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Book Review: After Alice

The synopsis, from Barnes and Noble’s website:

 

From the multi-million-copy bestselling author of Wicked comes a magical new twist on Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, published to coincide with the 150th anniversary of Lewis’s Carroll’s beloved classic.

When Alice toppled down the rabbit-hole 150 years ago, she found a Wonderland as rife with inconsistent rules and abrasive egos as the world she left behind. But what of that world? How did 1860s Oxford react to Alice’s disappearance?

In this brilliant work of fiction, Gregory Maguire turns his dazzling imagination to the question of underworlds, undergrounds, underpinnings—and understandings old and new, offering an inventive spin on Carroll’s enduring tale. Ada, a friend of Alice’s mentioned briefly in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, is off to visit her friend, but arrives a moment too late—and tumbles down the rabbit-hole herself.

Ada brings to Wonderland her own imperfect apprehension of cause and effect as she embarks on an odyssey to find Alice and see her safely home from this surreal world below the world. If Eurydice can ever be returned to the arms of Orpheus, or Lazarus can be raised from the tomb, perhaps Alice can be returned to life. Either way, everything that happens next is “After Alice.”

 

My Rating: 3/5 stars.

 

Gregory Maguire, if you aren’t familiar with his works, writes in a literary style. Basically, that means that his books are on the drier side. His telling of stories is closer to a book you were assigned to read in high school versus a book you would generally pick for yourself.

 

I wanted to like this book. I liked Wicked. Alice is set in the 1800’s which is fine. The chapters were short, which I liked. I just couldn’t get into it. Most of the book had to do with Alice’s sister, and I can’t say I found her too interesting. I honestly can’t say that the characters were too interesting in general. They really didn’t have a rooting factor. I couldn’t connect to them. Ada’s maid ran around most of the book like a chicken with her head cut off. That was bad, until Charles Darwin (yes, *that* Charles Darwin) shows up. I think he could have made it interesting, but he never really served a purpose. He did nothing to move to plot along.

 

Do I recommend this book? Not really, unless you like literary novels. I got through the book, so it wasn’t completely terrible. I was just happy that the characters were in Wonderland. However, I do recommend Wicked.

Megan Antosy is a junior at Penn State Berks double majoring in Business with an option in Marketing and Management, and Professional writing. She also has minors in Entrepreneurship and Women's Studies. When she isn't busy writing or editing articles for HC, you can find her on the beach, reading a book, taking a nap, or drinking tea. She is also Co-CC.
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