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193 of 206 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Curiouser and curiouser!"
My first exposure to Lewis Carroll's classic children's story was through the 1951 Disney film adaptation "Alice in Wonderland," which I watched repeatedly as a child. The creative quality of the story never failed to fascinate me, and I kept going back despite my deep-rooted terror of the frightful Queen of Hearts, who always gave me nightmares! However, it was not until...
Published on October 26, 2004 by Monika

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277 of 322 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Kindle edition free...and not worth it
"What is the use of a book without pictures or conversations?" Someone might have thought to ask that of the compilers of this Kindle edition, which lacks any of the famed Tenniel illustrations, even though they're all in the public domain and have been made available in many on-line versions. Worse, the compilers also omit Carroll's opening poem, "All in the golden...
Published on September 19, 2010 by James Walley


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193 of 206 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Curiouser and curiouser!", October 26, 2004
By 
My first exposure to Lewis Carroll's classic children's story was through the 1951 Disney film adaptation "Alice in Wonderland," which I watched repeatedly as a child. The creative quality of the story never failed to fascinate me, and I kept going back despite my deep-rooted terror of the frightful Queen of Hearts, who always gave me nightmares! However, it was not until recently, as an adult, that I ever picked up the book/s upon which that film was based. In some ways I wish I had read it when I was younger, as the book certainly makes a great deal more sense than the movie does (as much sense as a story of this sort can, anyhow), but thankfully this book is unique in that it is just as enjoyable for adults as for children.

The story is actually spread across two books, here contained in a single volume. "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" was first published in 1865 and relates the events that take place after young Alice falls asleep during her lessons and dreams of following a white rabbit down a rabbit hole. Alice encounters all manner of strange creatures in her dream, and finds herself in all sorts of curious predicaments where common sense fails and the nonsensical comes to be expected. There is no central, concrete storyline, but rather Alice moves rapidly from one bizarre situation to the next before waking once more and relating the whole adventure to her sister.

The second of the two books, "Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There," appeared in 1871 and is very similar in nature to the first, though having a slightly different plot. Here Alice steps through an ordinary looking-glass one day, only to find herself in a world where, if you wish to get anywhere, you must walk in the opposite direction! Walking toward your desired destination only gets you further and further away. Also, interestingly, the land which Alice has entered is essentially a giant chessboard, and she must move through the different squares to reach the other side if she wishes to become a queen (which she does).

The characters Carroll created in these two stories are some of the most strikingly unique and unforgettable in the world of literature. Alice herself, based largely on Alice Liddell, a real-life child of whom Carroll was very fond, is a wonderful heroine that you can't help admiring. Throughout all of her backwards and upside-down adventures, she remains ever sensible and analytical, always trying to reason her way out of the most unreasonable situations. Other characters a reader won't soon forget include the White Rabbit, the Mad Hatter, the March Hare, the Dormouse, the Cheshire Cat, Bill the Lizard, the Caterpillar, the Duchess and her peppery cook, the aforementioned Queen of Hearts, the Mock Turtle, the Gryphon, the Red and White Queens, the talking flowers, Tweedledum and Tweedledee, the Sheep, Humpty Dumpty, and the Red and White Knights. Carroll also created many fascinating new creatures in his stories, including bread-and-butterflies, rocking-horseflies, "slithy toves," "mome raths" and more.

What I find most intriguing, as an adult reader of these books, is Carroll's brilliant use of wordplay and symbolism throughout the stories. Nearly everything has some sort of double meaning. There are hidden messags and subtle witticisms on every page. Carroll also includes several parodies of what were well-known songs and rhymes in England at the time. Young children will love the books for their fantastic qualities and imaginative inspiration, but most readers will not pick up on the many puns and jokes until they are a little older, so these stories really do have something to offer to anyone, no matter what age. I'd highly recommend the book to any reader - and be sure to get an edition that includes the original illustrations.

