Tuesday, April 24, 2018

A dark, one-of-a-kind, psychological thriller...

By R.J. Harlick

Despite literary fiction genre bias, elements of crime fiction make it into literary fiction all the time. Write a mystery/crime-style synopsis of a novel that was crime fiction in all but name. 

Psychopathic rabbit lures young girl down dark threatening hole.

Alice In Wonderland is a psychological thriller on steroids. It conjures up the worst the netherworld has to offer, poisoned food, magic mushrooms, nefarious creatures too human-like to be real, a psychotic tea party and a travesty of a courtroom trial whose only purpose is to thwart justice. At its heart is Alice, a young innocent whose only crime was boredom. Yet she is forced to go through a host of threatening challenges that she may not survive.

Lured into the deep hole by the mysterious rabbit, Alice finds herself in a dark ominous tunnel of closed doors. Desperate to find the right door that will return her to safety, she is forced to drink and eat unknown substances that cause her body to change shape in frightening ways. She struggles to keep her head above water as flood waters sweep her away along with a gang of two and four-legged creatures who flee at the sight of her. 

A giant blue caterpillar smokes a hookah, a baby turns into a pig, a cat disappears leaving his grin behind, one fantastical encounter after another leads her ever deeper into the black threatening world of the unknown and away from the light of safety. She struggles to maintain control over her body, either growing too tall or too small. It is only when the blue caterpillar introduces her to a magic mushroom that she gains some control. 

She finds herself an unwilling guest at a psychotic tea party, whose guests redefine the definition of ‘normal’. They interrogate her relentlessly and don’t let up until she is forced to flee. But she has only fled “from the frying pan into the fire” as the saying goes. 

A curious croquet game with anorexic players erupts into chaos amidst threats of “Off with his head”.  With an execution imminent, Alice manages to stay it until reason can take over. But then a theft occurs, the thief is caught and speedily goes to trial. Alice is forced to give evidence. But she recognizes the trial for what it is, a mockery and makes her unwanted views known. Now she is the one to face “Off with her head”.

Does she survive? Is she able to leave this chaotic world alive? Click on the link to buy Alice in Wonderland to find out what happens to Alice.

I had great fun doing this for I will admit that Alice in Wonderland is far from a favourite book of mine. In fact, as a child it terrified me. Still does. After first being exposed to the story when I was small, I’ve never been able to go near it since. I refuse to even watch the many films that have been made. So I suppose this rendition of Alice in Wonderland into a dark psychological thriller captures my take of the book perfectly. But I know many readers love it. So I hope they come away chuckling.




8 comments:

Paul D. Marks said...

I almost fell on the floor laughing, Robin. This is the funniest thing I've read in I can't remember how long. Love it all, but especially the title of the piece!

RJ Harlick said...

Thanks, Paul. I had fun doing it. But it does show us the power of words and how they can be twisted to shape opinion

Caro Soles said...

Perhaps you read it when you were too young? Most old children’s book are grim and dark underneath, ir even overtly, except the syrupy Victorian ones, some if which were read to ne. Yech....

Cathy Ace said...

I was read this book at an early age, then read it myself when I could. I have to admit I am besotted by the original illustrations by Sir John Tenniel...and treated myself to a good new copy containing them when I was doing research for The Corpse with the Emerald Thumb, which has an Alice-motif flowing throughout it. Those images are part of my childhood, and my adulthood...as is the fabulously weird tale itself. Super piece, Robin :-)

lisajohnljc said...

This is just great R.J....

I took children's lit a couple semesters ago and we read Alice, which is absolutely a delicious, deranged psych fest, along with others like Little Red Riding Hood! The wolf dressed up in sheeps clothing, stalking little Red brings to mind the best of anything Stephen King could come up with, waiting for his ultimate moment to take her down on the way to Grandma's! Most of the tales we read were like this! Dark, grim, and ghastly!

Even cartoons...I mean, how many times does Road Runner smash the coyote into a grisly death in even just one episode! Nothing but animated psycho-fests bordering on total insanity! You really don't know whether to laugh or cry most of the time!

It's all so deliciously deranged!

Susan C Shea said...

Love this! And I agree that the book is pretty dark when you look at it without the sentimentality of childhood expectations(e.g. a cute bunny, a kitty in a tree...).

Sharliebel said...

Charlotte M. Liebel, Author on FACEBOOK Posted a blurb.
2 hrs ·
#Enjoying a wonderful rendition of ALICE IN WONDERLAND... By Author R.J. Harlick, a member of 7CRIMINAL MINDS BLOG SPOT COM.
As a child, I was in the play but never read the story. Certainly, I would never have recognized that, in fact, it had the makings of ... "A dark one-of-a-kind, psychological thriller..." as described here by R.J. Harlick who states that...: '...elements of crime fiction make it into literary fiction all the time." ~~ Charlotte M. Liebel
http://7criminalminds.blogspot.com/…/a-dark-one-of-kind-psy…

Posted to my Facebook page. /www.facebook.com/CharlotteM.Liebel.Author/

Dietrich Kalteis said...

I love this: Psychopathic rabbit lures young girl down dark threatening hole. Brilliant.