Alice's Adventures - Book Review

Alice's Adventures

Author: paul buchheit
Genre: Children - Mystery & Wonders
Publisher: Kelsay Books
Date Published: August 25, 2022
ISBN-10: 1639801839
ISBN-13: 978-1639801831

Book Review of :  Alice's Adventures


Paul Buchheit, author of Alice’s Adventures. A Modern Version of Lewis Carroll's Classic, in verse, states that his rhyming translation is unique and faithful to the original. Since 1865, when Lewis Carroll wrote Alice, many adaptations across all forms of media have been presented to the public. What is so intriguing about a young girl falling into a rabbit hole and relating her encounters with magical creatures? 

The author maintains that the melodic verse ("iambic hexameter with aabb rhyming") should be read as prose, allowing the story to flow. Artist Manahil Khan has updated the original sketches. This innovative version will delight readers and listeners alike.

Here is a short sample of Buchhei's treatment of the tale. This is when Alice drinks from the bottle labeled "Drink Me." 

Always learn from those who teach us, Alice reasoned: Flames will burn
and knives will make you bleed and poison disagrees
with almost everyone. But as for guarantees 
that "Drink Me" bottles should be drunk, she had no clue.
A simple taste should do no harm, and might renew
her spirits, Alice told herself, and sure enough
she tasted cherries, buttered toast, a custard puff,
and other luscious flavors, so she drank it all.
And instantly she felt that she was getting small.
"How curious," she said, "I'm like a telescope,
the way I'm folding down!" A pleasant sense of hope
returned to Alice. She was several inches tall 
and little more, and almost small enough to crawl 
inside the passage to the garden. She would wait,
of course, for she had sense enough to contemplate
the horrid possibility that she would shrink
some more, and like a candle with a final blink

 Alice was bored and sleepy as she rested with her book in the meadow. Suddenly a white rabbit wearing a tailor-made coat hopped past, talking to himself. Alice was so mesmerized by the appearance of a talking rabbit that she followed him. Then, she tumbled down the rabbit hole, not watching where she was going. The following story is a variation of the many adaptations of the original story.

The archaic language of the original has been updated as have some of the adventures. The story of a young girl's challenges and adjustments to a new world has led to many a spin-off. With all the original Alice in Wonderland adaptations, the author has successfully delivered his own captivating adaptation of the beloved classic.

Lewis Carroll s seems to have designed the story's plot for adults with references to a hookah-smoking caterpillar and magic mushrooms. Not aware of the drug undertone, children accept the language at face value.

Buchheit's version of Alice's journey through Wonderland taught her many valuable lessons. She discovered that madness appears to be the norm and learned to play by the bizarre rules. When the Queen of Hearts demanded obedience, Alice stood her ground and avoided certain death. However, as she grew wiser, Wonderland lost its magic. The fantastical creatures she once saw as friends were revealed to be just figments of her imagination. Alice had matured and no longer believed in the imaginary world she once cherished. She realized it was all just a game of cards. With this newfound wisdom, Alice wakes up in the real world, ready to face the challenges of adulthood.

At the conclusion of the modern version, Alice awakens, thinking that she has dreamed of the adventure. She shares her dream with her sister, who doesn't take it seriously. Later Alice returns to the meadow so she can remember and cling to the experiences she had in Wonderland. Finally, she imagines a day in the future when she can tell the story of her adventures with her own children and encourage their imagination.

Buchheit is to be praised for his ability to maintain the rhythmic verse while relating the story in prose style. Both adult readers and listening children will enjoy this tale.

This version or adaptation of the classic Alice in Wonderland tale would be an excellent addition to a comparative literature class.   It is much easier to understand and enjoy. 

Reviewed by: CAROLE

About paul buchheit


Paul wrote for progressive publications (Commondreams, NationOfChange, Alternet) for 15 years. He is an author of books, poems, essays, and scientific journal articles. He recently completed his first historical novel, 1871: Rivers on Fire.


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