RECOMMENDED FOR FANS OF CARROLL

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OTHER WORKS RECOMMENDED FOR CARROLLIANS
Is she like me?’ Alice asked eagerly, for the thought crossed her mind, `There’s another little girl in the garden, somewhere!’ 
(Art by maggie Taylor.)

A List of similar and related pieces of fiction which carrollians may also enjoy. Please note: this is a list primarily aimed at adults, so not all entries are suitable for children. Content warnings will be described when required. Without further ado... 


BOOKS

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Coraline by Neil Gaiman

 Available in English, Italian, Spanish, French, Portuguese, German, Polish, Swedish

More languages listed here. 

Much darker than the Alice novels, but has plenty of ties. The novel places much emphasis on Coraline’s Alice-like personality.

Whilst exploring her new house, young Coraline happens upon a oak door in the far end of the drawing-room. It appears to be bricked up, but one day whilst her parents are out Coraline goes back to it. The bricks are gone and Coraline passes into a eerie mirror replica of her own house, including doppelgangers of her family. But they seem reluctant to let her leave…

See also: 

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Valerie and her Week of Wonders by Vitezslav Nezval

(Available in: Czech, French, Italian, English, Spanish, German, Japanese, Swedish

Medieval 17 year old Valerie stumbles into womanhood and finds her life and village transformed into a bizarre anxiety dream where a vamperic Weasel wants her blood, he has already vampire-ised the local priest and Valerie’s grandmother. The only person Valerie can rely on is a young man named Eagle, and some bewitched earrings.

Content warnings for: Implied sexual assault


See also: 

  • The 1970 film, which takes a brighter view of this story, with Valerie being more in control of her dream.
  • "Valerie", a song by the much-missed dream-pop band Broadcast.
  • For Czech-speaking Carrollians, a chamber theatre adaptation has been touring the Czech Republic since 2015.
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The Night is Short, Walk on Girl by Tomihiko Morimi

Acclaimed 2007 Japanese novel which the author envisaged as Alice for adults, about a young woman's attempts to explore the strange world of adulthood. 

One night, Otome embarks on an insanely long night of partying and wondering where she interacts with an increasingly eccentric cast of characters. Chasing her is a fellow student, who has chosen to declare his love to her. The year unfolds with surreality after surreality.

  • The acclaimed 2017 anime film adaptation by Masaaki Yuasa
  • The 2009 stage adaptation, later filmed for DVD (In Japanese only) 
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The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L Frank Baum 

You probably know this story from the famous 1939 film but the book has many differences. Dorothy’s character has echoes of Alice's. 


See also: 


  • Its myriad of sequels, starting with Land of Oz. Dorothy doesn’t appear in all of them though. 
  • The 1986 Japanese Anime, which adapts 5 of Baum’s books. The adaptations of the first two are considered the most faithful to the novels. Sadly as yet only available in English dubbed version.
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The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S Lewis

Timeless fantasy children's lit. Lucy’s character echoes Alice’s occasionally. 

Content Warnings for: Christian allegories, present in this book but less subtle later on in the series. The books can be read completely ignoring this theme if you wish. 

See also: 

  • The rest of the chronicles of Narnia series, although they don’t all feature the Peversie Children. 
  • The 2005 film by Disney.
  • The Upcoming Netflix Series. 
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The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster

Fairly obscure here in the UK, but often described as Alice’s american cousin. 

Bored Milo goes on an extraordinary nonsensical adventure after finding a tollbooth in his bedroom.

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A little girl dreams of taking the Veil by Max Ernst


(Available in French, English, Dutch, Italian

Ernst’s “collage” novel tells the loose plot of a sixteen year old girl’s bizarre night of dreams just before she decides to become a nun. Sound familiar? Well Nezval (who was part of the Czech surrealist branch) loved this novel and his work Valerie and her Week of Wonders was certainly inspired by it. 

