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Sylvie and Bruno (Nonsuch Classics)

3.52 of 5 stars 3.52  ·  rating details  ·  730 ratings  ·  54 reviews
First published in 1889, this novel has two main plots; one set in the real world at the time the book was published (the Victorian era), the other in the fictional world of Fairyland.
Paperback, 253 pages
Published February 15th 2007 by The History Press Ltd (first published 1889)
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This was a bizarre book. It had no real plot and no real beginning, middle or end. The story flipped back and forth between the life of a normal, middle-aged victorian man (who's point of view the story is told from) and his dream sequences. In the real world, the man and his various acquaintances have profound discussions about life. They talk about the nature of love, about physics, about evolution, and about God and who He really is. Whenever the man falls asleep--which is surprisingly often- ...more
Ed Smiley
This is an impossible to rate book, but I'm going to try.
Don't expect an exact clone of the Alice books, or you will be bound to be disappointed.
It is precisely Lewis Carroll's intention to write something unlike the Alice books.

The two most off putting aspects for many modern reader are probably Bruno's cloying baby talk (which hides a bit of subtle subversion, if "it offends oo") and those long passages that outline Carroll's theologico-philosophical speculations that do not include nonsense.

Non ci siamo...

Diversi passaggi notevoli, se non geniali, sepolti e soffocati da una valanga di divagazioni inutili, tedianti e anche parecchio moralistiche e fin troppo legate all'attualità del tempo (obiettivamente, cosa me ne può importare delle polemiche sulla sobrietà delle messe protestanti di fine Ottocento?!).
Disordinato e confuso, si fa almeno leggere velocemente...

Ahimé, quanto si nota come l'assenza di Alice abbia tanto nuociuto all'ispirazione del reverendo Dodgson! :-(
Jul 30, 2011 Anne rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone!
As "Alice in Wonderland" is one of my favourite stories from childhood, I was really looking forward to this other novel by Lewis Carroll - and wasn't disappointed at all! A lot of supplementary material let me know more about the author and his work, though I don't think it influenced me on evaluating.
The story itself is amazing as can be, telling from two gorgeous siblings and their adventures, being told by an older man. Every single page, every sentence, every word, even every letter is wor
I think this book took me longer to read than any other book I have ever read, but it is very vivid and inter-looped
Lewis Carroll writing style is crazy and unpredictable. It works in Alice in Wonderland because it happens in Wonderland. Carroll's characters are insane but it works because they live in Wonderland. There is no plot or reason; it's Wonderland! Imagine all that insanity in a real world setting with horrendous transitions leaving you lost between the real world and dreams. I get that this story has some philosophical high points with subjects like religion, love and evolution but the story is awf ...more
This is a strange hodge-podge of sentimental stories of fairies/children, nonsense stories & verse, and pseudo-scientific & theological dialogues. I went ahead and put it on my "young readers" shelf because I think it is meant for young readers, I'm just not sure how much they might enjoy some of the conversations of the adult/human characters. In the introduction Carroll says that he created the Sylvie and Bruno stories by collecting random thoughts and dialogues he had or thought about ...more
A lesser known work than his Alice in Wonderland books, Sylvie and Bruno is another of those strange children’s stories from Lewis Carroll that makes one wonder whether the Rev. Charles L. Dodgson’s stories were, indeed, written for children. To be sure, the humor is often as “painful” as “punful” as when a professor says, “The smaller animal ought to go to bed at once” and he is asked why the child needed to do so. “Because he can’t go at twice.” (p. 216 in my eBook version) Or again, when one ...more
Danger Kallisti
Feb 12, 2008 Danger Kallisti rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: children; fans of Brit-lit, allegory, grotesques, and surrealism
Shelves: brit-lit
I didn't know that he'd even made this book or its sequel until I got the omnibus edition. I think, judging by the length and the more complex discussions of morality and social responsibility, that it was probably written for a slightly older audience. While the strange shifts in space-time and consciousness were hard to follow at first, I found that I actually really enjoyed them once I got used to it. This was a really good book to be reading while on a weird acid summer odyssey. There was a ...more
Es esta la última obra de Lewis Carroll, poco conocida en español y menos reeditada aún. Fue eclipsada por “Alicia en el País de las Maravillas” y se la ha considerado una obra menor, un panfleto.
Sin embargo, en ella podemos apreciar al mejor Carroll, quien como un distinguido chef, nos sirve un banquete de palabras, elaborado con ingredientes de primera calidad, siempre en su dosis justa: humor inglés, que en ocasiones roza el absurdo; lúcidas críticas a la realidad política y social de la épo
It is no surprise that the Sylvie and Bruno stories aren't among Lewis Carroll's most famous, but I wasn't disappointed by them. Their balance between reality and fantasy is weighted much more heavily toward reality than are the Alice books, but fortunately that doesn't stifle Carroll's flair for silliness as much as you might expect.

Mister Sir, the narrator, reminds me just a tiny bit of Carlos Castaneda in The Teachings of Don Juan in that he drifts back and forth among several alternate and o
This book is so strange. I had an old, out-of-print edition of it when I was growing up, lost it, and couldn't find it again for years. I found it republished by Dover when I was like 10 in this off-the-cuff paperback which is full of formatting errors and typos, and (if I remember right) listed with the paper dolls in Dover's catalog. The sequel, Sylvie and Bruno Concluded, is even more elusive - I've never been able to find it anywhere - and both because of and besides that it's more magical t ...more
Favorite Quotes:

"This species of literature has received the very appropriate name of 'paddling'- which might fitly be defined as 'that which all can write and none can read.'"

