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28 March 2013 @ 01:27 pm
Recent Reads: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz  

I haven’t read this in decades. It still works. :)

I was a little surprised at the fairy tale qualities that I didn’t remember from childhood, but even so, they were less Fairy-Tale-Weird than most, er, non-invented? fairy tales. I mean, fairy tales make no sense at all in terms of “Oh hey, a glass mountain, oh look, a magic flying saddle appears to help me climb it!” Right, but, er, why did the magic flying saddle appear at all? Where did it come from?

This makes slightly more sense and is slightly better supported than that. :) But it has more fairy tale qualities than I remembered.

I’d also just flat-out forgotten that Dorothy is a much younger girl in the book than in the movie, which made me think about what the movie would’ve been like if Shirley Temple (6 years Judy Garland’s minor and the originally-intended star of that film) had been cast, which has nothing to do with the books, but nevermind that. :)

Anyway, it’s still charming, and I’m kind of looking forward to re-reading the next ones, especially OZMA OF OZ, which was one of my favorites as a child.

(x-posted from The Essential Kit)

 
 
 
Deborah Blakedeborahblakehps on March 28th, 2013 08:39 am (UTC)
We must be twins :-) I've been thinking of rereading the books, which I loved as a child (but I was afraid they wouldn't hold up). Ozma was my favorite too. Too bad about the OZ movie...
Alix (Tersa): Hazel-Rah (tersa)tersa on March 28th, 2013 11:33 am (UTC)
I think I just saw the Oz collection on sale for Kindle on Amazon and was thinking about buying them. :) I've /wanted/ to read them for a while, but the only one I've ever read was an illustrated abridged version when I was a kid (and that was different enough from the Garland movie that it was kind of an eye opener about 'adaptations').

A criticism I read of the recent Oz movie has re-ignited my curiosity to read it. I'd previously heard the Oz books were a allegorical commentary on the political situation at the time of the writing, but the blog post I read indicated that Baum was the SIL and husband of women's right's activist, which is why he has so many strong female characters in his books (and the post bashed on the recent movie turning the Wizard into the hero when none of the books have a male protagonist and turning the women into Hollywood streotypes of fighting over the Man.)
kitmizkit on March 28th, 2013 11:39 am (UTC)
I know nothing of Baum's politics, but I'm reading the second book right now, and it has a male protagonist. My recollection is that Tip, who is the hero of this book, stars in at least a few others, and Ozma is...well, Ozma is complicated. :)

I actually really enjoyed the new movie, which I had not expected to at all. It certainly has flaws, and that /is/ one of them...except it's also kind of not, because they're not really fighting over him. Or maybe more accurately, they're really not fighting over him: he's just a useful tool for one of them to accomplish something she wants. And I would argue that the character who actually saves them all is not the Wizard at all. But anyway. :)
kitmizkit on March 28th, 2013 11:46 am (UTC)
(Ozma is more complicated than I remembered, even, having looked it up now...)
Chrysoulachrysoula on March 28th, 2013 12:34 pm (UTC)
I was going to say, "...Yes... yes, Tip is in more books. But..."
kitmizkit on March 28th, 2013 12:36 pm (UTC)
Right. I didn't remember the correlation, although I remembered Ozma's fate.
Mary Anne: pixelpers1stence on March 28th, 2013 01:03 pm (UTC)
side note -- you can get free versions of many of the books on Kindle or via Project Gutenberg
LurkerWithoutlurkerwithout on March 28th, 2013 01:11 pm (UTC)
Fairuza Balk was only 11 when she played Dorothy in the '85 "Return to Oz"...
Cyrano: Mooncyranocyrano on March 30th, 2013 02:26 pm (UTC)
I really want to love the Oz books. I love a lot of things about them. I love Hungry Tiger. But there is something about Baum's writing style that makes me twitch. I can't identify it, perhaps because I'm too busy twitching.
Miss May: brand madnessvalancymay on April 4th, 2013 04:43 pm (UTC)
Ozma was also my favourite! I loved the idea of all the interchangeable heads.