This review refers to the 2004 Barnes & Noble Classics printing, with introduction and notes by Tan Lin.
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77 of 81 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Trip Down The Rabbit Hole All Grown Up, July 14, 2005
By 
Michael L. Kauffmann (Wayne, PA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass (Modern Library Classics) (Paperback)
There is one thing that all potential customers must keep in mind when buying any Alice book: Do not purchase one that does not include the illustrations of John Tenniel! This edition includes all of them and the quality of the reproductions on the pages are excellent. Tenniel's illustrations help add to the childish excitement of Carroll's stories and will be especially invaluable to teenagers and adults, having just by nature of growing up lost some of the imaginative innocence, that ability to stretch reality, that we all possessed as kids.

Of course, the illustrations wouldn't mean jack if they didn't have a captivating story to work with. Carroll's amusing tale of nonsense is targeted as a kid's book, and that is always where many of our fondest memories of it will remain, but as a college student reading it I was amazed by its power to suspend reality and return me to a level of imagination that I had simply thought I lost somewhere along the way. The trip down the rabbit hole can be quite a different experience from a different point of view.

This particular edition also includes a good introduction and very helpful explanatory notes organized chapter by chapter. The introduction and notes offer insights to Carroll's life and his relations with the real life Alice and her family that, from a student viewpoint, reveal an interesting and more personal side of the Alice tales.
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40 of 40 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Best Kindle Option Available, September 6, 2013
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I took a gamble on buying this edition when no one had reviewed it yet. I tried several other Kindle editions available and had found them truly appalling in terms of formatting. This however, is significantly better, featuring well structured chapter breaks and all the original illustrations, which enhance the story a lot.

Furthermore, considering it contains both books, plus the excellent Hunting of the Snark, it is a fantastic price.

However, there are still some glaring mistakes, such as some formatting bugs in a few of the poems and spelling errors in places (such as at the start of Looking Glass, where some of the Ls are replaced with 1s - I guess a scanner did the 'writing here').

5 stars for the great price and superior formatting over the other options. -1 star for the glaring lack of proof reading from the publisher.
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173 of 196 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic Children's Literature, June 6, 2010
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So, what's a 47 year old doing reviewing a classic children's book? Well, it occurred to me as I was looking through the available books on my Kindle, that many of the free ones (yes I'm quite open to free as an option) that there were many books that I assumed I knew because I had seen movies, seen summarized in some other form or simply because they were cultural icons and "everybody" knows these books.

Many I have indeed read and did read as I was younger. However, now with a Kindle and a commute, it seemed a perfect opportunity to address some of those elements lacking in my basic reading. It was in this spirit that I down loaded Alice's adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll and read through it is a remarkably short period of time. Many of these free books on the Kindle, are in the public domain and have been available in text or PDF files for quite some time. A simple conversion in format is all that is required to make it available. The question I asked as I read the book, is does the experience of reading it in this format take away anything from the experience. Children's Literature in particular is often about more than just the words on a page. Of course there are often illustrations, the physical book itself takes on dimensions that are bigger than usual. This adds to the experience of a child reading the book by themselves but in particular it adds to the experience of a child being read to who can then sit in a lap or look as the book as presented and share in the experience by learning to read or reinforcing reading skills.

So, for a aging kid who needs something to read to round out his cultural iconic missing links this worked just fine. However, for those seeking to have an experience with their kids in reading a classic piece of literature, I'd not recommend it in that venue.

As to the story itself, there's little I can say. In some ways, it's like reading a familiar story but in others it's amazing how much can be lost or glossed over in the pop-cultural offerings that sprang from it. Reading this piece of classic literature gives you some insight not only into the time it came from, but also into the heart of childhood that is timeless and can be recaptured at least in part, if we'll pause and exercise our imagination.

