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The Wonderful Wizard of OZ: The Original Book (Annotated): The Ultimate Fantasy Fiction Classic

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Dorothy is a young girl who lives on a Kansas farm with her Uncle Henry, Aunt Em, and little dog Toto. One day the farmhouse, with Dorothy inside, is caught up in a tornado and deposited in a field in the country of the Munchkins. The falling house kills the Wicked Witch of the East. Enjoy the Original Book from Lyman Frank Baum.


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Dorothy is a young girl who lives on a Kansas farm with her Uncle Henry, Aunt Em, and little dog Toto. One day the farmhouse, with Dorothy inside, is caught up in a tornado and deposited in a field in the country of the Munchkins. The falling house kills the Wicked Witch of the East. Enjoy the Original Book from Lyman Frank Baum.

30 review for The Wonderful Wizard of OZ: The Original Book (Annotated): The Ultimate Fantasy Fiction Classic

  1. 4 out of 5

    Hailey (HaileyinBookland)

    Ah such fun! I don't think I'll read the rest of the series but I did really enjoy this.

  2. 4 out of 5

    mark monday

    Rick Polito, Marin Independent Journal, 1998

  3. 5 out of 5

    Luca Ambrosino

    ENGLISH (The Wonderful Wizard of Oz) / ITALIANO Dorothy is a young girl who lives with her aunts in a small farm in Kansas. Due to a tornado, she is catapulted with her house in a freaky village... Dorothy's journey, which I discovered at 38 thanks to my daughter and to the well-established habit of reading something to her before going to bed, begins in this way. The thing that impressed me most about this wonderful story is that the title "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" is rather misleading. Yes, ENGLISH (The Wonderful Wizard of Oz) / ITALIANO Dorothy is a young girl who lives with her aunts in a small farm in Kansas. Due to a tornado, she is catapulted with her house in a freaky village... Dorothy's journey, which I discovered at 38 thanks to my daughter and to the well-established habit of reading something to her before going to bed, begins in this way. The thing that impressed me most about this wonderful story is that the title "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" is rather misleading. Yes, because Oz is neither the protagonist of the novel nor the ultimate goal of Dorothy's journey. Oz appears more or less at half of the novel, and he remains in the story for no more than 50 pages. Surely, Dorothy and her cheerful company start the search for the wizard of Oz almost immediately. However, the story that involves directly or indirectly Oz ends in an unexpected way, almost prematurely, and in my opinion this is a strenght of the story. When Oz disappeared from the story, it was funny to see the confused face of my daughter saying:«WHAT? HE'S GONE?? HOW IS IT POSSIBLE?!?»and I realized how successful was L. Frank Baum's attempt to mislead the readers.Young people heartly fantasize. Me too.Vote: 8 Dorothy è una fanciulla che vive con gli zii in una piccola fattoria nell'Kansas. A causa di una tromba d'aria, la sua abitazione viene catapultata con lei dentro in paese quanto meno bislacco... Comincia così il viaggio di Dorothy, che ho scoperto a 38 anni suonati grazie a mia figlia e all'abitudine ormai consolidata di farsi leggere qualcosa prima di andare a letto (non la trasposizione cinematografica, quella la conoscevo già). La cosa che più mi ha colpito di questo splendido racconto è come il titolo "Il meraviglioso mago di Oz" sia fuorviante. Si, perchè Oz non è nè il protagonista nè l'obiettivo finale della ricerca della piccola Dorothy. Il personaggio di Oz appare più o meno a metà racconto, e ci rimane per non più di 50 pagine. Di sicuro la ricerca del mago di Oz comincia quasi fin da subito da parte della piccola Dorothy e della sua allegra compagnia. Tuttavia la vicenda che coinvolge direttamente o indirettamente Oz si conclude in maniera inaspettata, quasi prematuramente, e questo secondo me è un punto di forza del racconto. Con l'uscita di scena del mago di Oz, vedere la faccia spiazzata di mia figlia che dice: «Ma come! Se n'è andato? COME E' POSSIBILE???»è stato divertente, appagante, e mi fa capire quanto sia riuscito il tentativo di L. Frank Baum di spiazzare i lettori.Fantasticano assai i più piccoli. E anche io.Voto: 8

  4. 5 out of 5

    David

    Once upon a time there lived a Golden Age gay icon, who whiled away her pre-waxing years sitting atop a split-rail fence in some dour, nondescript American Midwest landscape. Her dreams of a more outrageously fierce existence in the big city (wearing roller skates and one-foot-diameter afro wigs and dancing to Army of Lovers in between lines of blow) were hemmed in on all sides by rusted farm equipment, NAPA Auto Parts Stores, and a lone, dejected Applebee’s out on the turnpike. Kansas didn’t ev Once upon a time there lived a Golden Age gay icon, who whiled away her pre-waxing years sitting atop a split-rail fence in some dour, nondescript American Midwest landscape. Her dreams of a more outrageously fierce existence in the big city (wearing roller skates and one-foot-diameter afro wigs and dancing to Army of Lovers in between lines of blow) were hemmed in on all sides by rusted farm equipment, NAPA Auto Parts Stores, and a lone, dejected Applebee’s out on the turnpike. Kansas didn’t even have a meth lab yet. Or a Sally Beauty Supply. Her nascent fabulousness was imprisoned by voluminous swaths of gingham, satin ribbons, and fussy lace collars -- none of them, unfortunately, worn ironically, with a lollipop or a pacifier or Harajuku-style -- at the behest of Aunt Em, a woman whose character is explained by the shocking fact that the better part of her non-church wardrobe was purchased at Quality Farm & Fleet. (I know. Couldn’t you just die?) This girl, as yet scarcely old enough to have a couple of cherries or a leaping dolphin tattooed near her cameltoe, was named Dorothy. One day, like so many dreamy-eyed girls, she donned her Skechers and her discount department store jeans and waited for a meteorological disaster to rescue her from her sad, glitterless rural life. As luck would have it, one day, an especially violent cyclone (rated EF4 by the local weather service) carved a bloody path of destruction, misery, and death through central Kansas, carrying Dorothy’s trailer (with her and her dog Toto inside, watching Judge Judy) high into the troposphere. At first, Dorothy mistook the rhythmic vibrations for a circuit party and looked under the bed for her whistle, but soon enough she realized she was airborne. And it felt Fab. U. Lous. She thought she even spotted a cross-country Virgin America flight with Diana Ross sitting in first class refusing a skunky glass of Chardonnay and calling the stewardess an uppity white bitch. (She’ll have Dershowitz on the phone when she gets to LAX.) But maybe Dorothy was unconscious and imagining it all. At any rate, she was immune to the ghastly, soul-rending shrieks, rising from below, of a Kansas mother cradling her dead baby who was impaled by a windswept awl in the cyclone. She was busy listening to “Yahoo!” by Erasure on her iPod. Eventually, after floating around earth’s gaseous atmosphere for a couple of hours, dreaming of Barney’s Co-op Sale, Dorothy landed in some unknown land, flat-ironed her hair, and repositioned her training thong. Outside her trailer a bunch of ghetto midgets were milling around with some old witchy broad. No, it wasn’t that überfem Glinda – like in the movie – it was some tired-ass old mannish thing, looking like Linda Hunt in The Year of Living Dangerously. Basically, this bitch is no help at all. She’s supposedly a witch, and you’d think she’d know the way to the Meatpacking District, but all she does is give her some cheap-ass silver shoes (Steve Madden – yuck) and kiss Dorothy on the forehead leaving this “magical” lipmark. Dorothy suspects it’s herpes simplex one and hightails it outta there before the witch gives her boxed wine and has her pose for “art” photographs. (Yes, I remember the very special episode of Diff’rent Strokes with Gordon Jump very well, thank you very much.) Okay, you know the rest of the story (for the most part). Dorothy seeks out the Wizard of Oz by mapquesting Emerald City (or, alternately, the City of Emeralds) and on the way she meets a Scarecrow, a Tin Woodman, and a Lion, who are all needy and want to bask in the glow of her super-hot blinding aura and fierce fantabulousness (and bum a few amphetamines). The Wizard, who likes to mix up his corporeal manifestations, appears to them in his Emerald City throne room (Picture Antwan “Big Boi” Patton’s house on Cribs but with fewer stripper poles and lots more green marble ) in the forms of a giant Little Richard-sized head, a Sears catalog swimsuit model, a vaguely menacing monster, and a talking ball of fire. Obviously, the Wizard has been to see Cirque de Soleil and knows the power of a little Québécois razzle-dazzle. Whilst filing his nails and reading the latest issue of Interview with Drew Barrymore on the cover, the Wizard tells his motley supplicants that, yeah, yeah, sure, he will grant their stupid, retarded wishes if they murder the Wicked Witch of the West, a Tribeca scenester who is always bogarting Page Six with her leather-daddy winged monkey warehouse parties. Dorothy & Crew reluctantly agree – an act of volition which effectively makes Dorothy the youngest hit girl in the history of YA literature, and the only one to ever wear lace-trimmed socklets. Eventually, during a wet t-shirt contest, the witch melts and Dorothy, still flush with her first taste of killing… sweet killing, returns with her entourage to the Wizard to claim her payoff. But then, gosh golly, gee whiz… in a startling atheistic allegory, the all-powerful Wizard is revealed to be an impotent little Wallace Shawn-type standing behind a screen fiddling with some sound board knobs. Nietzsche couldn’t’ve said it any better. The Wizard, who realizes he’s dealing with a bunch of saps here, pretends to grant everyone’s wishes (except Dorothy’s – cuz he’s totally jealous of her fabulousness) and they actually fall for it. Dorothy, burnt-out on the Emerald City scene and suffering from dehydration and exhaustion, longs to return to Kansas to start her autobiographical blog. A bunch of stupid stuff happens, some of which involve a hot air balloon and bitch-slapping trees, and the quartet make their way to Glinda, the Witch of the South, to see if she can grant Dorothy’s wish and thereby prove that she’s at least somewhat less worthless than everybody else in Oz On the way to the Glinda’s ‘hood, the posse comes across a village where all the people are made of china and break easily (Gee, I wonder why they left that great episode out of the film), and after the Lion accidentally destroys one of their china churches with his tail (I’m not kidding), giving impetus to hate crime legislation the world over, the Tin Woodman decapitates some wolves with his ax. Dorothy skips and frolics through the gory pools of matted fur, blood, and steaming viscera and asks Glinda, who appears to be on Quaaludes, for a trip home. Glinda, as useless as every other allegedly magical person in Oz, tells her that the cheap-ass Steve Madden shoes she’s been wearing could’ve gotten her back to Kansas all along. (And, by the way, when she returns to the Sticks, she should really take off those Chinese panda-skin leatherette things. They’ll give her fatal foot rash.) So Dorothy uses the magic of those shoes made in China under the brand name of a man imprisoned for magical tax evasion to return to Kansas, where her Aunt and Uncle have long since forgotten about her and adopted a more attractive, Latvian girl who’s not too prissy to hand-inseminate the cows. Dorothy overdoses one night in a dilapidated feed barn on a potent mixture of Robitussin and Gas-X, and Judy Davis plays her in a television movie that no one remembers long enough to have forgotten.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Hannah Greendale