Recently reprinted and available in English for the first time again in 30 years. Thanks Dover press!

Content warnings for: Implied sexual assault, incest mention, overall trauma theme

See Also:

  •  Ernst’s other collage novels
  •  surrealist horror in general.
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Marianne Dreams by Catherine Storr

dark children’s novel which tells the tale of Marianne, a girl who finds a whole world in her dreams whilst she is ill with fever. She finds that she can alter the course of her dreams with a magic pencil and sets to work drawing a house. She is delighted to find that the house has a resident, another ill child named Mark. But she accidentally draws something hideous and it comes to life in her dreamworld. And she soon finds it harder and harder to wake up. 

See Also:

  • The 1950s TV adaptation, "Escape Into Night"
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The Hearing Trumpet by Leonora Carrington

(Avalible in English, Italian, Spanish, German, Russian, Polish, Japanese

Like Nezval's Valerie, this is also a surrealist novel. Once described by a book critic as a “occult twin to Alice in Wonderland” 

One of the first things ninety-two-year-old Marian Leatherby overhears when she is given an ornate hearing trumpet is her family plotting to commit her to an institution. Soon, she finds herself trapped in a sinister retirement home, where the elderly must inhabit buildings shaped like igloos and birthday cakes, endure twisted religious preaching and eat in a canteen overlooked by the mysterious portrait of a leering Nun. 

See Also:

  • The Complete Short stories of Leonora Carrington, containing more Carroll meets surrealism meets folklore style tales.
  •  The Milk of Dreams, a children’s book by Leonora Carrington features bizarre oddities such as  the Child George, who eats walls and finds his head has turned into a house! 

Tideland by Mitch Cullin

(Available in English, Italian, Russian, Ukrainian, Polish, Greek, French, Japanese) 

Disturbing cult novel from the 2000s. Before reading this please be aware that it has a content warning list as long as someone’s arm!

Jeliza-Rose’s parents are irresponsible drug addicts. When her mother dies her father moves her to the Texan wilderness. Soon she is all alone with only her four barbie doll heads (each with their own personalities) for company. But her imagination soon makes up for the hardship of her childhood, and she slowly begins to sink into a darkly hallucinatory fantasy.

Content Warnings for: Lots of things, but mainly implied child neglect and drug use.

See Also:

  • The 2006 Terry Gilliam film
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The Third Policeman by Flann O'Brien

(Available in English, Italian, Spanish, French, German, Portuguese, Swedish

More languages listed here

Irish novel by Flann O'Brien tells of a murderer who gets trapped in a bizarre parallel version of Ireland where policeman are romantically involved with bicycles, an elevator leads to purgatory itself and a strange philosopher believes the world is shaped like a sausage. 

Content Warnings for: A grizzly murder at the beginning.

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A Night of Serious Drinking by rene daumal

Daumal's little known surrealist novel tells of a drunk man who disappears into a strange, symbolic and allegorical world in the attic of a tavern after having philosophical debates with friends. 


My Life in the Bush of Ghosts by Amos Tutuola

A seminal African classic about a young boy who whilst fleeing war, accidentally stumbles into a ghost world. His only hope of leaving lies with a goddess who has a television for a head. 

See Also:

  • Amos Tutuola's "Prequel" to this novel, The Palm Wine Drunkard.
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HaJaBaRaLa (A topsy-turvy tale) by Sukumar Ray

(Available in Indian, English,)

Superb but short nonsense tale written by Sukumar Ray, and frequently compared to Carroll's Alice. Has an equivalent status in culture in India. A bored child gets caught in a fantasy world of nonsensical talking animals after following an impertinent cat. 

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The Nutcracker and the Mouseking (and the Story of a Nutcracker) by E.T.A Hoffmann and Alexandre Dumas

Written 40+ years before Carroll's Alice, E.T.A Hoffmann's The Nutcracker and the Mouseking is the nearest thing Carroll's novels have to a predecessor. 