"Perhaps the hardest thing in all literature is to write anything original."

"If Shakespeare was not inspired, one may well doubt if any man ever was"

"If a man finds himself haunted by evil desires and unholy images... let him commit to memory passages of Scripture, or passages from the best writers in verse or prose. Let
Prime example of absurdism done right.

Unlike the Alice stories, the narrator himself is the Observer of reality clashing with magic. He weaves himself in and out of several vignettes which either portray silly discources among friends and Fairyland. The title characters are but devices, sometimes human sometimes fairies. They are just a feeling, namely childhood awe, and transitory in roles and features. They are personifications.

The playfulness in this book dare one to continue reading until th
A most excellent children's story that you can find for free online on Gutenberg. One of the lesser known stories by Carroll, but so wonderful. He wrote this to try and change the formula for kids books, to help provide a close look at the way kids are that is amazing, such a fresh perspective on life and so much wonder that we often lose at adults. I highly recommend this one for anyone with kids or that is a kid at heart. The story follows our protagonists Sylvie and Bruno is their madcap adve ...more
Celeste Spangler
For a bit of lighthearted fantasy, this is okay. Don't keep your brain turned on too much while reading this or you'll just get confused. I was not terribly bothered by the setting switching back and forth; partly because I knew to expect it before hand. This writing exercise seemed to be a vehicle for Carroll to work out some random ideas and philosophies.
Fred R
I don't really have the temperament for Lewis Carroll, but the Victorian world he inhabited is very attractive to me. There are hints of genius in this mashup of the naive and the sentimental, but it would have taken a more skillful writer to really pull it off.
This was truly terrible. Bruno puts a strong case for infanticide. The theological discussion elements are tedious in the extreme. But to be fair, one of the worse elements of the book, the lack of clarity as to what is happening, gives the best 'feel' I have ever read of what dreams are actually like. Bur really, it's awful. I can't bear to read the sequel.
Can't decide. Some parts were exhausting and boring, others psychedelic and intriguing. But mostly, I wanted to finish it already. I loved both Alice stories and The Hunting of the Snark, but this one disappointed.
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The more I read the lesser known stories of Lewis Carroll, the more I realize that his books are not meant to be read 1 chapter at a time. At least, not for me. His stories are so fanciful and developed in such a way that the only way to truly understand where the story is and where it's going you almost have to read the entire story at once.

Sylvie and Bruno. It is a difficult story to follow, because it moves from human world to fairy world so suddenly, and then combines them. Nevertheless it i
Apr 22, 2014 Alexandria rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Those who enjoyed Alice in Wonderland or Peter and Wendy
Shelves: favorites
This is my go-to book whenever I need to forget my troubles. Sylvie and Bruno is like a best friend you can always depend on
Corinne Drollette
I loved it. It makes very little sense.
I just remember liking this. /unhelpful review
I must admit that a big part of the story seemed like nonsense to me. I guess there are secret meaningful behind certain words or phrases but I didn't get most of them. I tried to enjoy the story as I have done with Alice in wonderland. I am not sure I will read the book again but I think I will try to read its continuation in an effort to understand more about the story.
This is my favorite Lewis Caroll book. Even though this book is much less well-known than Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, I like it better. I love how he connects the imaginary and the ordinary, the seen and the invisible, and children's beliefs to that of adult society.

Many things that Arthur and 'Mister Sir' talk about sets me thinking. I especially love the talk about God's creation and Heaven. This book is deep, meaningful, and touching, but still retains Caroll's whimsical uniqueness to a
This was very excellent. I think it is Lewis Carroll at his best. Yes, better then the Alice series put together. This story definitely has a healthy dose of what is reality and what is fantasy/dream. Some stories can over-react with that issue but this is perfect. And when these two worlds collide there seems to be harmony to it. It definitely is one of his more church oriented stories as well as his best. This, and Sylvie and Bruno Concluded
It was an interesting and somewhat sweet book, but it got a little babyish after a while. I thought my sister would be the type of person to enjoy it better so I got her to read it and she did (for once!). Unfortunately, I never finished the story myself, neither did I start, let alone finish the sequel, Sylvie and Bruno Concluded. Well, as far as I know, there’s no rule about finishing every book that you start, or I would have a lot to account for!
Before i read this book i've heard it isn't much popular cause the storyline's jumping randomly from place to place, but as Alice's adventures lover i had to build my own opinion. My opinion now is that i LOVE this book and i'd recommend it to anyone who likes Lewis Carroll's work
Apr 04, 2015 Bettie☯ marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition

Opening: LESS BREAD! MORE TAXES! —and then all the people cheered again, and one man, who was more excited than the rest, flung his hat high into the air, and shouted (as well as I could make out) “Who roar for the Sub-Warden?” Everybody roared, but whether it was for the Sub-Warden, or not, did not clearly appear: some were shouting “Bread!” and some “Taxes!”, but no one seemed to know what it was they really wanted.

All this I saw from the open window of th
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Goodreads Librari...: Update cover 1 16 Oct 26, 2015 07:33AM  
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The Reverend Charles Lutwidge Dodgson, better known by the pen name Lewis Carroll, was an English author, mathematician, logician, Anglican clergyman and photographer.

His most famous writings are Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and its sequel Through the Looking-Glass as well as the poems "The Hunting of the Snark" and "Jabberwocky", all considered to be within the genre of literary nonsense.

More about Lewis Carroll...

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“Be sure the safest rule is that we should not dare to live in any scene in which we dare not die.” 12 likes
“Is Life itself a dream, I wonder?” 11 likes
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