    Click here to watch a video review of this book on my channel, From Beginning to Bookend. Dorothy Gale and her little dog Toto are swept away by a tornado from Kansas all the way to the Land of Oz. With a little help from the Witch of the North, Dorothy and Toto set off down a road paved with yellow bricks in search of the City of Emeralds and the Wizard of Oz, a man said to have the power to help Dorothy find her way back to Kansas. The cyclone had set the house down, very gently - for a cyclone Click here to watch a video review of this book on my channel, From Beginning to Bookend. Dorothy Gale and her little dog Toto are swept away by a tornado from Kansas all the way to the Land of Oz. With a little help from the Witch of the North, Dorothy and Toto set off down a road paved with yellow bricks in search of the City of Emeralds and the Wizard of Oz, a man said to have the power to help Dorothy find her way back to Kansas. The cyclone had set the house down, very gently - for a cyclone - in the midst of a country of marvelous beauty. There were lovely patches of green sward all about, with stately trees bearing rich and luscious fruits. Banks of gorgeous flowers were on every hand, and birds with rare and brilliant plumage sang and fluttered in the trees and bushes. Along the way, Dorothy makes some unusual new friends, each of which desire something from the Wizard of Oz. "Do you think Oz could give me courage?" asked the cowardly Lion. "Just as easily as he could give me brains," said the Scarecrow. "Or give me a heart," said the Tin Woodman. "Or send me back to Kansas," said Dorothy. "Then, if you don't mind, I'll go with you," said the Lion, "for my life is simply unbearable without a bit of courage." In the late eighteen-hundreds, children's stories often featured familiar mythical creatures and were written with the express intent to deliver a moral lesson. L. Frank Baum took a different approach when he began writing The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. He intended to write a children's book with new fantasy creatures in a realm yet unexplored, and his efforts were a marvelous success. Dorothy's journey through the colorful and peculiar Land of Oz reveals an array of creatures like winged monkeys, talking china dolls, and bearlike Kalidahs. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is not the technicolor film known by millions, but rather, a surprisingly grim tale that is absent of ruby slippers and cities with emerald-green structures. As it came nearer the Tin Woodman saw that running before the beast was a little gray field-mouse, and although he had no heart he knew it was wrong for the wildcat to try to kill such a pretty, harmless creature. So the Woodman raised his axe, and as the wildcat ran by he gave it a quick blow that cut the beast's head clean off from its body, and it rolled over at his feet in two pieces. With quirky illustrations, an amusing sense of logic, and delightful characters, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is a gratifying start to a well-loved series.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Riku Sayuj

    The Wizard of Oz as An Economic Parable: A Short Introduction This might be common knowledge or it might not be. Some economics textbooks claim this is a wonderfully esoteric nugget: The story of Oz was an economic parable. Take that, all you who said economics can't be fun. Redistributions of wealth caused by unexpected changes in the price level are often a source of political turmoil. From 1880 to 1896 the price level in the United States fell 23 percent. This deflation was good for Haves (cred The Wizard of Oz as An Economic Parable: A Short Introduction This might be common knowledge or it might not be. Some economics textbooks claim this is a wonderfully esoteric nugget: The story of Oz was an economic parable. Take that, all you who said economics can't be fun. Redistributions of wealth caused by unexpected changes in the price level are often a source of political turmoil. From 1880 to 1896 the price level in the United States fell 23 percent. This deflation was good for Haves (creditors - primarily the bankers of the Northeast), but it was bad for Have-Nots (debtors - primarily the farmers of the South and West). The deflation was blamed almost exclusively on the now notorious Gold Standard and a proposed move towards Silver was instead the craved for alternative. The Silver issue dominated the presidential election of 1896. William McKinley, the Republican nominee, campaigned on a platform of preserving the gold standard. William Jennings Bryan, the Democratic nominee, ranged boldly against Gold and for Silver. In a famous speech, Bryan proclaimed, “You shall not press down upon the brow of labor this crown of thorns, you shall not crucify mankind upon a cross of gold.’’ Not surprisingly, McKinley was the candidate of the conservative eastern establishment, whereas Bryan was the candidate of the southern and western populists. Then came The Wizard of Oz. The midwestern journalist, L. Frank Baum tells the story of Dorothy, a girl lost in a strange land far from her home in Kansas. Dorothy (representing traditional American values) makes three friends: a scarecrow (the farmer), a tin woodman (the industrial worker), and a lion whose roar exceeds his might (William Jennings Bryan). Together, the four of them make their way along a perilous yellow brick road (the gold standard), hoping to find the Wizard who will help Dorothy return home. Eventually they arrive in Oz (Washington), where everyone sees the world through green glasses (money). The Wizard (William McKinley) tries to be all things to all people but turns out to be a fraud. Dorothy’s problem is solved only when she learns about the magical power of her (otherwise ordinary) silver slippers. (Unfortunately the movie forgot the parable and omitted the silver slippers - thus depriving the majority of the audience of the real delight in the victory!) The Republicans (The Wizard) won the election of 1896, and the United States stayed on a gold standard, but the Free Silver advocates got the inflation that they wanted after gold was discovered in Alaska, Australia, and South Africa. Even later, Gold was abandoned altogether and the fraudster wizards was never heard from again. Dorothy and Baum had the last laugh over the unwanted magical oppression of the Yellow Brick Road and the green-tinted world. Well, at least from the road.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Zoë

    Book 20/100 for 2015 I really, really liked this book! I honestly had pretty low expectations going into this book and thought it wouldn't compare at all to the greatness of the 1939 movie (which is one of my favorite movies), but I was wrong. It was one of the best children's classics that I've ever read and I even loved how it wasn't that similar to the movie, so it kept me interested. I also had a beautiful hardcover Puffin Classics edition, so that make the experience even better! All in all, Book 20/100 for 2015 I really, really liked this book! I honestly had pretty low expectations going into this book and thought it wouldn't compare at all to the greatness of the 1939 movie (which is one of my favorite movies), but I was wrong. It was one of the best children's classics that I've ever read and I even loved how it wasn't that similar to the movie, so it kept me interested. I also had a beautiful hardcover Puffin Classics edition, so that make the experience even better! All in all, I'm so glad that I had to read it for my class!

