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After Alice

by Gregory Maguire

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
9296016,203 (2.81)30
From the multi-million-copy bestselling author of Wicked comes a magical new twist on Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, published to coincide with the 150th anniversary of Lewis's Carroll's beloved classic. When Alice toppled down the rabbit-hole 150 years ago, she found a Wonderland as rife with inconsistent rules and abrasive egos as the world she left behind. But what of that world? How did 1860s Oxford react to Alice's disappearance? In this brilliant work of fiction, Gregory Maguire turns his dazzling imagination to the question of underworlds, undergrounds, underpinnings--and understandings old and new, offering an inventive spin on Carroll's enduring tale. Ada, a friend of Alice's mentioned briefly in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, is off to visit her friend, but arrives a moment too late--and tumbles down the rabbit-hole herself. Ada brings to Wonderland her own imperfect apprehension of cause and effect as she embarks on an odyssey to find Alice and see her safely home from this surreal world below the world. If Eurydice can ever be returned to the arms of Orpheus, or Lazarus can be raised from the tomb, perhaps Alice can be returned to life. Either way, everything that happens next is "After Alice."… (more)
  1. 01
    Fifteen Dogs: An Apologue by André Alexis (charlie68)
    charlie68: Both books explore the meanings and absurdity of language in a playful manner.
  2. 01
    The Complete Fairy Tales by George MacDonald (charlie68)
    charlie68: Similar themes throughout.
  3. 01
    The Light Princess and Other Stories by George MacDonald (charlie68)
    charlie68: Similar themes in both.
  4. 01
    A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare (charlie68)
    charlie68: Both explore the madness of 'love'.
  5. 01
    Phantastes by George MacDonald (charlie68)
    charlie68: It's great book, similar to the Alice books in a lot of ways. The main characters go on a fantastic journey.
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» See also 30 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 61 (next | show all)
Clever and beautiful prose with many laugh out loud lines. I appreciated the use of alliteration in particular. ( )
  Muhrrynn | Jul 24, 2020 |
So, to preface this, I’ve only read one other book by Maguire, Wicked. So, I’m somewhat familiar with his writing, in that it’s dense and wordy. After Alice was definitely an easier read than Wicked because there’s only so much new story to tell and it’s unnecessary for him to over explain the setting.

Now, I looked at Goodreads and noticed it’s rated with 2.77 stars, and I’m confused as to why. I found this so inventive and interesting compared to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass because it runs on the assumption that Alice had actually left Oxford and found somewhere new, rather than dreaming. Her family and friends spend the whole novel looking for her, but Ada is the only one looking in the right place.

The novel switches between (mainly) Ada, a friend mentioned in Carroll’s work, and Alice’s sister, Lydia. Ada has some physical deformities that are looked down upon by most others in her society. From what I gathered, she’s got severe scoliosis, or something like that, because she has to wear a metal corset to keep her posture as straight as possible. Alice seems to be the only one who does not look at her like she is her disability.

Lydia, on the other hand, knows Alice to disappear frequently, and thinks she’ll turn up sooner or later. Lydia tries to hide it, but is dealing with the death of her mother and the now absence of her father, and Alice’s floaty personality. She’s an average 15 year old girl for the time.

I think the reason this book was not received well is because readers wanted something like Wicked, or something like Alice in Wonderland, and it’s neither. Maguire perfectly mixed Victorian England with a beloved work to make something different. There are wonderful nods to the original work, but there are characters we learn more about and ones that aren’t mentioned until the end. I also think there’s some sort of commentary being made here, but I don’t feel like figuring it out.

Overall, I really enjoyed this and gave it 5 stars. I believe this is a super creative book and that it should be read with nothing else in mind. Take it for what it is and try not to compare it to other things. ( )
  hexenlibrarian | May 19, 2020 |
Though written in the identical style of the original ( very difficult to follow at times, Gregory Maguire was able to get quite an interesting idea down on paper. I did enjoy it, but my middle schoolers would not get the dry wit or humor that goes with this book. I recommend for a senior in high school, or maybe a very enlightened Middle Schooler ( )
  MrNattania72 | Mar 17, 2020 |
I really wasn't sure I was going to finish this one, but I'm giving all the "eventually" books a shot, so I went with it and finally did it. It was hard to get into, and maybe slightly too connected to the source material. I never liked "Alice in Wonderland," but I also didn't like "The Wizard of Oz," but "Wicked" kind of fascinated me. This book was thoroughly disorienting, and I worried about Siam, but I was happy that Ada grew from her adventure. ( )
  t1bnotown | Jan 7, 2020 |
Ugggggh. Why can't I get into Wonderland stories? I thought maybe if I tried a retelling I'd like it better but no luck. I just couldn't get into the story and it took forever for me to finish it. ( )
  mitsuzanna | Sep 26, 2019 |
Showing 1-5 of 61 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Gregory Maguireprimary authorall editionscalculated
Johnson, AdamCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kerner, Jamie LynnDesignersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Alice took up the fan and gloves, and, as the hall was very hot, she kept fanning herself all the time she went on talking: 'Dear, dear! How queer everything is to-day! And yesterday things went on just as usual. I wonder if I've been changed in the night? Let me think: was I the same when I got up this morning? I almost think I can remember feeling a little different. But if I'm not the same, the next question is, Who in the world am I? Ah, that's the great puzzle!' And she began thinking over all the children she knew that were of the same age as herself, to see if she could have been changed for any of them.

'I'm sure I'm not Ada,' she said, 'for her hair goes in such long ringlets, and mine doesn't go in ringlets at all; and I'm sure I can't be Mabel, for I know all sorts of things, and she, oh! she knows such a very little! Besides, she's she, and I'm I, and—oh dear, how puzzling it all is!...'

—Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland
Dedication
For Natacha Liuzzi
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Were there a god in charge of story—I mean one cut to Old Testament specifics, some hybrid of Zeus and Father Christmas—such a creature, such a deity, might be looking down upon a day opening in Oxford, England, a bit past the half-way mark of the nineteenth century.
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From the multi-million-copy bestselling author of Wicked comes a magical new twist on Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, published to coincide with the 150th anniversary of Lewis's Carroll's beloved classic. When Alice toppled down the rabbit-hole 150 years ago, she found a Wonderland as rife with inconsistent rules and abrasive egos as the world she left behind. But what of that world? How did 1860s Oxford react to Alice's disappearance? In this brilliant work of fiction, Gregory Maguire turns his dazzling imagination to the question of underworlds, undergrounds, underpinnings--and understandings old and new, offering an inventive spin on Carroll's enduring tale. Ada, a friend of Alice's mentioned briefly in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, is off to visit her friend, but arrives a moment too late--and tumbles down the rabbit-hole herself. Ada brings to Wonderland her own imperfect apprehension of cause and effect as she embarks on an odyssey to find Alice and see her safely home from this surreal world below the world. If Eurydice can ever be returned to the arms of Orpheus, or Lazarus can be raised from the tomb, perhaps Alice can be returned to life. Either way, everything that happens next is "After Alice."

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