Saturday, March 7, 2009

Alice in Sunderland by Bryan Talbot

alice1Alice In Sunderland: An Entertainment by Bryan Talbot 319 pages 2007 4/5 I had a bit of a back and forth relationship with Bryan Talbot's Alice in Sunderland, but in the end I realized just how amazing of a tome this was. Talbot takes us to the almost mythical town of Sunderland, a town that inspired Lewis Carroll both directly and indirectly in his writing. The genius behind the book is the numerous ties he makes to other historical events, classic folklore, and the culture of a town that inspired not only Alice in Wonderland but cultures all around the world. And he makes all of those ties to one little town in England. Alice in Sunderland opens with a white rabbit rushing past a man who is headed to the Sunderland Theater. Once he gets there, he takes his seat and enjoys the story that we are told. At the heart of the story is the tale of Lewis Carroll and his inspiration for Alice in Wonderland, the young Alice Lidell. But various other stories and histories are weaved throughout their tale, always leaving them as the central connection. I'm not even going to begin to get into all of the different histories that are told. You'll have to read for yourself to learn of them. Here is where my problem lied with the book at times. And it's really a personal issue, not a fault of Bryan Talbot. I've never been a history buff. I'm not ashamed to admit that. There are certain cultures who's history I love and certain events that I love to read about, but overall, I have a hard time reading history. I got straight D's all throughout high school in history. It just wasn't my strong point. So I would be lying if I said I was always engaged in this story. There were times when my mind would wander while reading and times when I would just get lost. But I have to say that if all history books were written in this highly entertaining format, I would've done much better in high school history! alice2 The format of this book is nothing short of amazing. It's a graphic novel with so much work put into it that I can't fathom how long it must have taken Mr. Talbot to write it. The book is rich in detail with it's pages full of collage, memorabilia, and of course, his amazing art work. This book is truly a piece of art and I'm quite sad that I have to return it to the library. I've always loved Alice's adventures in wonderland and the backstory that Talbot shares of those adventures is fantastic! I'm actually happy with the time I spent reading this graphic novel. I've never taken a whole week to read a graphic novel before, but this one is best read over time I think. That's the way to truly appreciate it. There's so much to absorb and appreciate in this book. If you've ever been curious about Lewis Carroll's life, the surroundings that inspired him and the people that inspired him, then this is a wonderful way to learn of the man and the city. Other Views and Opinions: Nothing of Importance Things Mean A Lot Did I miss your review? Let me know and I'll add it to this post!

No comments: