We’re not in
Kansas California anymore, Toto Eureka….
Book 4 – Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz
During a California earthquake Dorothy falls into the underground Land of the Mangaboos where she again meets the Wizard of Oz.
Perhaps I’m just being a bit too curmudgeonly, but I thought this was the most disjointed and unsettling book of the Oz series so far.
Don’t get me wrong, Baum’s talent for inventing absolutely bonkers places and people is still evident. For example: How the heck did he come up with a land of sentient vegetables who live in glass houses? But that’s where the charm begins and ends for me.
The last part of the book, where Dorothy et al. end up in Oz and the horse characters decide to run an inexplicable race and a talking cat is charged with murder, seems weirdly disjointed. It’s as though Baum had a grand old time sending the kids and the Wizard on yet another whimsical adventure, but then felt obligated to provide a kind of “fanservice” with all the old gang making an appearance.
I’m also not quite sure what to think of the Wizard at this point. Did he send Ozma to Mombi as a power grab, or was the whole thing actually orchestrated by the witch(es), or what? Does the Wizard have amnesia or something? Is he villainous or just plain stupid?
I’m honestly not looking forward to finishing the series at this point. What started out as charming and imaginative seems to be devolving into something kind of half-baked and formulaic (if the formula was smashed to bits and glued back together in not quite the right way). But maybe I’m being too grouchy. Tell me what you think!
- What do you think the deal is with the Wizard at this point? Bad guy, complete idiot, or just plain annoying, or something else?
- We’ve met several new characters over the last few books — are you enjoying this expanding cast, or do you wish the originals would get more of the spotlight?
Are you reading this series along with me? If you have reviewed or discussed this book online, please feel free to post a link to that in the comments. (But you don’t have to be an “official” participant to discuss this book in the comments if you feel so inclined.)
Please note: Even though I try to avoid major spoilers in my blog post, I can’t promise that the comments will remain spoiler-free too — so read at your own risk!
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