Lying on a riverbank on a lazy summer’s afternoon – 23rd June 2016, to be precise – Alice spots a flustered-looking white rabbit called Dave calling for a referendum. Following him down a rabbit-hole, she emerges into a strange new land, where up is down, black is white, experts are fools and fools are experts... She meets such characters as the Corbynpillar, who sits on a toadstool smoking his hookah and being no help to anyone; Humpty Trumpty, perched on a wall he wants the Mexicans to pay for; the Cheshire Twat, who likes to disappear leaving only his grin, a pint, and the smell of scotch eggs remaining; and the terrifying Queen of Heartlessness, who’ll take off your head if you dare question her plan for Brexit. Will Alice ever be able to find anyone who speaks sense?
This is an amusing take on the original story of Alice in Wonderland mixed with Brexit.
On the 23rd June, 2016 Alice spots a rabbit called Dave Camerabbit who is calling for a Referendum. She follows him down the rabbit hole and emerges in a strange new land.
I loved the characters in this story. There is Corbynpillar who sits on a toadstool all day smoking his hookah. Humpty Trumpty perched on a wall he wants the Mexicans to pay for. The Cheshire Twat and the Queen of Heartlessness are a few more of the characters we meet. There are illustrations at the end of each chapter. This book is very current with its topic. A quick and funny read.
I would like to thank NetGalley, Penguin Random House UK, Ebury Publishing and the author Lucien Young for my ARC in exchange for an honest review.
Alice in Brexitland is a brilliantly funny, political satirical twist on the classic children's book Alice in Wonderland. Instead of tumbling down the rabbit hole Alice is in Brexitland and the characters she comes across such as - David Camerabbit, Corbyn-Pillar, The Cheshire Twat, Trumpty Dumpty, Tweedleboz and Tweedlegove and the Queen of Heartlessness - are well known political figures.
It's only a short read, so great for a pick me up if you need a laugh, however it will date terribly due to how current the theme is. Even if you are sick of hearing about Brexit, this is well worth a read and will have you laughing out loud in places.
Many thanks to NetGalley and Penguin Random House U.K, Ebury Publishing for the opportunity to read this book in return for an honest and unbiased review.
While I've never particularly liked the original Alice in Wonderland I do love political comedy and so I had my fingers firmly crossed when I put in my request for this.
This is an amusing read and while it was entertaining I have to admit it wasn't as funny as I'd expected and hoped.
The story follows young Alice on 23rd June 2016 referendum day as she follows David Camerabbit down the rabbit hole. Once there she reads the Daily Murdoch with its tales of doom and gloom and becomes so angry that she grows and grows as her anger grows. Who knew the EU was so evil? Then when she's too big to fit in the tunnel she spots the other newspaper the Gordian which reassures her (although its tone was a little smug) as see reads she shrinks back to normal size and continues her journey. She then comes across the general public:
‘We call ourselves the General Public,’ said the vole, ‘for we only know things in general and have no grasp of detail.'
‘New?’ said the fox, with a suspicious look. ‘How did you come to be in this forest?’ 'I swam here,’ said Alice. 'Swam here?’ said the fox, now baring his teeth. ‘So you’re an immigrant! An illegal immigrant!’ 'Oh, don’t be like that,’ said Alice, ‘for I’ve had such a difficult time. I had to swim for miles and miles. I might well have drowned!’ 'And it would have served you right!’ said the cock. ‘You’re probably a criminal, or worse, a health tourist!’ 'Bloody little girls,’ said the duck, ‘coming over here and stealing our jobs.’ 'I don’t want your beastly job!’ said Alice, taken aback. ‘In fact, I’ve never had a job in my life.’ ‘SHE’S ON BENEFITS!’ cried the cock, and almost fell off his perch, such was his excitement. By now the crowd had become quite mutinous and Alice could hear shouts of, ‘Go back to where you came from!’ and ‘British jobs for British workers!’
Alice continues on and meets Corbyn-pillar and then The Cheshire Twat and travels on his back over to American. Here she meets the July Forth hare but the Mad Tea Party isn't quite as good as she'd expected since all the tea has been dumped in the harbour.
She discovers the Americans get their news from Fox Cos they are always truthful Did you know that Hillary Eats babies to stay youthful?
