it tedious..and i can understand that POV too..In the wrong mood, it would be very easy to get tired of Talbot's constant self-referencing - even though the book IS about him and his place in Sunderland (among much else)
jmgold on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
The most masterfully produced comic I've read since first discovering Alan Moore. Also the most engaging history book I have ever read.
wandering_star on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This has to be a strong contender for the most entertaining work of local history ever written. Not only is it bursting with ideas and energy, but by the end of it I was almost convinced that Sunderland had a good case to be the unsung centre of the universe. As the book traverses the history of the Northeast through the ages, taking in everything from local myths and traditions to Sunderland's current regeneration, all sorts of people turn out to be (a) connected to the region, and (b) incredibly influential - the Venerable Bede, the only English person mentioned in The Divine Comedy, George Formby, admired by the Beatles, and of course, Lewis Carroll, who put an end to the preachy, edifying children's literature of the Victorian period and apparently inspired a vast swathe of twentieth-century culture, taking in Woolf, Kafka, the Surrealists, Dennis Potter and Monty Python among many others. The visual style of the book is just as wide-ranging, a collage of everything from medieval illuminated manuscripts (born at St Peter's monastery in... well, you can guess where) to Boy's Own cartoons to Victorian photographs. Visual references to Tenniel, Hogarth, the Bayeux Tapestry and even Tintin make an appearance. Fascinating and fun. I only wish that someone would do the same for Iain Sinclair's work, so you could take in the interesting psychogeographical ideas without the turgid prose. Recommended for: I would recommended this to anyone who I thought was open-minded enough to give it a go. It could be a tough sell otherwise: ¿Yes, it's a comic. Um... about local history. No, I've never been to Sunderland either, but it's still good...¿ In particular I would recommend it to any fans of psychogeography.
dknippling on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A graphic novel of the history of Sunderland, which was tied up in the history of Alice - for as nonlinear and meta as the whole thing was, it made a lot of sense.
TooHotty on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This graphic novel is a whirlwind of history and legends of the people and places related, sometimes to a questionable degree, to Alice Liddell, Lewis Carroll, and his famous novels. It's one of the most creative things I've ever read, but it's really not for everyone. The history can get dry, and you often wonder why you're reading about these obscure people from the 11th century.It jumps around a lot, which keeps the energy high but the comprehensibility kinda low. It also takes forever to end because there are about 6 endings, two of which are kind ham-handed (a British nationalist one and a "look at this baby, life is so beautiful" one).But he does some fabulous things. The entire thing is brilliantly researched, and if you have the slightest interest in history, you'll enjoy this. I don't. It was the stuff related directly to Carroll, Alice, and the books that kept me interested. Some of folklore was pretty neat. And many of the sections make good use of the graphic novel/comic medium to twist your perception around. (Also some fun pastiche on other comic genres.)So: very mixed feelings. I feel good about it, and I'm glad it's on my shelf... but I'm not sure I'd ever read it through again. There are sections I want to see again, though. So... there you go. 4 stars for the lovely parts.
piemouth on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
A fascinating pastiche of history - of England, Sunderland, and Alice in Wonderland. Alice has roots in the east coast of England, not just Oxford, and this book proves it, with excursions into the history of the light bulb, the Venerable Bede and a million other things along the way.
royanish on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
Didnt enjoy this. Too specific to events around Sunderland.
clfisha on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
This is a joyous mix of myths and history, stories and meta-fiction. It is deceptively about the history of Sunderland, UK and the creation of Alice in Wonderland but really its a joyous mix of history and myth across the ages and geography; Sunderland as microcosm of the world. So from the constant invasions of Britain to the first comics, from popular culture to life altering social changes. It may connect with Sunderland but really its fascinating to all. Alongside this we dip into Alice's and other storytelling creations, from ancient myth to modern rumour. It sounds chaotic but it hangs together so well mainly through the myriad artistic styles, so photo realism for the geographic locations, pastiches of famous comics, murals and of course Talbot's own luscious style. It really is an artistic tour de force, storytelling styles through the ages to match its eclectic topics.I heartedly recommended this to all comics fans, as much to lovers of all odd historic titbits.
LauraBrook on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
One of my top reads for the year. It's truly kismet that I picked this book up at all. This wrist-buster (324 oversized pages) isn't just a graphic novel about [Alice in Wonderland] and [[Lewis Carroll]] - it's also a history of Sunderland, in the NE of England, and it links seemingly random parts of British and world history in the most surprising ways. Mr. Talbot deserves many accolades for the story, and certainly for the amazing artwork. He combines watercolor-ish photographs, with illustrations, with mixed-media collages, and uses not just "traditional" comics-style drawings, but copies medieval-style lettering and graphics, some 90's Japanese comics, Fantasy-style - it's truly a work of art. Do yourself a favor and put a pillow in your lap and grab a bright light to read by when you pick it up - it's detailed and beautiful and you won't want to miss a thing.
lecari on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I didn't actually know what this was about before I bought it - my own fault, I guess. I was expecting a story involving Alice, and maybe information on how the book relates to Sunderland. I had a quick flick through and it seemed OK. However, taking it home and reading it - I was definitely disappointed. I only got halfway before I got fed up and gave up. I didn't like the author's disjointed way of writing - he switches between topics constantly. I also found the endless local history of Sunderland very dull - as someone who has never been to Sunderland, and has no plans to go, it just didn't interest me at all. At times it did feel like a travel guide. It's a good idea, and I'm sure (judging by all these positive reviews) that if you have been there/are going there/live there, it is a great, entertaining read as you can engage with the material. As it was, I just got bored and didn't care. My own fault for not doing research before buying, but it was an impulsive buy - I saw it in a shop and it intriuged me. I regret that now!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago