Saturday, March 5, 2011

Alice in Zombieland-Lewis Carroll and Nickolas Cook; illustrations by Sir John Tenniel and Brent Cardillo

Alice in Zombieland
Lewis Carroll and Nickolas Cook; illustrations by Sir John Tenniel and Brent Cardillo
Sourcebooks, Mar 1 2011, $14.99
ISBN: 9781402256219

Alice plays in the graveyard near her house while her sister watches her. When her sister momentarily takes her eyes off Alice, the girl notices a Black Rat running who suddenly vanishes. Intrigued, Alice runs to the spot where the rodent disappeared. She spots an open grave, which she dives into. When she lands, she finds herself in an underground world that smells of decay and rot.

Alice sees a spooky graveyard that can be entered through a locked door. She wants to get outside, but is either to tall or too small depending on what she eats or drinks. When she gets injured, blood drops on the floor. Alice drinks an elixir and shrinks until she swims in the blood getting outside. She walks until she crashes the Mad Hatter’s tea party and afterward sees various body parts with missing rotting pieces of flesh. Alice comes across a croquet match using zombie heads while her skin is rotting and her hair is falling out in clumps and she lost a tooth. The Dead Red Queen wants her head, while the little girl just wants to home.

Alice in Zombieland is a humorous retelling of the classic tale using zombies as key characters in similar scenes to that written by Lewis Carroll in the original. The dialogue is snappy and filled with puns similar to Piers Anthony's Xanth series although there are some dark scenarios lightened by Alice. Even though zombie fever has become overly used with the classics (see Seth Grahame-Smith’s Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, and the same prime title by Steve Hockensmith and Katherine Kellgren), illustrations add to the sense of the reader falling down that rat hole in this refreshing remake.

Harriet Klausner

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