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Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll…
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Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll (original 1871; edition 1984)

by Lewis Carroll

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
4,069681,248 (4.01)2 / 164
Member:williamawright
Title:Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll
Authors:Lewis Carroll
Info:Alfred A. Knopf, New York;
Collections:Classics & Great Books, Read, Your library
Rating:*****
Tags:Read

Work details

Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll (1871)

  1. 20
    The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster (SilentInAWay)
    SilentInAWay: Juster's witty wordplay is in the same league as Carroll's
  2. 00
    Reckless by Cornelia Funke (ed.pendragon)
    ed.pendragon: Both books use a mirror as a portal to another world where everyday things and ideas become reversed and distorted.
  3. 01
    Gambit by Rex Stout (aulsmith)
    aulsmith: Two books centered on a chess game
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English (66)  French (1)  Italian (1)  All languages (68)
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Instead of a rabbit-hole, this time Alice falls through a mirror in her parlor into the fantastical realm of Wonderland. She encounters Humpty Dumpty, a variety of monarchs, and has the chance to become a queen if she can venture through a countryside arranged as a chessboard. Similar to the previous novel in its nonsensical happenings, Through the Looking-Glass nevertheless dives further into questions about life, knowledge, and perception than Alice in Wonderland. ( )
  wagner.sarah35 | Jun 15, 2014 |
I’ve heard that a lot of people liked this book more than the first, Alice in Wonderland. I found I did myself as well. Perhaps because you get use to the way Carroll writes. Or perhaps because there is more of a goal to the plot here. Alice is working her way to become a queen and the nonsense comes about as she journeys. I’m not entirely sure why this second book caught me more than the first one did, but it did. I liked most everything Alice came across, especially the knights that continued to fall over. It looks as if the Disney movie took from both books to make their classic movie. I also loved the narrator for this book. She did a fantastic job at putting just a touch of incredulity in her voice at the right moments. It was a lovely book to listen to. ( )
  Kassilem | Jun 3, 2014 |
While this book is chock full of puns and wordplay, I didn't like it as much as "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland". The structure of the story is setup so that Alice moves from square to square across a chessboard in her dream, and I found the linerality of that movement much less enjoyable to read than the circularity of "Wonderland". Lewis Carroll also breaks into the story multiple times to tell the reader how Alice interpreted her dream upon waking, and I found that to be intrusive. I'd much rather have the author leave me guessing about whether or not the story is a dream, as he does through most of "Wonderland". But I did enjoy the wordplay and how most of the characters in Alice's dream interpret words and phrases literally and how that leads to miscommunications. I think this is a good story for children who are slightly older than ones who would enjoy "Wonderland". ( )
  sbloom42 | May 21, 2014 |
Through the Looking-Glass (1871) by Lewis Carroll is a funny, relatively short romp through an amusing phantasmagoric countryside. Based on a movie that I saw when I was little, I half-expected this novel to be darker than "Alice in Wonderland," but it's not the case.

The story follows Alice as she encounters odd people and creatures, transitioning from one scene to another with the swiftness and inexplicability of a dream. The vast majority of the book is dialogue- Alice only occasionally does anything other than travel or converse. Carroll aims to be funny, and he sometimes succeeds. Overwhelmingly, the humor comes from clever wordplay (words with double meanings, expressions taken literally, etc.), along with the randomness and silliness of some of the non-sequitur comments made by various characters. Alice herself is quite accepting and mostly plays a "straight man" to play off of the Wonderland denizens' eccentricities.

One of the highlights of the book is its poetry. Roughly five or six times, Alice encounters someone who sings or recites rhyming verses, which seldom fail to be humorous and enjoyable. The most famous, and probably best, of these is the poem Jabberwocky, but it is not the only good one. I rather liked the one sung by the White Knight shortly before he took his leave of Alice.

Despite the book's short length, I did start to tire of it by the end. There is only some much clever wordplay and zany dialogue one can take before it starts to lose its impact. In some ways, the story feels incomplete. It has lots of characters and scenes, but it seems to be in need of a plot. Randomly wandering or transitioning from scene to scene, with only a vague goal (progress on a metaphorical chessboard), is not very satisfying. I think Through the Looking Glass could have been a genuinely great novel if Carroll had figured out how to put more direction and meaning in the story without losing Wonderland's silly charm. ( )
  jrissman | Apr 24, 2014 |
It's a poor sort of memory that only works backwards. ( )
  thatotter | Feb 6, 2014 |
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» Add other authors (87 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Carroll, Lewisprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Engelsman, SofiaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Goodacre, Selwyn H.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kincaid, James R.Forewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Matsier, NicolaasTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Moser, BarryIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Oxenbury, HelenIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Peake, MervynIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Smith, ZadieIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Steadman, RalphIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tenneil, Sir JohnIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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First words
One thing was certain, that the white kitten had had nothing to do with it: -- it was the black kitten's fault entirely.
Quotations
One can’t believe impossible things.

I dare say you haven’t had much practice. When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.
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This is an edition of "Through the looking-glass and what Alice found there" only; please don't combine with copies that include other works.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140620877, Paperback)

I had sent my heroine straight down a rabbit-hole ...without the least idea what was to happen afterwards,' wrote Charles Dodgson, describing how Alice was conjured up one 'golden afternoon' in 1862 to entertain his child-friend Alice Liddell. His dream worlds of nonsensical Wonderland and the back-to-front Looking-Glass kingdom depict order turned upside-down: a baby turns into a pig; time is abandoned at a disordered tea-party; and a chaotic game of chess makes a seven-year-old girl a Queen. But amongst the anarchic humour and sparkling word play, puzzles, paradoxes and riddles, are poignant moments of elegiac nostalgia for lost childhood. Startlingly original and experimental, the Alice books provide readers with a double window on both child and adult worlds.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:46:56 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

After climbing through the mirror in her room, Alice enters a world similar to a chess board where she experiences many curious adventures with its fantastic inhabitants.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 35 descriptions

Legacy Library: Lewis Carroll

Lewis Carroll has a Legacy Library. Legacy libraries are the personal libraries of famous readers, entered by LibraryThing members from the Legacy Libraries group.

See Lewis Carroll's legacy profile.

See Lewis Carroll's author page.

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Audible.com

Fourteen editions of this book were published by Audible.com.

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Penguin Australia

Two editions of this book were published by Penguin Australia.

Editions: 0141439769, 0141330074

Candlewick Press

Two editions of this book were published by Candlewick Press.

Editions: 0763628921, 0763642622

 

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