Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Book Review of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

Goodreads Summary: Dorothy, the Tin Woodman, Scarecrow, the Cowardly Lion, and a host of other curious creatures come to life as they set out on an exciting quest down the Yellow Brick Road in search of the elusive Wizard. Reset in large, clear type and accompanied by 20 beautiful black-and-white illustrations. A selection of the Common Core State Standards Initiative. After a cyclone transports her to the land of Oz, Dorothy must seek out the great wizard in order to return to Kansas.
Goodreads Rating: 3.95 with 169,706 ratings
Genre Listing: Classics, Fantasy, Children's stories, Adventure, Literature, 
Get the book: Amazon , Book Depository


Edited 12/1/2016
Oh, my gosh I  read a classic, which is a huge accomplishment for me. I hardly ever read classics. I have a hard time getting through old stories. I started reading this because my friend Leslie invited me to join a group on Goodreads that does certain themes each month. July was classics. It ran for about a week I think. I intended on reading more than one book, but Chris and I were in the middle of moving.

Before I get into my review, I need to talk about my sort of obsession with the Wizard of Oz. My mother instilled this passion in me from a very young age. It was one of her favorite movies. Back in the day before DVDs (Yeah, I'm that old) I remember that the Wizard of Oz was shown on TV once a year. That was the only time I ever got to watch the movie. We watched it every year, which was fantastic. When I got older, I fell in love with different versions of the story. I love Wicked, Oz the Great and Powerful with James Franco, and I even love the mini-series Tinman with Zooey Deschanel (this one is my favorite). Despite my love for the story, I had never read the original Wizard of Oz book by L. Frank Baum. Tragic I know.

So when Leslie told me about the Classics readathon, I knew what I had to read. Regarding page length, this book is a short read, but it took me a while because of the formal language. It's got a weird vibe to it. It's light and reads like a kids book, but holy hell is this book morbid. I was not prepared. It goes into very graphic details of the characters killing their opponents and what not. I was pretty surprised, but from what I hear, all of the classic kid's stories are super dark. While it is labeled as a children's story, I would not let young kids read it.

I was surprised at how different this is from the movie. I guess I always assumed that the film was similar to the book since I didn't know any differently. There's a lot of differences, like another witch, silver shoes instead of ruby shoes, a lot more adventures, and a lot more of characters and enemies. I was also surprised to learn that the winged monkeys aren't bad. They're just essentially slaves to whoever owns the Golden Cap.

Overall I thought it was cute, and now my Wizard of Oz obsession has grown a bit more. If you decide to read this, don't go in expecting just to be reading the movie, and prepare yourself for some pretty morbid death scenes.

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