Mei-Lu’s #CBR5 review #4 Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

Alice in Wonderland and its sequel Through the Looking Glass were two of my favorite books when I was growing up.  I fell thoroughly and deeply in love with the books’ delicious nonsense and I can’t say I ever really got over it.  To this day there’s nothing that delights me quite so much as a story with imaginative, unrealistic elements.  Illogical impossibilities such as talking animals, spaceships, impossible travel, gods, monsters and conscious machinery?  Sign me up, I can’t get enough of it.

Recently I listened to the audiobook version of Neil Gaiman’s Neverwhere and I realized just how deliberately Neil Gaiman is following in the tradition set by Lewis Carroll.  His hero, Richard Mayhew, falls into an underworld version of London and his adventures there reflect the wordplay and delirious sense of fun of the original Alice books.  Gaiman consciously echoes the Carroll’s language, talking about how many impossible things Richard had believed before breakfast.  (I’m paraphrasing, I don’t have the book in front of me.)  Revisiting London Below inspired me to revisit Wonderland and I’m very very glad I did.  This is a marvelous book, justifiably celebrated as a classic, and I find it every bit as inspiring as an adult as I did as a child.


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