Rhys's Reviews > The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
Rate this book
Clear rating

's review
Jan 04, 2012

it was ok
Read in January, 2012

It seems somewhat petty and pointless to complain about a children's book, but I was mildly disappointed by this novel. Having seen the film a dozen times (it was a regular feature of British Christmas Day TV back in the 1970s) I was expecting the book to follow the same pattern but with an expansion on the clever conceits of the film. It turns out that the film is a radical departure from the book.

In the book the gifts that Oz gives to the Scarecrow, Tin Woodman and Lion aren't symbolic but mundane; the adventure with the Wicked Witch of the West is done in the space of a short chapter; and an overreliance on contrivance destroys any tension that might otherwise exist. The monsters and perils don't really get a chance to show what they can do (how I longed for the Hammer-Heads to have more input).

But there are a few saving graces: the occasional example of unexpectedly surreal dialogue. My favourite exchange occurs early on in the book:
"He is my dog, Toto," answered Dorothy.
"Is he made of tin, or stuffed?" asked the lion.
"Neither. He's a - a - a meat dog," said the girl.

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
Sign In »

No comments have been added yet.