Pub. Date: 1900
Publisher: George M. Hill Company
Type: Fiction ~ Childrens book
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is a children’s novel written by L. Frank Baum and illustrated by W. W. Denslow. Originally published by the George M. Hill Company in Chicago on April 17, 1900, it has since been reprinted numerous times, most often under the name The Wizard of Oz, which is the name of both the 1902 stage play and the 1939 film version. The story chronicles the adventures of a young girl named Dorothy Gale in the Land of Oz, after being swept away from her Kansas farm home in a storm. Thanks in part to the 1939 MGM movie, it is one of the best-known stories in American popular culture and has been widely translated. Its initial success, and the success of the popular 1902 Broadway musical which Baum adapted from his original story, led to Baum’s writing thirteen more Oz books. The original book has been in the public domain in the US since 1956.
At the end of the book Wicked was a copy of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. I had already read this by then, all the Oz books are available free for iBooks and Kindle. I’m sure for other readers also.
Although I had never seen the movie(1939 MGM) in its entirety or read the book, I knew the general story. After all “it is one of the best-known stories in American popular culture”. The book is of course different from what I had gleaned from the movie, there is of course more detail and more things happening.
When Dorothy asks the Wizard of Oz to send her back to Kansas he tells her: “In this country everyone must pay for everything he gets. If you wish me to use my magic power to send you home again you must do something for me first. Help me and I will help you.”
Now this may seem reasonable and fair except that the Wizard doesn’t have magic power and knows he can’t send Dorothy back! And what does he want Dorothy to do? “Kill the Wicked Witch of the West”. His reasoning is that the Wicked Witch is “tremendously Wicked–and ought to be killed.”
When Dorothy and her group find out that he is not a wizard, just a man, he insists, “I’m not a bad man, I’m a bad wizard.”
He lies, (he’s been lying for years we find out), sends out a little girl to either kill or be killed, knowing that if she kills the Witch he can’t keep up his end of the bargain but he’s not a bad man. Even if she is protected by the Good Witch’s sign on her forehead and wearing shoes that contain a powerful charm, she doesn’t know how to use the shoes and still a little girl is sent out to KILL SOMEONE! In what world is that right? In what world does a ‘good man’ do that? And then when he figures out a way to get out of Oz, he leaves Dorothy behind.
Plus, Dorothy should have really had a leash for Toto. And when Dorothy had to go see Glinda, why didn’t she just ask the flying Monkeys to take her there? She knows they can, they can’t take her to Kansas but they can take her anywhere in Oz. Then they wouldn’t have spent weeks walking and climbing over walls and breaking little china people.
For the above reasons I gave this book 2 stars instead of 3, because these things really upset me.