• Wonderland

  • A Novel
  • By: Zoje Stage
  • Narrated by: Xe Sands
  • Length: 10 hrs and 17 mins
  • 3.6 out of 5 stars (360 ratings)

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Wonderland  By  cover art

Wonderland

By: Zoje Stage
Narrated by: Xe Sands
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Publisher's Summary

Shirley Jackson meets The Shining in this richly atmospheric and thrillingly tense novel from the acclaimed author of the "deliciously creepy" Baby Teeth (New York Post).

One mother's love may be all that stands between her family, an enigmatic presence — and madness.

After years of city life, Orla and Shaw Bennett are ready for the quiet of New York's Adirondack mountains — or at least, they think they are. Settling into the perfect farmhouse with their two children, they are both charmed and unsettled by the expanse of their land, the privacy of their individual bedrooms, and the isolation of life a mile from any neighbor.

But none of the Bennetts could expect what lies waiting in the woods, where secrets run dark and deep. When something begins to call to the family — from under the earth, beneath the trees, and within their minds — Orla realizes she might be the only one who can save them...if she can find out what this force wants before it's too late.

With an ending inescapable and deeply satisfying, Wonderland brilliantly blends horror and suspense to probe the boundaries of family, loyalty, love, and the natural world.

©2020 Zoje Stage (P)2020 Hachette Audio

Critic Reviews

"Zoje Stage's Wonderland is a mesmerizing journey into the darkest realms of the supernatural; a family, escaping the perils of city life, discovers that the splendors of nature can mask a hidden face of savage, unnameable terror." (Kathleen Kent, author of The Burn)

"Memorable imagery.... Stage's darkly lyrical writing style shines." (Publishers Weekly)

"Oh, fright fans rejoice. That sure hand you're looking for? That relentless climb, that crescendo of cold sweat? It's all here. Deep in the woods, under a lot of snow, steeped in mad, unfamiliar nature. Zoje Stage is in total control of your nightmare. For those who live to be scared, Wonderland is the book you'll be glad you cracked open at home, alone, at night." (Josh Malerman, New York Times best-selling author of Bird Box and Malorie)

Editor's Pick

A perfect creepy campfire horror
I’m about to move into a new house, so maybe listening to a haunted house tale was a questionable decision on my part, but summer is the next best thing to October for horror listening in my mind, and Zoje Stage’s new novel—billed as ‘’Shirley Jackson’’ meets The Shining—was just too hard to resist. A family moves from NYC to a quiet house in the woods—and as the sense of isolation creeps in (can relate), so does a strange, menacing force. It’s creepy, thrilling, and atmospheric all at the same time—thanks in large part to Xe Sands’s understated, yet nuanced narration, which so perfectly embodies the quiet dread and melancholy that are essential to this type of tale. —Sam D., Audible Editor

What listeners say about Wonderland

Average Customer Ratings
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    2 out of 5 stars
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    2 out of 5 stars

It had such potential...

I loved the premise of this book, especially being a gal who lives in the remote north woods. It started off brilliantly, with fantastic writing and incredible descriptions that conveyed the creepiness of the story, the unsettled feelings that Orla had. I rubbed my hands together in glee at the eerie story that lie ahead.

But, all that anticipation and appreciation went down the drain as each hour of the book passed. As a plus, I suppose, I kept listening to the end, hoping the book would redeem itself. Usually I toss audiobooks aside when they start getting boring or silly, so for the fact that I listened until the last word, I'll give the story two stars. But the whole thing just got weird. Really weird, like "you probably won't get into the storyline unless you're on some serious hallucinogens" kind of weird. Magic, pentagrams, Wicca, fantastical apparitions and spirit possessions and the unrealistic story of a family trapped in their woodland home by an ancient tree spirit. It was all too much. Combine that with not-so-subtle Jesus-bashing and the underlying theme of feminism and the whole thing just made me roll my eyes. It was disappointing, because it had so much potential. At least Xe Sands did a terrific job, as usual. By the time the totally implausible ending came about (i.e. they all lived happily ever after), I was over it. Enter this "Wonderland" at your own risk. Make sure you realize it's more black magic fantasy than psychological or outdoor survival thriller.

