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Through the Looking-Glass Paperback – June 15, 2007
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From the Back Cover
This 1872 sequel to Lewis Carroll's beloved Alice's Adventures in Wonderland finds the inquisitive heroine in a fantastic land where everything is reversed. Looking-glass land, a topsy-turvy world lurking just behind the mirror over Alice's mantel, is a fantastic realm of live chessmen, madcap kings and queens, strange mythological creatures, talking flowers and puddings, and rude insects.
Brooks and hedges divide the lush greenery of looking-glass land into a chessboard, where Alice becomes a pawn in a bizarre game of chess involving Humpty Dumpty, Tweedledum and Tweedledee, the Lion and the Unicorn, the White Knight, and other nursery-rhyme figures. Promised a crown when she reaches the eighth square, Alice perseveres through a surreal landscape of amusing characters that pelt her with riddles and humorous semantic quibbles and regale her with memorable poetry, including the oft-quoted "Jabberwocky."
This handsome, inexpensive edition, featuring the original John Tenniel illustrations, makes available to today's readers a classic of juvenile literature long cherished for its humor, whimsy, and incomparable fantasy.
Top Customer Reviews
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.
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.
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!Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Love Ralph Steadman, love Alice in Wonderland, couldn't believe there was a version he illustrated. Fantastic addition to my collection.Published 6 days ago by Briana
My son has to read this for school over the summer. He is 12 going into the 7th grade he found this to be a very difficult read. He did not like the 3rd person conversation at all.Published 7 days ago by shoppersavy