Alexandre Dumas later re-wrote Dumas's story as the story of a Nutcracker. Hoffmann's tale is dark where Dumas's is light. Ultimately, Dumas's tale is more remembered as it formed the basis for the famous ballet. 

See Also:

  • The ballet, based on Dumas's tale.

PLAYS


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Invisible Friends by Alan Ayckbourn


Ayckbourn is one of the UK’s most prolific playwrights and this is one of his most interesting stage inventions. 

Ordinary teenager Lucy is fed up with her family who seem to do nothing but ignore her. She revives a childhood imaginary friend to combat her loneliness but is  amazed when Zara actually comes to life. Soon she finds herself in a world where her family no longer exist, and Zara and her invisible family live with her. But all is not as perfect as it seems.

Amateur productions of this crop up from time to time.

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The Wonderful World of Dissocia by Anthony Neilson

Lisa Jones gets trapped in a surreal, off kilter world where she must search for a lost hour of her life which tipped her into a mental hospital. And Dissocia is a world both wonderous and horrifying in equal measure.  

One Telegraph critic called it “Alice in Wonderland by David Lynch

Debuted at the Edinburgh Festival in 2006. Amateur productions crop up all the time. If you can, go and see it as it is awesome! 

Content warnings for: Mental health portrayal and violence.

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A Broken Rose by Sarah Goddard

1970s Teenager Maria descends into a fantasy world after her father dies and her mother takes up with a violent boyfriend. In this strange new place, she is tasked with 3 challenges as set by 2 folklore faeries, in order to leave the real world behind forever. Often compared to Pan’s Labyrinth in tone, this play balances psychological drama with carrollian flourishes.


Debuted at the Cockpit Theatre in 2012, never revived since but the script is available to read.

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 Gros Und Klein (Big and Little) by Botho Strauss

(Available in German, English) 


Avant-Garde play by one of Germany’s most prominent playwrights. After Lotte is rejected by her husband her world becomes surreal and disjointed. Old friends and family don’t recognize her. She enters the lives of numerous eccentrics only to be rejected, and sometimes she is too small for her surroundings, other times she is too big.

Famously revived in 2012 in English with Cate Blanchett as Lotte at the Barbican Centre, London. 

English translation of the script is available to read in the anthology Contemporary German Plays II: T. Bernhard, P. Handke, F.X. Kroetz, B. Strauss. 


OPERAS


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L'enfant et les sortilèges (The Child and the Spells) by Maurice Ravel

(
Available in: Subtitles vary by DVD edition.)

Opera’s (specifically, French Opera’s) answer to Carroll’s Alice is a slightly moral tale about a petulant child who, after being scolded for not doing his homework, destroys several household objects and troubles several animals. When the child falls asleep, he is flung into a fantasy world where everything he’s troubled fights back.

Plenty of Opera Houses revive this, as its a popular one acter and is short. 

See Also: 

  • Maurice Sendak’s 1982 Production plays up the Carrollian tone of the opera, using a Edwardian era setting and making it clear that the child’s wanderings are a dream. 
  • Meanwhile France’s Opera Lyon took a darker route in their 1999 production.

FILMS

See also: the Down the Rabbit Hole IMDB list (made by me)

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Spirited Away

Hayao miyazaki’s masterpiece of animation is about Chihiro, a young girl who accidentally wonders into a world full of witches, spirits and enchantment after she goes through a tunnel whilst on route with her parents to her new house. 

For an authentic experience, watch in original language with subtitles.


See Also: 

  • BFI Classics: Spirited Away, an essay book on this film written by the British Film Institute. 
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The Cat Returns 

Studio Ghibli’s second Alice-like film tells the tale of a young girl cast into a world inhabited by cats.

For an authentic experience, watch in original language with subtitles. 


