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After Alice As much as I geek out after all things Alice in Wonderland I must say this book was a hot mess It didn’t seem to me that Maguire could decide whether it was a retelling of the original or a commentary on Victorian life in the 1860’s Ada inadvertently follows Alice down the rabbit hole and spends the rest of the story in pursuit of her friend in Wonderland encountering many of the characters that Alice has already come across One redeeming uality was seeing a few familiar characters The adventure narrative alternates with what’s going on in the real world Alice’s sister and Ada’s governess searching for the girls The parallel narratives are so disconnected it’s tedious not to mention the two aforementioned characters are hardly likeableWe’re not dealing with the real life inspiration Alice Liddell here but the fictional Alice in a nonfictional Oxford with real characters like Charles Darwin I got the impression that Maguire was trying to be cleverer than what he achieved It’s as if he couldn’t just settle on channeling Carroll to recreate Wonderland in his own way so he also used this as a platform to wax philosophically about slavery Victorianism and evolution Piggybacking on a classic and giving it a dark Dante esue spin just was not successful I received a complimentary copy of this book via the Vine program Lewis Carroll's masterpiece Alice in Wonderland is one of my favorite books of all time It works for both kids and adults on different levels and the Disney animated movie did it justice with the ponderings thoughts and musings of the characters within Wonderland After Alice from the author of Wicked The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West is about Ada a friend of Alice's who goes looking for after she's gone missing and falls into the rabbit hole after Alice In reading this novel I was jarringly reminded of why I picked up Wicked when it first came out in 1995 read two chapters and then placed it on my bookshelf where it sat for 20 years Why? The author Gregory Maguire writes as though he's got a thesaurus sitting right beside his writing desk and yes that's an Alice reference He suffers from what students in Creative Writing 101 suffer from BIG WORD SYNDROME It's as if he writes a sentence flips through his thesaurus and then substitutes every word he can with something bigger and in his humble opinion better He's trying to sound intelligent but it comes across as pompous and boring I lost interest soon after starting After Alice but I labored on until I just couldn't any Occasionally his musings between characters in Wonderland were reminiscent of Lewis Carroll's and I'd start to enjoy the banter but then he'd drift back into Thesaurusland and lose me again After Alice may work for fans of Maguire's but it most likely won't appease fans of Carroll 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 classicWhen 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 disappearanceIn this brilliant new work of fiction Gregory Maguire turns his dazzling imagination to the uestion 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 Euridyce 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 I tried hard to finish on February 29th One of the many tricks that I had to use to finish this bookRegrettably not my cup of tea Joe thought to himselfMaybe it was nobody's cup of tea Perhaps it wasn't a cup of tea at all Joe wondered as he leaned closer to the rectangular object laying on the tableIt must be some form of nourishment he thought as he deeply inhaled the aroma leaping from the cover Closing his eyes for a second to strengthen his delight of the fragrance he swayed closer and closer to the book Not than a year ago in this very spot had he been offered a tasty tweet by the same maker with such a scent so incredibly wicked that it carried him all the way back to his youth Joe leaned closer to the book hoping to again be taken for such a ride When he opened them he was shocked to see that somehow he had fallen right through the coverAfter a brief battle with the wind and a few shelves that he understood even less this time Joe finally splashed into a pool of words Actually there were words then would fit in a pool it must be a lake or even likely an ocean There sure were a lot of letters They formed words of every shape and size and as Joe battled to stay afloat they formed little wakes about him Soon the wakes of words bounced off others and returned to pelt Joe in the face Though sarcastic and mad the words that characters deflected back at Joe struck him nothing like that of Lewis Carroll Though all the old and new characters as well as the author tried thier hardest nothing seemed the same Even high tea with the crew and a back door entry to a Garden Party could do very little to pick up his spiritsThen suddenly Joe was teleported to another world even stranger than Alice's fantasy land It was filled with horny governess and teenagers as well as a good deal social comentary A group of odd characters fanatically in love with their town There was apparently even a brilliant scientist though for some reason Joe never heard anything than a cough out of him Though Joe's journey ended pretty abruptly he did carry some pleasant memories of Ada a character he actually liked It just seems to him now that maybe none of them should have went looking for AliceFacebook Blog I'm at a loss as to why this book has reviewed poorly; it's one of Maguire's best in my opinion Brilliant retelling and brilliant social commentary lord christ but this was wordy and pretentious once I got past all that though I did enjoy the story at least a little bit and I have