What a strange, ambitious book. The idea presented on the cover is that Talbot will be writing about the various influences Sunderland had on the Alice books. And that happens, sure. But really, the book is far more concerned with presenting a rambling history of Sunderland itself, only occassionally going back to what is meant to be the main topic. I got the impression that Talbot was originally inspired by Alice, and became absorbed in the history of Sunderland. And it is interesting, at least to me, but it's not really what I expected. Especially since the cover copy also implies that it will lead you to question the existence of Sunderland. Which it does not, by any stretch of the imagination.
The art is, frankly, dated. Rather too much of it seems to be made up of photographs (or art reproductions, which amounts to the same thing) run through a Photoshop filter to give it a pastel effect. It might have looked interesting in the 90s, (though the book was released in 2007) but it looks more tacky today.