Customer Reviews


2,158 Reviews
5 star:
 (1,332)
4 star:
 (421)
3 star:
 (230)
2 star:
 (77)
1 star:
 (98)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


295 of 304 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The name of this review is called "Haddocks' Eyes"
I finally, and seemingly permanently, misplaced the 40 year old copy of 'The Annotated Alice' (which I had pilfered from my mother's bookshelf) for the last time. I can't go more than a month or two without it so I rushed to buy a new copy...just weeks before the more beautifully bound 'Definitive Edition' was published. No matter, now I have two (perhaps even three if...
Published on February 22, 2001 by limespider

versus
280 of 329 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


‹ Previous | 1 2216 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

295 of 304 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The name of this review is called "Haddocks' Eyes", February 22, 2001
By 
"limespider" (Littleton, CO USA) - See all my reviews
I finally, and seemingly permanently, misplaced the 40 year old copy of 'The Annotated Alice' (which I had pilfered from my mother's bookshelf) for the last time. I can't go more than a month or two without it so I rushed to buy a new copy...just weeks before the more beautifully bound 'Definitive Edition' was published. No matter, now I have two (perhaps even three if the original turns up).
My point is that this book contributed more to my understanding of logic and wordplay than several semesters of college philosophy classes. If you've read this far then I am probably preaching to the choir but 'Alice in Wonderland' can hardly be classified as a childrens' book, dispite Disney's attempts to do so. The concepts Lewis Carroll and Martin Gardner bring to this tale cover such areas as set theory, meta-language, Aristotelian logic, topography, game theory, several pre-Socratic logic paradoxes, and even quantum physics. Yet John Tenniel's original illustrations remain as an welcome tether to the original publication.
Gardner does a wonderful job of bringing all the various aspects of these two stories together as he illuminates layer upon layer of meaning that might not be evident to an American audience or, for that matter, a 21st century one. My favorite gems are the French and German translations of The Jabberwocky.
This book ranks in my top five favorite books of all time.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


130 of 134 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Looking Glass Shows Hidden Humor, January 21, 2000
By 
Ian (New York) - See all my reviews
I always enjoyed the twisted logic and unique sence of humor that I found in Lewis Carroll's Alice tales, the only problem I encountered was that some of the jokes required information that was no longer common knoledge. For example: when Alice continually misquoted the old English nursery rhymes I found myself wondering what the actual versions were, information that every child in Victorian England could have easily told me but that has since been lost to obscurity. After reading through this book I found the answers to all my original questions as well as many that I never considered asking. At first I thought that the commentary would strip the original work of its character and reduce it to a lifeless shadow. I found that the commentary did exactly the opposite, in a surreal way it made the book even more entertaining to read. The incredible detail of the commentary and the wide range of topics covered made the comments themselves seem part of the insane illogic that pervades the realms of wonderland and looking glass house. This does not mean that the coments themselves are insane or illogical, on the contrary they are all intresting and many offer new insights into the books, what makes the commentary so entertaining is how the story of "exactly 7 and one half" Alice is juxtaposed with comments on how the structure of the plot relates to physic and Robert Oppenheimer. Altogether I found the Annotated Alice to be a wonderful read and a gorgeous book which I recomend to anyone who enjoyed the original tales.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


116 of 120 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Master of Nonsense, January 14, 2002
By 
Bryan A. Pfleeger (Metairie, Louisiana United States) - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
The Annotated Alice provides a treasure chest of information on the two Alice books and on the man, Lewis Carroll who was responsible for their creation.
Martin Gardner provides annotations throughout the texts of both Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass and What Alice Found There. Gardner's annotations help explain the inside jokes and mathematical and linguistic puzzles that fill the stories.
Reading the Alice books as an adult is quite a different experience than it was as a child. The books' complexity really stands out on a careful reading. In fact, what are generally regarded as children's stories can be amazingly frustrating to read due to the complexity of the language and the almost constant stream of puns that are sometimes lost on modern audiences. One must remember that the stories are told purely for fun. Unlike other Victorian children's literature one gets no morals, plot development, or character development here. Alice is a yound child who stays a young child throughout her adventures. She neither matures or learns anything from her adventures.
This is a very nice volume in its own right. It contains complete authoritative texts of both books and includes the supressed episode "The Wasp in the Wig." The original Tenniel illustrations are crisp and clear. The only difficulty is that the annotations are placed on the same page as the text in a small column that sometimes supplies more information than the text itself. The annotations themselves range from the definitional to the clearly eccentric. One can read all of them or only the ones that he or she is interested in.
On the whole this is an excellent volume well worth the effort to read if one has any interest in the world of nonsense literature.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


199 of 213 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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


50 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars What Do You Mean, Nonsense?, April 20, 2006
By 
This is the ONLY version of the Alice in Wonderland stories worth having. Lewis Carroll was a remarkably allusive chap -- and a mathematician to boot -- so you need a vade mecum to guide yourself through the bulrushes. Martin Gardner serves admirably for this purpose.

Without Gardner's help, I would never have known that mock turtle soup was actually made with veal (and that's why John Tenniel drew the Mock Turtle with the head, hind hoofs, and tail of a calf). And now I think I know why a raven is like a writing desk ("because it can produce a few notes, tho they are very flat; and it is never put with the wrong end in front"). Also, now I know the REAL text of the nursery rhyme "You Are Old, Father William."

This is the best edition to get because -- let's face it -- you WILL read the Alice stories more than once. And very likely others in your household will do the same. The real reason, as the Cheshire Cat says: "We're all mad here. I'm mad. You're mad."
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


78 of 83 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)   
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


40 of 41 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars The Best Kindle Option Available, September 6, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


173 of 197 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Classic Children's Literature, June 6, 2010
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
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
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


280 of 329 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)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
"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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


22 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Deftly abridged, beautfully illustrated, November 3, 2003
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This is a perfect read-aloud introduction to Alice in Wonderland. It seems a shame to call it a coloring book! The original illustrations are stunning in black and white, and challenge the colorist to use her greatest skills. My three-year-old listened attentively to the entire story. Warning - do not use markers, as they will bleed through. My highest recommendation.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2216 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

Alice in Wonderland (Dover Children's Evergreen Classics)
Alice in Wonderland (Dover Children's Evergreen Classics) by Lewis Carroll (Paperback - May 18, 2001)
$3.50
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Search these reviews only
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.