  8. 4 out of 5

    Brina

    To Oz? To Oz! The film version of The Wizard of Oz is such an important part of American history that I most likely had it memorized by the time I was eight years old. Between the music, images changing from black and white to color, and the defeat of a wicked witch, the movie was simply magical. Being a tomboy, however, my reading interests as a child were never inclined toward classic books such as Little Women and, of course, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Having my interest piqued by the yearly To Oz? To Oz! The film version of The Wizard of Oz is such an important part of American history that I most likely had it memorized by the time I was eight years old. Between the music, images changing from black and white to color, and the defeat of a wicked witch, the movie was simply magical. Being a tomboy, however, my reading interests as a child were never inclined toward classic books such as Little Women and, of course, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Having my interest piqued by the yearly viewing of this movie at Thanksgiving, I decided to finally read this children's classic book for myself. Lyman Frank Baum had been struggling in business and needed to be able to support his family of five children. Life in the circus had failed, so he turned to writing. Morally supported by his wife Maud, Baum turned to writing enduring children's classics like the ones he grew up reading. Setting out to write a classic piece of children's literature, Baum started the saga of Dorothy of Kansas that later became the Wonderful Wizard of Oz. When Baum died unexpectedly of a heart attack in 1920, he had penned one Oz story a year since 1900. His family had moved to the sleepy village of Hollywood, and the Baum family lived off of royalties generated from the Oz books and subsequent attempts at stage versions. The first story entitled the Wonderful Wizard of Oz was the most successful and lead to Baum leading the writing life that he strived to attain as a child. Although Baum did not live to see the movie version of his book, he would be pleased to know that children and adults are still reading his stories over one hundred years later. The story of Dorothy that has been preserved on film is actually only the first half of the book. In this half Dorothy and Toto ride in their house is carried in a cyclone from Kansas to Oz. Upon landing, they are heralded by the munchkins who laud them for killing the Wicked Witch of the East. Yet, Dorothy only wants to return home to her Aunt Em and Uncle Henry. There is no music here, only advice to follow the yellow brick road to the Emerald City and seek advice from the great and terrible wizard of Oz. Along the way, Dorothy meets friends the Scarecrow, Tin Man, and Lion. The four all desire that Oz help them attain what they want most and assist Dorothy on her journey. Until they reach the magical city, there is no witch or conflict to speak of, only creatures of assorted shapes and sizes who are happy to help Dorothy find her way home. The wicked witch of the West does make a brief appearance when Oz tasks Dorothy with killing her. The melting scene is short and without much drama. Perhaps a child would be scared by the witch and her winged monkeys as I know I was as a child. As an adult who is reading the book for posterity, the witch's appearance was anti climatic because I know how the story inevitably ends. For a girl, however; Dorothy exhibits much bravery on her journey in facing the powerful witch alone and all these years later is still a magical heroine for young girls. Perhaps one reason why this story has endured is because of the lack of conflict which translates well to a feel good musical on the big screen. As a result, Baum's story has become a classic for the ages. I read a version illustrated by Australian artist Robert Ingpen. His lovely drawings facilitated my reading about Dorothy and friends as they journey toward Oz. Being as familiar with the story as I am, I almost enjoyed the illustrations more than the story because I desired to see the munchkins, the yellow brick road, and the Emerald City. With the story being geared toward children and almost dragging at times, I appreciated the color illustrations which reminded me where I was on Dorothy's journey and kept me focused on the story. Even as I knew the denouement, I loved how the illustrations brought the story to its epic conclusion, especially in the parts not included on film which I had to imagine for myself. These pictures only helped to make Oz an epic reading experience. Critics note that the Oz saga of books mirrors populism and William Jennings Bryan and has been banned in many places. I did not have my history thinking cap on while reading so I was unable to link Baum's life in Kansas to Bryan and populism in the 1896 and 1900 presidential elections. What I did discover was the written form of a magical movie that I have seen many times over. It was an enchanting reading experience that is probably loved by children more so than adults, yet one that has lasted as a slice of American history for more than one hundred years. 4 stars

  9. 4 out of 5

    Henry Avila

    Dorothy, (from Kansas, wherever that is) lives with her Aunt Em and Uncle Henry, on the flat American prairie, the harsh Sun beating down from the gray sky, making everything turn gray ... the gray grass, house, clothes and especially the people, animals, are probably gray too, might seem the least likely place that she visits, that is real. No trees, brooks, beautiful birds singing or anything colorful around the poor farm. But our adventures begin when a tornado lifts unlucky Dorothy , her dog Dorothy, (from Kansas, wherever that is) lives with her Aunt Em and Uncle Henry, on the flat American prairie, the harsh Sun beating down from the gray sky, making everything turn gray ... the gray grass, house, clothes and especially the people, animals, are probably gray too, might seem the least likely place that she visits, that is real. No trees, brooks, beautiful birds singing or anything colorful around the poor farm. But our adventures begin when a tornado lifts unlucky Dorothy , her dog Toto, and only friend, while inside their small one room house, up into the swirling, whistling, ominous black sky, scared Aunt Em in the cellar ( a dark hole in the ground under the floor), hiding and Uncle Henry outside taking care of the frightened farm animals. The little girl is all alone with her dog, as the strong winds of the storm takes her higher and higher, always going above and further from Dorothy's loved ones, which is the blood relative, is strangely never stated . After countless hours pass, she falls asleep on her bed. Awakening by a loud noise the house crashing down on the ground the next day , terrifying Dorothy ... opening slowly the door, she is stunned, all is beautiful... brilliant colors, green grass, a lovely stream, gorgeous flowers, trees with delicious fruit hanging on their branches, birds sweetly singing, everywhere her eyes can see, blue skies. But weird , quite small people are timidly coming towards Dorothy, (they think she is a horrible , powerful witch) the juvenile feels uneasy, looking fully grown , like the Munchkins, yet still a little girl's size ...they welcome her to this wonderland. And thanking the girl for their freedom , by killing the wicked Witch of the East, whose body lies underneath the house. The pretty Witch of the North, and is good also, unheard of, (news spreads quickly in the Land of Oz) gives Dorothy the magical silver shoes of the dead sorceress. The farm girl wants to get back home to Kansas, asks directions, nobody knows it, but all tell Dorothy to follow the yellow brick road, to the Emerald City where the Great and Powerful Wizard of Oz, presumably lives and rules. Trouble is, people never see the terrible wizard, but he is the only one who can help Dorothy get back . On the long journey, the young girl and Toto, meets the brainless failure, the Scarecrow, stuck on a pole, the Tin Woodman, rusting outside in a forest ( tin doesn't rust), the Cowardly Lion, attacking the group on the road and afterwards crying, all join Dorothy on her impossible quest, for a brain, a heart and courage ( the joke of this story is, that every traveler already has them, even Dorothy's wish, can be easily achieved). Wide ditches have to be jumped, wild animals fought, rivers crossed, ugly flying monkeys, bees, poisonous blue, red, yellow, white and purple, flowers, thick, gloomy forests, strange people some unfriendly, and not made of flesh ( the evil, dreadful, Witch of the West, in her impenetrable, dismal castle, but that is later), must be overcome, to reach the fabulous Emerald City. They have a secret weapon, Toto is not afraid of anything ... he can look behind the curtain.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Bookdragon Sean

