Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Book Review - The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (JS)

The Wonderful Wizard Of Oz By L. Frank Baum
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
Now I know that after seeing the title of this review, you are now singing in a high-pitched voice the tune from the film, the book though is not quite a sugary as that.
Here is the blurb- though I am sure that everyone knows the story:
Dorothy thinks she is lost forever when a terrifying tornado crashes through Kansas and whisks her and her dog, Toto, far away to the magical Land of Oz. To get home Dorothy must follow the yellow brick road to Emerald City and find the wonderfully mysterious Wizard of Oz. Together with her companions the Tin Woodman, the Scarecrow and the Cowardly Lion whom she meets on the way, Dorothy embarks on a strange and enchanting adventure.

 I have always had a soft spot for the Oz books, there is something the stories that appealed to me, and when I saw the trailer for the new film, I suddenly felt the need to reread them again.
This is not a long story and is certainly not complicated and I am sure that most people have seen the Judy Garland film at some point of their life so think they know all about it.
However, there are no ruby slippers in the book, these ones are silver and the Tin Woodsman axe is not just for show as he shows on numerous occasions saving the companions on their journey.
There are some great touches; the Emerald City for a start is only green, as everyone has to wear spectacles when they enter. The wearer of a cap controls the Winged Monkeys, but only for three wishes. There are fighting trees, and a land and people made completely of china that have to go off to be mended when they are broken.
Though there is violence in the book that was not in the film it is not overly dwelt on and villains (the wicked witch of the west for one), are quickly beaten. This is not complex writing; it is actually quite plain and simple,  the book will not take long to read and does not have pages of descriptions. This is a fun strange little book; with characters that all have back stories which make them come alive for the reader, whose friendships make them able to overcome all obstacles.
I would recommend this book, particularly for those amongst us, who have been forced to sit through the film over the years and know all the words to ‘Over the Rainbow’, to see where the story actually came from. Thanks to reading this one and enjoying it, I am now revisiting all the other books and the other much more strange characters that are there.
7 out of 10