“Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland”
by Lewis Carroll,
read by Michael York
Produced by Blackstone Audio, 2005
Approx 3 hours
Every once in a while you just have to read a classic. In my adult life, I’ve gone back and read, “Moby Dick,” “Catcher in the Rye,” “A Brave New World,” and a few others and each time I find something new I didn’t catch before or enjoyed something new that I knew was there but didn’t have the life experience to fully appreciate. This time around I got the opportunity to listen to the audiobook of “Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.” I had re-read this to my son a few years ago and we had a blast with all the absurdities and adventures. This time I could have the book read to me, and what a treat it was.
One of the nice things about this version was that it is read by Michael York. I’ve listened to audiobooks by Michael York before and am considering myself a fan of his voicework. His British accent is nice for this Yank to hear and he has the vocal range and talent to create some great character studies. This book is filled with some very interesting and strange creatures/characters and York does a superb job of making each character not only stand out but the voice fits what the character should sound like. York makes the White Rabbit not only sound in a hurry but through his voicework makes the rabbit come to life. All the characters come to life with the expertise of Michael York.
“Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland” has been analyzed through and through over the years but in my humble opinion it’s just one of those books that should be enjoyed. During the 60s the book got a revisit due to the possible drug use mentioned, even Jefferson Airplane based a song on the book, “White Rabbit.” Sure there may be some psychedelia to the book, but I feel that’s just due to the book’s absurdities.
One of the best sections I found this time around is Chapter 3 “A Caucus Race and a Long Tale.” The play on words in this section definitely made me chuckle as did the chapter featuring the Gryphon and the Mock Turtle. In reading the book to my son, we had a version with the original drawings, we got the entertainment from the pictures as I read. This time around I had no pictures by Michael York made up for that by delivering the descriptions and absurdities with ease.
I’m not sure what classic I’ll be visiting next, but I can tell you, it’ll be hard to capture the fun I just heard in this presentation.