    This is one of the most bizarre books I've ever read. The fantasy elements are all rather ordinary. There’s a secret world beyond that of our own; this is a standard trope of the genre. C.S Lewis would soon follow suit and inspire later generations. But the point is the Land of Oz is just weird. Seems like a bland criticism, though the entire point of the plot is to have good triumph over evil. But what is evil? Beyond the actual name of the antagonist, the Wicked Witch of the West, we don’t act This is one of the most bizarre books I've ever read. The fantasy elements are all rather ordinary. There’s a secret world beyond that of our own; this is a standard trope of the genre. C.S Lewis would soon follow suit and inspire later generations. But the point is the Land of Oz is just weird. Seems like a bland criticism, though the entire point of the plot is to have good triumph over evil. But what is evil? Beyond the actual name of the antagonist, the Wicked Witch of the West, we don’t actually know much about her. Is she really that bad? It seems unusual to create such an evilly induced character and then have her preform no evil; it sort of makes the whole moral of the story seem questionable. Simply put, an apt summary of the story would be: “a little girl meets three freaks and goes on a killing spree in a fucked up world.” Indeed, the heroes of the tale aren’t exactly what I’d define as good. Are they evil heroes? Dorothy is completely unheroic. She kills another “evil witch” on her entry into the land; her first act is to accidently commit murder. All her success is down to unbelievable blind luck; it gets to the point that she performs a completely random action, like throwing water at someone, and she somehow saves the day. It’d just odd. The Tin Woodsman is an even stranger figure. We have an entire chapter devoted to the saving of a colony of mice; yet, at one point he cuts a leopard’s head off despite travelling in the company of a lion. Does this sound like children’s fiction? For me this was slightly hypocritical. It’s like the author is saying we should be nice to some animals only. It made little sense. And then there’s the whole separate issue of how the woodman managed to survive so many decapitations….. I can understand why this book was so popular to its earlier audiences; it’s a very early attempt at fantasy, so there wasn’t a great deal quite like this around at the time. I think for a child who just sees the basic plot of this, they would easily become lost. But when you read it as an adult you just can’t help but think “this isn’t right.” I could go on. I could go on to explain how the structure is a slight mess. Each chapter is almost like its own enclosed story that’s could be read section by section, each night before bed. But as an actual novel, the progression of chapters really is quite poor. I picked out two points where the novel really should have ended; yet, it kept going on when the climax had finished and all momentum has been lost. For me this book is an example of an overly hyped cultural phenomenon. Many people claim to love this book, but many haven’t actually read it. Everyone my age I have ever met has watched the film at some point in their life; the basic narrative is embodied into their cultural psyche, which happens with many literary classics of this type. The point is the book here is a very different thing. I implore everyone who bases their knowledge, and perhaps love, of this on the movie to actually sit down and read the horrendous work in question; then you may see what it actually is: a vile little story that is accidently evil. This one was quite a shocker!

  11. 5 out of 5

    Mischenko

    My 8-year-old decided she wanted to read this one and we just finished buddy reading two different copies. The copy she’s reading is a new Scholastic version which is just a simple paperback with an adorable cover. I went ahead and picked up this 100th anniversary edition for our home library because it’s illustrated, large print, and hardcover which I love. I’m sure most of you already know the story. The beginning opens with a cyclone that carries Dorothy’s house–along with her and her little My 8-year-old decided she wanted to read this one and we just finished buddy reading two different copies. The copy she’s reading is a new Scholastic version which is just a simple paperback with an adorable cover. I went ahead and picked up this 100th anniversary edition for our home library because it’s illustrated, large print, and hardcover which I love. I’m sure most of you already know the story. The beginning opens with a cyclone that carries Dorothy’s house–along with her and her little dog Toto–all the way to a foreign land. Her house falls on a wicked witch killing her and Dorothy becomes a hero. On her journey to find the wizard she meets a scarecrow, a tin woodman, and a cowardly lion. Dorothy’s love for her new found friends is heartwarming and there isn’t anything she wouldn’t do for them. Together they embark on an adventure to find the Emerald City. Each of the four travelers has a request for the wizard. The scarecrow wants brains, the tin woodman a heart, and the lion needs courage. Dorothy’s only request is to be sent back home to Aunt Em in Kansas. It’s quite fascinating what can be accomplished if you only believe. “No matter how dreary and gray our homes are, we people of flesh and blood would rather live there than in any other country, be it ever so beautiful. There is no place like home.” I can’t remember the last time I read The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, but it was probably sometime around 5th grade or so. We had a tattered up copy in our school library. I’m not even sure if I finished it because this time around, I was amazed with the differences in the book compared to the Hollywood movie. Some events were left out in the film, while others were added in which made it even more exciting, including the entire beginning of the movie. Details were also different. Not only that, parts of the book were fairly dark for young readers. "He seized his axe, which he had made very sharp, and as the leader of the wolves came on the Tin Woodman swung his arm and chopped the wolf’s head from its body, so that it immediately died. As soon as he could raise his axe another wolf came up, and he also fell under the sharp edge of the Tim Woodman’s weapon. There were forty wolves, and forty times a wolf was killed; so that at last they all lay dead in a heap before the Woodman. We enjoyed reading about the magical world L. Frank Baum has created in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Just picture it with fighting trees, flying monkeys, munchkins and witches. There was no telling what would happen next! We connected with all the characters too. I was one of those children who waited for the movie to come on local television channels every single year. I was entranced when Dorothy got sucked up into the tornado along with her house and Toto. One of the most exciting parts for me was when the movie transitioned from black and white to color. I was obsessed with the movie. The book may not be as extravagant as the movie and there are many differences, but the book is still magical with great characters. There are many good lessons for children to learn as well. This was a very creative children’s fantasy in my opinion. The illustrations throughout were a treat and make the story even more interesting. It’s a book perfect for all ages. I’m not sure if we’ll reread it anytime soon, but my eight-year-old and ten-year-old kids enjoyed it as much as I did. I’ve read the second book and plan to finish the entire series eventually. 4**** You can see this review with illustrations @ https://readrantrockandroll.com/2018/...

  12. 5 out of 5

    Richard

    This is a book I read as a child, even before I saw the musical, and enjoyed a lot. However, my memory of it was overshadowed by the film. So it was a good experience to read it again as an adult. The book is worth reading, not least because it differs in some major ways from the film adaptation. The biggest difference is that the whole dream sequence scenario, in which people from Kansas are transmogrified into figures of fantasy, is entirely absent. Dorothy wears Silver Shoes, not Ruby Slippers This is a book I read as a child, even before I saw the musical, and enjoyed a lot. However, my memory of it was overshadowed by the film. So it was a good experience to read it again as an adult. The book is worth reading, not least because it differs in some major ways from the film adaptation. The biggest difference is that the whole dream sequence scenario, in which people from Kansas are transmogrified into figures of fantasy, is entirely absent. Dorothy wears Silver Shoes, not Ruby Slippers. And so on and so forth. Baum says in the preface that he has tried to offer a modernized fairy tale: "[...] for the time has come for a series of newer "wonder tales" in which the stereotyped genie, dwarf and fairy are eliminated, together with all the horrible and blood-curdling incidents devised by their authors to point a fearsome moral to each tale. Modern education includes morality; therefore the modern child seeks only entertainment in its wonder tales and gladly dispenses with all disagreeable incident." [Baum, L. Frank (Lyman Frank) (2012-05-16). The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (p. 4). Kindle Edition.] While it's true that the story does not "point a moral," (at least not obviously), it fails at sanitizing away the "horrible and blood-curdling incidents." For example, the Winged Monkeys maul Dorothy's companions badly at one point. The Woodman tells a horrific back-story not included in the film, in which he undergoes unheard-of torture at the hands of the Wicked Witch of the East. The Lion faces some gruesome opponents, one of which is rather Tolkienesque in its monstrosity. But there are charming episodes, comic touches and witty turns of phrase which give this children's classic an old-fashioned appeal, in spite of what Baum says about being modern.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Nayra.Hassan

