The Best Books Inspired By Alice in Wonderland

The Best Books Inspired By Alice in Wonderland

Of all the books in the public domain, Lewis Carroll‘s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland has inspired perhaps the highest number of variations and remixes. From comics to video games to films, writers and creators won’t be exhausting the familiar journey down the rabbit hole anytime soon. Thanks to Carroll, there’s such a rich amalgam of riddles, mathematical puzzles, and literary nonsense from which to pull.

Some of Alice’s interpretations have veered toward the controversial, including Alan Moore‘s pornographic adult graphic novel Lost Girls and the infamous anti-drug novel, Go Ask Alice, inspired by psychedelic interpretations of the original work. Join us for another Caucus Race, or perhaps an invigorating Lobster Quadrille, as we take a look at some of the various literary works influenced by Carroll’s creations.

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    1. Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass

    It would be contemptible to begin a list without the seminal work that inspired generations. Enter the original world of logic and riddles, mushrooms that make you grow taller (or shrink), and games of croquet—replacing mallets with flamingoes—with fearsome queens. Check out our Zola Open Classics free ebook version, which features chapter titles in a font based on Carroll’s handwriting, as well as psychedelic remixes of the original John Tenniel illustrations.

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    2. Automated Alice

    Speculative fiction writer Jeff Noon is largely influenced by the wordplay found in Carroll’s work. This comes to life in the fantasy world of his first novel, Vurt, in which an alternate reality is accessed by sucking on color-coded feathers. The Vurt series continues into the third book, Automated Alice, which follows Alice’s journey to a future Manchester populated by Newmonians, Civil Serpents, and a vanishing cat named Quark.

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    3. Splintered

    Alyssa Gardner hears the whispers of bugs and flowers—precisely the affliction that landed her mother in a mental hospital years before. This family curse stretches back to her ancestor Alice Liddell—the same living figure who inspired Carroll’s writing. Recalling Tim Burton’s creepy and creative vision, Howard’s dark fantasy is more about tackling vicious bandersnatches than reciting whimsical verse.

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    4. Alice in Zombieland

    Alice is reimagined as the feisty Ali, but that’s where most of the retelling ends. Alice in Zombieland, despite the name, is only lightly inspired by the original—looking away from Wonderland and more towards the action-packed zombie genre to build its adventure of monsters lurking in the shadows. Perfect for those who prefer their tea parties filled with adrenaline and explosions.

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    5. Alice I Have Been

    Described as “part love story, part literary mystery,” this historical novel begins with the real Alice Liddell (nearing her 81st birthday) for a searching look back on a life of passion, privilege, and tragedy.

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    6. The Looking Glass Wars

    Combining both the real history of Carroll’s life with the fantasy of his writings, Beddor rewrites our timeline—one with Wonderlandian assassins, political intrigue in the royal court, and steampunk battles. The basic premise of The Looking Glass Wars is that the real-life Alice Liddell was really Alyss Hart, the princess to Wonderland. Things get even stranger as this remix distorts into a Wonderland plagued by war and political factions.

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    7. Everything Alice

    It’s not always a literary derivation that signals inspiration: This unique book of crafts offers recipes for “Drink Me” cordials and tea-time treats, as well as jewelry, white rabbit toys, and other whimsical crafts. This a perfect gift for the child (or adult) in your life who loves paper dolls, playing cards, and cupcakes.

1 COMMENT

  1. Alright, but what about the action-packed mystery Insanity series by Cameron Jace? It follows Alice Wonder as she searches for who she really is due to having no memory of her past, struggles to piece together and solve the crimes happening all around her which are supposedly caused by Wonderlanders, and find out if this is all real or just the insanity that got her put into a lunatic asylum in the first place.

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