4 stars. Absolutely 5 stars as far as the story goes. Because this specifically addresses the Kindle edition, a drop of a star so that any considering reading this to their children from a kindle, consider what might be lost by not obtaining a more traditional copy complete with illustrations and the opportunity to share at a level one notch above what the Kindle offers in this context.

Perhaps something like this Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Take some time and look for what will work best for you and your intended audience.

bart breen
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277 of 322 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Kindle edition free...and not worth it, September 19, 2010
By 
James Walley (Maple Valley, WA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
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"What is the use of a book without pictures or conversations?" Someone might have thought to ask that of the compilers of this Kindle edition, which lacks any of the famed Tenniel illustrations, even though they're all in the public domain and have been made available in many on-line versions. Worse, the compilers also omit Carroll's opening poem, "All in the golden afternoon," even though it's an integral part of the book. One gets the feeling that the goal was to not make the free version truly complete, so that one would have to wind up purchasing one of the non-free editions for one's Kindle -- which is probably a better solution from the outset.
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52 of 57 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not the Best Edition, March 10, 2010
This threadbare bargain-priced edition may seem like a deal, but consider before purchasing that it has no table of contents, no introduction, no forward, no illustrations, and no bibliography. Adding insult to injury, the layout of this edition is easily one the worst ever for a reprint, with all words that originally appeared in italics for emphasis printed here in big block caps, as if the typesetting was done by an abrasive kid trying to get attention in an on line chat...IF YOU GET WHAT I MEAN.

If you really want to explore and experience Lewis Carroll's classic, get The Annotated Alice: The Definitive Edition -- for the price on Amazon, it's the real bargain. I also highly recommend Alice in Verse: The Lost Rhymes of Wonderland. Both of these books are a must for serious Alice fans as well as those just getting into Carroll's classic.
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72 of 82 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars down the rabbit hole, May 26, 2009
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I forgot how wonderful a tale this is. It is written so well that the images almost jump off the page. Even as an adult I couldn't help but to fall under Carroll's spell.
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70 of 80 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Kindle version info misleading, December 18, 2009
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This is not a review of the book, you can refer to the printed (or many of the Kindle versions) for that. Rather this is a comment on the Kindle file. I was specifically looking for a version that included the illustrations, and as this version listed John Tenniel under author information I hoped these would be included... they aren't. It does look like a well formatted version of the book, with an introduction by the editor, the original poetry from the beginning of the story (which some public domain versions lack), the original italicized text rather than CAPITAL letters as in some public domain versions, and a good approximation of the unique text formatting as seen in the printed book. It does not have a table of contents.
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36 of 40 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars "Curiouser and curiouser!", October 26, 2004
By 
My first exposure to Lewis Carroll's classic children's story was through the 1951 Disney film adaptation "Alice in Wonderland," which I watched repeatedly as a child. The creative quality of the story never failed to fascinate me, and I kept going back despite my deep-rooted terror of the frightful Queen of Hearts, who always gave me nightmares! However, it was not until recently, as an adult, that I ever picked up the book/s upon which that film was based. In some ways I wish I had read it when I was younger, as the book certainly makes a great deal more sense than the movie does (as much sense as a story of this sort can, anyhow), but thankfully this book is unique in that it is just as enjoyable for adults as for children.

The story is actually spread across two books, here contained in a single volume. "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" was first published in 1865 and relates the events that take place after young Alice falls asleep during her lessons and dreams of following a white rabbit down a rabbit hole. Alice encounters all manner of strange creatures in her dream, and finds herself in all sorts of curious predicaments where common sense fails and the nonsensical comes to be expected. There is no central, concrete storyline, but rather Alice moves rapidly from one bizarre situation to the next before waking once more and relating the whole adventure to her sister.

The second of the two books, "Through the Looking-Glass and What Alice Found There," appeared in 1871 and is very similar in nature to the first, though having a slightly different plot. Here Alice steps through an ordinary looking-glass one day, only to find herself in a world where, if you wish to get anywhere, you must walk in the opposite direction! Walking toward your desired destination only gets you further and further away. Also, interestingly, the land which Alice has entered is essentially a giant chessboard, and she must move through the different squares to reach the other side if she wishes to become a queen (which she does).

