November 3, 2013

Fantasy masked as fiction

I'm not even sure where to begin with my review of The Land of Laughs. From the very beginning, I was unsure of where the story was headed and not in a "wow this is going to be a really interesting journey"kind of way. The introduction of the main characters threw me off as they weren't necessarily relatable or even likable. If you're like me it's very difficult to really get into a story if you feel completely separate from the characters who are your eyes and ears in the narrative. However, it started picking up speed around 100 pages in when I figured out where the story was headed. The author has a flair for description and he knows how to get you on the edge of your seat. Of course, figuring out the author's plan meant that I knew what the ending would be less than halfway through. :-/ Conclusion: It wasn't the worst thing I've ever read but it was also far from the best.

Simon Winchester is known for his narrative nonfiction. I was first made aware of him when I studied Library Services in London when two of his books were on the required reading list. I was immediately a fan. This time I'm reading The Alice Behind Wonderland. Beginning with the famous photograph of Alice Liddell which Charles Dodgson aka Lewis Carroll took (and which many have speculated about) and continuing with Dodgson's personal journals, Winchester gives a more complete story of the girl behind the famous story. Having done extensive research on the topic myself I'm interested to see his take.

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