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Friday, January 20, 2012

"The Wizard of Oz"

by L. Frank Baum, illustrated by Michael Hague, YR, 1982, first p1900, 219p, rating=3.5
source: library

In spite of the fact that L. Frank Baum's The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (1900) is one of the most popular stories in America, relatively few people have actually read the book. It's well worth the effort! Young readers expecting rainbows, Munchkin songs, and wicked witches with burning brooms will instead find a complex country populated with mocking Hammerhead men, dainty people made out of china, and fierce monsters with heads of tigers and bodies of bears. Through the fantastic land of Oz ramble Dorothy and her trusty companions--Toto, the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman, and the Lion--each seeking his or her heart's desire. Although the premise of the book and the 1939 movie is the same, the book--as so often is the case--delivers a far more subtle and intricate plot. A child's imagination will run rampant in these pages as one extraordinary creature after another leads the motley crew into strange and magical adventures. (All ages) --Emilie Coulter

Wow, talk about different from the well known Judy Garland movie version. There was heads being chopped off in the book!  What a jolt!  Oh get this, Dorothy's slippers weren't ruby red! Unfathomable.  So it looks like the film's take made changes on the adventurous journey for color and drama.  Why was I shocked?  Because, the movie was tame and sweet and I forgot that movie versions does not necessarily mean it would be the same as the book.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not saying the book was dark and dreary.  It wasn't at all.  It was just different. 

I'm sure glad I read this classic tale.  Although the violence jarred me, I enjoyed this original imaginative adventure.  It was a dose of the wonderful innocence of childhood.  Plus, I delight at knowing what really happened.  ;)

Rating: comments


  1. I remember reading this a long time ago -- maybe in high school -- and really not even buying that it was the same story.....

    The tone and mood are totally different. Kind of like Wicked the book vs. Wicked the Musical....

  2. I read this pre-blog and I remember that I liked the darker side to it and loved the writing.

    I agree with Annette, it's definitely like Wicked the book vs Wicked the musical...

  3. Saw the musical but haven't read the book of these days!! --Thanks for stoppin' by ladies. <3


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