Wednesday, November 23, 2016

THE WONDERFUL WIZARD OF OZ BY L. FRANK BAUM - BOOK REVIEW

Hello everyone!

I am back with another book review, this time it is the classic story of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum. I read this story in the gorgeous Rock Paper Books edition from a previous LitJoy Crate.


I am so excited to have finally read the original story of the Wizard of Oz!

Of course, I knew the basics, I watched the movie staring Judy Garland, and later the retelling with James Franco (which I did NOT enjoy, let me tell you). But I had never sat down and read the story. So today, finding a few spare hours, I sat down and read all 167 pages of Oz.

And I feel like some of the magic was lost.

Don't get me wrong, I loved getting the backstories of the characters, and it's been so long since I'd seen the movie, I've forgotten why the Scarecrow needed brains, or why the Tinman didn't have a heart. I enjoyed that aspect of it, and finding out that the Great Wizard was just a random guy, parading around as a ruler. That part was all great. But I just felt like the story itself lacked much development.

I suppose it is hard to compare to today's standards, and it is technically a children's story, but I felt like a few things could have been fleshed out a bit more and the characters could have been more developed.

Part of my problem may also be that I am reading this story as a primarily mature YA/Adult reader, so the simplicity and basic storyline was a bit too mundane.

I do seem to recall a number of differences from the movie, particularly in the flow of events. I am pretty sure Dorothy has to defeat the Wicked Witch of the West before making it to Oz, not once she gets there has to leave, kill her and then come back. There were just a few small scenes placed in different orders in the book than in the movie that seemed a little too choppy to me.

This book definitely was good, it hasn't become a cult-classic because it's terrible, but I just don't think it did that much for me personally. I was disappointed by some things that have become icons of this story: the colour change of the shoes, in the movie they are red, the iconic Dorothy has a blue and white dress with ruby red slippers, these shoes are silver; and the loss of the iconic line "There's no place like home." along with the easily recognizable Dorothy monologue at the end. These small little details that were different than the classic (movie) I know threw me off and shook my concentration.

Overall, a classic story that is definitely different from the movie, and depending on your perspective, dare I say, maybe not better.