Friday, 7 June 2013

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
L. Frank Baum
Kindle Book
In a terrifying instant of darkness, a tornado snatches up Dorothy Gale and her dog Toto, whirling them on the wild wind out of Kansas and straight to Oz. 
In this wondrous world of sorcery and danger, Munchkins, flying monkeys, talking mice and fighting trees, all Dorothy wants to do is go home...
Together with the Scarecrow who wants a brain, the Tin Man who wants a heart, and the Cowardly Lion who wants courage, Dorothy and Toto must follow the Yellow Brick Road to find the Wizard of the Emerald City. But before the wizard of Oz will grant their wishes, Dorothy and her friends must do the impossible--Destroy the all-powerful Wicked Witch of the West... 
Everyone knows the story of the wizard of Oz – Kanas and the tornado, Dorothy & Toto wanting to go home, Scarecrow looking for a brain, Tin Man wanting a heart and a cowardly lion needing courage plus a couple of wicked witches, flying monkeys and the wonderful wizard himself. It’s been made famous by several films – the most famous being the Judy Garland one, had a hit musical Wicked and a glorious 3D adventure earlier this year with Oz The Great and Powerful, but with all this going on I realised I hadn’t read the original story itself. Oh, I thought I knew it but in my ongoing attempt to squeeze some classics into my reading schedule , this seemed like a nice ‘light’ classic for kids that I could pick up on holiday. While it is certainly an easy read aimed at children I found myself completely enthralled in Dorothy and her companion’s adventures while delighting in this world that the films I’ve seen have barely touched upon.
 I really enjoyed Dorothy’s friends exploits on their adventures that aren’t frequently covered on screen or stage with the Scarecrow thinking their way out of various problems while still lamenting his lack of a brain, the Tin Man saving various creatures while wishing he could feel more while the lion protects the group from various dangers while still feeling scared. All are smarter, more caring and braver than the film has ever portrayed them and really made me warm to them. I loved some of their escapades that aren’t well known including being chased by Kalidah – huge monsters crossed between a tiger and a bear and the background to the flying monkeys. The world is much more complicated than it first appeared and I felt like it was a real metaphor for life. Dorothy didn’t develop too much character apart from being a ‘good girl’ – and at one point she wanted to steal a china princess to take home with home her! Still she is more like our guide than a real person and it never bothered me too much.
This is a fun read which doesn’t disappoint if you love the films and world from other media. It is still surprising and fun with lots of pleasant twists on characters you think you already know. L. Frank Baum wrote a wide selection of other stories about Oz and I certainly plan to pick up a couple more and explore this wonderful world in more detail. 
Recommended for fans of Rudyard Kipling and Gregory Maguire. 8 out of 10


  1. I read these ages ago, and then I mean ages :) I liked them

  2. i read the original story and this one looks more like the adaptation of the movie. I remember a talking chicken and the wheelers. Still, I'd like to see what else he wrote about this world. Oh you got me thinking about it!

  3. I absolutely love this novel! I have always had a huge obsession with the Wizard of Oz. It is really a bizarre but incredible story!


  4. It is different from the film, isn't it? I really enjoyed this when I read it.