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review 2020-07-05 08:02
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz - L. Frank Baum

I got this book quite early, but it was a book I chose myself, so maybe somewhere between 7-10 years old? Anyway, I enjoyed it even though it was old. It was a Swedish translation. Then we went to England on vacation a couple of times and my sister found four hardcover books with illustrations that belonged in the same series as that first book (that was hardcover too). It wasn’t that expensive back then, or maybe I didn’t notice because my parents paid for it. :)

Most people have read the book at some point so I won’t say much about the plot - a girl from Kansas is ripped from her family, inside the family home, by a hurricane/twister and comes to a magical fairytale country, called Oz. Because she misses her family she tries to get home. That’s basically the story.

I understand. I’d never survive without my family, even though Dorothy was lucky to get her house with her with, presumably, what little stuff she had.

Whenever people ask what fantasy world you’d like to live in most people mention Tolkien’s Middle Earth, Narnia and Harry Potter’s world, but I usually answer Dinotopia. I’m obsessed with that island with cute dinosaurs.

However, since I managed to download a free copy of the e-book, I now also think that the land of Oz might be an attractive option. :) Especially now. (Doctor Who isn’t primarily a book but to live inside the TARDIS would also be cool).
For instance, in Oz you have trees that grow breakfast- and lunch boxes and bushes with macaroons. :)

At the moment, my sister and I are also watching the first season of animated tv series called Lost in Oz and seems to be a modern retelling of the original story. It’s actually quite good, even though it’s aimed at children. Older kids, I think, because mine don’t find it that interesting. It’s fun, cute and quite thrilling too.

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review 2020-02-17 19:44
The Wizard of Oz - David McKee,Cornelia Funke,L. Frank Baum

The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz, or just The Wizard Of Oz, wasn't a book that I considered reading when I decided to read more classics this year. However my Bookishly subscription is random, so when it appeared in my inbox I was pleasantly surprised. I have watched the movie many times (it's dark history has ruined that for me) so I was interested to see how the book would differ.

It turns out, it differs quite a lot. Much of the book was cut out for the movie, as some scenes were unnecessary and others would have been too difficult to film, like I don't remember Dorothy enlisting the flying monkeys to carry her around in the movie. A lot of the book felt like filler, like when someone doesn't make enough cake on Nailed it and has to stuff it full of rice krispies or something.

A lot of the book is formulaic, after Dorothy meets her new friends the Scarecrow, the Tin Man and The Cowardly Lion, it was a repeat of them getting to a new place, meet a new obstacle, then Dorothy would do something, then the Tin Man would do something, Scarecrow would do something, the Tin Man would do something, then they would continue to the next place and repeat the same.

I didn't think Dorothy had much personality. She was our window to the world of Oz but she certainly didn't feel like a real person. Comparing her to one of her counterparts, Alice of Alice In Wonderland, she falls short. While I can easily tell you that Alice is spoilt, and quite rude, but resourceful and clever, I can't really tell you anything of Dorothy and there's no explanation as to why Dorothy does not have parents.

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review 2019-02-06 19:37
Glinda of Oz, Oz #14
Glinda of Oz (Books of Wonder) - L. Frank Baum

'The Wizard of Oz' was the first real book I read cover to cover, and as soon as I saw listings for 14 Oz books I wanted to read them all. It didn't happen, which was probably for the best, but about five years ago I acquired digital copies of all of them and meant to knock them all out during my then-long bus commutes.


Other than the first two sequels - 'The Land of Oz' and 'Ozma of Oz', which are vital, works of wonder - these books are disappointing nonsense. Scratch that. Disappointing garbage is what is was. Continuity is routinely flouted for no good reason and Baum aggressively advertised his other book series in hopes of getting kids and their parents (and his creditors) to stop forcing him to write more Oz books. No dice, pal.


And then there was the whole weird fairyland subtext that no one grows old or dies ever since, long long ago, the Fairy Lurline enchanted Oz and went on her merry way. People can be hurt, people can be eaten, or chopped up, but those pieces don't die. This is so much better than explaining death to little kids.


Baum is still capable of wonderful invention throughout this series, but its the laziness of his plots and characterization that make the books difficult to read. The plot here should have been decent. Ozma and Dorothy read in Glinda's magic book that two hitherto unknown peoples in a distant corner of Oz are about to go to war. Ozma and Dorothy wish to stop this so they head over there, and when they get in trouble, a rescue party of most everybody else in Oz goes after them, with mixed results. No one talks about the problems of war except in the most abstract terms, Ozma's argument is purely divine right and when that's rebuffed she just waits for someone to magic the problems away.


The best line was when the Patchwork Girl predicts that someday Button Bright will wander off and no one will find him again.


If you somehow have made it through these books and desire more, there are some 26 other Oz books that were published through the 20s, 30s, & 40s and more dribbling into the modern era.




Next: 'The Royal Book of Oz' by Ruth Plumly Thompson


Previous: 'The Magic of Oz'

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review 2018-06-20 13:37
Oz: Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz - Eric Shanower,Skottie Young,L. Frank Baum
For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle

Great adaptation of Baum's fourth Oz book. It has been a while since I read the original, but from what I remember, this sticks closely to the original book with a few minor changes which are noted in the beginning of this book. 

I actually liked this version better than the original. I think the graphic novel format works very well for this story. Baum's descriptions were often a bit vague and/or confusing, but seeing Skottie Young's versions of the various creatures Dorothy and her companions meet on their journey is breathtaking. Wonderful, fantastic artwork. I love his style. This really brings that story to life. 

I find it best to read the original and then read these graphic novels, but for people who don't like reading novels or don't enjoy Baum's style yet want to know the Oz stories, this is a great route. These books take the original story and put it in a graphic novel format instead of retelling the story entirely. They can be used in hand with or as an alternative to the originals for people who prefer graphic novel format.

Great adaptation. Amazing artwork. This is a wonderful series.
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review 2018-06-12 00:31
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (Graphic Novel) - Eric Shanower,L. Frank Baum,Skottie Young

For more reviews, check out my blog: Craft-Cycle

I actually ended up liking this book more than the original novel. I have never been a huge fan of the Oz series. I've always had kind of a weird relationship with them; I'm intrigued by the ideas and characters, but I just don't like them (and I can't stand Dorothy). But I do enjoy various retellings. 

I really liked this book. It perfectly combines Baum's original text with all-new, fabulous artwork. I loved the revamp of the characters. I especially enjoyed the artwork. I really like Young's interesting, slightly grotesque style. Very well done. 

The text does stick to the original story (and all it's gruesome details). This means that the book can get a little violent at times such as the Tin Man killing a cat with his ax to rescue a mouse, the Tin Man decapitating wolves (the Tin Man is surprisingly violent), and the Scarecrow wringing the necks of birds. These things happen in the original so they happen here. Young's artwork is not overly bloody or gory, but there is only so much one can do when illustrating such a story. This is not a criticism of the book, but a warning to parents who may want to give this book to their kids too soon. 

Overall, a very good adaptation of the original Oz story.

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