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Alice in Blunderland: an Iridescent Dream (LibriVox Audiobook)

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From Alice in Blunderland: “Certain of our members claim that they have a right to sell their votes for $500 apiece–” “Mercy!” cried Alice, “Why, that is–that is terrible.” “It certainly is,” said the March Hare ruefully, it’s rotten. Here I’ve been holding out for $1,250 for mine, and these duffers want to go in for a cut rate that will absolutely ruin the business.” John K From Alice in Blunderland: “Certain of our members claim that they have a right to sell their votes for $500 apiece–” “Mercy!” cried Alice, “Why, that is–that is terrible.” “It certainly is,” said the March Hare ruefully, it’s rotten. Here I’ve been holding out for $1,250 for mine, and these duffers want to go in for a cut rate that will absolutely ruin the business.” John Kendrick Bangs takes Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland and turns it into a political satire in many ways as fresh, keen and relevant today as it was a hundred years ago. (Summary by Ruth Golding)


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From Alice in Blunderland: “Certain of our members claim that they have a right to sell their votes for $500 apiece–” “Mercy!” cried Alice, “Why, that is–that is terrible.” “It certainly is,” said the March Hare ruefully, it’s rotten. Here I’ve been holding out for $1,250 for mine, and these duffers want to go in for a cut rate that will absolutely ruin the business.” John K From Alice in Blunderland: “Certain of our members claim that they have a right to sell their votes for $500 apiece–” “Mercy!” cried Alice, “Why, that is–that is terrible.” “It certainly is,” said the March Hare ruefully, it’s rotten. Here I’ve been holding out for $1,250 for mine, and these duffers want to go in for a cut rate that will absolutely ruin the business.” John Kendrick Bangs takes Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland and turns it into a political satire in many ways as fresh, keen and relevant today as it was a hundred years ago. (Summary by Ruth Golding)

30 review for Alice in Blunderland: an Iridescent Dream (LibriVox Audiobook)

