From Walt’s Shelf: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
By Lewis Carroll

Before I begin talking about this beloved classic, let me explain what I mean by “From Walt’s Shelf”. The motto for this site is “Books written about Walt, because of Walt and even those books that inspired Walt!”.  Carroll’s book is one that would fall under the category of “Books that Inspired Walt”…I mean, if it wasn’t for this book, we would not have the animated classic Alice in Wonderland or the teacup attraction or the Alice dark ride! Since this book is one that Walt was inspired by enough to make a film of, I believe that if Walt had a book shelf, this book would be one that would be found on it. This is the first in many different “From Walt’s Shelf” books that I will review, so stay tuned to the site here to see what book I believe would be found on Walt’s shelf.

I read Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland as part of the Disney Driven Life’s Book Club.   I was very excited to read this, I have wanted to for a long time so that I could compare it to the movie.  I had bought the Complete Works of Lewis Carroll a while back from Barnes and Noble, but for my hectic lifestyle right now of running here and running there, that large volume would not work.  I luckily found an application – a FREE application no less – for my Blackberry called Kobo that allowed for me to download and read the entire book for free on my phone!  It was awesome, I was able to read anywhere. There are lots of classics on the Kobo app for free and it is available for iPhone, Blackberry, Android and Palm Pre! To download, click here.

Now onto the book review…

This book gets right into the story with barely any build up.  You read a couple paragraphs and all of a sudden, Alice is falling down the rabbit hole.  Carroll gets right down to business. Then again, there are parts of this book that just seem to drag on with less than no purpose.  A sequence that comes to mind is when Alice and the Gryphon are talking to the Mock Turtle.  For those of you who have only seen the movie, you will not know what this is, and for good reason.  This is a long part and after reading it twice, I am still not sure what the meaning is.

There is another part as well that is quite confusing; Alice drops in on the Duchess and there is a pig and a baby and cook with too much pepper…it is all just very confusing. Oh, and this is also the introduction of the Cheshire Cat. In my opinion, I think Walt did us a favor by dropping all of this and introducing the Cheshire cat in another way.

By the way, if you have read this and have any idea what the meaning is behind these two passages, please let me know, I would really like to understand!

So far, the book probably seems very confusing.  You are probably wondering “Why would I want to read such a crazy book?” Oddly enough, the reason to read this book is because it clarifies some confusions within the movie!

Have you ever wondered why, when Alice grows tall after eating the mushroom, the mother bird comes out and screams “SERPENT” at her? The story actually give an explanation to this that makes so much more sense!

The book also clarifies and gives a back story to what seems like the never ending tea-party that the Mad Hatter and March Hare throw.  Why are there so many chairs and cups? Why do they move down for a clean cup? Why are they always having a tea party? It is not just because they love to have tea parties! The book answers all of these questions. The answer is odd, I will give you that, but it really does make sense in the context.

Have I confused you yet?? My overall feeling of this book – even with the confusing parts, this book was an overall page turner and I enjoyed reading it very much! I got some insight into the movie that you could not get otherwise and it really made you look at the movie in a different way.  I have the next book, Through the Looking Glass, in my Kobo queue and plan on reading that soon as well. It is from this book that Walt drew the idea for Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum, the two characters that were not in the first book but are in the movie.

Have you read this book? What are your thoughts? Feel free to leave me comments below!

To find out more about the Disney Driven Life Book Club, check out our page on it or visit TheDisneyDrivenLife.com for yourself!

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