REVIEW: Alice in Zombieland by Lewis Carroll and Nickolas Cook

I’m gonna keep this review short and sweet, because that’s what the book was like….well maybe not sweet.

Alice in Zombieland pretty much explains itself – in essence it is the full text of Alice in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll (which is why he shares authorship) but altered so that Wonderland is actually Zombieland and is infested by flesh-eating Zombies. The other changes include:

  1. Instead of Alice following a white rabbit down a rabbit hole she follows a black rat down an open grave
  2. Instead of the pool of tears that Alice creates when she is stuck in the room with the tiny door, she bleeds a pool of blood from a head wound she received falling down the grave tunnel
  3. Well known characters like the Cheshire Cat, the March Hare and the Mad Hatter are all dead and in stages of decay
  4. The Red Queen controls a Zombie army through jewelled collars and a mysterious box that she keeps on her person
  5. Alice herself is turning into the undead and has unsettling thoughts of chowing down on everyone she encounters

I was really impressed with how Cook integrated the horror element of zombies into this classic tale, and was a bit unnerved by how well it fit. Cook changes enough to make it a new story but not enough to drastically alter the feel of the original tale, which in my opinion was pretty freaky already! Another nice touch was the illustrations at the beginning of each chapter – they’re the original drawings by Sir John Tenniel artfully changed by comic artist Brent Cardillo into grotesque etchings.

One of the illustrations

This newfound genre of horror/classics mash-ups is huge at the moment what with the highly popular Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Grahame-Smith being released in 2009, which was quickly followed by Sense and Sensibility and Seamonsters by Ben H. Winters and an avalanche of others since. I haven’t read Pride and Prejudice and Zombies or Sense and Sensibility and Seamonsters because I’m not really a Jane Austen fan, but I am intrigued by the concept of these mash-ups and I certainly enjoyed Alice in Zombieland, so much so that I finished it within a week of borrowing it from the library. A fun, gross read but not one to give to your kid because they like the original!

I give Alice in Zombieland by Lewis Carroll and Nickolas Cook:

4 / 5 stars

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Playing with Fire, Alice and Zombies

Two weeks ago I finally finished reading The Elegance of the Hedgehog by Muriel Barbery which I had been reading since April (I ‘ll post a review soon to explain why it took so long) and so I chose a new book from my towering “To Read” pile.

The Girl returns

The book I chose through my usual process was the second book in the Millenium trilogy, The Girl Who Played With Fire by the late Stieg Larsson. I was slow to join in on the craze of these books, because I had so many other books I wanted to read, so I only read the first book, The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo late last year. I thought it was a bit slow to begin with but once I got into it I found it highly engrossing so I was pretty excited to get stuck into the second one. However, from the tone of its predecessor I knew The Girl Who Played With Fire was going to be pretty heavy reading and for that reason I wasn’t ready to jump into it as most of the other books I’m reading are also pretty heavy: 2 Clive Barker’s and a very involved fantasy. The only exception is The Secrets of the Chess Machine which is great, but something I don’t want to read all the time.

So, even ‘tho I did start The Girl Who Played With Fire the other day, I have been craving something different, something a bit funny or ridiculous that I could easily read on the bus or train and have a bit of a giggle….and then I saw this book on the “New Books” display at Joondalup:

Now, regular readers of this blog (my beloved Bookbaggers) will know of my love for anything based on Lewis’s Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland/Through the Looking Glass as well as my recent love for zombie stories, so you can just imagine my delight upon seeing this title while I was tidying. I couldn’t borrow it at the time of course coz I was in the middle of work, but I put it neatly back on the display shelf and prayed that it would not be snaffled up by another Alice/zombie loving freak before 5 o’clock. Luckily the book gods smiled upon me and it was waiting for me when I finished and I made such a direct beeline to it and plucked it off the shelf that one of the staff commented in amusement.

I plan to start it tonight and you are sure to hear one heck of a review once Its been devoured 🙂

Happy reading and may the book gods smile upon you also!