  1. 4 out of 5

    Pramod Nair

    You see, Miss Alice, I made a personal study of collisions. The Mayor here ordered a fresh one every day for me to investigate, and I noticed that whenever two cars bunged into each other it was always at the ends and never in the middle. The conclusion was inevitable. The ends being the venerable spot, abolish them. - Mad Hatter to Alice. Through the novel Alice in Blunderland: An Iridescent Dream, - a spoof of the two Alice books by Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through t You see, Miss Alice, I made a personal study of collisions. The Mayor here ordered a fresh one every day for me to investigate, and I noticed that whenever two cars bunged into each other it was always at the ends and never in the middle. The conclusion was inevitable. The ends being the venerable spot, abolish them. - Mad Hatter to Alice. Through the novel Alice in Blunderland: An Iridescent Dream, - a spoof of the two Alice books by Lewis Carroll, Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass.- John Kendrick Bangs narrates the inner workings of an eccentric political machinery, that even the modern reader will immediately recognize. A sharp political satire, first published in book form in 1907 by Doubleday, Page & Co. of New York, the narrative is a parody detailing corporate greed, state policy bloopers and overall government incompetence told in a tongue-in-cheek manner. Even though the novel is more than 110 years old, the scenarios that it depicts are still fresh & relevant today. It takes no effort for the reader to discover and connect with the world, The Blunderland, that the author describes in the novel; the land described as the Municipal Ownership Country, were the government controls all the aspects of the people’s life; all the reader has to do is to look around. Using absorbing scenarios, Bangs makes keen observations about political and economic issues like corruption, backhanders, centralization of power, corporate gluttony, exorbitant taxes, political patronage and gross incompetence of the people who are entrusted with running the various spokes of the government system, within his narrative. In the parody, we meet Alice, who has ended up in a strange city named Blunderland, a city founded by the Mad Hatter, the March Hare, and the White Knight, and a city with a political system that will delight us with its eccentric policies, bizarre laws and strange characters. Grand but impractical facilities that she meet there, like the train that goes everywhere yet nowhere and the aromatic gas plant and economic policies like the issue of Municipal Bonds to cover every expenditure, inexplicable laws like the Municipal Ownership of Teeth, are all fine examples of the incompetence, hassles of red tape and downright stupid policies that we are so familiar with, in our modern day political environments. A few so called experts and policymakers coming up with gargantuan and ostentatious projects, all in the name of development, safety and comfort for the general public; projects and undertakings with no real-world benefits; still cheered on, clapped and praised by cronies blinded by nepotism, political patronage and shameful fandom towards those who rule and make stupid policies are just the same today as it was during the author’s time period. Mad Hatter, Alice, White Knight and March Hare in the Municipal Ownership Circulating Railroad, illustration by Albert Levering. “The only way that I can find To stop this car colliding stunt Is cutting off the end behind And likewise that in front.” One of such grand schemes that Alice visits in the city of Blunderland is the Municipal Ownership Circulating Railroad, a circular train that stops everywhere; a big circular car that runs all around the city and joins itself where it began in the beginning; a train built on a solid foundation and one that doesn’t move an inch; a train that was invented after much research, brainstorming and policy making, as a solution for cutting down on accidents caused due to collisions between railroad cars. “Yes, but if they don’t go – how does anybody get anywhere?” asked Alice. “They can get off and walk,” said the Hatter. “And it’s a great deal less dangerous getting off a train that doesn’t move than off one that does… …we M. O. people are after the comfort and safety of the people first, last and all the time.” The narrative by Bangs, detailing the invention of the circular railroad by the state of Blunderland, is loaded with sharp sarcasm. The novel was originally published serially in the magazine Concerning Municipal Ownership - a magazine published by the M O Publishing Bureau, New York - from December 1906 (Vol-1, Issue-10) to May 1907 (Vol-2, Issue-5), with the title Alice in Municipaland. The novel, which was published in parts in the magazine, was accompanied by fascinating line drawings from the American illustrator Albert Levering. When the novel was published as a book in 1907 by Doubleday, Page & Co. of New York, these illustrations by Levering was also included. Decorative illustration by Albert Levering, which accompanied each part of the novel when it appeared in Concerning Municipal Ownership Magazine. Going through the 1906 and 1907 issues of the ‘Concerning Municipal Ownership’ magazine, I found that the original magazine piece had a total of six chapters, while the novel that got published in 1907 in book format had an additional chapter titled ‘ The Department of Public Verse ’, which presumably was added by Bangs at a later stage. After publishing the final chapter of the novel in the May 1907 issue of the magazine, it seems that Bangs also contributed a column titled Muncipalunancy in the June, July and August 1907 issues of the ‘Concerning Municipal Ownership’. More Political Satires based on the Adventures of Alice by Lewis Carroll Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass, the two Alice books by Lewis Carroll, has been used as a base for a number of political parodies. The Westminster Alice, which came out in 1902, is a collection of vignettes by Saki, criticizing the politics of Britain and features many prominent British politicians of that period. An illustration by F. Carruthers Gould, from the 1902 edition of Westminster Alice. Clara in Blunderland, a novel written by Edward Harold Begbie, J. Stafford Ransome and M. H. Temple under the pseudonym Caroline Lewis , and published by William Heinemann of London in 1902, is another political parody, which takes a critical look at the British Governments involvement in the Second Boer War. Lost in Blunderland: The Further Adventures of Clara, also written under the pseudonym Caroline Lewis , and published in 1903, criticizes the early administration of Prime Minister Arthur Balfour. Adventures in Fiscal Wonderland, by John Bull, which was published in 1904, endeavors at understanding the economic state of England. Alice in Delighted States by Edward Hope, which came out in 1928, is another parody of the socio-political eccentricities, based on Carroll’s tales. Alice In Blunderland - A Comic Book with the same title In 1952, a promotional comic book titled Alice In Blunderland - A Fantasy For Every American Citizen came out as a tool in raising the awareness in public about wasteful federal expenditures and about government inefficiency. A comic panel from the 1952 comic book, depicting the bizarre levels of resource wastage caused by the duplicate storage of useless documents and records. The comics was an attempt at unraveling the mayhem and staggering cost associated with the federal functioning through cartoon panels. Albert Levering - The illustrator The illustrations – for both the magazine piece and the first edition book, - which accompanied Alice in Blunderland were done by the American illustrator Albert Levering (1869-1929). Illustration by Albert Levering done for “Mrs. Raffles: Being the Adventures of an Amateur Crackswoman” Albert Levering was the illustrator for other works from Bangs like Jack and the Check Book, Mrs. Raffles: Being the Adventures of an Amateur Crackswoman and Mollie and the Unwiseman. He was also famous for his ”Everybody does it” – The national excuse, illustration done in 1910, which depicts a large circle of men, from various professions , marching around a large map with the label The United States of America, while each taking money from the pocket of the man in front of him. The illustration, which was done for the Puck magazine, symbolizes the avarice in the society and the evil connection between money and politics. Albert Levering passed away on 12 April 1929. An interesting political parody Alice in Blunderland: An Iridescent Dream is not a novel that will make you laugh out loud, as the humor can be a bit wry, but it is still an interesting political parody, which is fresh, funny and highly relevant.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Steven Walle

