Review: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (Oz #1)

Genre:                    Fairy tale / Fantasy

Publisher:             Barnes & Noble Inc.

ISBN:                      9781435156227

Edition:                 Leather bound hardcover with sprayed edges

Page count:          736 (book 1 is 122 pages)

Release date:       December 1st, 2015

The Wizard of Oz was one of my favourite cartoons when I was a kid. I used to watch it on Saturday morning TV and I loved everything about it. Years later, when I started writing myself I even based an entire race from my scifi trilogy, The Shaedon Resurgence, on the Scarecrow of Oz, which is one of my favourite characters from this wonderful story. The Scarowyn Grummus is loosely based on this cheerful, yet brainless, companion of Dorothy. In my story it’s quite different, of course, but a lot of people will probably notice the inspiration I took from the Wizard of Oz!

In September of this year, Bren gifted me a wonderful leather bound edition of The Wizard of Oz from Barnes & Noble. This omnibus contains the first five books in the series. L. Frank Baum wrote a total of fourteen Oz books, so here’s hoping that one day we’ll get the others in similar fashion!

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Dorothy and her dog Toto are taken from Kansas by a hurricane which lifts their entire house. They finally end up in the land of Oz and have to find their way back to boring ‘ol Kansas, because Dorothy misses her home very much. They meet many peculiar folks during their travels to the Wizard of Oz. They have to get to him, in order to get back home, because he is the mightiest wizard in all the land and if anyone can help them get back home, it’s him! During her travels, Dorothy befriends a scarecrow, who wants nothing more than to have a brain, because his head is filled with straw and he wants to be smart. Soon they meet a tin woodman, who would love to have a heart, so he can feel again. The last member to join this odd party is a cowardly lion, who would love to be courageous. Together this band of travellers needs to overcome various obstacles as they make their way to the Emerald City, where Oz lives. Will they get their wishes granted?

“I don’t mind my legs and arms and body being stuffed, because I cannot get hurt. If anyone treads on my toes or sticks pins into me, it doesn’t matter, for I can’t feel it. But I do not want people to call me a fool, and if my head stays stuffed with straw instead of with brains, as yours is, how am I ever to know anything?” —The Scarecrow

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is a fairy tale and children’s story, which is quite obvious from the use of words by L. Frank Baum. What really struck me was that for a story that was written in the year 1900 is that this story is still so easy to read! Sure, there are some words that are old fashioned, or words that have a totally different meaning nowadays, like the words “queer” and “gay”. In this book those words are used with their old meaning, which really shows just how much certain words can get a totally different meaning over time, depending on society as a whole. I found this very intriguing!

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For me, reading this story was a big trip down memory lane. I was surprised how well I still knew the story and how little I had forgotten. One thing I realised during my read was that we tell stories in a much different way nowadays, but I suppose that’s what 120 years does to revolutionise a lot of things. And still, there’s no denying that The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is a timeless classic. It’s quite a feat that L. Frank Baum’s work has stood the test of time and that his work is still popular in this day and age. I can only hope that I’ll manage to do the same with my books! This book deserves all the praise it gets and my rating is a solid five out of five stars!

Rating:

Cover art: 🌟🌟🌟½
Paper smell: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
Print/lettering: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
Originality: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟
Story: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Overall: 🌟🌟🌟🌟🌟

Happy reading!

Jeffrey

2 replies »

  1. Jeffrey, I read with great interest your review of the classic, “The Wizard of Oz.” I never knew the name of author L. Frank Baum. Your words to me are a retrospective review of your lifetime knowledge of “The Wizard of Oz” & your recent reading. And I NEVER imagined there were 14 books Baum wrote on Oz!!! It looks & sounds like a beautiful, handsome edition to be the proud owner of thanks to Bren! And the readability of Oz from 1900 until today speaks of the universality of story & language despite the changes in the meaning of some words as you point out. –A wonderful wish of yours as an author, to write a book such as this that will stand the test of time in word & meaning! –Universality! Compliments on your review! Phil

    Liked by 1 person

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