Thursday, August 22, 2013

The matrix and the alice books book review, tour, and giveaway by Voicu Mihnea Simandan (Charisma Bloggers).

I read the Matrix and Alice books by Voicu Mihnea Simandan, in exchange for honest review for Charisma Media/Charisma Bloggers.

About the book: (From media kit). 

The Matrix and the Alice Books presents aspects of intertextuality in three primary sources: the script of the motion picture The Matrix written by directors Andy and Larry Wachowski, and the books Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass by Lewis Carroll. Intertextuality is a set of relations with other texts, which can include direct quotations, allusions, literary conventions, imitation, parody and unconscious sources amongst others. In The Matrix there are few explicit references to Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking-Glass. 

This book by Voicu Mihnea Simandan presents both the explicit references and the less direct ones, giving evidence from primary and secondary sources. In doing so, it makes use of a literary construction developed from Gérard Genette’s structuralist theory of transtextuality as a framework to present how a web of intertextual relationships is clearly formed between the Alice books and The Matrix.

voicu-mihnea-simandan.JPGAbout the author: (From media kit).

  • Voicu is Romanian. He was born in 1978 in Arad, a city in Transylvania. 
  • Voicu is a freelance journalist. He also has published short stories, children's books, and non-fiction. 
  • Voicu has been living in Thailand. He is a member of the Bangkok Writer's Guild and a member of the AP Writers. 
  • Voicu is currently teaching Language Arts and Social studies. 
  • He has a novel coming called the Buddha Head, a suspense- thriller, set in Thailand. 

Author and Buy Links (From media kit). 

Author links:


Buy links: 

Giveaways: (From media kit)

For each tour stop, the author will give to the most engaging commenter an e-copy of The Rage of a New Ancestor, a collection of short stories set in Asia, where Voicu Mihnea Simandan also has one contribution.The author will be awarding a $10 grand prize to a randomly chosen commenter during the course of the tour. For each tour host, the author will give an e-copy of Mr. Cheng’s Silver Coffeepot, an anthology of Asian short stories, where Voicu Mihnea Simandan also has one contribution.

Follow the Tour

Excerpt: (from media kit)

“In The Matrix, Neo comes from the Oracle a bit disappointed with what he had just found out, but Morpheus tries to show him the way: “Neo, sooner or later, you’re going to realize, just as I did, that there’s a difference between knowing the path... and walking the path...” Alice wakes up only when she is ready to face the real world, just as Neo has to understand that, in order to defeat the agents and end the war, he has to face his demons and take control of his own life. […]

In The Matrix, Cypher confesses his regrets to Neo over getting unplugged. “You know, I know what you’re thinking, because right now I’m thinking the same thing. Actually, I’ve been thinking it ever since I got here... Why, oh why, didn’t I take... the blue pill?” The repeated phrase shows hesitation and the intensity of Cypher’s emotions. Neither Alice nor Cypher understand the new world they have entered, and both have second thoughts about remaining there. But, while Alice tries to unlock the secret of wonderland and eventually is able to control it, just as Neo does in the end, Cypher betrays his crew members in a desperate move to be reinserted into the Matrix. Despite an ever-changing environment and logic, both Alice and Neo continue to deal with the challenges that beset them. No prior experience in wonderland or the Matrix can teach them about what to expect in their next undertaking; nevertheless they manage to get through each encounter, ready to face new situations.”

My review:

The book compares three literary works: The matrix, Alice in wonderland, and through the looking glass. I chose the book because it was different from what I normally read. Not a novel or a novella or a poetry collection. The author is comparing similarities, meaning, messages, and relationships. 

The book wants to compare the following:
  • Genette's intertextuality: direct quotations and allusions
  • Paratextuality: illustrations and captions
  • architextuality: literary conventions
  • metatextuality: explicit and implicit comments
  • hypertextuality: elaboration of ideas. 
The book definitely makes me glad I took psychology. I have written literary reviews before. This review was in-depth. Voicu also cites his sources. yay. The first few chapters discussed intertextuality and the different types of intertextuality. Chapter 3 starts discussing the Matrix. The Matrix was created by the Wachowski Brothers in 1999. I did not know the Matrix was a book, prior to becoming a movie. I have seen all three movies, but have not read any of the Matrix books. The Matrix definitely changed the face of cinema. I loved how Neo lived in a perceived reality, and then later found out it was an illusion. This concept can apply to life. For example, people can be in a relationship and think everything is ok, when the other is plotting an escape route. 

Chapter 4 discusses Alice. Alice in wonderland and through the looking glass was written by Lewis Carroll. I have read both books. Love me some Carroll. The book is children's. The book is fantasy and illusion. 

I do like how in the Matrix, Neo has to take either the red pill or the blue pill. In Alice in wonderland, Alice takes a pill to be bigger or smaller. Also, Both Alice and Neo are/was living in a dream-like state. Neo thought his world was real, while Alice visited an alternate reality, filled with a Queen of Hearts, A March Hare. White Rabbit, A Mad Hatter,  Tweedle Dee and Dum, and the Cheshire Cat. 

The author also discussed studies, which compared the Alice books to the Matrix. Some similarities included:
  • The books focus on alternate realities. Nothing is truly what it seems. 
  • Each book has two settings: the alternate world and the real world. Alice is in the real world at the beginning and end of the book, while in Wonderland for most of the Book. Neo starts off in the perceived real world, but travels through the matrix.. 
  • Both movies have a lot of visual effects. 
  • Both books challenge what is real and what is not real. 
  • Both books have a set of rules or lack of rules, which are challenged and/or broken. 
  • Each book is filled with strange characters: friends and foes. When I think Alice, I think of the Caterpillar blowing smoke rings or the rabbit saying he's late, he's late. There is also the infamous Queen of Hearts. I think of the Matrix, I think of Morpheus, Trinity, and the Oracle. I also think of the Agents. 

Some differences:
  • The Alice books is fantasy-based, while the Matrix is more science-fiction. 
  • The Alice books stimulates your imagination, while the Matrix stimulates questions (What is reality? Are we living in the Matrix). Funny story, I know a few folks, who thought we are really living in a Matrix. 
  • Alice does not know she is experiencing a dream, until the end of the book. Neo realizes something is different in his perceived reality. 

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for this detailed presentation of my book.


Please leave a comment. Thank you. Stacie