    Bangs has created a master piece of satire in this "Alice In Blunderland". He goes on the premis of Alice In Wonderland and the Mad Hatter and the White Knight, from The Looking Glass, and the March Hare create a city that is perfect they say, but when Alice goes to visit it she finds that their are a very lot of restrictions and scarey strange costumes being created there. It shows how socialism can slowly creep up one priveledge at a time being held back, and soon enough it has you in it's clu Bangs has created a master piece of satire in this "Alice In Blunderland". He goes on the premis of Alice In Wonderland and the Mad Hatter and the White Knight, from The Looking Glass, and the March Hare create a city that is perfect they say, but when Alice goes to visit it she finds that their are a very lot of restrictions and scarey strange costumes being created there. It shows how socialism can slowly creep up one priveledge at a time being held back, and soon enough it has you in it's clutches. I recommend this to all. Enjoy and Be Blessed. Diamond

  3. 4 out of 5

    Chaplain Walle

    This is a great satire. The author uses all of the same charitors from Alice in Wonderland and talks about the moddern slip of our echonomy and culture into socialism. I recommend this book to all.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Rob

    Alice in Blunderland is a satire on communism, capitalism and the bad side of governance. I stumbled on this book and I don't understand why this is not very popular. Much to my surprise, this was first published in 1907; the lush commentary therein is much more incisive today than it was in 1907, now that the world has the benefit of hindsight both on socialism and capitalism. The adventure begins when Alice is visited by the Mad Hatter, the March Hare, the White Knight and the Cheshire Cat. Ma Alice in Blunderland is a satire on communism, capitalism and the bad side of governance. I stumbled on this book and I don't understand why this is not very popular. Much to my surprise, this was first published in 1907; the lush commentary therein is much more incisive today than it was in 1907, now that the world has the benefit of hindsight both on socialism and capitalism. The adventure begins when Alice is visited by the Mad Hatter, the March Hare, the White Knight and the Cheshire Cat. Mad Hatter, tired of "the Copperation" that "grabs whatever comes in sight", built a city where everything, including the citizen's teeth, is "owned by the Municipal", and invites Alice for a tour. Some die-hard right-wingers will probably miss that Mad Hatter is also the representative of the bad practices of "grabbing Copperation"; practices that include strange cost-cutting rationalizations and bedding the government. Mad Hatter sets up his office so that he always wins the elections, even if the citizens are very dissatisfied with his cracked schemes. The book is from the point of view of Alice, who mostly suspends her judgment on the workings of Blunderland due to her innocence, but with Municipal's ownership of "everything", Alice runs into a problem of going home. Bangs covers many aspects of politics including privacy, censorship, criticism, technological progress and its impact on citizens (Bangs unknowingly hit on social media gems), equality, role of language in legalities and governance, rearing children and more. Sly, cutting and completely hilarious. It's a masterful satire that answers to people's irrational confidence on economic and political ideologies.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Hákon Gunnarsson