And then......drum roll.......it's Trumpty Dumpty This creature was more peculiar than any Alice had yet encountered. He was not fully an egg, nor could you say he was quite a man, but somehow existed in between the two states. He had orange skin, squinty eyes and a puckered little mouth that reminded Alice of her cat’s bottom. On top of all this lay a thatch of golden hair, much the same colour as Alice’s, but of a texture that she had never seen before. In his hands he held a smartphone, whose screen he jabbed with stubby fingers. He seemed as angry as an egg could be, unless it were actually boiling in water, and, as he jabbed, strange words burbled from his lips. ‘Horrible… Bigly… Alec Baldwin… SAD!’ This piqued Alice’s interest all the more. ‘Excuse me,’ she said, ‘but my name is Alice and—’ ‘Shut up!’ cried the Egg. ‘I’m tweeting.’
It's an amusing read but I think my expectations were just too high, while I don't watch very much TV I do watch 'Have I Got News For You' 'The Last Leg' 'Mock the Week' and 'Saturday Night Live' all of which are hilarious at times and I wanted this to make me really laugh.
I voluntarily read a review copy kindly provided by NetGalley and Penguin Random House UK, Ebury Publishing.
This is not great literature but it is really great fun! The cartoons are excellent as are the poems/ditties. As much a tribute to Carroll as a satire on Brexit.
Alice follows 'Call me Dave' Camerabbit down the hole where she quickly realises that he doesn't know what he's talking about - 'really he was just posh!' She finds two newspapers, the Daily Murdoch with its 'Up yours, Delors!' message and the Gordian which she finds 'very reassuring (although its tone was a little smug)'. Next she stumbles upon a group of animals in a clearing, all arguing about Brexit. They are the General Public who 'only know things in general and have no grasp of detail'. Next come the Corbyn-Pillar and the Cheshire Tw*t (no need to elaborate!) who takes her across the Atlantic where she meets Trumpty-Dumpty 'with his orange skin, squinty eyes and a puckered little mouth that reminds Alice of her cat's bottom'. He loses his temper quickly and she thinks, 'Goodness, this egg has such a thin shell and his hands are so VERY small'. Finally, she meets Tweedleboz and Tweedlegove (who looks like a duck who has just won a prize) and the Queen of Heartlessness.
It's written in such a way that anyone who is parodied is unlikely to take real offence (with one eggception probably). It's clearly written by a 'Remoaner' whose message is very clear - politicians are an untrustworthy lot who will change their politics with the wind if they think it will advance their career. No one but no one thought the referendum would deliver a yes vote (Scotland voted a resounding no but it was a UK wide referendum) - not even those who campaigned for it but here we are.
This is a work of its time that really needs to be read soon, before Brexit is all signed, sealed and delivered. Soon? Who am I kidding?!
Thanks to NetGalley and Penguin Random House UK, Ebury Publishing for a review copy.
I love Alice in Wonderland and I enjoy politics. I’m one of those rare people who manages to remain quite calm while discussing politics, so despite not being a fan of comedy I had to give this a go. One might say I was “curiouser and curiouser”. I’m sure I’ve heard that somewhere before.
This story is a quick and funny read, which had me laughing out loud in numerous places. I have to say, I loved the name Trumpty Dumpty. The illustrations were also an entertaining touch.
Alice in Brexitland is written from the viewpoint that Brexit is a crazy idea, but I reckon it will be enjoyed by readers on both sides of the debate, although I was on the fence of the Brexit debate for quite a while, so I didn’t have particularly extreme views either way.
This is definitely one I recommend if you like the sound of the blurb.
Alice in Brexitland is a hilarious parody that tells the events surrounding the referendum in the form of Alice in Wonderland. Poor young Alice makes the horrible mistake of following David Camerabbit down the rabbit hole and quickly finds herself in a world that doesn't make sense anymore. The tale follows Alice's journey through Brexitland as she is introduced to characters like the Corbyn-pillar, the Cheshire Twat and Trumpty Dumpty. The characters are all instantly recognisable as both the fictional version from the original story as well as the real life politician they represent and they've been very cleverly written to show their biggest personality traits.
The book also includes wonderful illustrations that again follow the format of the originals but have been edited to fit the new characters created for this parody.
