Review: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz & Glinda of Oz (L. Frank Baum)

 

Yay! My first Classics Club read! And what was a wonderful experience it was!

The book I read was The Wonderful Wizard of Oz & Glinda of Oz. Technically these are two books, namely the first and the last in the series of tales from Oz that L. Frank Baum wrote. The particular edition I had though, the one from Wordsworth Children’s Classic (that I bought because the cover was irresistible!) combined the two titles.

I suppose I should’ve guessed that this would be easy to read, but I was pleasantly surprised anyway. I breezed through The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, with images of the Judy Garland movie going through my mind. Actually I don’t think I’ve ever watched that movie all the way through, at least I don’t remember all of it. It was just bits and pieces, especially the end. I thought the ending was very abrupt.

It took me a bit longer to read Glinda of Oz. I hated the way Dorothy talked in this book (she had some sort of accent, which was conveniently missing from the first book), and I puzzled over a lot of things, as one would if you got to skip so many books in the series. To be fair, there was adequate back story provided and it wasn’t all that confusing, really, I just wanted to know more about what happened to Dorothy, why was she back in Oz and where on earth did Ozma appeared from? What about the Wizard? Why is he back in Oz and how come he actually has magic powers now? And while I’m at it, why is this story called Glinda of Oz anyway?

Despite the endless questions, I actually loved the story so much I ended up ordering the complete series of Oz stories (all 5 volumes of them!), though I will have to patiently wait until they arrive, and I probably won’t be reading them for a while either. Oh, and let’s not get me started on how I would really love to read Wicked!

I can’t help but notice what seemed to be religious allegories scattered around the place. The kiss on Dorothy’s forehead that keeps her from being hurt by anyone reminds me of the mark on Cain’s forehead in Genesis, and also Glinda’s Great Book of Records. Of course the internet abounds with many interpretations and theories about this story. I suppose one can theorize, and people will believe whatever as long as you say it convincingly (a point that The Wonderful Wizard of Oz makes as well).

Have you read The Wonderful Wizard of Oz? What about Glinda of Oz and the rest of the Oz stories? What did you think? Any recommendations?

 

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz & Glinda of Oz Book Cover The Wonderful Wizard of Oz & Glinda of Oz
L. Frank Baum
Wordsworth Classics
Paperback
301 pages

In the The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, a huge cyclone transports the orphan Dorothy and her little dog Toto from Kansas to the Land of Oz, and she fears that she will never see Aunt Em and Uncle Henry ever again. But she meets the Munchkins, and they tell her to follow the Yellow Brick Road to the Emerald City where the Wonderful Wizard of Oz will grant any wish. On the way, she meets the brainless Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman and the Cowardly Lion. The four friends set off to seek their heart's desires, and in a series of actionpacked adventures they encounter a deadly poppy field, fierce animals, flying monkeys, a wicked witch, a good witch, and the Mighty Oz himself. 
In Glinda of Oz, the last of the original 'Oz' books, Dorothy and Princess Ozma seek the help of Glinda, the Good Witch of the South, when they find themselves in peril on the Magic Isle of the Skeezers.

Aiko
If I had my way, I'd spend the rest of my days at the corner of a coffee shop, reading, writing, and talking to the one I love.

2 Comments

  1. I remember devouring this entire series as a kid, around the same time that I was going through the Narnia phase. It’s such a charming, magical series. And all of the theories re: religious/political messages are so much fun, even if some of them seem a little far-fetched.

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