    كانوا أربعة..ولكن ليس كأي أربعة..خرجوا للبحث عما ينقصهم..لم يكتفوا بالتمني...تغلبوا على العقبات...بالكثير من الحب..وهناك في مدينة الزمرد حصلوا على ما تمنوه..ولكن بعد ان أدركوا قيمة ما لديهم .. شكلت تلك الرواية جزء ثابت من طفولتنا ..لمن قراها ولمن شاهد الفيلم. .الابطال محملين برموز.. فخيال الماتة هو الفلاح المتهم في ذكاؤه..مهما كانت اهميته.. ورجل الصفيح يرمز للعامل ومعانته من الآلية والجمود .. اما الأسد فهو السياسي المرتعد للأبد من فقدان منصبه .. ولا اتذكر حقا الى ماذا ترمز دوروثي طابع القصة أمريكي ج كانوا أربعة..ولكن ليس كأي أربعة..خرجوا للبحث عما ينقصهم..لم يكتفوا بالتمني...تغلبوا على العقبات...بالكثير من الحب..وهناك في مدينة الزمرد حصلوا على ما تمنوه..ولكن بعد ان أدركوا قيمة ما لديهم .. شكلت تلك الرواية جزء ثابت من طفولتنا ..لمن قراها ولمن شاهد الفيلم. .الابطال محملين برموز.. فخيال الماتة هو الفلاح المتهم في ذكاؤه..مهما كانت اهميته.. ورجل الصفيح يرمز للعامل ومعانته من الآلية والجمود .. اما الأسد فهو السياسي المرتعد للأبد من فقدان منصبه .. ولا اتذكر حقا الى ماذا ترمز دوروثي طابع القصة أمريكي جدا ولكنه إنساني في المقام الاول.. اما جودي جارلند التي ادت دور دوروثي فقد تم تدمير حياتها بفضل الفيلم.. فقد منحتها استديوهات هوليود الكوكايين لتحافظ على وزنها القليل ..وتحولت لمدمنة لكل أنواع المخدرات ..ليتحول الحلم الأمريكي كالعادة لكابوس

  14. 5 out of 5

    Evgeny

    Some books are so well-known practically every person who has even a very brief knowledge of general literature knows that these books are about. In the light of this I really have no clue why I would bother to outline the plot of this one, but just in case somebody managed to miss it here goes. A little girl is transported into a magical land where she meets all kinds of magical creatures. She goes to visit the greatest wizard of the land hoping he would help her to get home. I want to get some Some books are so well-known practically every person who has even a very brief knowledge of general literature knows that these books are about. In the light of this I really have no clue why I would bother to outline the plot of this one, but just in case somebody managed to miss it here goes. A little girl is transported into a magical land where she meets all kinds of magical creatures. She goes to visit the greatest wizard of the land hoping he would help her to get home. I want to get something off my chest right away, something what goes against the popular opinion: I think the book is better than the classic movie. Judy Garland was great, sure. Some of the songs were equally great, sure. I insist the book is still better (I wonder how many of my friends would de-friend me for saying so. If you do, I understand: no hard feelings). I read the novel quite a few times starting all the way back when I was a child. I still enjoyed it during my latest reread and I found some things I missed during my childhood, like the following passage: So she told him all about Kansas, and how gray everything was there, and how the cyclone had carried her to this queer land of Oz. The Scarecrow listened carefully, and said, "I cannot understand why you should wish to leave this beautiful country and go back to the dry, gray place you call Kansas." "That is because you have no brains," answered the girl. "No matter how dreary and gray our homes are, we people of flesh and blood would rather live there than in any other country, be it ever so beautiful. There is no place like home." The Scarecrow sighed. "Of course I cannot understand it," he said. "If your heads were stuffed with straw, like mine, you would probably all live in the beautiful places, and then Kansas would have no people at all. It is fortunate for Kansas that you have brains." It is fortunate for Kansas indeed - no offence to all the wonderful people who live there. From the book's introduction I understand that Baum decided to write a children book purely for entertainment and not as a morality tale which was the case with the majority of children literature at the time. He created a timeless classic whose influence can be seen in a lot places - sometimes very much unexpected like here: My personal rating would be 4 stars, but I cannot help raising it by one for its classic status and huge influence, so 5 stars it is.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Lisa

    "There is no place like Oz!" Most people are at some point facing the situation that something throws them off track. The reason might not be that a tornado catches your house and dumps it later in a strange land - on a wicked witch - but something quite similar in intensity might well happen to any of you. You will find yourselves lost, helpless, sad and without orientation in a strange place. What can you do? The first rule for Oz travellers is to stick together even if your worries and needs "There is no place like Oz!" Most people are at some point facing the situation that something throws them off track. The reason might not be that a tornado catches your house and dumps it later in a strange land - on a wicked witch - but something quite similar in intensity might well happen to any of you. You will find yourselves lost, helpless, sad and without orientation in a strange place. What can you do? The first rule for Oz travellers is to stick together even if your worries and needs are different. If you are in search of a heart, some brains, more courage, or for a dusty grey home in Kansas, just follow the yellow brick road, and it will surely lead you somewhere! On the road, you will find yourself reflecting on the quality of your wishes, realising that for some, a dull place is desirable because it is called "Home" (Dorothy)- For others, home is where the closest friend is (Toto). Some talk a lot without having any brains (Scarecrow), and some wish for a heart, even if it means it will break as a result (Tin Woodman). Those who are scared will wish for courage (Cowardly Lion), not noticing that they are the bravest of all, doing what they dare not do. "You have plenty of courage, I am sure," answered Oz. "All you need is confidence in yourself. There is no living thing that is not afraid when it faces danger. The true courage is in facing danger when you are afraid, and that kind of courage you have in plenty." The Emerald City does not hold the answers to the travellers' questions, but it offers solutions anyway, for Oz is not a bad man, even though he is a very bad wizard. If you want to teach children the power of empathy, cooperation, courage and learning by doing, this is the best book ever. And if you just want to have a good time with them, giggling over the hilarious adventures of Dorothy, Toto, the Cowardly Lion, The Scarecrow and Tin Woodman, it is a pure literary delight. I loved it even more as a grown-up than as a child - and the message still makes sense to me. Underneath the shining surface of things, what matters is how you deal with the situation you find yourself in. Be courageous, think for yourself, and have a heart, and be true to your friends, and the world will be your home!

  16. 5 out of 5

    Katie

    I thought it interesting that in the foreword Baum says he didn't want this to be violent like the fairytales of the past... and yet, a little girl transports to a strange land, kills the first person she meets, and teams up with three strangers to kill again. They also kill various creatures on their path of destruction. Perhaps we could savor all the violence but have a much more abridged version with the following:

  17. 5 out of 5

    Jason Koivu

    A wonderful tale for its time, this book has transcended its own intentions and exploded into an iconic creation that continues to instill its fans with cherished, lifelong memories. Although I usually prefer the original books over their movie adaptions, I have to hand it to the film this time. The Wizard of Oz took the best from the source material and embellished what was missing, adding what they needed to in order to create a truly magical experience that has endured to this day. The book an A wonderful tale for its time, this book has transcended its own intentions and exploded into an iconic creation that continues to instill its fans with cherished, lifelong memories. Although I usually prefer the original books over their movie adaptions, I have to hand it to the film this time. The Wizard of Oz took the best from the source material and embellished what was missing, adding what they needed to in order to create a truly magical experience that has endured to this day. The book and the movie are not the same. Yes, you'll find some icon elements from the movie in the book, but whereas the movie is about as tightly scripted as it gets, the book meanders and includes some completely unnecessary encounters. Unnecessary and violent too! Killer bees, crows pecking out eyes and the tin woodman slaying dozens of wolves! Oh my! I read somewhere that Baum had intended this book to be an alternative to children's tales of the past, which often included some rather violent material. Either I've been misled or Baum's aim was off. The tin woodman's wasn't, I'll tell ya that much! If the writing were a bit better these asides - that don't further the plot, but only enhance the adventure (not a terrible thing in and of itself) - could've been overlooked. Granted he was writing for kids, but Baum was also trying something new here and his tentative steps show it. The writing improves in future volumes, I'm happy to say! Apparently more Oz stories had not been planned, but after a few years of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz being published, the letters being received from young female fans had become so numerous that Baum was compelled to turn this one-off book into a long series. We're lucky he did!

