You might remember that I read Alice’s Adventures in Wonderlandlast year and fell in love head over heels with it. It actually became one of my favorite books, ever!
Unfortunately I cannot say the same with Through the Looking-Glass. I’m not sure if it was the timing or if it’s really a less piece of work, but the magic I found in Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland was a bit lost in the sequel. It was still a pretty good read, but I did not love it as much.
I read the Vintage edition on the right which has both Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass, both with illustrations by John Tenniel-the original illustrator. I decided to wait a bit for the second book after reading the first one, hence the gap (they were actually published with 6 years gap anyway).
In Through the Looking-Glass I found that characters often appear and disappear too suddenly (literally–like poof!) which I don’t remember happening as much in the first book and kinda baffled me a little bit. I laughed reading the first one a lot more too. Lots more. The second book is probably supposed to be smarter because it integrates chess moves throughout the entire story, but I never have much interest in chess unfortunately!
What I found interesting was a few key events or characters that were taken from Through the Looking Glass and get adapted into the Disney’s version of Alice in Wonderland, like:
the garden of live flowers (John Tenniel’s illustration on the right)
tweedledee and tweedledum (John Tenniel’s illustration on the right–as if you’re gonna get it wrong..)
and Mickey Mouse short where he goes through mirror and finds world on the other side of it is an obvious tribute to Through the Looking Glass!
My super favorite passage:
“‘Well, in our country,’ said Alice, still panting a little, ‘you’d generally get to somewhere else — if you ran very fast for a long time, as we’ve been doing.’
‘A slow sort of country!’ said the Queen. ‘Now, here, you see it takes all the running you can do, to keep in the same place. If you want to get somewhere else, you must run at least twice as fast as that!’” ~ p196
which I think so reflects the fast pace of our modern life.