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Book Review: Alice in Puzzle-Land: A Carrollian Tale for Children Under Eighty by Raymond M. Smullyan

14 Mar

Alice in Puzzle-Land: A Carrollian Tale for Children Under EightyAlice in Puzzle-Land: A Carrollian Tale for Children Under Eighty by Raymond M. Smullyan

My Rating: ★★★★☆

Raymond Smullyan is famed to be a philosopher, logician, mathematician, musician, magician, humorist, writer, and maker of marvelous puzzles, and all these aspects and interests come forth in various chapters of the book, which follows on in his unique tradition of parodying great works of popular fiction. As the author says, “This book, like Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass, and What Alice Found There, is truly for readers of all ages. By this I do not mean that all of it is for every age, but for every age, some of it is for that age.”

Some of his famous works include The Chess Mysteries of Sherlock Holmes: Fifty Tantalizing Problems of Chess Detection, where the indefatigable duo of Holmes and Watson is enlisted to solve strange conundrums and The Chess Mysteries of the Arabian Knights where Scheherazade is called upon to give the puzzles some good twists. The real beauty of the book is how similar the characters feel to the originals, not only in talk and behavior, but also in the word plays and their convoluted logic and paradoxes.

The puzzles do increase in difficulty as the book goes along, but the sheer delight at the inventiveness and playfulness of the author keeps us going with breaks only to think or to laugh. So even as the Duchess prompts Alice with “As to confusing puzzles, these are nothing compared to some I could tell you if I chose!”, we are far from Alice’s feigned indifference as she says, “Oh, you needn’t choose!” as politely as she could.

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2 Comments

Posted by on March 14, 2012 in Book Reviews, Books

 

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2 responses to “Book Review: Alice in Puzzle-Land: A Carrollian Tale for Children Under Eighty by Raymond M. Smullyan

  1. Laura

    March 18, 2012 at 08:57

    Sorry for my bad english. Thank you so much for your good post. Your post helped me in my college assignment, If you can provide me more details please email me.
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  2. adammoez

    September 4, 2012 at 09:50

    This is quite helpful article or post for every one specially college students.

     

"Stranger, if you passing meet me and desire to speak to me, why should you not speak to me? And why should I not speak to you?" - Walt Whitman

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