Lonks hits book 54 with a true classic—which, we're embarrassed to admit, we've never actually read. Does watching the movie 84 times win us any points?—Sparkitors
Book #54: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz
Author: L. Frank Baum
Reason for Reading: I have a confession to make. I am a Wizard of Oz junkie. Have you ever met someone who is obsessed with The Wizard of Oz before? If you have, they are probably about fifty. I can’t explain my obsession, but I love the movie with all my heart and can probably tell you anything you’d ever want to know about it. For example, it is definitely not true that one of the Munchkin extras hung himself in the background of one of the scenes. The mysterious shadow is a FLAMINGO, not someone committing suicide. My entire bedroom is decorated Wizard of Oz and I can quote the movie with surprising ease and accuracy. And, of course, I have read the book. Or so I thought.
This summer, whilst organizing our old playroom into a home library, I found my well-loved copy of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. As I was flipping through it, smiling at the familiar story, I found something printed in tiny letters at the very bottom of the title page: abridged edition. ABRIDGED EDITION! I felt lied to, betrayed. How could it not be the original story? I promptly got myself an un-abridged copy and began to read the story I thought I had been in love with for years.
Quote: "Toto did not really care whether he was in Kansas or the Land of Oz so long as Dorothy was with him; but he knew the little girl was unhappy, and that made him unhappy too."
Copyright Date: 1900
Length: 160 pages
Genre: Fairy Tale
Rating (out of 10 stars): 10 stars
Summary: Does anyone not know what this story is about? Basically, a young girl named Dorothy gets stranded in a strange land and goes on an adventure to find her way back home.
Review: Okay, so my major freak-out about my abridged copy was a little premature. In my new copy of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, the story was really no different. And having not read the abridged copy for several years, I can’t tell you what the difference is. But, either way, it was fun to revisit my favorite story, and I technically hadn’t read it yet… technically.
In the opening letter of the book, L. Frank Baum explains that he wrote The Wonderful Wizard of Oz as a fairy tale for modern children, and, even though we don’t consider The Wonderful Wizard of Oz as modern anymore, it is truly just a fairy tale. The story is pure and simple, but there is many a lesson to be learned from the whimsical characters. The most famous of which being, of course, the highly logical Scarecrow who wishes for a brain, the sweet and caring Tin Woodsman who feels he needs a heart, and the brave Lion who want nothing more than a dash of courage. It is a beautiful story that truly demonstrates the essence of a good fairy tale.
Recommendation: It’s hard to come up with a specific recommendation when dealing with timeless classics such as The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, as I'm pretty certain that most of you are familiar with the story. But I truly think this book deserves a second (or first, or fifth) look, and see the movie too, for they are as alike as they are different, and both of them have a beauty and charm that cannot be duplicated.
Have you read The Wizard of Oz? Do you think it deserves 10 stars?
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