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After Alice

2.79  ·  Rating details ·  9,652 ratings  ·  1,810 reviews
AFTER ALICE, Gregory Maguire's ninth novel for adults, returns to the mid-19th century summer day on which Alice disappeared into Wonderland, tracing what happened to her sister left behind on an Oxford riverbank, and also what happened when Alice's friend Ada follows her down the rabbit hole.
Paperback, 256 pages
Published October 27th 2015 by Headline (first published October 1st 2015)
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Jamie This is not a YA book.

The scenes set in Victorian England (probably two-thirds of the book) are going to bore most young readers, particularly if…more
This is not a YA book.

The scenes set in Victorian England (probably two-thirds of the book) are going to bore most young readers, particularly if they expect more Wonderland. These scenes also focus on Lydia, Alice's older sister, who is not a likable character (although she is a well-written teenager).

Younger readers are also likely to be frustrated by some of the wonderfully obscure word choices (e.g., "opodeldoc", "crepuscular", "vatic", "apidistra", etc.). The book is clearly aimed at adults with nostalgia for Alice in Wonderland. (less)
Crystal Hutchinson Keep going with your story. I can promise they won't be similar. It will be cool to read two different stories. Think of the show Weeds vs Breaking…moreKeep going with your story. I can promise they won't be similar. It will be cool to read two different stories. Think of the show Weeds vs Breaking Bad. The writer of BB was so disappointed when he heard about Weeds, but he was a huge success!(less)
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Average rating 2.79  · 
Rating details
 ·  9,652 ratings  ·  1,810 reviews


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Hailey (Hailey in Bookland)
I have a lot of thoughts, review TK
Magdalena aka A Bookaholic Swede
Too wordy and not a bit interesting to read. Gave up after 31% and decided to try something else instead...

Billie
Jul 29, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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 M ...more
Eric Klee
Jul 21, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
...more
Joseph Cognard
I tried hard to finish on February 29th. One of the many tricks that I had to use to finish this book.
"Regrettably, not my cup of tea," Joe thought to himself.
Maybe 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 table.
"It 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 fr
...more
Alexandra
Jun 10, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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 bore.

plus to be honest, nothing really happened.

alice's friend ada went looking for her down the rab
...more
Tamara
Jul 22, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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.
Rebecca McNutt
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.
Erin Clemence
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 pr
...more
Julie
Jul 03, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, own, vine
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 quality was seeing a few familiar characters. The ad ...more
Chiara
A copy of this novel was provided by Harper Voyager Australia for review.

DNF at 52%

I tried to finish this. I tried to love this. But I couldn’t do either. To be honest, I wanted to DNF after the first few pages, because I almost immediately knew that After Alice was not the book for me. Instead, I read until 52% and promptly gave up, because as the saying goes “so many books, so little time”, and I wanted to spend the time it would have taken me to read the last 48% of this bo
...more
Erin
Oct 30, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This book was nothing like I wanted. If a writer wants to do a re-imagining of Alice in Wonderland using the concept of her friend that also falls into the rabbit hole here is my wish list for that story:
1. A story that stays true to the sense of dark whimsy of the original
2. A story with some sort of strange, spare, fantastical diction, even if not the same as Carroll's
3. A deeper look into Wonderland with more adventures, more characters, and more weirdness, all while occasio
...more
Tammy
Jun 04, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
3 1/2 stars

The nitty-gritty: An Alice in Wonderland re-telling that didn't quite hit the mark, but a wonderful look at the effect of Victorian society on a handful of memorable characters.

So Mama waggled her fingers in the air, Go, go, and settled her crown of hair, the color of browning roses, upon the bolster of the davenport. A miasma of lavender toilet water couldn’t mask the hint of madeira wafting from the open decanter though it was not yet eleven in the morning. Mrs. Boyce lay squalid in self-forgiveness.

So/>The
...more
Audra (Unabridged Chick)
I wanted to like this book so much. I've somehow never read Maguire before, despite loving retellings, and given the slavish devotion so many have to Wicked, figured I finally needed to hop on the Maguire bandwagon. This book, however, was a massive fail for me, and I'm not entirely sure I'm going to attempt Maguire again.