See also: 

  • Baron: The Cat Returns, the original manga which the film is based on, written by Aoi Hiiragi.
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Daisies

1966 Czech avant garde oddity famously banned- due to food wastage! 

Friends Marie and Marie wreak havoc on the Wonderland of 1960s oppressed Prague, claiming that if the world has gone rotten, they should be rotten too.

This film is rated 15.

This film was part of the 2011 US film festival Alice and Other Lost Girls in Fantastic Worlds. 

See Also:

  • The Maries's all too short cameo appearance in the anthology film Mucednici lasky (1967)
  • Peter Hames's seminal study on the Czechoslovak New Wave, of which this film was part of.
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Fruits of Paradise

 Czech feminist revisioning of the “Adam and Eve” tale, by the same director as Daisies. Banned until 1980 in the Czech Republic. 

Eva and her husband live happily in a surreal sanitarium, until one day Eva becomes curious about a mysterious man in red.

This film is rated 15.

This film was part of the 2011 US film festival Alice and Other Lost Girls in Fantastic Worlds.

See Also:

  • Peter Hames's seminal study on the Czechoslovak New Wave, of which this film was part of
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Pan’s Labyrinth

Guillermo del Toro’s masterful melding of Alice tropes in a harsh civil war background. Ofelia’s new home is that of her fascist captain father, to escape the harrowing civil war, Ofelia is lured into a fantasy world in the garden labyrinth, where a faun promises her she can leave reality behind forever, if she completes 3 grizzly tasks. 

This film is rated 15.

This film was part of the 2013 Japanese film festival Alice: a Mental Journey

See Also:

  • BFI Classics: Pan's Labyrinthan essay book on this film written by the British Film Institute. 

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Mirrormask

By Neil Gaiman, author of the novel Coraline.

 Teenager Helena gets trapped in a dreamworld based on her own fantastical drawings after her mother falls ill. 

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Labyrinth

Sarah gives her brother to the goblin king- and instantly regrets it. To get him back, she’ll have to traverse a labyrinth inhabited by a talking caterpillar, goblins and other strange beings. 

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Girl Asleep

On her 15th birthday, 1970s Australian teenager Greta gets trapped in a surreal fantasy world after she falls asleep at her party. Based on the sell out 2013 play by Matthew Whittet. 

This film is rated 12. 

See Also:

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Black Moon

 Art-house surrealist film by Louis Malle. Lily flees a war between men and women and becomes entangled in a strange secret society in a country house. 

This film is rated 15. 


See Also:


シルビア・クリステル(Sylvia Kristel)「Alice ou la derniere Fugue ...

Alice, Or the Last Escapade

A subtle, stealth remake of Black Moon (minus the fantastical atmosphere)

this little known film can be easily viewed on youtube

A woman in her mid 20s named Alice Carol flees her boring domestic life and becomes entrapped in the strange society of a country house, where time works differently and no one will let her leave.

This film is rated 15.


See Also: 

  • This film has an essay in the 2018 Melbourne Exhibition book: Wonderland, which you can read in full here

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Zazie Dans Le Metro

Art house surrealist comedy again by Louis Malle. Based on the Raymond Queneau novella. Curious Zazie wants to see the Parisian metro, but its closed. So she embarks on a series of odd misadventures around Paris instead.

This film is rated 15.

This film was part of the 2013 Japanese film festival Alice: a Mental Journey

See Also:

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Juliette of the Spirits

Arthouse fantasy film by Federico Fellini. Prim housewife Juliette begins to suspect that her husband is having an affair, and subsequently tumbles into a tangled web of visions, dreams and memories, guided by mysterious people and forces. 

This film is rated 15

This film was part of the 2018 Australian film festival Alice is Everywhere

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Little Fugitive

Early American film dating from the 50s. A seven year old boy, convinced he has killed his brother, runs away and gets stuck in the Wonderland of Corney Island.