I coud have included quotes from practically every page but I've seen a lot of my favourites in other reviews already and I don't want to spoil the best jokes for anyone so I'm going to limit it to just this one:
How doth the politician lie To burnish his career And with his bogus slogans try To bend the voter's ear!
He'll promise in each interview That perfect joy awaits And all the while he's screwing you To help his wealthy mates
I know I'm not the only one who feels a bit like they fell down the rabbit hole in this last year so I laughed out loud the whole way through reading Lucien Young's take on events. This really does highlight some of the most shocking events from British and American politics over the last year and it probably hits a little close to the bone for some of us "remoaners" but if we can't laugh about the state of the world right now I'd probably have to cry and this was the perfect laughter inducer.
This isn't subtle in any way but is very funny (depending on your politics...) as Alice follows David Camerabbit ('call me Dave') down the rabbit-hole into the mad, mad world of Brexitland. Young follows Lewis Carroll closely and makes his Alice a sane and rational voice in a crazy world peopled by Trumpty Dumpty sitting on his golden wall, Tweedleboz and Tweedlegove the overgrown schoolboys, the Cheshire Twat with his wide smile, pint in his paw, and propensity to disappear conveniently - and the Queen of Heartlessness.
The drawings are inspired and the songs/poems make some pointed comments about the mythic England of the UKIP nostalgia vision (notwithstanding Farage's immigrant, refugee, Huguenot ancestors...). Die hard Brexiteers might want to give this a miss!
Probably better than the market space gives it any reason to be. Like the 'grown-up' versions of Enid Blyton and Ladybird Books that have been filling the high-street bookshops (and latterly the charity bookshops) for the last year or two, this is a comedy-headline gift choice: whoever the publisher expects to read it, it isn't the person handing over their money. The business model is plain in the fact the publisher can give away a free audiobook version as a podcast.
That said, Alice in Brexitland does have a bit more substance than many of its stablemates. The targets are the same as those in every other satire of Brexit, and the jokes the ones you would expect, but Lucien Young does do a nice line in straight irony ("I suppose I'm meant to oppose the government... but I prefer to sit here all day, feeling self-righteous") and the modular structure of the Alice narrative means he can keep things ticking along by shifting from target to target.
I also find a peculiar joy in the timeliness of it all; the fact that, while these jokes may be obvious now, they'll be meaningless in a few years. In fact, given the outcome of the recent UK general election, a lot of it's looking out of date already. (A year is a very long time in British politics these days...) I like getting it, I like being in the on the gag in a way the me of 2020 presumably won't be.
Like I say, I can't recommend anyone fork out of any of their own money to read this sort of thing, it's just too lightweight (and the publisher has made other arrangements if you're the sort of freak who still likes to read what they buy) but it wouldn't be an embarrassing present to buy someone. Though I'm sure they'd have preferred the book tokens.
I was provided an ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Lucien Young rewrites the classic story by Lewis Carroll using political figures to replace the animals and characters of the original story. The story contains 10 chapters, all a mix of actual Alice’s adventures in Wonderland chapters and current british and US politics. There was at least one illustration per chapter.
This was really funny at times, but since I’m not all that on point on British politics I was kinda lost some other times too. My favorite chapter is without a doubt the 6th one “Trumpy Dumpty”. I was laughing out loud.
The illustrations were really nice too, but since I had a digital copy, every time an illustration came up, the software lagged. It was kinda frustrating, but that doesn’t change my opinion of the book.
All in all, this was a really fast read and I had a great time reading it.
A hilariously on-point parody of the political events of recent times
A young girl named Alice makes the mistake of following a flustered ‘David Camerabbit’ down a rabbit hole into the strange world of Brexitland, where up is down and fools are experts. Here she meets a host of colourful characters, such as the Corbynpillar, Tweedlegove and Tweedleboz and Trumpty Dumpty. Confused by the madness of these characters, Alice becomes increasingly frustrated as she finds herself unable to get a clear explanation on what exactly ‘Brexit’ is from anyone. Thankfully for her, this madness seems to all be just a dream… or is it?