The characters Carroll created in these two stories are some of the most strikingly unique and unforgettable in the world of literature. Alice herself, based largely on Alice Liddell, a real-life child of whom Carroll was very fond, is a wonderful heroine that you can't help admiring. Throughout all of her backwards and upside-down adventures, she remains ever sensible and analytical, always trying to reason her way out of the most unreasonable situations. Other characters a reader won't soon forget include the White Rabbit, the Mad Hatter, the March Hare, the Dormouse, the Cheshire Cat, Bill the Lizard, the Caterpillar, the Duchess and her peppery cook, the aforementioned Queen of Hearts, the Mock Turtle, the Gryphon, the Red and White Queens, the talking flowers, Tweedledum and Tweedledee, the Sheep, Humpty Dumpty, and the Red and White Knights. Carroll also created many fascinating new creatures in his stories, including bread-and-butterflies, rocking-horseflies, "slithy toves," "mome raths" and more.

What I find most intriguing, as an adult reader of these books, is Carroll's brilliant use of wordplay and symbolism throughout the stories. Nearly everything has some sort of double meaning. There are hidden messags and subtle witticisms on every page. Carroll also includes several parodies of what were well-known songs and rhymes in England at the time. Young children will love the books for their fantastic qualities and imaginative inspiration, but most readers will not pick up on the many puns and jokes until they are a little older, so these stories really do have something to offer to anyone, no matter what age.

This particular edition (2004 Barnes & Noble Classics printing, with introduction and notes by Tan Lin) also contains several extra "goodies" in addition to the text of the two books. There is a brief biography of Lewis Carroll, a timeline of his life and career, a fascinating and insightful introduction (well worth the read!), information on various film adaptations, a short story by Carroll - "What the Tortoise said to Achilles," commentary on the text by various individuals and publications, and a set of questions designed to aid the reader's thought and analysis of the text. The book also contains all of the original illustrations, which are indispenable to a full enjoyment of the story. Highly recommended to any reader.
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16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enticing illustrations, like that of a modern master painter, May 17, 2002
By 
J.P. (SF Bay Area) - See all my reviews
Do you remember the first time you saw a painting by Marc Chagall? His fantastic creatures wearing hats and trousers, people kissing while floating in mid air, layers of events happening at once, and conversations between animals and flowers? If Chagall was alive and asked to illustrate Alice's Adventures, it may have looked very similar to this.
Only this is better.
Simple and yet very rich illustrations bounce you from page to page. They are vibrant but not overwhelming, you are curious about where the images will take you next, it makes you hungry for more. And you get more! There is a printed illustration on almost every other page of the book! There seem to be as many small images, lending themselves as nuances to Carroll's text, as there are full-page illustrations. In a word, it's fantastic.
I disagree with the editorial review of the School Library Journal. While I see this book as sophisticated, I also see very young children relating to the artwork. The dream is at times spooky and frustrating like the real world can be, just as at other moments it can be a playful party. Although Alice in Wonderland may not have been originally intended for child as young as three or four years old to read, they will be enticed into trying. A child as young as four will relate to this Alice, she is a small girl with flowing hair and dresses in an easy style. Deloss McGraw has illustrated a modern and truly dreamlike interpretation of Carroll's classic. Finally we have a total departure from the formal British and more grown up Alice that John Tenniel portrayed all those years ago and has been an influence upon artists attempting it since.
Albeit a short, but important side note: the size 14 - 16 font is very readable for both old and young eyes, and comes in very handy for those readers-out-loud at late bedtimes in a dimly lit room.
Of all the illustrated versions there are of this classic story, this will be the version your child would first pick up from the shelf.
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Alice's Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking-Glass (Modern Library Classics)
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