New Monthly Feature: Curiouser & Curiouser Reviews

So it’s pretty obvious that I love Alice in Wonderland.

But when it comes to literature, I’m a bit of an Alice purist. Nothing’s ever as good as the original, right? So I typically avoid reading any books based on Lewis Carroll’s timeless classics Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. But I haven’t been as critical of other media based on the source material. I love Disney’s animated remake from 1951 and I’m a sucker for American McGee’s dark recreation of the story in the Alice video games. But I’ve steered clear of any written retellings. I didn’t see the point.

However, that isn’t totally fair, is it? Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is a story that really does have really good (and really bad) potential for retelling. There are so many ways to interpret the story, whether it truly is ‘nonsense’ or if it has some sort of deeper meaning. Taking the base of the story, whether it’s Alice herself or just the concept of a whimsical dream world, and turning it into something brand new not only sounds like a unique challenge but also a super fun one.

So I’ve decided to create a new monthly feature. I’m going to make a point of reading a book at least once a month that’s based in some way on Lewis Carroll’s original Alice stories. I’ll then write a review and instead of giving my normal star rating, I’m going to give the book a White Rabbit Rating. White Rabbit Ratings will consider Lewis Carroll’s original stories and determine whether or not I found the retelling to be an interesting and fun twist on Alice’s original adventures down the rabbit hole or if the book was a major bunny flop.

The White Rabbit Ratings will work as follows:

I’ll probably tweak these rating descriptions as I go, but this is the overall gist of how I’ll be evaluating. I don’t expect to find anything that will be worthy of 5 White Rabbits, but who knows! I know many of these books will likely not be all that great, but as someone who enjoys campy made for tv horror films, I’ll probably be entertained by them anyways.

So I hope you all enjoy my new feature and all the ups and downs that will likely come with it. If you ever come across an Alice inspired book you think I would enjoy, let me know!

12 thoughts on “New Monthly Feature: Curiouser & Curiouser Reviews

  1. Paula Bardell-Hedley says:

    I loved these books as a child and still enjoy them now. My home town (Llandudno) has all sorts of Lewis Carroll things going on because Alice and her family regularly spent their summers there. She first came to the resort in 1861 aged 8, so we have Alice in Wonderland walking trails, statues, road names (my old Nan lived on Liddell Drive) and two immense rocks on the town’s sandy west shore are known as the Walrus and the Carpenter. All good fun!

    • Ashley says:

      I’m so envious! It looks so lovely there, I’m going to add it to my list of places to check out during a bank holiday weekend. Sounds like a dream! 🙂

      • Paula Bardell-Hedley says:

        We certainly get quite a few Alice in Wonderland fans visiting the town. There was a Rabbit Hole Museum for many years but I think the owners retired. I don’t know if there are plans to reopen it at some point. Over the border in Cheshire side there are also quite a few Cheshire Cat pubs etc. because Charles Dodgson came from that area (Daresbury, I think). 🐈

    • Ashley says:

      Me too, his creativity and wit is unmatched! I’ll be posting my June review within the next week 🙂

    • Ashley says:

      Good to know! I’ve got a list of about 10 at the moment but I’ll be coming to you when I need some fresh ideas! 🙂

  2. Kathy @Pages Below the Vaulted Sky says:

    I can’t stop looking at those bunnies. 😀 This is such a fantastic idea–I can’t wait to read these posts! And I am such a huge fan of the Alice video games as well! The mechanics are a little clunky but I love how dark and strange it is.

    • Ashley says:

      Totally agree on the clunky mechanics. Luckily the story, world building, and style make them both worth playing :). Ever since I wrote this post I’ve been meaning to dig them out again. I really hope a third one is eventually made!

  3. Paula Bardell-Hedley says:

    I received an email from a Lydia Rasmussen at Quarto asking if I would like early access to a book called ‘Drink Me!’ – which was inspired by ‘Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland’. Her description:

    “Take your taste buds down the rabbit hole with Drink Me!, a collection of cocktails that have all been inspired by Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. This unique book presents you with 20 cocktail recipes that are sure to add a little bit of Wonderland to grown-up teatime.”

    Would this be of interest to you, Ashley? If so, I can pass on all the details. I noticed it on NetGalley, too (not sure if you’re a member). It was one of those ‘saw it and thought of you’ moments! 🐇

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