    This is one of those books that is written to warn its readers of the woes of communism. Think of Ayn Rand for something along similar lines. Unlike the only Rand book I've read so far, which is Anthem, this is actually pretty well written. It's based on Lewis Carrols Alice in Wonderland, and all the main characters from the original are here, but this time Alice goes to Blunderland. A country that has taken up some form of communism, or mutual ownership of everything, including teeth. As a polit This is one of those books that is written to warn its readers of the woes of communism. Think of Ayn Rand for something along similar lines. Unlike the only Rand book I've read so far, which is Anthem, this is actually pretty well written. It's based on Lewis Carrols Alice in Wonderland, and all the main characters from the original are here, but this time Alice goes to Blunderland. A country that has taken up some form of communism, or mutual ownership of everything, including teeth. As a political satire it is a little bit heavy handed, as if the writer doesn't completely trust its readers to understand what it is saying, but the story still works in its context. The best thing about it is that it is sometimes laugh out loud funny.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Emily

    Another delightful recording by Ruth Golding, a satire on revolutionary utopianism. Chapter 1: On Petty Bourgeois Anxiety over Socialist Ownership of Teeth Chapter 2: ... and Public Transit Chapter 3: ... and Regulation of Industrial Nuisances Chapter 4: ... and Property Crimes (though, in truth, the idea of patrol officers walking fussy babies is funny) Chapter 5: ... and Technological Innovation in Communication, and Evolution Chapter 6: ... and Art Chapter 7: ... and Children (... and now, the weath Another delightful recording by Ruth Golding, a satire on revolutionary utopianism. Chapter 1: On Petty Bourgeois Anxiety over Socialist Ownership of Teeth Chapter 2: ... and Public Transit Chapter 3: ... and Regulation of Industrial Nuisances Chapter 4: ... and Property Crimes (though, in truth, the idea of patrol officers walking fussy babies is funny) Chapter 5: ... and Technological Innovation in Communication, and Evolution Chapter 6: ... and Art Chapter 7: ... and Children (... and now, the weather!) Isn't the very idea of management by people without professional training hi-larious? Clearly property rights correlate one-to-one with personal liberty, right? It would all be funnier if it wasn't just a better-written version of FoxNews.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Quirkyreader

    This book was a laugh riot. The Mad Hatter's personal lexicon was very a skewed and hilarious. This book was a laugh riot. The Mad Hatter's personal lexicon was very a skewed and hilarious.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Megan Davis

    Pretty good.... Love all Bangs' works I've read. He's rather an unsung hero of literature, IMO Pretty good.... Love all Bangs' works I've read. He's rather an unsung hero of literature, IMO

  9. 5 out of 5

    Sarah

    Doubtless a poignant satire in its own right, (though in a way somewhat redundant; taking a satire and writing a satire based on it) but also incredibly long winded and focused on people and events too far before my own time to mean anything to me. Certain events were fairly obvious in their meaning, but left me more depressed than enlightened.

  10. 4 out of 5

    JoAnn

    A political satire that rings true today.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Herman Gigglethorpe

    Alice in Blunderland is a cute parody of Alice in Wonderland, with some relevant satire. Alice can't visit her friend Little Lord Fauntleroy on a rainy day, and had already finished all her books. (She likes Edith Wharton, Marie Corelli, and Hall Caine, in case you were wondering). Soon the Wonderland characters visit her, and take her to the communist city of Blunderland. The Mad Hatter speaks mostly in malapropisms about the marvels of Blunderland. As you can expect from a society run by Lewis C Alice in Blunderland is a cute parody of Alice in Wonderland, with some relevant satire. Alice can't visit her friend Little Lord Fauntleroy on a rainy day, and had already finished all her books. (She likes Edith Wharton, Marie Corelli, and Hall Caine, in case you were wondering). Soon the Wonderland characters visit her, and take her to the communist city of Blunderland. The Mad Hatter speaks mostly in malapropisms about the marvels of Blunderland. As you can expect from a society run by Lewis Carroll characters, it doesn't turn out well. The vehicles go in endless circles to prevent accidents. Citizens are paid in bonds that don't mature until the 30th century or so-and are prepared to make more bonds if the funds aren't available in the distant future. The gas pipelines emit perfume rather than fuel. What fuel do they use, then? Burnt poetry manuscripts, and lots of them. All poetry must be obvious, or else everyone ends up in the insane asylum trying to figure it out. Alice decides to leave when she finds out that children are also owned by the state. She tries to call her parents, but the Duchess tells her that she is legally her mother. Luckily for Alice, it's a dream induced by falling off a couch. Blunderland is more like a short story than a novel, so if you want to have a few cheap laughs, check it out from Project Gutenberg. I may try to find out what Bangs's books are like when they're not direct parodies.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Mike Pemby

