Learn more Download now Shop now Shop now Shop now Shop now Learn More Shop now Shop now Learn more Shop Fire Shop Kindle Learn More Shop now Learn more

on 4 November 2015
For the avoidance of doubt, and confusion caused by Amazon's policy of mixing up reviews for different editions, I'm referring here to the brand new 150th anniversary deluxe edition. All earlier reviews (apart from the last one, which is sight unseen), refer to previous editions of the book.

I bought this to replace my Penguin copy of the 1970 revised version of the 1960 original, so I haven't seen the expanded versions which appeared between 1970 and 2015. It's going to take several months to read the whole book; so far I've just flipped through and dipped into a few entries, which are a lot more detailed than in the 1970 edition.

The book is beautiful - the extra colour illustrations make all the difference. If you're a Carroll fan and don't already have one of the expanded versions it's an essential addition to your library. I can't give a link here, but an online search for this edition and "review" will bring up a detailed review published in The New Yorker. You can get a good idea of what it looks like from the page photographs Amazon have included.

At least one of the pages in my copy has a mark from the printing process, but it's of minor importance and I'm not going to change it in case the next copy is worse. Also, check out the measurements of this book before buying - it's more or less square and fits very oddly onto a bookshelf!
44 Comments| 20 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 30 January 2018
“If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn't. And contrary wise, what is, it wouldn't be. And what it wouldn't be, it would. You see?”

From the genre of literary nonsense comes this classic work loved by children and adults alike.

As Alice slips into a dream, she finds herself chasing after a white rabbit with a waist coat and pocket watch. Apparently, he is late for something important. He heads down a rabbit hole, nothing particularly odd about that, but as Alice follows, she falls into a world very different from her own. A world with Cheshire cats, mad-hatters, packs of living playing cards, and an array of characters which will make Alice's head spin as she manoeuvres cautiously through Wonderland.

As children, the Disney movie was always a favourite; our grandparents collected them for us and we never got bored of Alice in Wonderland. There are a number of significant differences between the book and the movie.

However, as this is a world where things get "curiouser and curiouser", I'm not sure that it makes much difference!

I wasn't a big fan of the more recent movie adaptation by Tim Burton despite being first in line to watch it at the movies. It seemed darker somehow and a lot of the fun had disappeared. I'll be sticking to the Disney version.

Back to the book, I love the way Alice retains her faculties through all her bizarre experiences. She presents as an intelligent, somewhat precocious, child who just wants to make it through the day. She spends so much time trying to make sense of the nonsensical that she almost forgets to enjoy the adventure.

All would agree that this is a timeless classic for a bit of fantastical escapism. Personally, I think those who spend time seeking hidden meaning and symbolic parallels with reality are ruining the fun. There should be a collective "OFF WITH THEIR HEADS!" leaving the rest of us to enjoy this masterpiece without too much philosophising.

P.S. Why is a raven like a writing desk?
0Comment| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 10 July 2017
I'm writing about the Pinguin book hardcover!
The book is amazing. Better than other editions I looked through while searching for one to buy.
Important notices that I had to search outside Amazon by myself:
- Yes, it has original illustrations! Just in right format and in original order, like in old published books from childhood.
- Yes, all text shapes are here, when poems should be shaped as swirls, etc.
- The book has white textile cover. It very easily soiled! My book received couple dirty marks while being sent by post, so be careful.
- The print of flamingos is fragile and goes off easily - I had to leave price label on the back, because it just peels off with sticker; so as nails, coins, keys and even phone in a bag with a book will destroy it for sure, if there is no protective sleeve on the book.
I'm very happy, it's just what I was looking for, as original as possible =)
22 Comments| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 2 August 2017
*This is for the black and gold Amazon publication*

Looks and reads like it was knocked up by a kid for a school project. Terrible quality and the way it has been printed makes it almost impossible to read as there are spaces between lines where there should be solid paragraphs, punctuation is all over the shop and several errors on the first page alone. In fact this is as far as I got before deciding to return it.