This film was part of the 2018 Australian film festival Alice is Everywhere

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Alice in the Cities

 Acclaimed road-trip film chronicling the adventures of a displaced journalist, who gets more than he bargained for when he is left to care for seven year old Alice.

This film was part of the 2018 Australian film festival Alice is Everywhere 

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Celine and Julie Go Boating

Celine and Julie meet in Montmartre and wind up sharing the same identities as well as an intense imagination. Soon, thanks to a magic sweet, they become twin Alices as they find themselves spectators, then participants, in a surreal melodrama in a mysterious country house. Re-released by BFI in the UK in 2018. 

This film is rated 12 

This film was part of the 2018 Australian film festival Alice is Everywhere 


See Also:


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Desperately Seeking Susan

Hot on the trail left by the film Celine and Julie Go Boating, Desperately Seeking Susan is a stealth remake of the aforementioned film, updated to fit 1980s New York. A suburban housewife, seeking escape from her life, suffers amnesia after an accident, wakes up, and is mistaken for a free-spirited New York City drifter named Susan.

This film is rated 15.

This film was part of the 2018 Australian film festival Alice is Everywhere 


See Also:


SHORT FILMS

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At Land

Meya Duren's experimental short sees a woman explore a dreamscape on a beach featuring chess imagery.

Can be watched here.

This film was part of the 2018 Australian film festival Alice is Everywhere 

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The Petrified Dog

A girl jumps down a hole and discovers a place where adults behave strangely in this extremely experimental short from the 1940s.

Can be watched here

This film was part of the 2018 Australian film festival Alice is Everywhere 

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Kusama's self obliteration

Short art film from self confessed "Alice in Wonderland" artist Yayoi Kusama.

Can be watched here

This film was part of the 2018 Australian film festival Alice is Everywhere 

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Jabberwocky 

Jan Svankmajer's predecessor to his actual Carroll adaptation Alice (1988) looks at a creepy, cute, and strange society of dolls in a Victorian child's nursery.

Can be seen here

Played ACMI Melbourne's "Alice is Everywhere" film Festival in 2018.

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Down to the Cellar

Svankmajer's second companion piece to his actual Carroll adaptation Alice (1988) sees a small frightened girl discover a strange place in the cellar which depicts all of her fears. 

Can be seen here.

Played ACMI Melbourne's "Alice is Everywhere" film Festival in 2018.

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Are We still Married?

A young girl and a rabbit feature in this surreal short by the Brothers Quay.

Can be seen here

Has an Essay in the 2018 ACMI Exhibition book "Wonderland: Alice on Screen" written by James Hewison.

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Open the Door

Naoko goes on a kaleidoscopic adventure after following a colourful figure into a dreamworld. 

Can be seen here

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Can't go wrong without you

Quay brothers short inspired by Jan Svankmajer's Alice adaption from 1988. 

Can be seen here

Has an Essay in the 2018 ACMI Exhibition book "Wonderland: Alice on Screen" written by James Hewison.

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Superflat Monogram and Superflat First Love

Advertisements meet art in these Louis Vitton adverts about a girl who falls into a fantastic technological wonderland. 

Superflat monogram can be seen here.

Superflat first love can be seen here

Has an Essay in the 2018 ACMI Exhibition book "Wonderland: Alice on Screen" written by David Surman. 

Essay can be read here.

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Alice in Not So Wonderland

Quay Brothers short in which a young doll walks around a sinister yet enchanting landscape. 

Can be seen here

Has an Essay in the 2018 ACMI Exhibition book "Wonderland: Alice on Screen" written by James Hewison.


There is No Such thing as a Jellyfish

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A young woman, Hannah, has a strange experience at a tarot readers house and realises spaces there unfold like dreams.

Can be seen here

Played ACMI Melbourne's "Alice is Everywhere" film Festival in 2018.

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Poor Cherries 

Two young women contemplate what has gone wrong with the world in this whimsical short inspired by Daisies (1966) 

Can be seen here