This take on Alice in Wonderland follows Ada, an awkward and ungraceful playmate of Alice's, who stumbles into Wonderland, as well as Alice's older sister Lydia, who stays in
...more
Ashley Buhrke
Sep 15, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Alice in Wonderland fans/Fantasy-Fiction Readers
**I would like to start off by saying that I received After Alice by Gregory Maguire for free via Shelf Awareness in exchange for a review. Although I am super grateful and excited for any opportunity at receiving a book for free, I am also very strict with being honest. That being said, giveaways do not impact my reviews.**

Actual Rating: 3.5/5

Hmmm, not really sure why this book has such a low overall rating as I rather enjoyed it.. and for this reason I am glad I don't listen to what others think. I/>Actual
...more
Ray Palen
Aug 10, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Gregory Maguire, who reimagined Oz with his WICKED series now turns his attention to an Alice In Wonderland 'sequel'.

In this highly imaginative and surreal novel, we find Alice's friend Ada searching for her missing friend. Even Alice's sister Lydia is concerned as the typically odd Alice has never disappeared for this long. During her search Ada finds the same portal Alice had discovered and finds herself in Wonderland. Although not nearly as bizarre as the land depicted by Lewis Ca
...more
Liz Barnsley
I’m a huge fan of the Oz retelling, where the wicked witch was perhaps not quite so wicked after all – I’ve read the books I’ve seen the musical and done my fair share of singing (badly) along to Defying Gravity – so I was really looking forward to seeing what Mr Maguire did with another classical favourite, Alice in Wonderland.

Well it was not as good. For me it didn’t quite hit the highs of Wicked – but still it was an enjoyable little reimagining, following Ada as she follows Alice
...more
Cherie
No more for me, Mr. Maguire. You can write, I know, but that was the driest, stuffiest story I ever read. I did not like any of the characters, and I couldn't find anything to be excited about during any of the scenes in "your wonderland".
Cassie
I always pay special care to caterpillars. I move them from the walking path, and take time to place them without disruption next to the juiciest looking leaves. All of this even though they’re probably rude. Walrus’ being social animals, of course are friends with carpenters and walk upright on two deeply grooved fins. All of this information is thanks to my childhood attachment to Alice, and I would argue most of the “odd girls club” attachment to Alice. (We used to meet in the bathroom and cr ...more
Patty
Jul 23, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
After Alice
By
Gregory Maguire

What I knew about this book before I read it...

I knew quite a few things about this book and this author before I read it. I knew that this author wrote Witches. I knew that After Alice was about Alice in Wonderland but with a different view...a slightly different and unique view.

My thoughts after reading this book...

I really loved reading this book. The humor was so sweet...so unique...so perfect! I loved th
...more
Claudia
Boy, I read the reviews and I wondered if I was reading the same book. I really liked this one...Maguire takes us back to Wonderland, Thru the Looking Glass, and gives us two new heroes, both deeply flawed by the world, to navigate. And, we see Lydia's struggles at home. In the original, Lydia is a frame and nothing more. In a way, that's what Alice is here...a frame. A device to collect all the characters, to give Ada a purpose, and to allow Lydia to reflect.

So much is going on here
...more
Elaine
May 17, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I was so looking forward to reading this book. The author did so well with OZ books, so I had very high hopes, even paid a extortionate amount for this ebook.
I was so disappointed, let down does not cover it.
Basically this book follows Ada a friend of Alice's who goes looking for her and ends up tumbling down the rabbit hole in search of her lost friend. Good premise.
I was expecting a vivid wonderland to be brought to life with Alice and Ada both navigating the surreal world of wonderland.
Th
...more
Jess
Apr 23, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2017-books
This book was... fine.

I used to love Gregory Maguire, but it's been awhile since I read one of his books. Wicked this was not. It wasn't even Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister. Actually, if I had to codify After Alice it would be something along the lines of "I wish I wrote Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and also here are some somewhat deep thoughts on the nature of imagination and seemingly poignant walk-on cameos by period-appropriate famous people."