    This is a retelling of the Alice story that is used a satirical device in order to make fun of issues going on in politics in the early 1900's USA. I enjoyed how well the author continued the Carroll style of writing in a whole new set of ideas. It also shows that many of the same arguments we have today over politics were going on back then, This is a retelling of the Alice story that is used a satirical device in order to make fun of issues going on in politics in the early 1900's USA. I enjoyed how well the author continued the Carroll style of writing in a whole new set of ideas. It also shows that many of the same arguments we have today over politics were going on back then,

  13. 4 out of 5

    Abdullah

    I didn't understand all the references. I didn't understand all the references.

  14. 5 out of 5

    cherubEagleEyes

    It's ok! But wasn't my cup of tea. Narrator was quite good, extremely clear It's ok! But wasn't my cup of tea. Narrator was quite good, extremely clear

  15. 5 out of 5

    Jacinta Howard

    ☹️

  16. 5 out of 5

    Teresa

    Concise, clever, entertaining. I prefer this spin-off over the original by far. The original is, I find, highly overrated; it is extremely random (obviously, a breaking-out-of-the-box achievement for its time) and not exceptionally well written, considering the time period (whereas, compared to our time period an elementary writing level is considered a literary achievement). I enjoyed this book.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Julie

    Alice escapes with her Wonderland friends to the new Blunderland. The Mad Hatter shows Alice different things and explains about their Mutual Ownership of everything in Blunderland. I think it's the author's satire of communism and socialism. He shows things to the extreme--what happens where people share EVERYTHING in common. This isn't spectacularly written, but it's free and doesn't take long to read. Alice escapes with her Wonderland friends to the new Blunderland. The Mad Hatter shows Alice different things and explains about their Mutual Ownership of everything in Blunderland. I think it's the author's satire of communism and socialism. He shows things to the extreme--what happens where people share EVERYTHING in common. This isn't spectacularly written, but it's free and doesn't take long to read.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Derek

    The satire is strong, as is the wordplay and terrible puns. The book ends up being fairly dark, which I also appreciated. However, I just didn't find the read as interesting as other works by Bangs and felt it a bit too plodding and disordered to unwaveringly hold my attention. The satire is strong, as is the wordplay and terrible puns. The book ends up being fairly dark, which I also appreciated. However, I just didn't find the read as interesting as other works by Bangs and felt it a bit too plodding and disordered to unwaveringly hold my attention.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Cali Kurz

    I am chronically attracted to all things Alice and had not realized this was a "political satire" when I decided to read it. Needless to say, I did not enjoy it, but that's not because it was poorly written at all. It just wasn't for me. I am chronically attracted to all things Alice and had not realized this was a "political satire" when I decided to read it. Needless to say, I did not enjoy it, but that's not because it was poorly written at all. It just wasn't for me.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Jessica

    Eat your heart out Ayn Rand.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Daphne

    I really can't say enough good things about JKB's writing. It's still fresh 100+ years later. I really can't say enough good things about JKB's writing. It's still fresh 100+ years later.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Mir

    Apparently this title was reused by Phyllis Naylor; my library only has her book.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Maja Lange

    Inventive and funny.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Kelly Harmon

    Fun tongue-in-cheek satire. Timeless subjects. Really enjoyed this one.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Princesschaos Brutile

    i like this book it is really good its not one of my favorites but its still really good

  26. 4 out of 5

    Rebecca Ogrodowski

    Hilarous and biting satire/sarcasm. Couldn't help but LOL many times. It's available on Librivox for free, so treat yourself to a great piece of literature! Hilarous and biting satire/sarcasm. Couldn't help but LOL many times. It's available on Librivox for free, so treat yourself to a great piece of literature!

  27. 4 out of 5

    anqieBabesz

  28. 5 out of 5

    April.n. Hell

  29. 4 out of 5

    Heidi

  30. 5 out of 5

    Tsovinar

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