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Alice in Sunderland by Bryan Talbot

Alice in Sunderland (2007)

by Bryan Talbot

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
4752021,755 (3.89)81
  1. 10
    From Hell by Alan Moore (wandering_star)
    wandering_star: ALL psychogeography should be written as graphic novels - these two show why.
  2. 10
    Lancashire, Where Women Die of Love by Charles Nevin (nessreader)
    nessreader: Both full to bursting with random and arcane details about the north of england, shared with the reader in a spirit of jingoistic glee.
  3. 10
    Automated Alice by Jeff Noon (madmarch)

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» See also 81 mentions

English (19)  Catalan (1)  English (20)
Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
One word: savor. Savor this book slowly. It's only 319 pages but let every page have it's moment in time. This is a beautiful piece of art, chock full of culture, biography, history, creative use of the English language ("follow your spirit" with a picture of someone chasing a vodka truck), a comic book inside a graphic novel, brimming with literary references (Thirty-Nine Steps and Rugby, the same school made infamous by Tom Brown's Schooldays, to name a few) and much, much more. This is a comprehensive walk through history with a myriad of people and places leading the way. In Book Lust To Go Nancy Pearl called it "one of the richest experiences of her life (p 68).

The premise is really quite simple. Bryan Talbot has researched his hometown of Sunderland and found every possible parallel connection to Lewis Carroll's famed The Adventures of Alice in Wonderland. It's brilliant. ( )
1 vote SeriousGrace | Apr 11, 2016 |
Absolutely wonderful reimagining of the author's home region of England. It was also Lewis Carroll's. The author uses the idea of the White Rabbit to guide the reader through that region, its history (or is it?) and some of its most famous sites and characters both historic and fictional. There are fascinating ruminations and depictions on everything from The Venerable Beade to John Lennon . An outstanding example of what a GN can accomplish. ( )
  Kissyalicekali | Aug 3, 2013 |
A history of Sunderland that in itself involves telling of story of invasions of Britain by Celts, Romans, Saxons, Vikings and most brutal of all - the Normans. It lists trivia and achievements of antecedents of Mackham (people of Sunderland). By and large, this was also the place where Lewis Caroll's muse Alice Liddel lived and how story of 'Alice in Wonderland' evolved.

So far a very interesting read - it tells the truth about death of Sidney James onstage. Henry Irving ---

Graphic style is unconventional - a collage of sketches reproduced, reproduction of old photographs, newspaper clippings and four main character sketches. Three of the characters have been played by author himself and fourth is the pilgrim who is in theater 'Empire of Sunderland' watching the show.

There is lot of meta in the book - a comic in the comic. Pilgrim reading comic in the comic. I will come back when I finish reading the book and clean up this review.
  poonamsharma | Apr 6, 2013 |
This really is a difficult book to review. A graphic novel - no that's not right as it's not a novel, so perhaps... a graphic book? Part local history of Sunderland (an old industrial town in the North-East of England); part history of Lewis Carroll (in particular his associations with the town); part history of Alice Liddell (the model for the original Alice); and part history of Alice in Wonderland itself. It touches on a huge number of topics and characters along the way and is all bound together with a wonderful mixture of styles and colours of grpahic art.

I think I loved the idea of the book rather more than I loved the book itself, but I think that maybe because I read it at the wrong time and in the wrong way. It's a complex book: picking up and putting down snippets of information, only to resurrect them a hundred pages later, and I think needs to be read quite slowly and carefully, whereas I read it straight through when I was feeling I'll and I think my brain wasn't sufficiently in gear. So for me an interesting book rather than a great one. However, I'm pretty sure that I'll revisit it more slowly and I may revise my ideas. ( )
1 vote SandDune | Oct 20, 2012 |
A graphic novel of the history of Sunderland, which was tied up in the history of Alice - for as nonlinear and meta as the whole thing was, it made a lot of sense. ( )
  dknippling | Dec 16, 2011 |
Showing 1-5 of 19 (next | show all)
The book is incredibly wide-ranging, from prehistory to modern art to metaphysics. Some sections are more interesting than others, but each reader’s choices will differ as to which is which. Like the weather, if you don’t like one page, just wait a bit, and it’ll change. It’s a great book to dip into and sample various sections, or to return to at different times with different interests.
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"Reality is not enough; we need nonsense too. Drifting into a world of fantasy is not an escape from reality but a significant education about the nature of life. And reality is not an escape from nonsense. Our education goes on everywhere."
Edmund Miller
Lewis Carroll Observed
For Tabitha
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Well, there's this guy, right...
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Sunderland! Thirteen hundred years ago it was the greatest center of learning in the whole of Christendom and the very cradle of English consciousness. In the time of Lewis Carroll it was the greatest shipbuilding port in the world. To this city that gave the world the electric light bulb, the stars and stripes, the millennium, the Liberty Ships and the greatest British dragon legend came Carroll in the years preceding his most famous book, Alice in Wonderland, and here are buried the roots of his surreal masterpiece. Enter the famous Edwardian palace of varieties, The Sunderland Empire, for a unique experience: an entertaining and epic meditation on myth, history and storytelling then decide for yourself — does Sunderland really exist?
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Alice in Sunderland explores the links between Lewis Carroll and the Sunderland area, with wider themes of history, myth and storytelling-- and the truth about what happened to Sid James on stage at the Sunderland Empire.

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Average: (3.89)
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2 6
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