Manny's Reviews > Alice's Adventures in Wonderland

Alice's Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll
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"Good gracious!" said Alice, "I do believe I'm inside a review!"

She turned to the Hatter and the March Hare.

"Well, let me see. Here is the title, and here is the date I read it. That must be today. Now I need to explain the plot and the overall point."

"There is no plot," said the March Hare disagreeably.

"And there is no point," agreed the Hatter.

He poured a little hot tea on the Dormouse's nose, making it wake with a start.

"The book breaks new ground," it said rapidly in a high, sing-song voice. "Intentionally eluding easy assignment to any traditional category, it anticipates the twentieth century's fascination with the relationship between the signifier and the signified, and wittily deconstructs the primacy of meaning and the rationality of thought." Then it went back to sleep again, and began to snore gently.

"Whatever did that mean?" asked Alice, surprised.

"Why is a Derrida like a derrière?" replied the Hatter.

"I don't know," said Alice.

"I don't know either," said the Hatter triumphantly.

"It would be reasonable", said Alice, in the grown-up tone she had sometimes heard her sister use, "It would be reasonable for you to explain what the book is about, so that I could put that in my review."

"It would be reasonable," said the Hatter, "to expect hot premarital sex in a Stephenie Meyer novel. But don't imagine you'll find any."

Alice couldn't think of anything to reply to this, so she turned away without another word. When she was almost out of earshot, she thought she heard the Hatter shout something after her that might have been "Foucault!"



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01/30/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 51-100 of 184) (184 new)


message 51: by Robert (new)

Robert Given your knowledge of linguistics, you should be able to construct a perfectly grammatical book in which every sentence is nonsense.


Manny Robert wrote: "Given your knowledge of linguistics, you should be able to construct a perfectly grammatical book in which every sentence is nonsense."

Thank you, but I think that market is already oversupplied...


message 53: by Robert (new)

Robert Noooo...those books all have bad grammar...plus you could do it Magyar are something...


Manny There's also the question of whether something can be grammatical and at the same time completely meaningless. Chomsky famously said it was possible, but I have my doubts.


message 55: by Robert (new)

Robert I said nonsense, not completely meaningless. "The green penguin flew gracelessly over the Mountains of the Moon," is nonsense but not completely meaningless.


message 56: by Manny (last edited Aug 09, 2011 07:32AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Manny Okay, in that case we're on the same page. I don't think 'completely meaningless' exists, but there's plenty of nonsense. At the other end, though, I doubt you can be sure whether things are or are not nonsense. Look how much trouble Continental philosophers have had with that one.


message 57: by Robert (new)

Robert Well, I've come across plenty of cases where authors claim they are making sense but plainly aren't but, off the top of my head, I can't think of any cases of authors claiming to write nonsense whilst making sense...


Manny I would have thought this was a good example! Vian's L'Ecume des jours is another.


message 59: by Robert (new)

Robert I seem to remember that Caroll vehemently denied writing nonsense. Am I mistaken?


message 60: by Manny (last edited Aug 09, 2011 08:02AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Manny Ah, maybe you're right. I could well be confusing him with Edward Lear on that score. And I believe Vian also said everything in his book was just true.


message 61: by Robert (new)

Robert The foam of days? The scum of days? You can see why I'm not a linguist.


Manny The English title is Foam of the Daze. It's clever - Vian loves wordplay.


Manny Thank you Catherine!


message 64: by Traveller (last edited Feb 09, 2012 02:08AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Traveller Hehehe, liked the Derrida references, just to make you sound all the more... litnerdy.

I much prefer this review to the celeb deathmatch one with Alice vs Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. The feminist in me has to like Lisbeth.

Robert wrote: "Given your knowledge of linguistics, you should be able to construct a perfectly grammatical book in which every sentence is nonsense."
(then)
Manny wrote:
"Thank you, but I think that market is already oversupplied... "
LOL. ROFL. Well, said, Manny! :D

Anyway, to quote L.C: "Well, now that we have seen each other," said the unicorn, "if you'll believe in me, I'll believe in you.”

A lot of L.C. is so quotable. :)
Nice review, as usual.


message 65: by Elinnna (new)

Elinnna I see the movie and Ithink the book is best too. http://www.likerunningshoes.com/nike-...


message 66: by Aura (new)

Aura That was terribly funny!


Manny Thank you Aura!


message 68: by Salmontres (new)

Salmontres This is a great offense to this book. Had Lewis Carrol read this awful, disgusting review, he may have had second thoughts as to writing it.

Thanks for making us all lose a little brain cells in your review, jerk.


message 69: by Lisa (new)

Lisa Vegan Salmontres wrote: "This is a great offense to this book. Had Lewis Carrol read this awful, disgusting review, he may have had second thoughts as to writing it.

Thanks for making us all lose a little brain cells in your review, jerk."


You're not a friend of Manny's so I don't think you're trying to be amusing. Flagged for a personal attack on another Goodreads' member.


Manny Um, Salmontres, this has been one of my favorite books since I first read it around age seven. My review is meant as a homage to Carroll's genius, and my impression is that most of the people who have read it recognize that. I don't understand why you're so agitated!

Lisa, thank you for defending me :)


message 71: by Cornelius (new)

Cornelius Salmontres wrote: "This is a great offense to this book. Had Lewis Carrol read this awful, disgusting review, he may have had second thoughts as to writing it.

Thanks for making us all lose a little brain cells in y..."


Salmontres you shaved ape, what business do you have picking on this guy for (besides the fact that he looks so very much like you)? The man gets all of his joy in life out of writing these trivial little snippets so deficient people like Lisa can get their thrills. Why do you have to go and ruin that?