Don't even start me on the 'illustrations'. The blurry, black and white photocopies which have been thrown in randomly aren't even remotely related to Alice in Wonderland! I have no idea what they are but my first thought was they've got mixed up and put the wrong illustrations in!

I have no idea how they got this edition so wrong, do yourself a favour and purchase another version.
0Comment| 2 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 29 May 2017
The book I received was nothing like in the description: thin, flimsy, with tiny black-and-white illustrations, more a cheap brochure than a book. Overall looked like made by lazy children in a rush and on no budget.
0Comment| 6 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 19 February 2016
These are very nice volumes and a joy for any lover of the Tales of Alice. As study material they are a little limited for the student as they have no annotation notes but for those who just want the literature and no more they are ideal. The illustrations are John Tenniel's originals with added colour, that is my only criticism and it's a personal thing, but when I first encountered these illustrations they hit me in the face with vibrancy of the colours, it's like when you go into some ones home and they have the colour on their television turned up higher than you would have yours and the reds, blues and greens scream out at you, that's what it was like when I first opened one of these books. After awhile I became accustomed to the intensity of the colour and could appreciate them for the jewels they are, just wish you could turn them down a touch. The reds almost radiate off the page; but, and I appreciate this, it might be my imagination or that the intensity of the colour that makes me more aware of it but they seam to uses a far larger spectrum of colours than is usual. Anyway the books are over all beautiful examples in two volumes smartly presented in a slip case. It's a personal choice as to weather you prefer the stories divided over two volumes or combined into one, but on a practical level; two means that when you are reading one you are not lugging around the dead weight of the other and when you progress to the second volume some one else can now read the first. Not my favourite example of The Tales of Alice but if I didn't have a favourite already these would be a close contender.
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 9 July 2016
badly advertised all the stories are in one book .thought from ad it was a series of books
0Comment| 8 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 10 June 2015
The text is still the same wonderful, mad, insightful and hilarious tale as told by Lewis Carroll, but I was underwhelmed by the much touted e-elements. These comprised some interesting images from editions of the book and film - not particularly well laid out on a series of pages, and click throughs to notes and to websites with audio and video material. An old fashioned child's pop-up book has more excitement in its presentation..

Maybe this is all one can expect given the price. We are still waiting for a breakthrough in making a really exciting book using the capacity of technology, but what is here has a much lower production value than the IKEA bookbook ad.

What do I want? Alice is so rich in descriptions, think of falling down the hole for example, that nothing more is required to light up the imagination, but given that we can do more, maybe an ebook should have the equivalent of pop-ups, but done with 3D: sounds that come on in certain places: if books for an educational purpose, the click through notes and opportunities for the reader to write or draw what they are feeling as they read on..
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 9 September 2016
Be very careful about which version of this book you are buying! I am now 50% into the book (on Kindle) and the "illustrations" do NOT illustrate the text. What you get are a random sequence of quite grainy black and white reproductions of girls and women reading from a book. (See attached photo). I'm pretty sure Alice fans are expecting more than this when the tag clearly states ILLUSTRATED and Unabridged. It has these pictures, but are they truly illustrations?

Apart from that the text and story are wonderful. I've never been an Alice fan, really because the terrible movies put me off. So reading it at last is an exciting revelation.
review image
0Comment|Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse
on 5 April 2016
I love the book and so will my daughter (its a birthday present). However, there was an adhesive label stuck to the back with a barcode and price etc, when that was peeled off (carefully!) it took with it some of the colour of the design foil stamped onto the cloth cover. Of course people don't want to leave that label there especially if it is bought as a gift. Not a big issue maybe, but since you probably sell alot of these clothbound Penguin Classics editions, all with foil stamped designs on cloth covers, I expect every single one gets damaged in the same way. I'm sure you can do better than this, or Penguin can use a more durable form of foil stamping. Spoils an otherwise pristine copy.
0Comment| 3 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Report abuse