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The Review Man

Formerly of Goodreads, now of both words, in the coming times only here?

Currently reading

Survival: A Thematic Guide to Canadian Literature
Margaret Atwood
Lila: An Inquiry Into Morals
Robert M. Pirsig
Simulacra and Simulation (The Body, In Theory: Histories of Cultural Materialism)
Jean Baudrillard, Sheila Faria Glaser
Leaven of Malice
Robertson Davies
The Salterton Trilogy
Robertson Davies
Effi Briest (Penguin Classics)
Theodor Fontane
Empires of the Word: A Language History of the World
Nicholas Ostler
Cases And Materials On The Law Of Torts
Robert M. Solomon
Public Law : Cases Materials and Commentary
Philip Bryden, Craik, Neil, Craig Forcese, Forcese, Craig
A Property Law Reader
Bruce H. Ziff
Alice in Wonderland - Rene Cloke, Lewis Carroll I wasn't disappointed by Alice Adventures in Wonderland, because disappointed isn't the right word. Perhaps puzzled or confused or Emperor's New Clothes-ed. It's not that Lewis Carroll is a bad author (because he isn't); it's that he's a clever author. I can only stand cleverness in small doses before it becomes altogether sickening.

I suspect this is why nobody wants to read Gravity's Rainbow. Actually, I liked Gravity's Rainbow. Kinda sorta. But anyway.

So back to the cleverness. Leave it to a mathematician to write a story involving food labelled 'eat me' and 'drink me'. Doesn't that just reek of those half-finished logic puzzles you'd find in an old magazine in your grandmother's basement? And if Carroll's not playing logic, he's attempting heavyhanded political allusion, which is only fun if you've never heard of sarcasm before. Carroll must have been betting that his audience hadn't read The Guardian's op ed section (or the entire publication, for that matter).

Are anachronisms still funny?

Alice didn't have much of a sense of gravity. Neither did Alice, really (har har). I pictured Alice as a dull girl who sort of stumbled her way through life, maybe catching the odd lucky break. At least she got out of Wonderland eventually; I've been stuck there since December 2009. It really sucks: every time I try to leave, Tim Burton throws a Blu-Ray at me and yells "MY MOVIE MADE A BILLION DOLLARS. DON'T YOU DARE LEAVE WONDERLAND NOW!"

But do whatever you want! Read Alice! Enjoy it! Spend the rest of your afternoon talking to a mushroom! See if it'll talk back! Maybe it'll respond if you sing selections from The Marriage of Figaro!

Personally, I've always preferred Jonathan Swift to Lewis Carroll. Maybe his fiction is genuinely better; maybe it isn't. Maybe he masterfully abstracts away his satire to the nth degree; maybe I'm just a crazy Carroll-ian mathematician who takes far too much pride in his clever reviews.

I am, in fact, a mathematician who quite enjoys his own reviews. Whether I'm actually crazy is up to you. (Or whether I look anything like Lewis Carroll.)

All this to say that Alice was not as much fun as ice cream. But it was significatly more fun than lice, so that's a good thing.

lice < Alice < ice cream