Alice in Brexitland is a great piece of political satire, chock-full of brutal, spot-on parodies of the political figures involved in the EU referendum. The Wonderland tagline of ‘you don’t have to be mad to live here, but it helps’ seems to be an apt way of describing the situation in the UK and the US at the moment, and Alice’s desperation to simply get a clear, non-biased explanation of the pros and cons of leaving the EU so that she can decide for herself if Brexit is a good idea or not is a funny but dismaying reflection of how the situation was around the time of the referendum. The character parodies were brilliant (particularly Trumpty Dumpty, an angry orange egg sat atop of a wall that he wants Mexico to pay for who ignores Alice’s questions because he’s busy tweeting) and the attention to detail was meticulous, including gems such as the author’s pen name being ‘Leave-is Carroll’ and book being dedicated to David Cameron ‘without whom this book would not have been written’. I also found the part where Alice meets a selection of animals who call themselves the general public ‘for we only know things in general and have no grasp of detail’ to be both comical and despairing. The poems and illustrations throughout the book also added to the amusement.
The story of Brexitland ends with Alice ‘waking up’ from her Brexit nightmare to the world where Remain prevailed and all the EU nations are on their way to a peace conference hosted by President Clinton – and also David Bowie is still alive. This ‘ideal’ may not be considered by everyone to be the best outcome that could have occurred, but it’s certainly what most people expected to happen over the past few years. However, she then spots the ‘Cheshire Twat’ (Nigel Farage) hiding behind a nearby tree who claims that ‘you, me and political correctness have all gone mad’, leaving Alice to question her sanity.
Overall, I enjoyed this book but it was definitely more targeted towards those who think that Brexit was a bad idea - die-hard Brexiteers should probably avoid it, as the Leave campaign is not portrayed kindly. Alice in Brexitland is amusing but obviously will date quickly and will probably be enjoyed by those who have found the past year a bit of a nightmare and fancy some light-hearted relief.
Breakaway Reviewers received a copy of the book to review
This was a splendid book written in the style of Lewis Carroll, depicting the national disaster that is Brexit, with wit and insight, that unfortunately was lacking before the fateful vote of 23rd June 2016. As you may have guessed, I voted to remain, and campaigned diligently for staying in the EU. I am pretty certain that the author of this book voted Remain too – so it is rather preaching to the converted. If you are pleased with the referendum outcome, this book is probably not for you. The characterisations of Jeremy Corbyn (whom I will never forgive) as the caterpillar, Nigel Farage (evil incarnate) as the Cheshire cat, and Boris Johnson as Tweedleboz, are perfect – both in words and in their respective drawn cartoons. The Cat said “‘This is a victory for real people, a victory for ordinary people, a victory for decent people’. Alice frowned. ‘Does that mean that all the millions who voted the other way aren’t decent and real?’”. In all other democratic elections, it has been acceptable to disagree with the outcome, but nowadays, those of us labelled Remoaners are not entitled to our opinions, because “The General Public have spoken … and they have spoken clearly. No matter what some fancy mathematicians might say, we all know that fifty-two percent is basically the same as one hundred. The fact of the matter is, the people want Brexit and they want it hard”. The explanation of how Brexit will work, given by Sir Julian Bigg-Fopp (“who looked as though he was born with an entire silver spoon factory in his mouth”) in Jabberwocky style verse: “A Brexit is a numptious thing …”. Only the Jaberwocky poem of course made more sense. You can just hear the Brexit camp singing O frabjous day! Callooh! Callay! At the end I was in tears as Alice is assured it was all a bad dream: “NO TO BREXIT - REMAIN PREVAILS WITH 99%. … the leaders of every EU nation are currently on their way to America, to attend a peace and prosperity conference hosted by President Clinton … all your favourite celebrities, … not one of them has died! Not Prince, not Alan Rickman and certainly not David Bowie”. Waaaahhh!
A quick, entertaining and an easy read. A parody of Lewis Carroll's 'Alice in Wonderland'. It's evident that the author was a remain supporter in the Brexit campaign, although the book contains a mix of British and American politics with an 'eggcellent' Trumpty Dumpty sitting on his golden wall that Mexico is 'gonna pay for', 'believe me.'
I received a copy of this book from the publisher via Netgalley.
This is basically a Brexit/Trump themed parody of Alice in Wonderland, right down to Lewis Carroll’s famous nonsense poetry. It’s interesting because it managed to take something pretty depressing and to make it all a lot of fun, and seeing Nigel Farage as a Cheshire cat was particularly amusing.
Because it takes on Trump as well, there’s also plenty here for American readers too. It’s satirical and still relevant, though only just. If you want to read it, read it now.
