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Extended Audio Sample Alice I Have Been: A Novel Audiobook, by Melanie Benjamin Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (6,823 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Melanie Benjamin Narrator: Samantha Eggar Publisher: Penguin Random House Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: January 2010 ISBN: 9780307713452
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Few works of literature are as universally beloved as Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Now, in this spellbinding historical novel, we meet the young girl whose bright spirit sent her on an unforgettable trip down the rabbit hole—and the grown woman whose story is no less enthralling.

Alice Liddell Hargreaves’ life has been a richly woven tapestry: As a young woman, wife, mother, and widow, she’s experienced intense passion, great privilege, and greater tragedy. But as she nears her eighty-first birthday, she knows that, to the world around her, she is and will always be only “Alice.” Her life was permanently dog-eared at one fateful moment in her tenth year—the golden summer day she urged a grown-up friend to write down one of his fanciful stories.

That story—a wild tale of rabbits, queens, and a precocious young child—becomes a sensation the world over. Its author, a shy, stuttering Oxford professor, does more than immortalize Alice—he changes her life forever. But even he cannot stop time, as much as he might like to. And as Alice’s childhood slips away, a peacetime of glittering balls and royal romances gives way to the urgent tide of war. 

For Alice, the stakes could not be higher, for she is the mother of three grown sons, soldiers all. Yet even as she stands to lose everything she treasures, one part of her will always be the determined, undaunted Alice of the story, who discovered that life beyond the rabbit hole was an astonishing journey.

A love story and a literary mystery, Alice I Have Been brilliantly blends fact and fiction to capture the passionate spirit of a woman who was truly worthy of her fictional alter ego, in a world as captivating as the Wonderland only she could inspire.

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Quotes & Awards

  • Benjamin offers a finely wrought portrait of Alice that seamlessly blends fact with fiction. This is book club gold. Publishers Weekly, starred reveiw
  • “This is magic!” 

    Diana Gabaldon, New York Times bestselling author of The Scottish Prisoner

  • “A seamless tale of love, loss, and myth…storytelling at its finest.”

    Sarah Addison Allen, New York Times bestselling author of The Girl Who Chased the Moon

  • “A smashing tale—mostly true—of the overlap of childhood and womanhood, a compelling mystery, an exposé of Victorian mores, an exploration of love that came too soon and too late, an explosive trail of emotions and human foibles, a heartbreak—written with compassion and grace. I loved it!”

    Susan Vreeland, New York Times bestselling author of Clara and Mr. Tiffany

  • “The novel doesn’t just fill in the blanks of a literary life but tells the story of someone who was more than a muse; Alice may have been immortalized as a girl but, as Benjamin imagines, she grew up to be a great woman.”

    New York Post

  • “Powerful and poignant sections deal with the fates of Alice’s three adult sons. Dream-children roam in Wonderland forever; their real-life counterparts, sadly, are never so fortunate.”

    Washington Post

  • “A satisfying, haunting piece of literary ventriloquism.”

    Good Housekeeping

  • “[A] fine historical novel…Benjamin re-creates a vanished Victorian world among the dreaming spires of Oxford.”

    Dallas Morning News

  • “Benjamin offers a finely wrought portrait of Alice that seamlessly blends fact with fiction. This is book club gold.”

    Publishers Weekly (starred review)

  • “This novel will have wide appeal as it includes history, romance, literature, and a great deal of suspense.”

    Library Journal

  • “Convincingly conceived and meticulously crafted, a delightful bit of literary sleight of hand by Benjamin.”

    BookPage

  • A New York Times Bestseller
  • Selected for the January 2010 Indie Next List

Listener Opinions

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Becca Roskowski | 2/15/2014

    " Did not have a chance to finesh. Got part way in and was not the most intresting book "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jordan | 2/4/2014

    " So this was not the most amazing book ever, but it was okay. Benjamin's book, Mrs. Tom Thumb was much better. She is so coy when it comes to the drama of this book, that it is almost a non-story. The book would start to get really good and then just putter out. If you are like me and have a list of 20 books that you are jazzed to read, feel free to skip this one. If you are at a loss and you need a book, this will do in a pinch. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jackie | 1/22/2014

    " Loved the way this book was written, but I thought it was a bit drawn out. Interesting story "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bednarzterry | 1/21/2014

    " Really good. A fictionalized version of the story of the "real" Alice in Wonderland. Very intriguing.. mesmerizing writing. Well done. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Toni | 1/16/2014

    " Audio book it was intriguing at times I expected more fantasy. Overwrought may of been the reader. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Melody | 1/12/2014

