Saturday, 8 March 2008

Jeff Noon: Automated Alice

It's a laugh! It starts off really cute but gets more and more bizarre.This is some kind of "sequel" to L. Carroll's Alice in Wonderland - equally cute, equally bizarre!

If Lewis Carroll had sent Alice off on an adventure into the future, what might it have been like? Noon (Pollen, 1995) answers this question in his wild and farcical third novel. Puns, riddles, numerical puzzles and cockeyed literary references abound in this tale of Alice's trip through her Great Aunt Ermintrude's clock into an unlikely alternate-universe version of Manchester, England, circa 1998. Among the many strange characters Alice meets are her termite-driven, robot "twin twister," the Automated Alice of the title; Captain Ramshackle, a Badgerman and Randomologist; and a Crow-woman/scientist named Professor Gladys Chrowdingler who puts cats in boxes that may or may not render them invisible.

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