85 of 88 people found the following review helpful
on 28 July 2009
People tend to lump "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland" and "Through the Looking-Glass (and What Alice Found There)" into one collection which has taken on the new title of "Alice in Wonderland". This is probably a product of the movies, which took bits and pieces from each and made a composite adventure. This was possible, because Lewis Carroll (a.k.a. Reverend Charles Lutwidge Dodgson) managed to make the stories so even in quality that they can be put together seamlessly. He also managed to keep the stories enough different, that one can still enjoy reading both of them one after the other, without the feeling that the second is just a retelling of the first.
To be sure, there are several ways in which the stories are similar, but not to the point where it detracts from the reader's enjoyment of the story. There are only three characters which appear in both books, one of which is Alice. The other notable characters (the Cheshire Cat, the Queen of Hearts, Tweedledum and Tweedledee, Humpty Dumpty, etc.) are well distributed between the two books. Thus there is a looking-glass between the two, just as the looking-glass plays such a key role in the second book.
The Penguin Classics edition of "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass" includes both books including the illustrations by John Tenniel. It also includes the original "Alice's Adventures under Ground" which includes Lewis Carroll's artwork. For additional features, it includes `"Alice" on the Stage' an article which Lewis Carroll wrote after seeing a production of the stage version, and it includes preface's to the books which Lewis Carroll wrote in 1896 for the 1897 editions. There are wonderful notes for both books, and a very informative introduction by Hugh Haughton. There is other supporting material as well. To sum up, this edition has pretty much anything one could want, other than a complete collection of Carroll's work.
A last comment on the introduction, it covers the biographical information for Reverend Dodgson, and the information on how the stories came about. Some of this information may detract from one's enjoyment of the story, but one can certainly understand the decision to include it for those who are interested in Reverend Dodgson and his life. All in all, this edition is packed with everything and will suit those who just want to read the stories as well as those who want to delve deep into their origins.
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on 17 February 2012
No matter how carefully I read Alice in Wonderland, It's hard to fathom all the layers and intricacies intertwined in the text.
Gardner does a wonderful job of bridging the almost 150 years gap between the date it was published and the modern-day reader.
Gardner's remarks are solely purposed to convey information that is most likely not known to the common reader, and refrains from giving mere interpretations or explanations that any reader can reach on their own.
I wont elaborate on the scope and content of the book as the "Look Inside" feature on Amazon does the work pretty good.
I will just add the following:
1. If you consider buying this book go for this hardcover edition and not the paperback.It costs about twice as much, but I can see that the paperback edition is also about half the size, and apparently it results in too small print of the annotated parts, as you may see in the low rated reviews.
2. The paper and print quality including illustrations are excellent.
3. This edition combines the Annotated Alice (1960) and the More Annotated Alice (1990) editions and adds some contemporary references as you can see in the Table of Contents.
4. As Martin Gardner died in 2010 at the age of 95, I guess there won't be a more definitive edition than this superb one.
VERY HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 11 October 2008
I have said it all before for the companion "Wonderland" volume, but I'll paste it here again.
Among the countless editions of Carroll's classics to have come out over the years, I don't think any beats Macmillan's. Generally speaking, Carroll's own publisher seems to take much pride in being the originator of this masterpiece and have always presented the book in the most faithful manners to Carroll's and Tenniel's original visions. With the advent of a new age in publishings everything is required to jump out at the progressively wanting in concentration youngsters with really rather explosive brilliancy and exuberance. So here Macmillan has at last commissioned the remainders of Tenniel's illustrations not coloured by Theaker to be coloured in a complementary hand. The result is an all-new sparkling edition, larger than any they have previously published and quite decidedly more sparkling. Incidentally, the demand of full-coloured illustrations in-and-amongst the text has, coincidentally enough, reverted the book to its original sumptuous quality paper unseen for years. This with Macmillan's laudable continued commitment to offer the world the book in as close an appearance to what Carroll intended as possible - with great intregrity in the typeset and positioning of the text and illustrations - ultimately created a highly collectable edition. In the reissued papaerback edition of this one, Philip Pullman commends the colouring of the illustrations fro having defied his apprehension in such a tampering with what work perfectly in black-and-white. It does not little of its eccentric, Victorian charms, but still delights admirers of the original notwithstanding.
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
on 4 August 2010
This edition is a good bargain at under £3; it includes the original Tenniel illustrations which give a great feel for the truly bizarre nature of Alice's journey. However, I have a few problems with its blurb, which for a start describes Alice as following a "hasty hare" underground, and spells "imaginitive", well, imaginatively. The essay by Martin Gardner is an okay introduction to the text, if a little preachy: "It's hard to understand, but some adults, including a few peculiar psychologists, think fantasy is bad for children." I bought this edition for my Victorian lit set reading since I usually go for the least pricey edition of each text: for penniless students like myself I would recommend it, but for somebody looking for an edition they can collect and keep in the family, you may like to go for the better quality prints.
