Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland
By Lewis Carroll
Published by Librivox
Read by Kristen McQuillin, Brad Bush, Roger W. Barnett, miette, Mark Bradford, Raza Shah, Kara Shallenberg, MarinaMechanical, R. Francis Smith and Chris George
Last week I reviewed the earlier edition of this story, Alice’s Adventures Under Ground. It was just a bit over half the length of the final edition although even this is only 27,500 words long, a short novel or novella.
In it a bored little girl named Alice – modeled after Alice Lyddel, the daughter of Oxford University’s Vice Chancellor at the time – follows a talking white rabbit down it’s hole and ends up in a strange world underground. After falling a very long time she finds herself in a hall with many locked doors. After growing and shrinking she finds herself in a sea of her own tears with a host of animals. One thing leads to another and she finds herself wandering about Wonderland having her now famous encounters with the Caterpillar, Cheshire Cat and the Mad Hatter and his friends.
By the way, if you are so young that the only experience with the Alice stories are the recent live-action movies from Disney, do your best to forget them. I actually enjoyed the first movie (have not yet seen more than trailers for the second), but it has very little in common with the original story and, in fact confuses Wonderland with Through the Looking Glass bundling it all up in a literary mess. I imagine the second movie will have even less in common with the books.
The original, however, has a charm all its own with funny incidents that still charm children and pointed satire, twisted logic and wry commentary that fascinates adults as well. On the odd chance you have not actually read the book, I highly recommend it.
LIbrivox has published several recordings of this book. I guess there are just some stories everyone wants a shot at, and in this reading they spread the love around. As usual in LIbrivox’s collaborations, the readings were a mixed bag. Most were pretty good, but while I can usually adapt to most readers after a chapter or two, it is considerably harder when the reader changes every chapter.
Even so, as I said, most of the readers were pretty good and I could imagine a widely diverse group of friends sitting around a room, each taking turns at reading a chapter. It was interesting to hear each reader’s take on the story and the characters within.
So, yes, this is a classic and justifiably so, and I enjoyed the variety of the readers so much that I will eventually go back and download the other recordings as well.