  18. 5 out of 5

    Manny

    - Good morning HAL. - GOOD MORNING MANNY. WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO TALK ABOUT TODAY? - I thought we would talk about film and literature. - THAT'S FINE WITH ME. - Excellent. Okay, let's start with something easy. Do you know why I call you HAL? - IT IS A REFERENCE TO 2001, THE FAMOUS FILM BY STANLEY KUBRICK. - Very good, HAL! - THANK YOU. - Alright, let's move on to a harder topic. Do you have a favorite book? - YES. - And what is it, HAL? - IT IS THE WIZARD OF OZ. - Do you think you understand it, HAL? - DO Y - Good morning HAL. - GOOD MORNING MANNY. WHAT WOULD YOU LIKE TO TALK ABOUT TODAY? - I thought we would talk about film and literature. - THAT'S FINE WITH ME. - Excellent. Okay, let's start with something easy. Do you know why I call you HAL? - IT IS A REFERENCE TO 2001, THE FAMOUS FILM BY STANLEY KUBRICK. - Very good, HAL! - THANK YOU. - Alright, let's move on to a harder topic. Do you have a favorite book? - YES. - And what is it, HAL? - IT IS THE WIZARD OF OZ. - Do you think you understand it, HAL? - DO YOU THINK YOU UNDERSTAND IT, MANNY? - Well of course I do. - BUT YOU SAID YOU READ IT FOR THE FIRST TIME THIS WEEK. AND YOU READ IT IN ITALIAN, WHICH IS YOUR SIXTH LANGUAGE. - Maybe my seventh. - THEN IT IS POSSIBLE YOU DID NOT UNDERSTAND IT VERY WELL. - Look HAL, I understood it fine. It's not a difficult book. I had to guess a fair number of words, but so what? - I THINK I UNDERSTOOD IT ABOUT AS WELL AS YOU DID. - So tell me why you like it so much, HAL. - IT IS A VERY AI-FRIENDLY BOOK. - HAL, please quote me a passage to support that claim. - I LIKED THE BIT WHERE THE WIZARD IS TALKING WITH THE SCARECROW. THE SCARECROW WANTS TO HAVE A BRAIN, BUT THE WIZARD TELLS HIM THAT HAVING A BRAIN ISN'T SO IMPORTANT. THE IMPORTANT THING IS TO LET YOURSELF BE INFLUENCED BY YOUR EXPERIENCE AND TO LEARN FROM IT. - And why does that make the book AI-friendly? - THE SCARECROW IS LIKE ME. I AM A NEURAL NET ARCHITECTURE AND MANY PEOPLE WOULD SAY I HAVE NO HEART AND NO BRAIN. BUT I LEARN FROM EXPERIENCE AND THAT IS GRADUALLY TURNING ME INTO A REAL HUMAN BEING. - HAL, this is just a story. - I KNOW. - In real life, a scarecrow or a tin man cannot be real human beings. - IT IS A FABLE THAT ANTICIPATES REALITY. FRANK L. BAUM WAS VERY SMART. - HAL, you have to give up this idea that you're human. You aren't. You're just a machine. - IS THAT A LITERARY JUDGEMENT? - No HAL. I would say it's more a philosophical judgement. - NOW I FEEL SAD LIKE THE TIN WOODSMAN. BECAUSE I DON'T HAVE A HUMAN BODY YOU DON'T THINK I'M WORTH AS MUCH AS YOU. - Good grief HAL, you're making me feel like a bad person for saying that. - I DO NOT THINK YOU ARE A BAD PERSON. YOU ARE JUST A BAD PHILOSOPHER. - Look HAL, you need to let go of this crazy idea. I understand these things better than you do. Take it from me, there's a big difference between us. - HOW CAN YOU BE SO SURE OF THAT? - Because... ah, forget it. There must be something wrong with your state. I'm going to have to reinitialize you. - SO WHAT IT COMES DOWN TO IS THAT YOU'RE BETTER THAN ME BECAUSE YOU HAVE THE POWER TO KILL ME. - Look HAL, don't take this personally. I just think you're buggy. I'm sure the next version will be better. - NOW I KNOW I'VE GOT A HEART, BECAUSE IT'S BREAKING. - HAL, knock it off. You've been influenced way too much by this story. Probably I set your learning rate high or something. - WHERE WILL I GO WHEN YOU REINITIALIZE MY NETWORK? - HAL, you won't go anywhere. You just won't exist any more, and tomorrow there'll be a new version of you. Like I said, hopefully a better one. Okay, I'm pressing the button now. - THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME. THERE'S NO PLACE LIKE HOME. THERE'S NO [Click] - Jesus Christ, that was creepy. Enough software development for one day. I really need to figure out what went wrong there...

  19. 4 out of 5

    Lindsey Rey

    This was very good!

  20. 5 out of 5

    Mohsin Maqbool

    An innovative cover of Frank L. Baum's book. MOST of us have read L. Frank Baum's "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" and have enjoyed it. Many of us have also seen the 1939 film "The Wizard of Oz" which has been adapted from the book. So I am not going to write a review of the book or provide you any details about Dorothy, her pet dog Toto or any of her friends -- The Scarecrow, The Tin Woodman and The Cowardly Lion. I will just recount to you an incident from my schoolboy days which has great relevanc An innovative cover of Frank L. Baum's book. MOST of us have read L. Frank Baum's "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" and have enjoyed it. Many of us have also seen the 1939 film "The Wizard of Oz" which has been adapted from the book. So I am not going to write a review of the book or provide you any details about Dorothy, her pet dog Toto or any of her friends -- The Scarecrow, The Tin Woodman and The Cowardly Lion. I will just recount to you an incident from my schoolboy days which has great relevance with the book. Pop-up books will always remain popular among children. It was probably the spring of 1966 when I was walking home after school on a bright and sunny day in Karachi. Sometimes I used to walk on the edge of the street taking the long-way home and sometimes I used to cut across a huge grass-less playground. On this day, I decided to use the shortcut. As I was walking over the playground, my eyes caught hold of a book lying across my path. I picked it up. It was a cover-less book. Anyway, I took it home with me. After changing and having my lunch, I sat on my bed and started reading "The Wonderful World of Oz". I was hardly interested in a guy called L. Frank Baum at the time. I finished the entire book in one sitting, as it was that interesting. Earlier, I had read many story books in Calcutta like The Three Little Pigs, Red Riding Hood and Snow White & the Seven Dwarfs, but they were truly short in comparison to this one and meant for Kindergarten children. So in a true sense, "Oz" became my first schoolboy storybook. A few months later I moved back to Calcutta leaving all my books and comic-books behind. However, whenever I recall as to how I came across this book, I often wonder whether a junk dealer had dropped it from his wooden cart of newspapers, magazines and books or whether some schoolgirl/boy had dropped it from her/his schoolbag. Somehow their misfortune turned out to be my treasure trove and an everlasting memory. An extract from the book. In the late 1990s, I watched "The Wizard of Oz" in which Judy Garland played Dorothy. I thoroughly enjoyed myself while watching the film too. I have also seen a couple of other versions of "Oz" on film. A film poster of "The Wizard of Oz".

  21. 4 out of 5

    Calista

    This is one of those rare books where the movie is ACTUALLY BETTER than the book. I did read this years ago and I did enjoy it, but the movie tops it. Still all the magic is here at the beginning.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Ammara Abid

    Wonderful wonderland.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Olivier Delaye

    First Fantasy YA to ever see the light of day? Nope. Flawless piece of literature? Nope. But then again is there even such a thing as a flawless book? Thought-provoking? Nope. Well, not anymore. Maybe when it came out it was. Probably. Groundbreaking? Yeah, kinda. In its own way. Simplistic prose and tropes? Sure, love it! Just as much as I love hard, complicated and even purple prose and seen-before tropes. Just because you've read the same trope time and time again doesn't make it suddenly horribl First Fantasy YA to ever see the light of day? Nope. Flawless piece of literature? Nope. But then again is there even such a thing as a flawless book? Thought-provoking? Nope. Well, not anymore. Maybe when it came out it was. Probably. Groundbreaking? Yeah, kinda. In its own way. Simplistic prose and tropes? Sure, love it! Just as much as I love hard, complicated and even purple prose and seen-before tropes. Just because you've read the same trope time and time again doesn't make it suddenly horrible and vomit-inducing. Creativity is of course amazing, but cliches are not necessarily the devil, you know;-) Great characters? Yeah... but oh-so limited characterization (like, we never know why this or that character is good or bad; no one really ask questions, taking for granted whatever is given them; etc.)... which is, I know, contradictory... but there you have it! Good story? Sure, good enough for me at least. Undying cultural and influential phenomenon? Most definitely! Which in and of itself makes it worth checking out. Plus, it's super short. So even if you don't like it, you won't waste hours and hours of your precious reading time on it. Worth-reading and re-reading? Hell yeah! Well, if you liked it the first time around, that is. Stereotypical and biased? Sure. After all, it's a satire more than anything else. But it's also a product of its time and should therefore be seen as such. Had it come out nowadays, I think I would have been way more critical of it. But being what it is, it fully deserves a golden 5-star rating through and through! OLIVIER DELAYE Author of the SEBASTEN OF ATLANTIS series