I know for a fact you do not appreciate Carroll's work, the man who wrote some of the greatest literature of all time even though he was a registered sex offender. And you have no brain cells that you could lose, so what are you complaining for?

I suggest that you leave these people alone, lest you want to feel my electronic messaging wrath.


message 72: by Manny (last edited Jun 30, 2012 10:29PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Manny Cornelius, do you happen to come from South Bend, IN? Just wonderin'.


message 73: by Cornelius (new)

Cornelius Manny wrote: "Cornelius, do you happen to come from South Bend, IN? Just wonderin'."

That is a remarkably accurate presumption Mr. Rayner.

Have I offended you before in person?
I wouldn't recall if I had.


message 74: by Salmontres (new)

Salmontres Perhaps an apology is in order. I seem to forget that the human mind, when deprived of oxygen for extended periods of time, will begin to deteriorate. During this process, it's very possible that said deprived soul will find abhorrent pieces of literature not only charming but causes for rejoicing and sharing. Make no mistake: I don't appreciate any literature that comes from Carrol. Indeed, I'll go so far as to assert that his repertoire of childrens' poems and stories is one of the reasons why our world is in its' current decrepit state. When I read your review, I found it vile, as I find most other reviews on this base website. However, your review offended me, in fact penetrated me, at such a foundational level, that I could no longer keep my humble silence. Had I known that Tweedledum and Tweedledee were hovering at keyboard in mouse, ready to pounce on unsuspecting commentaries, I may have chosen my words more appropriately.

And you chose your allies quite carefully, I must admit: a fiery housewife who's only too happy to assault the innocent with whatever cookware is in her depraved reach, and of course, Corn. To describe Corn as The Plague couldn't even be called an understatement. A plague follows it's victim simply because it's in the very nature of the plague. Corn follows his victims with a voracious appetite, as if he can't wait to devour the victim's being, whether material or otherwise. In all honesty, I should consider myself fortunate that he decided to strike yet again, taking time away from his increasingly demanding schedule of fornication, masturbation, and general debauchery.

I won't waste any more time potentially sacrificing my philosophy through this coarse interchange, and I leave you three to develop whatever style of relationship you choose, although I shudder at the very thought. Do not contact me again Corn; I only wish modern authorities were able to justly punish the harassment I've experienced. (That's discussion for another time.)


Manny Cornelius wrote: "Have I offended you before in person?
I wouldn't recall if I had."


I have been offended before by people from your delightful city, and these occasions occupy a special place of affection in my memory. Truly, South Bend has mastered the art of the vicious Internet put-down, and the rest of the world is still struggling to catch up. But, carefully following in your footsteps, I have faith that we will get there in the end.

Salmontres, I have even less idea what you are talking about. If you wish to be penetrated on a foundational level, though, I am sure there are people on this site who will be happy to oblige.


message 76: by Moira (new) - added it

Moira Russell I love Alice, and this is hilarious - a fitting tribute.


message 77: by Ben (new)

Ben Excellent review.


message 78: by Ian (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ian "Marvin" Graye Sorry, just realised I'd read this in the book, but not liked it here.


Manny Thank you Ian!


message 80: by Ian (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ian "Marvin" Graye I also forgot to mention that the first line is my favourite first line on GR.


Manny In true Lewis Carroll style, it just came to me out of the blue. I have tried to encourage more lines to do the same thing, but evidently it doesn't happen very often.


message 82: by Ian (new) - rated it 5 stars

Ian "Marvin" Graye I'm not sure whether you saw any of the collaborative writing some of us did on the Roberto Bolano "The Savage Detectives" Discussion Group, but there is some interest in starting a similar group to write individually and/or collectively in the style of Lewis Carroll. I haven't started it yet, but it would be great to have you along.


Manny Hm... very tempting! But I must stay focused on the current project, which is extremely time-consuming...


message 84: by Scribble (new)

Scribble Orca You know, it really is just as funny second time round.


Manny Thank you GNF! I'm glad I picked it as the lead review in the book...


message 86: by Thế Chiến (new)

Thế Chiến Lê Love your review.


Manny Thank you Thế!


message 88: by Геллее (new)

Геллее Авбакар Always amazing Dear Manny, God save you for us...


Manny Thank you Gellee!


message 90: by Casey (new)

Casey I loved this review!


Manny Thank you Casey!


message 92: by Evelynn (new)

Evelynn I don't care for the book at all, but I must say, I enjoyed your review! Very clever, makes me wish I could write better reviews....


Manny Well, thank you Evelynn, but I think you're overvaluing me and undervaluing Lewis Carroll :)


message 94: by Evelynn (new)

Evelynn I'm just not a fan of "literary nonsense" and prefer to spend my time reading historical-based books. I respect your opinion, for everyone is entitled to his/her own opinion. It just wasn't for me.

And I think the reason I enjoyed your review more than I enjoyed the actual book is because (though it is also literary nonsense, since it is based upon the book's writing itself) it explains the book, it isn't the book. :)


Manny I like seeing things explained, but sometimes I also like nonsense. And it is not always obvious which is which...


message 96: by Robert (new)

Robert Manny wrote: "I like seeing things explained, but sometimes I also like nonsense. And it is not always obvious which is which..."

Indeed, I have come across many explanations that are nonsense!


Manny Not to mention nonsense which turns out to be explanations. I mean, quantum mechanics to start with. You're wondering if the person responsible is Humpty Dumpty or the Mad Hatter.


message 98: by Evelynn (new)

Evelynn Ah, Mr. Manny, you have inspired me to write (what I hope is) a better review. I would be honored if you could "review" my review, though I'm not sure you've read the book. http://www.goodreads.com/review/show/...


message 99: by Naomi (new)

Naomi Brilliant!


message 100: by Manny (new) - rated it 3 stars

Manny Thank you Naomi!


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