Publication Date: August 2011 (reprint)
Acquisition: received for review
Having given up a boring nine-to-five job to become a private detective, Alison finds that most of her working life is spent spying on unfaithful husbands. In offices. From nine to five.
Until Project Brown Dog.
From somewhere on the coast of England rumours arise of the sinister genetic crossbreeding of unsuspecting animal species. Alison is assigned to investigate the truth. With her friend Taron - a woman with a hundred-candle smile and a unique, if ambitious, mission to improve the world - she travels from London to Weymouth and back, rocked by a shocking discovery. (from Goodreads)
As I read primarily young adult books, I don't usually accept adult novels for review. At first I thought Alison Wonderland might have some YA cross over appeal so I decided to give it a try. After reading a few chapters, it was obvious, to me, that this was going to be more of an 'adult' book and in my opinion, not suitable for the under 18ish crowd.
It was an enjoyable read though. Nothing really stands out about Alison Wonderland but overall, the story kind of resonates with a type of implausibility and bizarre sense of reality that was entertaining. The synopsis of the book doesn't do a very good job describing what actually happens however. I thought I was going to read a modern sleuth mystery with perhaps some feminist overtones. What I got was a strange drug and sex filled story about a woman who perhaps solved a mystery no one really knew or cared about. A little weird but like I said, pretty enjoyable.
I don't usually give warnings about the content of books as I prefer readers to make up their own minds but I do feel the need to point out a particular part in Alison Wonderland that might not be for every reader. It involved a genetically engineered animal and a man having sex. It kind of fit with the storyline but still it seemed unnecessary and gross to me. Unfortunately, it also brought my rating down a bit.
Alison Wonderland was originally published in the UK in 1999 and the book is very much a British novel. The setting and the slang was all British. I had a few problems following along because I couldn’t quite figure out what a character was saying or thinking but it wasn't a huge problem. It would probably be very enjoyable to a reader from the UK or a reader to enjoys British colloquialisms and customs.
A middle of the road type of book for me that I wished was a bit more pulled together. I liked the randomness of the characters and what happens to them but I would have enjoyed this story more if the characters felt more connected to each other.
3 / 5 Stars