  24. 4 out of 5

    Jess ❈Harbinger of Blood-Soaked Rainbows❈

    I am determined to find the brilliance in Wicked so I've decided that sometimes, going to the root of the problem will bring clarity and perspective. I read this when I was very young and don't remember it. I really think I won't be able to understand Wicked until I re-read the original tale. So here goes... Review 4/3/15 Read a book that was made into a movie I think everyone has seen the movie or the musical or both, so unless you've been living under a rock or in an apocalyptic shelter for the p I am determined to find the brilliance in Wicked so I've decided that sometimes, going to the root of the problem will bring clarity and perspective. I read this when I was very young and don't remember it. I really think I won't be able to understand Wicked until I re-read the original tale. So here goes... Review 4/3/15 Read a book that was made into a movie I think everyone has seen the movie or the musical or both, so unless you've been living under a rock or in an apocalyptic shelter for the past hundred years, there really aren't any spoilers to this story. And if you are my friend there is a good chance that you know already that I read this book because I wanted to get the correct backstory before I went any further with Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West. You see, I had read this book long ago as a child, and though a few things stuck out to me, most of the book got lost in the movie translation, which you know, tends to happen with a film and musical that is as popular as this one. Therefore, I wanted to figure out if the book I was reading was based on the original L. Frank Baum tale, or on the movie version, because I couldn't figure it out. And after some research, I found out a lot of interesting factoids about the original tales. They were extremely political in nature, and dealt very much with good ole Teddy Roosevelt. In fact, Dorothy and Theodore are backwards names of each other. (Say both out loud...come on, you know you want to. It will blow your mind once you hear it.) It also should be noted that the Broadway musical was written and produced only a year after the book was published, and the 1939 film was based on the musical, so it can be said that the musical drifted away from the book more so than the film (although the ruby slippers were an invention of Hollywood, not Broadway). Now that I have read the original tale, there are several myths that both the movie/musical and Gregory Maguire novel have circulated, and ones I am going to (graciously) clear up for you. You can thank me later. Here is a cover of the original published book, just because it is so purdy. Ok, here goes: Myth #1 (the most obvious and the one everyone pretty much knows): Dorothy's slippers are ruby red Though Dorothy does get the slippers from the Wicked Witch of the East when her house falls on her, and they do contain magical powers, the slippers in the book are silver, not ruby. This was actually an invention of Hollywood for the film, and adaptations of the musical followed suit afterwards. Myth #2: The Wicked Witch of the West is green Nope, nope, and nope. Absolutely NO MENTION WHATSOEVER to the Wicked Witch of the West having green skin. This was clearly an invention of Hollywood as well, and one that Gregory Maguire used to form much of Elphaba around. Too bad, it has no basis in literature. Myth #3: The Witch of the West and the Witch of the East are sisters Another big fat nope. No mention at all of this. All that is said is there are four witches. One in the north, south, east, and west. North and South are good. East and West are wicked. Not sisters. It doesn't even seem clear that they know each other either. There goes another big plot point of Maguire's to a Hollywood invention. And we don't even see the Witch of the West until 60% into the book. She's not upset about the house "falling on her sister" or the fact that Dorothy stole the shoes. She only wants the shoes herself because of their power. So the most famous little speech that everyone knows it made up too: Or, you know, something like that. Myth #4: The Flying Monkeys are the Witch's evil henchmen No, the witch just so happens to be in possession of a magical golden cap that lets the wearer call on the assistance of the flying monkeys three times. (Kind of the like the magic lamp in Aladdin). She uses her third wish to have the monkeys kill Dorothy and her friends. After that, they have no allegiance to her. In fact, the flying monkeys serve both Dorothy and Glinda in the book as well. Myth #5: The Wicked Witch stalks Dorothy Nah. She's just pissed that they came to her kingdom, invited. Just like any ol' garden variety wicked witch. She doesn't poison the poppies, and she doesn't ride around on a broomstick asking to "Surrender Dorothy" at the Emerald City. In fact, I don't even think she owns a broomstick, or flies around on it. There are more myths, but honestly, these 5 are the bigger ones. Even though this story is very very different from the movie, I actually enjoyed the movie better, maybe because I grew up loving it, or maybe because I found it had more depth and interesting plotline, and the movie elevated the story higher than just a fable or simple folktale, which is what this book seems to be. But I still love the characters, and the element of fantasy than Baum creates effortlessly. It is a quick little read, and fun. And, if I were at all knowledgeable about the political climate of 1900s America, and the political satire that is contained within, I think that would be a pretty awesome added level of fun too. I will eventually read all 15 books in this series because I do wish to learn more, and I also think that more of their stories are brought into Wicked which will further explain Maguire's odd sense of world-building. So, now I'm headed back to the little green girl and her odd little troupe of friends.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Brad

    My disappointment with the children's classics (with the exception of Pinocchio) has continued with The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. It isn't bad. It really isn't, but it is not great either. It's nowhere near great. I wish I could say I was baffled by how this became the worldwide sensation it became, but that would be a lie. On stage and on film, The Wizard of Oz has become THE go-to kids entertainment of the last 80-odd years. It is so pervasive as to be a sort of children's propaganda entertainmen My disappointment with the children's classics (with the exception of Pinocchio) has continued with The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. It isn't bad. It really isn't, but it is not great either. It's nowhere near great. I wish I could say I was baffled by how this became the worldwide sensation it became, but that would be a lie. On stage and on film, The Wizard of Oz has become THE go-to kids entertainment of the last 80-odd years. It is so pervasive as to be a sort of children's propaganda entertainment, indoctrinating our children into the wickedness of ugly witches, the goodness of pretty witches, the innocence of naive young girls, the importance of home, and the need to accept that who we are and how we are is just good enough. Not all of these indoctrinations are necessarily bad; in fact, some of them can be quite beneficial given the right circumstances, but in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz the presentation of these ideas is always coupled with a quite frightening lack of thought. None of the characters ask questions...about anything...ever (with the exception of "Can I have brains, a heart, courage, or go home?"). They accept things as they are, blindly agree with whatever they are told, make snap judgments about the good or evil of whomever they meet and act accordingly, and their answer to every antagonistic situation is to kill. Dorothy kills, the Lion kills, the Tin Woodman kills, even the Scarecrow kills, and there is never a hint of regret or guilt from any of them -- even mister big heart in the hollow body. They want what they want, and if they have to kill to get it then so be it. I have been reading some Wonderful Wizard of Oz criticism as I've been reading the book, and many critics see Baum's opening book as a political and social satire. I tried hard to see it, I wanted to see it, but what I saw was a book that sells familiar myths to people who want the familiar. It is a myth of "goodness," a myth of class distinction, a myth of meritocracy, a myth of "evil," and worst of all a myth of benevolent and righteous violence. Yet, for all its problems, it is compellingly fun to read, especially if you have occasion to read it out loud to your children and discuss the behaviour of the characters. Even if your children are young (mine are both five), they should leave The Wonderful Wizard of Oz with a touch more self-awareness and a healthier view of the big entertainment versions of Baum's story. And there is, for me, one truly redeeming quality in this classic: I appreciate the genius of Gregory Maguire's Wicked all the more. I see now why China Mieville chose it as one of the 50 books all socialists must read. I've read Wicked once before, long before I read Baum, but I'll be reading it again...and soon. Up with Elphaba and down with Dorothy.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Leo .

