This is a feature that I've been wanting to do for awhile, I'm sure no one in my generation really cares about The Wizard of Oz, or at least, not as much as I do (but then I don't really care for Star Wars all too much... lol) but if you've been around my blog for awhile, you obviously know my utter complete love for anything Wizard of Oz. However, I had not read the original series and while it was something I always wanted to do, I just never had time for it. But now, I'm making time. It's partly for research reasons too ;)
I don't really know what to call this feature... I figured since I would be posting this feature on Saturday the current name would do, but eh, it's whatever.
It's basically where I review each book of the original 14 book Wizard of Oz series every weekend but I didn't want to clump it in with the rest of my reviews, I wanted it to be special (:
By L. Frank Baum
When I first started The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, it struck me curious to see just how different it is from the 1930's movie. Like, really different. I get that movies are adaptations of their source but I would have to say about 80% of the things in the book were missing from the movie and while the movie is fantastic, it's hard to imagine that so much was left out. But I can see why!
In the book Dorothy never tried to run away from home (and it's mentioned that she's adopted. Did you guys know she was adopted?! I think I figured since she said "aunt" and "uncle" they were related) but she was left behind and she was in her room when the tornado came and blew the house away. When she lands in Munchkinland she is approached by Glinda and the Munchkins and she did land on top of The Wicked Witch of the East. She does not meet The Wicked Witch of the West. Glinda gifts her with the silver slippers but does not tell her what they are or what they do. The journey from Munchkinland to the field where she finds the scarecrow is a little different. It for one, takes a few days for her to reach the scarecrow and she stops at a Munchkins house named Boq. If you're familiar with Wicked, you know that Boq plays a role there too. I was surprised to see that Boq was mentioned in the original book and he was also the wealthiest Munchkin in Munchkinland!
There are also a few other noted differences: at random, they make friends with field mice that help assist in carrying The Cowdly Lion out of the poppy field, in The Emerald City they are escorted to chambers where they wait to see The Great Oz and they don't meet The Wicked Witch of the West until they get to her castle. Unlike the movie, The Wicked Witch of the West (I keep wanting to say Elphaba but that's not really her name) doesn't own The Flying Monkeys. In fact when Dorothy and her friends attempt to break into her castle she sends her guards (who are the Winkies since she took over their country) to attack them, then a swarm of bee's (uh what?) and finally she sends The Flying Monkeys. The Flying Monkeys can only be called upon to whoever has possession of their golden cap by chanting a specific spell. There's a nice little back story to that later in the book. The Flying Monkeys do get the job done with separating the group of friends leaving The Scarecrow in the tree's and The Tin Man at the bottom of a cliff (those monkeys, they don't give a #$%&!). However Dorothy and The Cowdly Lion end up being captured and Dorothy is slaved to do the dishes for a few days. The Wicked Witch is still set on stealing her slippers but decides to just wait it out and slave her until she gives them up. Until one day they get into an argument, The Wicked Witch (who isn't very bright) decided to trip Dorothy in hopes the shoes would fall off her feet. Yeah. The Wicked Witch managed to get one of the shoes thus began a really childish arguement between Dorothy and The Wicked Witch (why does she feel like everything is hers? Seriously? Maybe that's why you're trapped in your dark and dank castle because you're awful! No offense Elphaba). Dorothy got so mad she threw water on The Wicked Witch causing her to melt, then apologized for doing so. Dorothy cracks me up sometimes. After The Wicked Witch fully melts away, Dorothy throws another bucked of water flushing the remains of the witch out of the door then proceeds to sweep her out the door! Wow lol.
Almost everything else after that matches the movie. Almost. The Winkies praise Dorothy for saving their land and they help bring The Tin Man and The Scarecrow back together. Dorothy finds the golden cap and keeps it, not knowing what it does either until they call on the field mice for assistance and are told about the powers for the golden cap. Also they reach a peculiar part of Oz called The Dainty China Country where white china glass figurines live happily. And if they are to leave, their limbs get stuck in a posing position until they return. While I thought that was interesting I didn't see the purpose of this part since they were only there for like three seconds.
At the end of the book, The Scarecrow is left to rule over Oz since The Wizard has left. The Tin Man was asked by the Winkies to rule over them and The Lion becomes The King of the Jungle.
Overall I enjoyed this read, I loved the back stories to all the characters, especially The Tin Man. I also liked the glimpse of what life was like in Oz before the wizard and the story of the princess Gayelette. Also, this was one of my favorite parts of the book:
"I do not know where Kansas is, for I have never heard that country mentioned before. But tell me, is it a civilized country?"
"Oh, yes," replied Dorothy.
"Then that accounts for it. In the civilized countries I believe there are no witches left, nor wizards, nor sorceresses, nor magicians. But you see, the Land of Oz has never been civilized, for we are cut off from the rest of the world. Therefore we still have witches and wizards amongst us."
"Perhaps you have heart disease," said the Tin Woodman.
"It may be," said the Lion.
"If you have," contined the Tin Woodman, "you ought to be glad, for it proves you have a heart. For my part, I have no heart; so I cannot have heart disease."
"Have you brains?" asked the Scarecrow.
"I suppose so. I've never looked to see," replied the Lion.