Listening to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carroll

51UxZpJlzOL._SL300_‘Golden Globe nominee Scarlett Johansson (Lost in Translation, Girl with a Pearl Earring) brings a palpable sense of joy and exuberance to her performance of Lewis Carroll’s enduring classic Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. From the White Rabbit and Mad Hatter to the Cheshire Cat and Queen of Hearts, she imbues each madcap character with a distinct voice and personality that will leave a lasting impression long after the adventure is over.

One hundred and fifty years after its original publication, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland remains one of the most widely read, deconstructed, referenced, and reinterpreted works of Western fiction. It tells the story of the young and imaginative Alice, who grows weary of her storybook, one “without pictures or conversations”, and follows a hasty hare underground – to come face to face with a host of strange and fantastic characters.’ – Audible


This is not a review of the Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland story but rather a review Scarlett Johansson’s narration of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

Everyone knows the story of Alice, the little girl who fell down a rabbit hole and found herself having the most outlandish high of all time.

I wondered what an audiobook of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland would be like because you know, crazy land and all. After watching Her, I fell in love with Scarlett Johansson’s voice. So naturally, I thought I’d enjoy an audiobook narrated by her and luckily, she narrated Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland!

The first chapter was great, Johansson’s voice was initially very soothing (yup that’s the word), and I thought I was going to enjoy listening to the rest of the audiobook. I got through the first 15 minutes like “Urgh yes!”

However, as the story progressed, I found myself getting agitated by Johansson’s voice. When she spoke as Alice, it sounded like she was complaining all the time or on the verge of breaking into tears, for the other characters, her voice got pretty screechy, and I winced in pain when she spoke as the Queen of Hearts. (I’m not exaggerating). She was terrible at all of the other voices; I just about found the Mad Hatter bearable. It sounded like she was straining her voice to produce sounds, so I started wondering whether she was in pain instead of listening to the story.

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland quickly became an audiobook I just wanted to hurry up and finish listening to so I could stop listening to it. The audiobook has hundreds of glowing reviews on Audible, and I just don’t understand why! My ears hurt after listening to this.

I didn’t feel like Johansson did justice to Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, it’s a story featuring talking animals, a homicidal queen, and a kid most likely on acid and I actually had difficulty getting into it let alone liking it. My focus remained on the story up until chapter nine and after that, it was all background noise with me occasionally reacting to sudden sharp sounds from Johansson.

I wouldn’t recommend this narration to anyone, especially not an Alice in Wonderland fan out of fear of having something hard thrown at my face.

P.S. Is it weird that it takes me longer to listen to an audiobook than to read a book?

Format: Audiobook | Publisher: Audible Studios | ASIN: B015D7CQOC