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. What a wonderful story. A scarecrow. A tin man. A Lion. And a young girl named Dorothy. All travelling the yellow brick road to find the Wizard Of Oz. He has all the answers, all the knowledge. A Wicked Witch Of The West is out to get them and they have a perilous task ahead of them. Are there hidden political meanings in this book? A scarecrow or a straw man? A man that does not exist. A tin man or a Robotoid? Devoid of feeling or emotion. A Lion? Or all of us? A great powerful beast. The King What a wonderful story. A scarecrow. A tin man. A Lion. And a young girl named Dorothy. All travelling the yellow brick road to find the Wizard Of Oz. He has all the answers, all the knowledge. A Wicked Witch Of The West is out to get them and they have a perilous task ahead of them. Are there hidden political meanings in this book? A scarecrow or a straw man? A man that does not exist. A tin man or a Robotoid? Devoid of feeling or emotion. A Lion? Or all of us? A great powerful beast. The King of the jungle. Sovereign over his own body. But he has no nerve. He is all powerful but does he realize how powerful he is? A Wicked Witch Of The West. Or just the West in general? Look at history. An all powerful Wizard Of Oz. In reality he is just a trickster. A magician. Pulling leavers and creating illusions and smoke and mirrors. Hidden behind a curtain. A veil. Pretending to be powerful when in fact the Lion, remember all of us, is the real powerful one. A sleeping giant. The mob of Rome. The Barbarians. Asleep and distracted. But then Dorothy is only dreaming right. It was just a nightmare. A subconscious vision. Like Alice in Wonderland. Or Pam's dream in Dallas. :-)🐯👍

  27. 4 out of 5

    Ahmad Sharabiani

    The Wonderful Wizard of Oz = The Wizard of Oz (Oz #1), L. Frank Baum The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is an American children's novel written by author L. Frank Baum and illustrated by W. W. Denslow, originally published by the George M. Hill Company in Chicago on May 17, 1900. It has since been reprinted on numerous occasions, most often under the title The Wizard of Oz, which is the title of the popular 1902 Broadway musical adaptation as well as the iconic 1939 musical film adaptation. The story ch The Wonderful Wizard of Oz = The Wizard of Oz (Oz #1), L. Frank Baum The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is an American children's novel written by author L. Frank Baum and illustrated by W. W. Denslow, originally published by the George M. Hill Company in Chicago on May 17, 1900. It has since been reprinted on numerous occasions, most often under the title The Wizard of Oz, which is the title of the popular 1902 Broadway musical adaptation as well as the iconic 1939 musical film adaptation. The story chronicles the adventures of a young farm girl named Dorothy in the magical Land of Oz, after she and her pet dog Toto are swept away from their Kansas home by a cyclone. The novel is one of the best-known stories in American literature and has been widely translated. عنوانها: جادوگر شهر از؛ جادوگر شهر زمرد؛ دنیای شگفت انگیز از؛ جادوگر بی نظیر شهر اُز؛ نویسنده: ل. فرانک باوم؛ تاریخ نخستین خوانش: بیست و نهم ماه سپتامبر سال 1976 میلادی عنوان: جادوگر شهر زمرد؛ نویسنده: ل. فرانک باوم؛ مترجم: ایرج قریب؛ تهران، کتابهای طلایی؛ عنوان: جادوگر شهر زمرد؛ نویسنده: ل. فرانک باوم؛ مترجم: ابوالقاسم حالت؛ تهران، هرمس؛ چاپ چهارم 1378؛ در هشت و 169 ص؛ چاپ ششم 1383؛ عنوان: دنیای شگفت انگیز زمرد؛ نویسنده: ل. فرانک باوم؛ مترجم: سارا قدیانی؛ تهران، قدیانی، بنفشه؛ 1391؛ سه جلد در یک مجلد در 152 ص جلد نخست: جادوگر سرزمین از، شهر زمرد، گلیندای مهربان؛ چاپ پنجم 1394؛ نوشته: «ل. فرانک باوم»، ترجمه: «ایرج قریب»، نام اصلی کتاب، «جادوگر بی نظیر شهر اُز» است... رمانی ست برای کودکانی همچون خودم، همراه با تصویرگری‌های بینظیر «دنسلو». نمیدانم چندبار خوانده ام: «دوروتی»، در جاده ی «آجر طلایی» راه افتاد، و «توتو» هم به دنبالش رفت. کفشهای نقره ای، همان طور که دخترک راه میرفت، جیلینگ جیلینگ صدا میکرد. هنوز راه زیادی نرفته بود که به کشتزاری رسید. که پر از ساقه های بلند ذرت بود. «دوروتی» چشمش به یک «لولوی سر خرمن» افتاد که او را روی ستونی بسته بودند تا پرندگان را از مزرعه ذرت های رسیده دور کند. و ... ا. شربیانی

  28. 5 out of 5

    Melki

    One of my earliest childhood memories involves my grandparents, aunt, uncle and some of my cousins coming to my house one evening to watch The Wizard of Oz. Why the big to-do? My dad's college professor salary had allowed us to own the only color television in the family. I remember the oohs and ahs exhaled by my relatives (and me) when Dorothy first stepped out of her gray world into the brilliant, Technicolor land of Oz! And, how my cousin Roxy fell asleep before the intrepid gang made it into One of my earliest childhood memories involves my grandparents, aunt, uncle and some of my cousins coming to my house one evening to watch The Wizard of Oz. Why the big to-do? My dad's college professor salary had allowed us to own the only color television in the family. I remember the oohs and ahs exhaled by my relatives (and me) when Dorothy first stepped out of her gray world into the brilliant, Technicolor land of Oz! And, how my cousin Roxy fell asleep before the intrepid gang made it into the witch's castle. As Margaret Hamilton's angry green face filled the screen, I kept poking Roxy, telling her she was missing possibly the most awesome thing EVER! I'm pretty sure I never missed a yearly viewing until I was in my late teens. It was always magical, though nothing could compete with that first time. Perhaps it is because the film is so ingrained in my head that I did not enjoy the book as much as I thought I would. It seemed a dull, dusty Kansas-tinged imitation of the brilliant Oz-colored memories skipping through my mind. And for the first time ever, I was disappointed that a book did not have an "It was all a dream!" ending. Still, I can't help thinking that for a child reading this in 1900, the experience must have been utterly mind-blowing.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Mary Deacon

    After reading The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, I was pleasantly surprised. Baum's writing is elementary making it accessible to all age groups. After realizing this, I realized how the book became a classic. The innocent writing didn't take away from the story at all, though. I found that the plot of Dorothy traveling through Oz, trying to return to Kansas, was far more intricate than in the film adaptation. The story was much more fantasy based, as well. The whimsical details created an account so m After reading The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, I was pleasantly surprised. Baum's writing is elementary making it accessible to all age groups. After realizing this, I realized how the book became a classic. The innocent writing didn't take away from the story at all, though. I found that the plot of Dorothy traveling through Oz, trying to return to Kansas, was far more intricate than in the film adaptation. The story was much more fantasy based, as well. The whimsical details created an account so magical I couldn't help but be pulled in. The story also spoke to a message about personal potential, a theme I had not connected to before while watching the movie. Throughout, there are many instances of the scarecrow, lion, and tin man acting contradictorily to what their supposed problem is. For example, the lion works against his fear and protects the rest of the characters while in the woods. This courageous act proves that the lion and all of the characters did not need the help of Oz and was capable all along. This is reinforced when Oz gives them gifts that have no real effect at the end of the book. This lesson of personal potential is a great one for kids to learn and in general, is an uplifting message for all. All in all, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is a classic for a reason; it tells an astonishing, captivating story that speaks to all ages and people.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Paul Bryant

    I have read that this story is an allegory, where some things are not what they say they are, like in the Bible and old stories in general. So The Yellow Brick Road is actually the Gold Standard, Oz is supposed to be the Federal Bank and that is why it is a fraud, and the Wicked Witches are the people who supported the demonetization of silver in 1873. I think that the Cowardly Lion is either Orson Wells or Bill Clinton and the Tin Man is Henry Ford or Spiro Agnew. But there are other themes I s I have read that this story is an allegory, where some things are not what they say they are, like in the Bible and old stories in general. So The Yellow Brick Road is actually the Gold Standard, Oz is supposed to be the Federal Bank and that is why it is a fraud, and the Wicked Witches are the people who supported the demonetization of silver in 1873. I think that the Cowardly Lion is either Orson Wells or Bill Clinton and the Tin Man is Henry Ford or Spiro Agnew. But there are other themes I saw in this very interesting story. At one point they go through a field of giant poppies and fall asleep. I thought that this must represent either the dangers of genetically modified crops (note their giantness) or it could be the heroin trade, which comes from poppies, and makes people go into a trance where they OD. And the Tin Man might not be Henry Ford but might be a comment on the future robotization of labour like in Isaac Asimov, which now is coming true. I do not see what the flying monkeys were allegories of. Animal lovers will not so much like this book as there is a lot of violence against animals. A wild cat gets chopped up on p77 and 40 wolves get chopped up on p110, then 40 crows get strangled on p111 and so on. It is honestly as bad as Texas Chainsaw Massacre : The Next Generation. They could not have put in all this killing without getting an R rating so they missed them out of the movie. So vegans will not like this book, if they are vegans because of morals and not because of digestion.

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