Stephanie's Reviews > The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
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Feb 27, 12

bookshelves: middle-grade, classic
Read in February, 2012

3.5 stars.

The other day I was stopped at the pedestrian lights when a guy leaned out of his car, pointed to my red shoes, and yelled, “Hey Dorothy! Click your heels together!”

This was an affront on a number of levels, not the least of which being that in Baum’s original, Dorothy’s shoes are not red, but are in fact silver. And indeed, there are a number of differences between the novel and the film adaptation with which we’re all so familiar. Where the film is garishly naff, all vivid Technicolor and twee singing and chirruping, the novel has a good deal more depth to it–and a surprising amount of eeriness.

For the most part, the plots of the book and musical run along similar lines until after our group of intrepid heroes “receive” the wishes they’ve longed to see granted, but after this things begin to diverge. When Oz floats off in his hot air balloon, Dorothy does not simply tap her shoes together to return home, but instead embarks on a dangerous mission to the witch Glinda’s property, which requires a surprising amount of hiding and killing.

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