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After Alice
Cover of After Alice
After Alice
A Novel

From the multi-million-copy bestselling author of Wicked comes a magical new twist on Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, published to coincide with the 150th anniversary of Lewis's Carroll's beloved classic.

When Alice toppled down the rabbit-hole 150 years ago, she found a Wonderland as rife with inconsistent rules and abrasive egos as the world she left behind. But what of that world? How did 1860s Oxford react to Alice's disappearance?

In this brilliant work of fiction, Gregory Maguire turns his dazzling imagination to the question of underworlds, undergrounds, underpinnings—and understandings old and new, offering an inventive spin on Carroll's enduring tale. Ada, a friend of Alice's mentioned briefly in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, is off to visit her friend, but arrives a moment too late—and tumbles down the rabbit-hole herself.

Ada brings to Wonderland her own imperfect apprehension of cause and effect as she embarks on an odyssey to find Alice and see her safely home from this surreal world below the world. If Eurydice can ever be returned to the arms of Orpheus, or Lazarus can be raised from the tomb, perhaps Alice can be returned to life. Either way, everything that happens next is "After Alice."

From the multi-million-copy bestselling author of Wicked comes a magical new twist on Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, published to coincide with the 150th anniversary of Lewis's Carroll's beloved classic.

When Alice toppled down the rabbit-hole 150 years ago, she found a Wonderland as rife with inconsistent rules and abrasive egos as the world she left behind. But what of that world? How did 1860s Oxford react to Alice's disappearance?

In this brilliant work of fiction, Gregory Maguire turns his dazzling imagination to the question of underworlds, undergrounds, underpinnings—and understandings old and new, offering an inventive spin on Carroll's enduring tale. Ada, a friend of Alice's mentioned briefly in Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, is off to visit her friend, but arrives a moment too late—and tumbles down the rabbit-hole herself.

Ada brings to Wonderland her own imperfect apprehension of cause and effect as she embarks on an odyssey to find Alice and see her safely home from this surreal world below the world. If Eurydice can ever be returned to the arms of Orpheus, or Lazarus can be raised from the tomb, perhaps Alice can be returned to life. Either way, everything that happens next is "After Alice."

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About the Author-
  • Gregory Maguire is the New York Times bestselling author of Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister; Lost; Mirror Mirror; and the Wicked Years, a series that includes Wicked, Son of a Witch, A Lion Among Men, and Out of Oz. Now a beloved classic, Wicked is the basis for a blockbuster Tony Award–winning Broadway musical. Maguire has lectured on art, literature, and culture both at home and abroad. He lives with his family near Boston, Massachusetts.

Reviews-
  • AudioFile Magazine Take a new whimsical trip down the rabbit hole with narrator Katherine Kellgren in AFTER ALICE. This adaptation tells the story of Alice's friend, Ada, and HER experience in Wonderland. Kellgren does impressive work, animating each peculiar voice to differentiate and entertain. The variety of tone, pace, and emotion makes for a highly amusing and enjoyable listen. Her proper and potent accent is fitting for an eccentric tale filled with mischievous characters that begs listeners to choose their favorite playful voice. The quizzical banter that Ada encounters in Wonderland is perfectly executed and supported by Kellgren's theatrics. She's an exquisite example of a narrator who uses all her strengths and who isn't afraid of being expressive and dramatic. D.Z. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award © AudioFile 2015, Portland, Maine
  • Publisher's Weekly

    Starred review from September 14, 2015
    Maguire (Wicked) turns his attention to Lewis Carroll’s Victorian fantasies, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass, in this thoughtful and disconcertingly memorable novel. Ada Boyce, Alice’s best friend, also falls down a rabbit hole into a phantasmagorical realm where she too is tossed and bossed about by strange creatures who delight in clever, frustrating wordplay. She longs to shed the metal brace that both imprisons and protects her crooked back, but she also wants to reunite with Alice and go home. Meanwhile, Alice’s older sister, Lydia, disturbed by the death of their mother and her own impending womanhood, searches distractedly for a visiting little boy, Siam, who has climbed into the world on the other side of the mirror in the family drawing room. Maguire frequently pulls back from the action to offer a larger perspective as characters struggle to discover who and what they are—and, most importantly, why they are. This is a feast for the mind, and readers will ruminate on it long after turning the last page.

  • Library Journal

    May 1, 2015
    Known for his revisionist take on children's classics, particularly his "Wicked"-ly good series drawing on "The Wizard of Oz", Maguire turns his attention to Lewis Carroll's immortal "Alice's Adventures in Wonderland"--which celebrates its 150th anniversary this year. Here, Alice's friend Ada (briefly mentioned in the original) slides down the rabbit hole directly after Alice. Will Ada find Alice? What does the underworld have to say about our understanding of our world? Read and discover.

