Book Reviews

So many books (you know the rest)

by Gregory Maquire
Published in 1995 (I finished it on August 22, 2015)

A friend lent me the novel. It’s not one I would probably ever read otherwise.

Yeah, it’s good. I didn’t find it great, but still entertaining and fun—some intriguing backstory on the WWotW. There are some great quips inside and memorable scenes and characters.

What didn’t work so much for me was the ending, when Dorothy and the gang get going. This is mainly because that before that point, it functions as a sort of extension to the original “The Wizard of Oz” stories, and towards the ending, the story becomes contrary to some of the events in the original—which seems to conflict with Baum’s work. This is just to a minor extent; it doesn’t destroy the novel. And again, it’s only at the ending.

The other issue is that the analogies are a bit too translucent, though that may be just a style of the times as it was published in 1995. Yet, didactic themes and messages are often stronger when more subversive.

What’s also odd his how much even the Broadway musical strays from the book. Granted, they did have to whittle the story down to a few hours (or less when considering music).  But now we are two steps away from the original story.

At least I think. I’ve performed in the musical three times (2 Scarecrow, 1 Tinman), but only read the story once–about a dozen years ago. So it’s hard to gauge how much has deviated from that work.

Anyway, it’s fun and entertaining. I won’t read any more of the extension stories. This was enough.

But I am happy I spent time in this one.