Wednesday, October 27, 2010

More on The Man from A.L.I.C.E.

One of the treasures to be discovered in The Annotated Alice is a recommendation of this 1950 mystery inspired by our manxome foe. For your delectation I have chosen the cheesiest of its several editions to accompany this selection:

"There ought to be a law against the printing of volumes of The Complete Works of Lewis Carroll. He should be remembered for the great things he wrote, and the bad ones interred with his bones. Although I'll admit that even the bad things have occasional touches of brilliance. There are moments in Sylvie and Bruno that are almost worth reading through the thousands of dull words to reach. And there are occasional good lines or stanzas in even the worst poems. Take the first three lines of The Palace of Humbug:

I dreamt I dwelt in marble halls.
And each damp thing that creeps and crawls
Went wobble-wobble on the walls.

"Of course he should have stopped there instead of adding fifteen or twenty bad triads. But 'wobble-wobble on the walls' is marvelous."
He nodded. "Let's drink to it."
We drank to it.

So far The Night of the Jabberwock is a thumping good read. Unfortunately neither KPL nor WMU owns a copy, but you can request one, as I did, via MelCat, the state-wide lending system.

Or you could, for $250 or so, purchase a copy of the first edition and have this Tenniel-inspired cover to enjoy along with the story.

Or, if you don't mind throwing The Screaming Mimi, Knock Three-One-Two, and The Fabulous Clip-Joint into the bargain, you can have all four Black Box Thrillers for a mere $3.73.  I don't know what that cover looks like, but it's sure to be swell.

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