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On an ordinary summer's afternoon, Alice tumbles down a hole, and an extraordinary adventure begins. In a strange world with even stranger characters, she meets a rabbit with a pocket watch, joins a Mad Hatter's tea party, and plays croquet with the queen! Lost in this fantasy land, Alice finds herself growing more and more curious by the minute....
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By Fantastic Alice Fox on 08-05-18
Masterful. Evocative. Haunting! Sheridan shines!
I discovered this reading of Alice many months ago. Before I was any kind of audible customer and before I signed up for the UK site due to it's better selection and monthly fee(8quid? There are very few books not well worth that much and many worth more! Like this one which I bought outright for a tenner)
For whatever reason I became obssessed with it. I even looked for dodgy ways of acquiring it as I was not yet a member(Gasp!)
After I became a full member and discovered how great the deals can be I hunted it down, grabbed my copy of the Annotated Alice and sat down to listen.
I was entranced! Beautifully spoken and makes every word come alive. Also, as I have found is the case with the ghastly Margaret Wooster Oz readings Sheridan DOES NOT talk to the audience like they are 2 year old children. I was not aware of this occurence in audiobooks of children's works and as a single gay lady it's horrifying. Precocious children often have to deal with adults talking down to them. In fact, I would say even the non precocious children are aware of it but do not get as angry as I would. I have long believed that talking down to children is a terrible thing to do. Kids are smart and excited about learning. Make sure they know where the Dictionary is and also be willing to tell them what a word means if they ask you. But there is also this "I'm talking to a child" voice that people talking to a stupid audience use. I say stupid because as a grown lady it's how it makes me feel. When words or phrases are emphasized in bizarre ways not only is it hard to listen to it makes me upset.
Sheridan Smith is telling a children's story. And she feels no need to take any type of licence and assume a child will enjoy it more if she talks down to the listener. She makes Alice childlike without her being annoying and is quite adept at doing a wide variety of different voices. As a skilled vocalist from the Doctor Who radioplays where she did four full series as the Doctor's companion as well as a singer and a actress of stage and screen it's not hard to see why she is just so good.
I still felt a little bit like Lucie Miller was telling the story and that's perfectly ok. After the dreadfulness of the Oz books I mentioned above I was relieved to hear a childlike Alice but a likeable one. I am familiar with the animations and live action productions of the 80s and 90s(The one with Whoopi Goldberg as the Cheshire Cat I felt skewed more adult but still loved it as a 9 yr old) and it was delightful to discover the original work that despite really being only 2 books has spawned a fandom as obssessive and dedicated as fandoms with 55 years of content from their beloved object.
I would also suggest outright buying this if you have a membership. It's barely more than the monthly fee and it is worth every extra dollar.
I'd also recommend tracking down the annotated Alice to read along with. Even if you wait until the second time you listen!
By JM Manington on 03-07-15
If you could sum up Alice's Adventures in Wonderland in three words, what would they be?
What did you like best about this story?
The narrator's telling of it.
Have you listened to any of Sheridan Smith’s other performances? How does this one compare?
No, but I now definitely will.
Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
Any additional comments?
I found this a most unexpectedly, wonderful delight.