16 people found this helpful

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This is a sci-fi book

I LOVED baby teeth by this author, I was so excited for this book, but I do NOT like sci-fi, and that’s what this is.

13 people found this helpful

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my eyes rolled every time I heard ELEANOR QUEEN


everything is just ridiculous in this book, even the kids names are laughable.
I tried really hard to finish it but I couldn't take it any longer.


9 people found this helpful

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Eye Roller

Lack of knowledge of religions and religious belief, along with feminism and global warming randomly being brought up.

7 people found this helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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insufferable whimps

literally every character in this story is an insufferable whimp. The parents. The children. Characters show no spine whatsoever. The way the narrator reads the children is just so frustrating and annoying. The precocious daughter is read with such a terrible nasal whine. The innocent toddler son is much worse. The premise of the story becomes so silly. I hear that this author's first book was a masterpiece. This one was on many's best of 2020. This is only a good book if you've lived in New York City for so long that you have no idea what it means to be a real person.

7 people found this helpful

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Not exactly what I was expecting

The story was great and I loved the narrator so lets get that put of the way first. The description was The Shining meets House on Haunted Hill and thats pretty close. It just didn’t really grab me as a story about a Haunted House. Was it creepy? Yes. Would I buy it again? Yes. Just temper your expectations a little. Im curious to know if the author is a peagan or was just telling a story because it seemed like they were trying to make a statement without cramming it down your throat.

6 people found this helpful

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Pretty dumb but

I couldn’t put it down. Weird how the mom basically gets Sophie’s Choice’d and it’s kiiind of not a huge deal for her. Also— the tree was a dick from day one.

5 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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Strange.

Don't know what to make of it. i loved Babyteeth. i set myself up for too high an expectation.

4 people found this helpful

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  • SJ
  • 07-20-20

Couldn't finish. Disappointed!!!

Loved Baby Teeth, listened a second time while waiting for her second book. Can't even finish this, and the fake baby-voice narrator did not help. I like the writing and imagination and will look for her next book. Sorry.

4 people found this helpful

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very disappointed 😞

I read baby teeth and this author is such an amazing writer so I was overly excited to get this new book. I can honestly say the author Zoje is still an amazing writer I just could not get into or enjoy the story at all!

3 people found this helpful

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  • mr
  • 08-24-21

Unbearable

Wet characters (Eleanor Queen?! come on) and weak plot. Narrator seems to be constantly on the verge of tears. A horrific combination, far worse than anything intentionally delivered. One to avoid.

3 people found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-10-21

Good Start yet very slow and repetitive.

While the story starts well to introduce the characters and setting, and does well to create a good atmosphere it fails to build upon it. Very repetitive with no to little real high point. The story could be half as long and one would still feel kind of unfulfilled in the end, but at least not bored.

1 person found this helpful

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • fintan stephenson
  • 05-30-22

neither good nor bad, went into this on a whim.

went into this on a whim the description of the story sounds amazing. However the story is stale the entire way through almost felt like a chore to finish it.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-09-21

great writing/performance serious lack of horror

started great and then petered off then just kept going. really liked the writing and was really into it but felt like I was waiting for a big reveal or twist or anything the whole time and it just never came. Like watching the first half hour of a really good horror film that never pays off.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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  • Mr & Mrs Welch
  • 12-16-20

Haunting

I loved this book and the vocal fry of the narrator was so wonderful to my ears. Normally I wouldn't establish the listening experience first, but the narrator's voice was so unique and soothing, I could listen to her all day.

The novel itself was haunting, harrowing, terrifying, and tragic. I don't want to give anything away, but this book takes the reader on one hell of a nightmare journey. I'll definitely be reading more of Stage's work.

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  • ESH
  • 11-25-22

Hard to finish

The first half hooked me but the last half went on and on. Heavy-handed and clumsy symbolism at the expense of the story. Also, was not a fan of the narrator's children's voices. So cringey.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 11-18-22

Great story

Really enjoyed this story , wish more was explained but didn’t hinder on the experience. Recommend highly