Archive for April, 2014


AliceTitle: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass

Author: Lewis Carroll

Date Finished: 17/04/14

Re-Read? : First time read

Challenges? : The Classics Club

Overall: 5/5 – absolutely fantastic

I wouldn’t usually have classified this as two separate books (Wonderland/Looking Glass) as they are both reasonably short and I read them in the same volume, but when I looked on my Classics Club list, I realised they were down as two separate items so that is the way I will have to treat them ha ha!

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland

I gave this book 5/5 because I really loved reading it.  I knew the story quite well from various children’s versions that I read years ago and of course from the two film versions, although I haven’t seen either in a long time.  It was a really entertaining read and I enjoyed it a lot.

The plot is rather bizarre to say the least but Carroll (rather drily) manages to just carry on as normal as the scene completely changes for no apparent reason.  I liked all the characters too, especially The Queen of Hearts and Bill the Lizard!  Everything was really vivid due to Carroll’s brilliant prose – we can really picture everything there, guided of course by the amazing illustrations in the book.  I also enjoyed the mix of poetry in the book although sometimes I did only skim it!  The nonsense disguised as logic and bizarre reasoning really make this book special and I would definitely recommend everyone to have a good re-read of this, if you only really read the story as a child!

Through the Looking Glass

This book only scored 4/5 for me because I didn’t love reading it quite so much, although it was very good!  I didn’t know the story at all and I was slightly disappointed that the characters from Wonderland weren’t in it…I soon realised that it’s a different world!

The plot is slightly more structured (?!) in this book, since the overall structure is a bizarre live game of chess so it was easier to see where the book was headed – each new square being a new type of scene.  The characters were again very vivid and totally unique – my favourites were definitely the Knight and the bizarre messengers!  As I wasn’t familiar with the story, it was harder to picture the overall scenes that well (I’ve never seen a film of Through the Looking Glass) although the illustrations did help a lot again.  I would recommend this book too, in fact really I think you should just read the two books as one like I did since they are usually together anyway and are both short enough to read as one without it being a long read at all.  I’m very glad I decided to read these books this Easter Holiday as I really enjoyed both of them!

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LOTR3Title: The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King

Author: J.R.R. Tolkien

Date Finished: 12/04/14

Re-Read? : First time read

Challenges? : Yes – The Classics Club

Overall: 5/5 – absolutely brilliant

I really really enjoyed the first two LOTR books and The Hobbit so I was very excited to get to read this volume these past couple of weeks.  I’d managed (somehow) to avoid seeing the films and overhearing people talk about it all my life so I really didn’t know how the story was going to end.

The plot is really good (as always) in this book although maybe slightly weaker than the previous two volumes – I do think I enjoyed this one the least out of all the three.  I just felt at times it was just slightly too predictable compared to the other two.  Although the ending is slightly anticlimactic, this can’t really be avoided when you have been reading over 1000 pages of build up!  Nevertheless I was enthralled by this book, especially in the middle and I definitely wanted to keep turning the pages.

The characters are as phenomenal as before, and it feels like everyone gets their story and part to play in the plot, which is a nice touch.  I liked the way slightly more minor characters, like the men in Gondor/Rohan had storylines weaved into the main plot as well.  I was a bit gutted we didn’t really get to meet Sauron – I was kind of hoping for a hugely dramatic stand-off between him and Gandalf over the Cracks of Doom…in fact I think this was the area I a bit disappointed in really – that it all ended without one last battle with everyone involved, but hey ho!

I felt like there was slightly more assumption of the history of Middle-Earth in this volume than the others – everything before was always clearly explained (e.g. the histories of the One Ring etc) but some of the facts about “The King” etc were somewhat assumed that we would know; after reading the appendices, of course it all became very clear but at some points some of the formalities and who was actually in charge of who and in what land was a bit confusing!

It seems as though I’ve only commented on the flaws of this book, but that’s not how I see it at all – I have sung Tolkien’s praises so much in my previous posts that I think (so as not to repeat myself) it was better to focus on some things I didn’t enjoy 100% for a change; also if I mentioned everything I love about this series, the post would be far far too long!  I wholly recommend the whole LOTR series to you all, as it’s completely epic (in both senses of the word) and I really can’t wait to watch the third film!