Wonderland Revisited and the Games Alice Played There

Wonderland Revisited and the Games Alice Played There by Keith Sheppard now available from Evertype. The book has been illustrated by Cynthia Brownell.

From the back cover:

“Excuse me,” said Alice to a small white Mouse in red shorts. “What precisely is a custard race?”

Did Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass leave you yearning for more? Join Alice on her new journey and meet the extraordinary inhabitants of Wonderland, both familiar and new.

If your bed turned into a boat and you found yourself “drifting off” in an entirely unexpected manner how would you find your way home? The Jack of Diamonds says it’s Alice’s own fault for being fast asleep—had she slept more slowly she wouldn’t be so far from home.

The Red Queen, the Mah-jong Dragons, even the Red King’s Gamekeeper, all seem helpful enough at first—but things never quite turn out the way Alice hopes!

Brimming with wordplay, nonsense verse, and a cast of eccentric characters each with their own peculiar logic, this adventure is faithful to the style of the originals, picking up the pen where Lewis Carroll put it down. Be swept away on a torrent of humour and madness. Alice is back!


Blogger John Cowan said...

Well, I bought this (from amazon.com) and read it. It's very well done, except for one major complaint: the author has missed Alice completely.

Alice isn't clever. Alice doesn't get it. Alice is a conventional stuffy snob of a little Victorian girl. The wordplay and other things (including the death jokes) are almost always over her head.

In this book, Alice becomes part of the Wonderland set: she says things like "Oh, I see". But the real Alice never does see. Still, I'm glad I read it, as many of the conceits are very clever indeed.

16 December 2009 16:46  
Blogger Michael Everson said...

This isn't surprising. I would venture to say that every Alice imitator has his or her own take on Alice.

You're right about the "cluelessness" of Carroll's Alice; but as Carolyn Sigler has shown, other authors using Alice as a calendar or using Wonderland have very often reacted to (or against) Carroll's Alice.

Only 30 years after Wonderland was published, Anna Richards sent a different Alice into Wonderland, Alice Lee -- who takes control of her experiences there.

I doubt that any of the "Alice imitators" has written an Alice who was exactly like Carroll's.

16 December 2009 19:05  
Blogger Keith Sheppard said...

John, your comments are much appreciated and I'm glad you enjoyed the book.

With regard to Alice's character, my defence is in my introduction where I said I was not attempting to imitate Carroll's work in the way a forger imitates an old master. I wrote it primarily for my own daughter and secondly for children in general - but today's children. In Carroll's time, being a girl child was rather different.

CLD lived in a chauvenist age and openly voiced sexist views. For example, he referred to having nothing to do as "the sorest scourge of feminine humanity". I don't think such attitudes, or making Alice the archtypical dumb blonde, would be appropriate for a modern children's book, which is what I intended to write, albeit in a homage to Carroll's style.

If the book also appeals to adult Alice aficionados that's a collateral benefit. Nevertheless, your points are well taken and I hope my "modernisation" of Alice's character didn't affect your enjoyment too much.

18 December 2009 13:54  

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