Beddor, Frank

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Beddor, Frank

PERSONAL:

Born in Minneapolis, MN; children: Luc.

ADDRESSES:

Office—Automatic Pictures, 5225 Wilshire Blvd., Ste. 525, Los Angeles, CA 90036.

CAREER:

Author, 2006—. Chief executive officer, Automatic Pictures, Los Angeles, CA. Freestyle skiing champion; stuntman in motion pictures, including Hot Dog: The Movie, 1984, and Better Off Dead, 1985; producer of motion pictures, including There's Something about Mary, 1998, and Wicked, 1998; actor in television and motion pictures, including Remote Control, 1987, Made in USA, 1987, Amazon Women on the Moon, 1987, Nightbreaker, 1989, and "Smoke Gets in Your Thighs," L.A. Law, 1990.

WRITINGS:

The Looking Glass Wars (novel), Dial Books (New York, NY), 2006.

SIDELIGHTS:

A glimpse of an incomplete deck of handmade, illuminated playing cards in the British Museum inspired Frank Beddor to write the novel The Looking Glass Wars, the first in a trilogy of books that revisit the world of Alice in Wonderland. While Lewis Carroll's original masterpiece, produced in Victorian England, examined the dream-fantasies of a preadolescent girl, Beddor approaches the story in a very different way. For Beddor, Alice Liddell is actually Alyss Hart, the rightful queen of Wonderland. Her throne has been usurped by her aunt Redd, who relies on terror, assassination, and intimidation to maintain her grip on power. Alyss escapes from her aunt's clutches via a looking glass into nineteenth-century London, where she is adopted by the Liddell family and winds up telling her story to Charles Dodgson (who wrote the narrative down using the pseudonym Lewis Carroll, presenting it as a dream-tale). Over time, Alyss despairs of ever returning to Wonderland and suppresses her memories of the realm. Finally she is tracked down by Hatter Madigan, her former bodyguard, who has also escaped Wonderland and has located her through Carroll's book. "It is now up to Alyss," explained a Kirkus Reviews contributor, "to rally her troops, drive out the usurper and claim her throne."

Beddor's novel aroused fierce controversy among critics, mostly because of the way it treats Carroll's original story. "Throughout The Looking Glass Wars there are twisted mirror images of Dodgson's story," Caroline Horn stated in the Bookseller, "including Generals Doppel and Ganger, a white albino professor with big ears, and Hatter Madigan, who does a special line in deadly hats." "Beddor makes ample use of Carroll-esque humor and wit," wrote a Publishers Weekly reviewer, "so much so that the thought of an entire trilogy is somewhat daunting." Some reviewers had grave reservations about Beddor's novel. According to Barbara Scotto, writing in School Library Journal, the author "has usurped the characters and setting and changed them for his own purposes, keeping only the story's flame." Others, however, found it exciting and intriguing. "An entertaining cross between [Gregory] Maguire's Wicked and Steven Spielberg's Peter Pan movie, Hook, The Looking Glass Wars launches a promised trilogy about Alyss's new adventures," Brian Farrey wrote on TeenReads.com. "Beddor grabs the imagination and refuses to let go until the reader is pulled as deeply into the adventure as Alyss herself."

BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:

PERIODICALS

Booklist, September 1, 2006, Krista Hutley, review of The Looking Glass Wars, p. 109.

Bookseller, May 21, 2004, Caroline Horn, "Through a Glass Darkly: Frank Beddor's Debut Novel Offers a Twisted Take on the Story of Alice in Wonderland," p. 33.

Europe Intelligence Wire, July 24, 2004, "Real Alice Will Outlast the Copiers."

Girls' Life, October-November, 2006, review of The Looking Glass Wars, p. 34.

Kirkus Reviews, August 15, 2006, review of The Looking Glass Wars, p. 835.

Kliatt, September, 2006, Donna Scanlon, review of The Looking Glass Wars, p. 6.

Publishers Weekly, August 14, 2006, review of The Looking Glass Wars, p. 206.

School Library Journal, October, 2006, Barbara Scotto, review of The Looking Glass Wars, p. 148; February, 2007, Francisca Goldsmith, review of The Looking Glass Wars, p. 63.

UPI NewsTrack, September 6, 2004, "New Version of ‘Alice in Wonderland.’"

ONLINE

Comic World News,http://www.comicworldnews.com/ (April 1, 2007), Caleb Gerard, "The Frank Beddor/Looking Glass Wars Interview."

Desperado Publishing Web site,http://www.desperado.lightcubed.com/ (April 1, 2007), review of The Looking Glass Wars.

IGN.com,http://movies.ign.com/ (April 1, 2007), Steven Horn, "The Author of The Looking Glass Wars Chews the Fat with IGN."

Pop Thought,http://www.popthought.com/ (April 1, 2007), Alex Ness, interview with Frank Beddor.

SFFWorld,http://www.sffworld.com/ (October 1, 2006), review of The Looking Glass Wars.

SFSite,http://www.sfsite.com/ (April 1, 2007), Nathan Brazil, review of The Looking Glass Wars.

TeenReads.com,http://www.teenreads.com/ (April 1, 2007), "Author Talk," Brian Farrey, review of The Looking Glass Wars.

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