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A Barnstormer in Oz

3.51  ·  Rating Details  ·  283 Ratings  ·  19 Reviews
Hank Stover was one of the two people in the world who knew that Oz really existed ... but he never expected to go there. He never expected his plane would be forced down by a green cloud that April day in 1923. Nor that he would meet the witch who had befriended his mother, Dorothy. Nor that she would be so beautiful...
Paperback, 294 pages
Published October 1st 1983 by Berkley (first published September 1st 1982)
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Wicked by Gregory MaguireRuby's Misadventures with Reality by Samantha BohrmanDorothy Must Die by Danielle  PaigeNo Place Like Oz by Danielle  PaigeThe Witch Must Burn by Danielle  Paige
Best Books Inspired by L. Frank Baum's Oz Series
20th out of 28 books — 30 voters
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank BaumDorothy Must Die by Danielle  PaigeThe Marvelous Land of Oz by L. Frank BaumOzma of Oz by L. Frank BaumDorothy and the Wizard in Oz by L. Frank Baum
Books about Oz
46th out of 131 books — 63 voters

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Community Reviews

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Apr 04, 2011 Emily rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A Barnstormer in Oz seems to me to be an exercise in explaining the wonders of Oz in scientific terms. Or, at least as close to scientific as you can get in a world of magical events that defy explanation. Farmer has done an excellent job of that. His narrative also includes action sequences which serve to enliven the tale and create suspense, so that it’s not just one long treatise. The dual purpose of the text therefore feels a little disjointed, as though explanations must be interrupted for ...more
Apr 09, 2012 Marvin rated it liked it
Yes, there is sex in Oz. There is also death.

Philip Jose Farmer's take on the Oz tales is a decidedly adult interpretation yet it is his attempt to give a natural explanation to the oddities of Ozland that makes A Barnstormer in Oz so interesting. In this tale, that is more science-fiction than fantasy, the son of Dorothy enters Oz through a green fog while flying his bi-plane, What entails is a story of warfare and intrigue between the witches of the north and south and a threatening invasion b
Nov 23, 2014 Bryan rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
I guess it's tempting to reconcile and connect your disparate hobbies and interests. If you like heavy metal music and watching wrestling, then you're predisposed to enjoy a band like Fozzy (with Chris Jericho).

And Philip Jose Farmer loved science fiction and Oz books, but they were only very tenuously linked, if at all. Hence this project: a revision of the Oz universe to make it more "science fictiony".

Unfortunately it also sucked any life out of the narrative. This book is made uneven becau
Mar 31, 2014 Duncan rated it liked it
Very strange book; it tries to develop a coherent science fiction basis for the magic in "The Wizard of Oz", but along the way becomes tedious and just strange. Oz fans may well be disappointed; Oz completists may find it intriguing though defiantly non-canon.
Aug 07, 2007 Richard rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Oz Addicts. (The rainbow Oz, not the prison)
Dorothy's adult son helps the Good Witch of the North stave off an invasion of Oz by the American military.

Andrew Webster
Aug 25, 2008 Andrew Webster rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Feb 06, 2012 Mark rated it did not like it
Takes the strange tack of explaining the wonders of Oz with earth science. It's hard to imagine someone making a book about war in Oz boring, but Farmer has done it here. It's a snooze of a 270 page build up to a fairly exciting 15 page battle between witches. I would avoid this, were I you.
Jan 28, 2008 Jack rated it really liked it
Sadly out of print, a brilliant alternative take on the Oz myth. Highly enjoyable for Oz-heads.
B. Jay
Oct 15, 2009 B. Jay rated it liked it
A great follow up to the Wicked series! Taking place about 30 years after the events of the Wizard of Oz, PJ Farmer sends Dorothy's son into Oz to discover the "truths" of this alternate plane of existence. Leave it to Farmer to pick apart the holes in the Oz myth- how did the scarecrow grow sentient? The tin man's origin doesn't hold water! Only Farmer could take these stories for kids, designed with no thought to logic, and apply logical explanations to them.
It was very interesting to note the
Sarah Sammis
Jan 28, 2011 Sarah Sammis rated it liked it
When I was in the third grade I was nearly held back a year. Although I had tested into the advanced track, I wasn't a very motivated student. My third grade teacher gave my parents an ultimatum. I had to learn my multiplication tables and I had to improve my reading. Multiplication was tedious but doable; it was just memorization.

Reading though, that sounded like torture. But being held back a year sounded even worse. So I agreed to read. I can remember sitting on my brother's floor and reading
Jun 29, 2008 Travis rated it liked it
Shelves: the-farmerverse
An interesting, but not entirely successful attempt to create a version of Oz where the 'rules' (talking animals, magic etc) would make sense.
Farmer does some clever things, like mixing the real history of the USA at the time the Oz books were published, and creates some interesting versions of the Oz characters we know, but like Tolkien, he gets a bit bogged down in explaining the language and historical roots of the fantasy characters.
He also tries so hard to set up rules for Oz that he sucks
Nov 15, 2014 John rated it really liked it
Shelves: scifi-fantasy
1985 grade B-
Jan 23, 2009 Will rated it really liked it
Totally silly, but I read it as a teen and loved it. I had really enjoyed some of the other Oz books. As i got older I wanted to hold on to fantasy but wanted something more gritty. Philip Jose Farmer gave me that in this book. It was evident that Farmer loved the Oz universe. He treated Oz seriously. I am not enough of an Oz fan to know if or how this violates Oz continuity, but if you want a different slant on Oz, Farmer delivers.
Nov 27, 2012 Jim rated it liked it
People who are fans of the Oz series will very probably be disappointed. Farmer fans should be satisfied, as I was. Hank Stover, daring barnstorming pilot, disappears in a green cloud over Kansas-and arrives in Oz .There, he gets involved in a war -it seems to be the usual Farmer situation... I enjoyed PJF's playing around with the Oz mythology.
Dec 29, 2011 Adam rated it liked it
This was definitely on the high end of my three-star rating. Farmer has lots of fun ideas, though his execution of these ideas isn't on the same level. Still, it's a fun read, and one I'll read again.
Jan 17, 2009 Mike rated it really liked it
Oz for adults. SERIOUSLY for adults-Farmer's Barnstormer sleeps his way across Oz, more or less! Still a good read though, even if Baum would never have approved it.
Jun 27, 2012 Geneva rated it liked it
This was a clever re-imagining of the Oz mythos from the point of view of Dorothy's grown son. Gives it a science fictiony slant, which is always fun.
Sep 02, 2010 Jennifer rated it liked it
This story gives one an adult look at OZ and Glinda. Definitely not for young children.
Horse N.
Sep 27, 2012 Horse N. rated it did not like it
Can't recommend it.
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Philip José Farmer was an American author, principally known for his science fiction and fantasy novels and short stories. He was born in Terre Haute, Indiana, but spent much of his life in Peoria, Illinois.

Farmer is best known for his Riverworld series and the earlier World of Tiers series. He is noted for his use of sexual and religious themes in his work, his fascination for and reworking of th
More about Philip José Farmer...

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