to say that there were some sentence gems tucked in among all the pomp and bullshit and that made it all worth it mostly and by mostly I mean not at all |I think I need to stay away from re imaginings for awhile this was a complete boreplus to be honest nothing really happened alice's friend ada went looking for her down the rabbit hole ran into some of the characters we are all familiar with such as the white rabbit the playing cards the flowers although in this case they were all bitchy red roses with names like rosa rugosa and rosadolorosa srsly? and had short boring interactions with all of them nothing new or noteworthy happenedmeanwhile back in the real world ada's nanny was going batshit crazy looking for her it was just boring if I had to describe this book in one word I'd say boring I guess if you are ever suffering from a bout of insomnia try this one out but other than thatI certainly don't recommend it and I feel bad saying that because I genuinely loved wicked and it's one of my favorite books of all time I'm not saying gregory maguire is a bad authorhe definitely writes well but likethis was just too pretentious for my taste I had hopes for this book but it was incredibly pretentious and took itself way too seriously There was a limited vocabulary very little by way of character development and reading it only brought images of hipsters to my mind sipping their Starbucks and scratching their beards while reading After Alice in an attempt to look intelligent This review is for the audio version of “After Alice” by Gregory Maguire narrated by Katherine Kellgren Audio 3 Ms Kellgren is an animated exuberant narrator who is like a chameleon in the way she can easily slide from one voice to another Although she is so expressive and her vocal range is extraordinary her voice is also extremely piercing and pretentious I have listened to a few books now which are narrated by Brits but Ms Kellgren’s accent sounds overdone and severe I would’ve preferred a calmer less stage performance type narration for this novel Story a very generous 3 Gregory Maguire takes on Lewis Carroll’s “Alice in Wonderland” in this novel simply called “After Alice” After Alice fell down the rabbit hole what happened to the family she left behind? Did anyone seek her out or notice her missing? How did Oxford in the 1860s acknowledge Alice’s disappearance? This story is told from the vantage point of Ada a friend of Alice’s who was mentioned in Lewis Carroll’s novel who also falls down the rabbit hole and ends up in Wonderland while in pursuit of Alice We also see things from the view of Lydia Alice’s sister who instead of looking for Alice ends up placing her focus on her romantic conuests while trying to avoid her father’s visitor Mr Charles Darwin Maguires writes as pretentiously as Kellgren speaks a well matched pair for sure with pages and pages of difficult language that instead of being poetic as I guess was Mr Maguire’s intent turns out to be garrulous and verbose This is uite common for Maguire although generally his storylines make up for it It was not the case with “After Alice” I enjoyed the storyline of Ada on her uest for Alice but the ridiculous addition of Lydia as she fawns over the young man traveling with Mr Darwin seemed completely arbitrary Maguire seemed to want to draw attention to Mr Darwin and his theories as opposed to Ada’s journey through the rabbit hole Siam the young African American boy traveling with Lydia’s beloved was also although adorable completely pointless The uirky eccentric characters that existed in Wonderland saved this novel to be sure including the reoccurrence of the Mad Hatter and the White Rabbit I anxiously waited for the parts of the novel that detailed Ada’s journey and did the best I could to zone out during Lydia’s The ending was predictable yet satisfying but overall I was disappointed I am generally a huge fan of Mr Maguire’s and I expected Too wordy and not a bit interesting to read Gave up after 31% and decided to try something else instead Lewis Carroll's Alice books are fun and clever and smart 'After Alice' is occasionally the first sometimes accidentally the second and never as much the third as it thinks it is This is a case of trying too hard that just ends up being rather uncomfortable to read Maguire tries to give stories to too many characters and ends up shortchanging them all in the process The conceit of following Ada when she follows Alice down the rabbit hole is interesting and could have been a wonderful story if Maguire had used the opportunity to view Wonderland through a different lens Ada starts out as an unimaginative and fairly grounded child but too uickly upon landing in Wonderland does she succumb to its surrealism Having a logical child follow in Alice's footsteps and attempt to rationalize what she's seeing could have made for a thoughtful and even fun story Even interspersing chapters of Lydia aboveground wondering where Alice has gotten off to and only half assedly looking for her because she's too wrapped up in her own fifteen year old girl problems could have added an intriguing texture to the story Instead it's like Maguire started with these ideas and then became enad with his own cleverness and decided he needed to add in commentary on evolution and slavery in the American South and kept adding characters to do so and it all just ended up a muddled mess with all of the storylines just kind of fizzling out rather than having proper endingsI wanted to love it but ended up just being annoyed with it This will not be joining my Alice collection There are other pastiches that work better They may not be good but they're entertaining which this wasn't and that counts for a lot