Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland (1871)
This book has been around pop-culture circles for a long time and I have always meant to read it. I did not enjoy it. This book is unique and creatively written for its time, but after a lifetime of hype it just didn’t live up to my expectations. I feel like one of those people who love horror and then read Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein or Bram Stoker’s Dracula; they were the inciting works of their time but the genre has evolved and distilled so much since then that it’s difficult to love them as they are. Alice in Wonderland is, basically, a surrealist stream-of-conscious meander, many weird things happen, nothing seems connected, and there are occasional moments of inverted logic and terrible/wonderful puns. I couldn’t enjoy it, though I did try, and I doggedly persevered to the last page. Fortunately it is not very long and I allowed myself to skip the longer Alice’s Adventures Through the Looking Glass, which will forever remain on my ‘unreadable’ list. The pop culture references and inspirations that this work has paved the way for are the only reason I would recommend reading it.