    " This book was fairly easy to understand but I hated the fact that the author painted Lewis Carroll as a pedophile and a bit of a pathetic shmuck. Didn't care for it at all. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tamara | 1/7/2014

    " I could not put this book down. It was well written and a good story! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Deanna | 12/18/2013

    " I loved this book...I simply could not put it down. It draws the reader in so perfectly, from the very first page! "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Kristin | 10/21/2013

    " This book feels like it took me forever to read. It wasn't a bad book but there was nothing in it that really compelled me to keep reading it or to pick it up again once I had put it down. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Belinda | 10/7/2013

    " This is superb. A storyline I have never come across. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jesylyn Batman | 1/6/2013

    " Loooooved it. I wish they would go more in depth about Mr. Dodgson and Alice's relationship. I really liked the story. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Rabbit | 7/31/2012

    " This was a good book, but I will never read Alice in Wonderland in the same way again. I felt so many contradicting feelings. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tracie | 3/15/2012

    " This was a book club book and I thought it was very well written. It gave you a glimpse of the time period, which I found very interesting. The story itself was not bad but a little creepy. I enjoyed the second half more. All in all not a bad book. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Theresa | 2/15/2012

    " Sad but interesting! "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Lacey | 2/9/2012

    " I think I would have given this book more stars if it wasn't for character authenticity. I just couldn't believe that the 7-10 year old Alice thought, felt and did some of the things she did. I like it other than that-- I couldn't stop listening to it! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bina | 1/30/2012

    " I love anything Alice and Wonderland this just made me think more of the back story to the author... I now want to research more about what is true and fiction. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tara | 1/28/2012

    " Torn between 2 and 3 stars. It was very interesting and a little creepy, but that's part of the story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Aqua124 Tenenbein | 1/3/2012

    " This was so cleverly written and put together. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sara Pauff | 12/9/2011

    " A bit histrionic in places (lots of crying), but overall, a good fictionalized account of the relationship between Charles Dodgson and his muse, Alice Liddell, which also touches on the nature of childhood, imagination, memories and the pain and confusion of growing up. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Suzanne | 5/18/2011

    " A fascinating book. Strange, weird, off-putting, . . . but absoluting engrossing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Andrea | 5/17/2011

    " It took me a long time to get in to this one... Once I had some plane time I was hooked. It was a good read. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Birdy | 5/17/2011

    " A little too melodramatic for me. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sandy | 5/10/2011

    " The story took me away and I finished it in one night. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Teresa | 5/5/2011

    " i had read a short story that told a little bit about the Alice that Alice in wonderland was based on as well as 'Lewis Caroll' and i was intrigued. I was so happy to find this book, it has some valid historical storylines as well as interesting Victorian ideals that are entertaining to read . "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Amanda | 5/4/2011

    " The story of the "real" Alice from Alice in Wonderland. I really enjoyed this book! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jesylyn | 5/4/2011

    " Loooooved it. I wish they would go more in depth about Mr. Dodgson and Alice's relationship. I really liked the story. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Krake | 5/1/2011

    " Loved the book. Still can't decide if a certain someone in Alice's life was creepy or not. Leaning towards creepy. And I don't mean Ruskin! Although he had his share of creepiness. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cindy | 4/30/2011

    " I really enjoyed learning about the real Alice in Wonderland. The book is nicely written. The relationship between Alice Liddell and Lewis Carroll leaves one wondering, it certainly had an effect on the rest of Alice's life. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Katehintx | 4/26/2011

    " Took a break from my current book to read this and I couldn't put it down. Well written, excellent blend of fact and fiction, multi-dimensional characters, this is an excellent example of historical fiction. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Meredith | 4/25/2011

    " A historical novel based on the girl for whom Lewis Carroll wrote Alice in Wonderland. It is at times creepy, fascinating, and tedious. "

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About the Author
Author Melanie BenjaminMelanie Benjamin is a pseudonym for Melanie Hauser, who has written two contemporary novels. She is the author of the nationally bestselling Alice I Have Been and The Autobiography of Mrs. Tom Thumb. Benjamin lives in Chicago, where she is at work on her next historical novel.
About the Narrator

Samantha Eggar is an English film, television, and voice actress. She has appeared in such films as Doctor Dolittle, Dark Horse, The Brood, and The Light at the Edge of the World. Among her appearances on television are Star Trek: The Next Generation, Commander in Chief, and All My Children. Her accolades include a Golden Globe Award, a Cannes Film Festival Best Actress Award, and an Academy Award nomination.