Book Review: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum (Four Stars)

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

Four Stars

“No matter how weary and grey our houses are … there’s no place like home.”

A modern fairy tale for children, Baum tells us. Simpler, more enjoyable tale than such post-modern abominations as Wicked.

“In the civilized countries … there are no witches left … but … the Land of Oz has never been civilized for we are cut off from all the rest of the world.”

Can’t help but read this story, published in 1901, through the lens of the classic 1939 movie. Dorothy is 8 here, rather than the considerably older Judy Garland. The contrast of grey and color between Kansas and Oz is in the book. The core story is the same, but the movie added parallel roles for most of the Oz characters in the framing story in Kansas–not in Baum’s original.

“We dare not harm this girl,” [the leader of the winged monkeys] said to them, “For she is protected by the Power of Good, and that is greater than the Power of Evil.” We’re so much wiser now, knowing as we do that there is no good or evil, just power.

Ideal for reading—a chapter at a time—to small children.

“I’m a very good man, but I’m a very bad wizard.” Who deceives, lies and makes promises he can’t fulfill. Big future in politics. “[Dorothy] forgave him.”