Monday, October 14, 2019

Review: Wonderland

I've always like it when modern authors are able to put their own unique spin on classic characters. This is why I was excited when Wonderland hit bookstores a couple of weeks ago. This book is an anthology of works that were inspired by Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, edited by Marie O'Regan and Paul Kane.

There is a total of 19 short stories in this 363-page book. Each one offering their own very unique down the rabbit hole or through the looking glass. O'Regan and Kane did a very good job, in my opinion, of keeping enough of Lewis Carroll's imagination to keep the characters and scenses recognizable while still allowing the various writers to introduce their own interpretation.

Theses 19 adventures through one's imagination range from horror to historical. While the original novel from 1865 was largely intended for children, this anthology is written with adult readers in mind. On the back cover, for example, there is promise that the authors will take readers from the nightmarish reaches of their imagination and beyond with tales that will shock, surprise, and tug at one's heartstrings.

The one criticism that I have of this collection is that, in my opinion, it draws a bit too much from the nightmarish horror genre and doesn't quite keep enough of the original child-like innocence of Carroll's 19th century creation. However, since this book does come out rather close to Halloween, i suppose that one should overlook this fact.

Even if one has never read Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, the basic story is so widely engrained in Western culture that I believe anyone could enjoy the collection that O'Regan and Kane put together regardless of whether or not one has reader the original work. This, of course, is one more thing that I like about these stories - they draw on a mythos that is widely understood yet instill within it each other's particular take on it.

Wonderland, an anthology edited by Marie O'Regan and Paul Kane, is currently available at, Barnes & Nobel, and in fine bookstores everywhere.

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