The Annotated Alice: The Definitive Edition - Lewis Carroll, Martin Gardner

Day 11: A book you hated

 

I read for fun, so I rarely read books I don't like, much less books I hate. But this was an easy choice for me.

 

Despite the fact that I could always easily escape into another world with a book, I was a fairly literal child. The books I liked though, were pretty realistic: Marguerite Henry's horse books, Walter Farley's Black Stallion books, Caddie Woodlawn, Little Women, Little House on the Prairie. They all either happened, or could have happened.

 

Not so Alice.  Alice was just too much. Waaaaaaay too much. Too much WTFery, although at age 7, I used different words.  It was my first encounter with a book I didn't like, and I was quite upset at myself about it. The kindly librarian who had recommended it reassured me not every book was for every reader, and what was important was that I read things I liked so I'd keep reading.  I love librarians!

 

When I first heard the term "suspension of disbelief," I immediately thought of Alice. That explained why I never liked Alice: I could never suspend my disbelief enough. 

 

Over the years, I've gotten better about that - sci-fi is one of my favorite genres, and Anne McCaffrey's Pern is like a second home - but I still have a visceral reaction to Alice.