    Copyright 2015 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Library Journal

    October 1, 2015

    What happened above after Alice fell down the rabbit hole into Wonderland? That is the question Maguire (Wicked) answers in his latest novel. In alternating chapters we follow Alice's sister Lydia, who was watching Alice but lost her, and Ada Boyce, Alice's neighbor and friend, who also falls into Wonderland. Lydia is beset--by Miss Armstrong, Ada's governess; by her father's entertaining Charles Darwin that day; with being a newly motherless 15-year-old girl. Ada, free of adult scrutiny and her scoliosis brace for the first time, experiences the oddness of Wonderland as she follows in Alice's wake. In one vexing day, Ada, Lydia, and Miss Armstrong must adapt to deal with their circumstances and find new facets of themselves. VERDICT Maguire fans should be pleased with his take, at turns clever and philosophical, on the Lewis Carroll classic. Other readers may find the slow build up of action and wrenching jumps between the two disconnected settings, one in stilting 19th-century language and the other in the nonsense of Wonderland, a bit too high a barrier to keep them reading. [See Prepub Alert, 4/6/15; see also Barbara Hoffert's "Why Alice Still Matters: Celebrating 150 Years of Wonderland with Gregory Maguire," LJ 8/15.--Ed.]--Nancy H. Fontaine, Norwich P.L., VT

    Copyright 2015 Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • School Library Journal

    March 1, 2016

    The story of Lewis Carroll's Alice is turned upside down as Ada, a neighbor and friend, also falls down the rabbit hole into Wonderland. Afterwards, life progresses for those aboveground, some of whom start looking for both girls. Maguire creatively adapts the classic tale, mixing whimsy with science as he finds a way to work in Charles Darwin and his research on natural selection and an American abolitionist into the narrative. Teenagers will feel comfortable reading about well-known characters such as the Cheshire Cat, the Mad Hatter, and the Queen of Hearts. This sense of familiarity, along with the brisk pace of the novel, will help readers through the often challenging vocabulary. They may also enjoy references to literary works from Dante and Shakespeare to J.R.R. Tolkien and C.S. Lewis. As in the source material, there is great language play and there is no shortage of clever riddles. The secondary characters are just as fun, and teens may identify with Lydia, the older sister who is happy to be rid of Alice for the day while mourning the loss of her mother. With an open ending, this could easily become another popular series opener like Wicked (HarperCollins, 1995). VERDICT Teens who enjoy reimagined tales, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, or any of Maguire's previous works will line up to read his newest creation.-Carrie Shaurette, Dwight-Englewood School, Englewood, N

    Copyright 2016 School Library Journal, LLC Used with permission.

  • Kirkus

    Starred review from September 1, 2015
    Alice doesn't live here anymore-and Maguire (Egg & Spoon, 2014, etc.) has great fun upending the furniture to find out where's she gone. Continuing his tradition of rewriting fairy tales with an arch eye and offbeat point of view, Maguire turns his attention to Lewis Carroll and Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. Alice has dropped down the rabbit hole-"again," sighs an exasperated governess, one of the story's many betes noires-and now her best friend and confidante, Ada Boyce, is falling in after her, looking to bring our young Persephone, or perhaps Eurydice, back into the light. Well, of course, Ada finds all sorts of curiouser and curiouser things down below, from hookah-smoking caterpillars to mad hatters and pince-nez-sporting sheep, with Carroll's original cast of characters plus a few of Maguire's own imagining. Up on Earth, Maguire populates the scene with all kinds of folks from real life, among them Walter Pater, Charles Darwin, and various members of the British royal family, who fuss about doing serious and real-world things-including, in a nice, smart closing turn, a meditation on the evolutionary qualities of, yes, the imagination. Not that Alice and Ada aren't (weren't, that is) real, but Maguire leaves it to them, mostly, to enjoy the wackiness of the underworld and for the grown-ups to do the pondering. Still, some of the slyest moments come when the two worlds collide: "I have always heard that Queen Victoria was moderate in her tastes," says Ada, confused at a subterranean knight's alarm that the queen is likely to have their heads. And there's no end to sinister possibilities along with the usual charming Alice storyline-after all, Lewis Carroll didn't inscribe the entrance to Wonderland's tiny door with the words out of Dante, "All ye who enter here, abandon hope." A brilliant and nicely off-kilter reading of the children's classic, retrofitted for grown-ups-and a lot of fun.

    COPYRIGHT(2015) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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After Alice
A Novel
Gregory Maguire
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