Funny and cheeky. Obviously more of a novelty type of thing, cute to have on the bookshelf or to give as a gift and so on, but the story is clever and pictures are amusing and the writing is quite decent. Probably wouldn't buy it for myself but it made for a nice goofy gift.
A few years ago I might have read this book and thought it was kind of overdone and ridiculous. Now, after years of Brexit negociations, I have to admit I would have been wrong. The whole Brexit process and it's main characters are wonderfully transferred into the world of Alice in Wonderland, making it maybe an even crazier world than the original already is. The sad thing is, it's all true... A real must read for everyone who is interested in politics, but does need a break from time to time ;).
This book is absolutely fantastic! So funny and clever. Definitely recommend (it does come somewhat from a remain/Pro-EU point of view though). Lots of songs and references to Alice in Wonderland and lots of issues covered. Characters include the main politicians you would expect - including Trump, although the Lib Dems and SNP don't get a look in. Things have changed since book has written but mostly it's as relevant and as funny as ever.
Even if I'm not sure about the prototypes every single character, even if there's nothing new said in the book, even if the author has reached the level which is on the boorder of "too much in my face", still I enjoyed this massively.
From A Post-truth Poem:
Turning on the BBC Feels like taking LSD Breaking news are breaking me
I'm sure the author could continue with Alice Looking through C19 mask or something. Would love to read that.
A highly entertaining read! Brilliant illustrations, and plenty of quips. No politician was safe! The only downfall was its brevity - although I am sure some may say that any longer and it would have laboured its jokes.
A very funny satire on the current political landscape. It's nice and short and the use of the classic Alice in Wonderland for this was a smart move. Whereas Alice wakes up from the mad world that is Brexitland, we can laugh but also cry at reality, the truth behind her dream.
Brexit is one of the most defining political events in, at least, European history since the creation of the European Union. Whereas the latter ushered in a time of ever closer bonds and peace, the former has set off a period of unrest, disenchantment and anger. All throughout the Western world discontent is spreading and the popular vote seems to swing to the right side of the spectrum, although there seems to be a recent return to sanity. Swiftly followed by the election of Donald Tr*mp in America, Brexit is casting long shadows over Britain. So how do you deal with a situation like that? Well, if you're British, it includes a lot of humour and satire.
So how do you move on when you feel like the country you love is sinking further and further down the Brexit-hole? You find the similarities to one of England's most beloved Classics and write a hilarious book. Or at least, that's the way Young found. It is a typically British book, in many ways. The dark humour, the exasperation, the throwaway nods, the biting social commentary, Alice in Brexitland couldn't be more British. From dedicating it to David Cameron to Alice's immediate disgust to Tr*mp, Young never ones loses his sharpness and humour. This novella is also beautifully illustrated by Ollie Man, his drawings being hilarious, fitting and perfectly in sink with the illustrations we know and love from Alice in Wonderland.
Young's writing is a great combination between a tribute to Lewis Carroll and a satire on contemporary political discourse. On the one hand there is the beautiful, nonsensical prose of Alice in Wonderland with its strange words and phrases, while on the other hand there is the disconcerting, frightening prose of Tr*mp, Farage and co. with their strange words and phrases.The fact that Carroll can make sense in his writing, reveal truth by seemingly obscuring it, while many politicians nowaday make no sense in their attempts to obscure the whole concept of truth, is incredibly saddening. Young combines Carroll's sense of humour and fun, with the reality of Brexit and creates a hilarious mishmash of seriously worrying statements by the Cheshire Twat (Farage), over-the-top yet accurate caricatures of the Tea Party, and a befuddled Alice who just wants a straight answer for once. There are many laugh out loud moments in Alice in Brexitland, not least of all whenever a poem or song rears its head. Released at the beginning of this month, I'm almost saddened by the fact Young couldn't factor in the recent General Election, bringing along the downfall of his Heartless Queen and the rise of the Corbynpillar. But perhaps this means there is now room for a sequel? Alice Through the Brexit-Glass?
Although rather short, Alice in Brexitland is a delight! Excellently thought through, Young writes the perfect satire for Brexit England, never letting up on his scrutiny of our politicians. However, this book will make you crave for an escape from the Brexithole. I'd recommend this to those interested in contemporary English politics and in an escape from those very same politics.