It felt pretentious and largely unnecessary. While placing th
...more
Bob Schnell
Advanced Reading Copy Due to be published October 2015

Gregory Maguire is perhaps best known for his Wizard of Oz backstory book "Wicked" which has become an unstoppable force on Broadway. I haven't read that one or anything else by him but when presented with his take on Alice in Wonderland, "After Alice", temptation got the better of me. I wish I could say that this added some new dimension or nuance to the Lewis Carroll tales but it does not.

I suppose I was expecting so
...more
Terri Wino
I received a free ARC of After Alice through the Goodreads first reads program from Harper Collins Publishers. Thanks to both.
Unfortunately, this book just didn't resonate with me. Full disclosure, I've never read any of Lewis Carroll's books, so I can't even begin to compare this book to his work. I, of course, know the Alice in Wonderland story as much as anyone else and have seen the movie.
For me, this book was just boring. I really struggled to get through and finish it. It just isn't
...more
Absinthe
Feb 29, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016
This book peers through the looking glass of political and historical events of the 1860s, giving the reader an interesting view of Alice's Wonderland. In a way, this book serves as Maguire's own interpretation of the original story, bringing to the readers' attention the political climate in which the original story was written. With that frame of mind, it presses the reader to think beyond just the fantastical surface of Alice in Wonderland, but begs them to interpret themes and context. Addit ...more
Rinn
I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher, in exchange for an honest review. Also posted on my blog, Rinn Reads.

There is a definite trend for Alice in Wonderland related things at the moment, what with the 150th anniversary of the books publication in 2015. Since then I’ve seen countless retellings, spin-offs and books loosely inspired by the works of Lewis Carroll. Therefore, anyone writing one of these such novels has to work extra hard to make theirs stand out from the cro
...more
James
Nov 06, 2015 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Total retread of Lewis Carroll's classic but with chapters lobbing across your reading attention like a tennis ball; one deals with a friend of Alice's who falls down the rabbit hole into Wonderland and the other is about the above ground boring tale of Alice's sister, her nasty disposition, a bumbling housekeeper, and Charles Darwin visiting Alice's father. Also, a small African boy named Siam a former slave) in the company of Mr. Darwin's American companion. The boy, too, goes through the Look ...more
Nele
Sep 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fairytale, favorites
Jep, loved it.
It wasn't what I expected, but very pleased indeed. Beware though, it's addictive and you'll need a quiet space to get into it (hello loud neighbors on the first real spring day of the year).
And just look at the cover! Who wouldn't want a copy of this one on their bookshelf? *prrrretty book*
Ethan
Jul 17, 2015 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
"How very like a dream this all is."

Gregory Maguire, author of the bestselling novel Wicked, is back with his latest novel, a re-imagining of Lewis Carroll's classic Alice in Wonderland. Whether you've read Carroll's novel or seen any of the numerous film adaptations of the work, you are probably familiar with Alice's adventures in the strange Wonderland. But what about Alice's family? How did they cope with her mysterious disappearance? And what kind of impact did Alice's presence i
...more
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Gregory Maguire is an American author, whose novels are revisionist retellings of children's stories (such as L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz into Wicked). He received his Ph.D. in English and American Literature from Tufts University, and his B.A. from the State University of New York at Albany. He was a professor and co-director at the Simmons College Center for the Study of Children's Literatu ...more
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“A story in a book has its own intentions, even if unknowable to the virgin reader, who just lollops along at her own pace regardless of the author’s strategies, and gets where she will. After all, a book can be set aside for weeks, or for good. (Burned in the grate.) Alternatively, a story can be adored for centuries. But it cannot be derailed. A plot, whether abandoned by a reader or pursued rapturously, remains itself, and gets where it is headed even if nobody is looking. It is progressive and inevitable as the seasons. Winter still comes after autumn though you may have died over the summer.” 4 likes
“The world pauses for royalty and deformity alike, and sometimes one can’t tell the difference.” 4 likes
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