29 of 31 people found the following review helpful
on 23 January 2001
I picked this book up again aged 26 having not read it for 15 years and it transported me to a magical, mystical world where anything was possible! Lewis Carroll's classic tale of childhood fantasy is a must read for all children and adults alike! Carroll's art lies in description...allow him to indulge you in tales of Mad Hatters having tea parties with White Rabbits in the woods, the terrifying Queen of Hearts threatening to behead the body-less Cheshire Cat and lotions and potions saying 'Drink Me'...will she grow or will she shrink...read the book to find out!
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on 21 October 2001
This beatifully produced little book contains Lewis Carroll's classic work of inverted logic (or nonsense ) which needs no comment from me. The drawings by Mervyn Peake are a lot darker in nature than the more familiar ones by Tenniel, but if you enjoyed Gormenghast you will find them very much to your taste.
59 of 64 people found the following review helpful
on 10 October 2009
This is a VERY beautiful book.
I am guilty of often buying more than one copy of a book, one to read and one to keep.
This is one I would try to keep in good condition.
It has the original illustrations in it, looks like an 'old' book, one that would grace any library in a gothic type mansion.
As a book lover, I don;t just enjoy reading them, I enjoy collecting beautiful books too, and this is one of them.
I won;t comment on the story as, I suspect anyone looking at this knows the story very well but, if you want a beautiful book that you'll want to keep safe forever, this is certainly one.
44 of 48 people found the following review helpful
on 3 October 2001
I read the original text of Carroll's masterpiece when I was 18 years old (I'm 22 now). I knew only interpretations made by Russian writers before. They were funny but not comparable to the original. So I enjoyed myself from the first page of Alice's Adventures In Wonderland to the last of Through The Looking Glass. The book is so brilliant, full of clever humor, paradoxes and parodies. The so-called "nonsense" is very amusing and by no means without sense. Of course I sometimes missed meanings of Carroll's parodies and allusions. Later I read different references and explanations. The searching of meaning made the book even more interesting in my eyes. There is no need in mentioning characters of both books for they are widely known, but I can't stand the temptation. First of all - Alice herself. She is such a charming and sensible young lady. I laughed a lot at her thoughts and commentaries to the events. And then White Rabbit, Mad Hatter, March Hare, Caterpillar, Cheshire Cat, Mock Turtle, strange birds, the intelligent Mouse, Tweedledee and Tweedledum, Humpty Dumpty, Duchess, King and Queen of Hearts, etc - they are creations of true genius. I also liked immensely Carroll's poems included in the books. I often notice that I am repeating lines from them. As for my favourite The Walrus And The Carpenter, I know it by heart. Wit, fantasy and magic make Alice's Adventures a superb children's book as well as a source of great pleasure for adults. Classical illustrations add more charm to this addition. I prefer them to more modern images (by Disney for example).
33 of 36 people found the following review helpful
on 27 September 2006
These are two of the greatest books ever written. They are, of course, not nonsense. They may have been written for children, but their appeal to any reasonably perceptive adult is so intense that those who have fallen under their spell can practically recite the entire texts of both. In fact, they constitute profoundly penetrating statements, or summaries, of the human condition: physical in Wonderland, and intellectual in Looking-Glass. They do not ramble. Every word, every incident, has been chosen with the utmost precision. Tenniel's illustrations are inspired perfection, and the result of prolonged and dedicated collaboration between author and artist. They will never be improved upon, although many have attempted to replace them with their own images. Wonderland is, in effect, an analysis of the significance and sensations of growth and discovery in the development of a human being, advancing from childhood into adolescence. Starting with the trauma of birth, it describes the experience of adjustment to the world of adults, but succeeds nevertheless in demonstrating that adult society is nothing but a construction of charades --- a house of cards. Looking-Glass raises perennial philosophical questions, such as what is reality? what do words actually mean? what is the nature of time, and identity? Does the world consist of as much anti-matter as matter? It is an extraordinarily compressed summary of the riddles of thought and existence. These works are absolute masterpieces of writing: two of the most sophisticated productions ever penned during the late Victorian era. At the same time they are uniquely readable, witty and amusing.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Puffin Chalk are a new addition to their Classics editions, with beautiful chalk designs on the covers by illustrator Mary Kate McDevitt. There are a few books in this series and all are lovely additions for your child's bookshelf. Small and light, they are the perfect size for small hands. The interior illustrations are by John Tenniel, but the book has a lovely retro feel about it, with purposely jagged pages and beautiful front and back cover artwork. Although this edition is not a large, gift addition, it will undoubtedly be more comfortable to hold and begs to be picked up and read.