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Alison Wonderland by Helen Smith

Alison Wonderland (edition 2010)

by Helen Smith

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1542277,562 (3.13)16
Title:Alison Wonderland
Authors:Helen Smith
Info:Tyger Books (2010), Paperback, 222 pages
Collections:Your library

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Alison Wonderland by Helen Smith

  1. 00
    Regarding Ducks and Universes by Neve Maslakovic (Limelite)
    Limelite: Same kind of madcap characters and adventure, only this book is other worldly and centered on cuisine. It's also better.

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One of the first things that came into my head after reading this book is "What a brilliant opening!" Seriously, you have to love a heroine saying this:
"I'm waiting for Mr. Wonderland and when I find him I'll get married. Until, then I'm staying single."

It's such a smart answer to anyone bothering you about your personal life, right?

Then there's the cover. I love the red, black and white and how they look together. It's like a mystery, making me wonder how colorful London - and the world in general - would look like if I looked at it from Alison's POV. And I can honestly say Alison's view of the world is quite unique. Afraid of letting her guard down with another man, due to her cheating ex husband, she'd rather live in a pseudo-relationship than trying to see if a real relationship would actually work. She's afraid of rejection, though I can hardly blame her. Her job isn't helping either. As a female P.I, she's mostly hired to prove an estranged husband or boyfriend is a cheater. At some point she gets a "secret mission" to check out some company dealing with genetically altered vegetables.

Besides Alison, we get to meet some interesting characters. We have Taron, Alison's friend, who is one of those unique friends. Taron is the kind of person who will either drive you mad or make you a happier person. She thinks her mother is a witch and she believes in horoscopes, witchcraft and things like that. I do believe she's the type who can make a really sad person to smile. Then there's Mrs. Fitzgerald, Alison's boss. She seemed like the motherly type. For some reason, she left me thinking that she cared for each and every woman she met through her agency, be they employees or women hiring her for different reasons. And many other characters that I won't talk about, because then I'll probably give some unwanted spoilers :P

There are some funny moments in this book too. I actually laughed out loud a few times.

I felt as though the ending wasn't exactly the way I had hoped it would be. There was some suspense regarding Alison's job and one of her marks and I was waiting for something more spectacular to happen. Then again, maybe it was the right ending for Alison, proving that not always you need a big "boom" at the end of a frightening experience. Though I did see Alison grow up as the story progressed.

Anyway, if you love chick lit, you might want to check this out. I know I really enjoyed reading this book!
( )
  Rubys.books | Oct 15, 2016 |
An easy read, but strange and confusing at times. Who would admit to need an abandoned baby and the who would agree to look for one...
Not a book I would have picked for myself to read.
But that's the bbeauty of BookCrossing: one reads "out of the box" from time to time. ( )
  BoekenTrol71 | Jan 20, 2016 |
Overall, I liked the book, but IMO it had some serious flaws that detracted from what it could have been.

Loved the author's light tone and humorous voice. There were many places where it was laugh out loud funny. The style was kind of French farce/Monty Python sketch-y, which makes sense with the author being a playwright. Some don't like that style - I do. Even if it's not your usual "thing," if you also write, it is worth a read simply for that reason, to better understand said structure. It was also a quick, one-sitting read.

What I didn't like - jumping around POV's, from first person to third, jumping around from past to present tense, and my biggest problem was, when it comes to the main character, she was not really there. We get that she's witty, young, and likes to party, but nothing that sets her apart as a person, makes her likeable or even particularly interesting. She has no family, no pets, no permanent friends or lovers, no specific dreams or hopes. Some funny things happen to her during the book, but most of them only peripherally involve her. She rarely takes any direct action, and we don't feel she has anything at stake in solving the main problem/objective (and in fact, *she* doesn't resolve it.)

It was entertaining, a decent beach read, but if you are looking for something with deeper messages about human nature (like Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland) you won't find it here. ( )
  writerbeverly | May 1, 2014 |
50-page rule. Too many details, not enough plot.
  JenneB | Apr 2, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 22 (next | show all)
Smith has a keen eye for material details, but her prose is lucid and uncluttered by heavy description. Imagine a satire on Cool Britannia made by the Coen Brothers.
added by emperorsclothes | editTimes Literary Supplement
This is a novel in which the ordinary and the unusual are constantly juxtaposed in various idiosyncratic characters… Its airy quirkiness is a delight.
added by emperorsclothes | editThe Times
A screwball comedy that really works.
added by emperorsclothes | editThe Independent
Only occasionally does a piece of fiction leap out and demand immediate cult status. Alison Wonderland is one…Smith is at the very least a minor phenomenon.
added by emperorsclothes | editThe Times
Smith’s second novel has a comic style with a clear, simple, buoyant prose.
added by emperorsclothes | editIrish Independent
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This book is for Lauren
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My name's Alison Temple and I used to have this line when people asked me if I'm married.
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Book description
When Alison joins Mrs Fitzgerald’s Bureau of Investigation as a private detective, her new job takes her on a series of loosely linked adventures involving an abandoned baby, a transgenic animal and secret tunnels under The Thames. She travels from London to the seaside town of Weymouth and back again with her new best friend Taron, a girl with a hundred candle smile. But someone is betraying her. Is it Taron? Is it Jeff, the sweet-natured inventor who writes her poetry? Or are there darker forces at play?
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Helen Smith is a LibraryThing Author, an author who lists their personal library on LibraryThing.

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