Wicked PreReading Q#2: Experience with Oz.

15 posts / 0 new
Last post
Wicked PreReading Q#2: Experience with Oz.

2. Do you have any experience with The Wizard of Oz world? How are you expecting this setting to affect the book?

I've read most of Frank L Baum's Oz books. The movie version is one of my favorite movies. Wicked, which I have also read, wasn't what I expected but that was a good thing smiley

I grew up in KS, so it's pretty much required reading smiley
I also downloaded all of L.Frank Baum's books from project Gutenberg for my e-reader years ago.
I can't say I've read all of his Oz series, but I've read the majority.

There isn't much continuity in the books, so having this one be set in the same place but from a different author shouldn't be too much of a change. I'm also not expecting to see Dorothy much!

I saw MGM's Wizard of Oz many times as a child of course but did not read any of the books until I started university, in fact I was surprised to learn that there was a book (well 14 I think?) and I was shocked to discover how much richer Baum's world is than the one we see on the screen. I have only read a few and I re-read the first one or two with my son when he was young.

I've seen Wicked on the stage - a very good performance - but for me it lacked the level of fantasy and charm seen in the original books. I shall be very interested to see how the novel compares.

I haven't read any of the original books. I've seen the old Wizard of Oz movie, and I also saw the recent one that just came out, about the wizard. It's definitely made me curious about the original books, and perhaps reading this will push me over the edge into actually reading some of them.

I haven't read the original ones either. Didn't like the old movie with Judy Garland, but I think I had more of a problem with her than the actual story line.

Sadly, I haven't read any of the books but I have seen the original Wizard of Oz and attempted to watch the newest one that just came out...but I couldn't wrap my head around it and shut it off after like 40 minutes. I'm very excited to read this book and it's been on my list for a few years so I'm looking forward to comparing the book to the original Oz movie.

Well, as you probably don´t know, when I was a late-teen, I used to work as a reading mediator in an after school program (one of the pioneers here in Brazil - we don´t have school clubs like in US and Japan) called Reading Circles. I read the first book in The Wizard of Oz series (it´s called "the wizard of oz" in Portuguese) for this program, and re-read with different groups of students at least 4 or 5 times. The first thing that drew my attention to the book was the introduction:

Folklore, legends, myths and fairy tales have followed childhood through the ages, for every healthy youngster has a wholesome and instinctive love for stories fantastic, marvelous and manifestly unreal. The winged fairies of Grimm and Andersen have brought more happiness to childish hearts than all other human creations.

Yet the old time fairy tale, having served for generations, may now be classed as "historical" in the children's library; for the time has come for a series of newer "wonder tales" in which the stereotyped genie, dwarf and fairy are eliminated, together with all the horrible and blood-curdling incidents devised by their authors to point a fearsome moral to each tale. Modern education includes morality; therefore the modern child seeks only entertainment in its wonder tales and gladly dispenses with all disagreeable incident.

Having this thought in mind, the story of "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" was written solely to please children of today. It aspires to being a modernized fairy tale, in which the wonderment and joy are retained and the heartaches and nightmares are left out.

L. Frank Baum

Chicago, April, 1900.

On the one hand, thinking by the perspective of the works of Joseph Campbell, the need to create new fairy tales is very interesting (remember when he talks about myths for modern age); on the other hand, this thing about "bloodless" and "politically correct" things for children was an important trend for 1900´s children and YA literature, specially from 60s on (and I think now it´s starting to end, but I may be mistaken).

Then, I enjoyed reading The Wizard of Oz, and became very surprised when I read that there were more books about Oz. However, I could only find the second one in my local library (I read it too - it´s good, but I prefer the first), and was willing to find the others - only with Brandi´s post I realised they´re mostly public domain - I´m feeling sooooo dumb now... Also, sometimes I forget that, if I don´t find what I want to read in Portuguese, I can look for it in English, lol.

I first knew about Wicked because a friend went to US, happened to see the Brodway musical and went back soooooo excited about it - she couldn´t stop talk about wicked, but didn´t want to spoil us, so it was fun to see... also, she is a friend who usually likes the villains, and seemed it put her in a new perspective - since then, I was willing to read the book.

I expect something very different from L.Frank Baum books, however; first, I expect it to be more adult. I also think the story ressemblance will be only because it uses the same scenery - I don´t expect the story to be the same. Maybe wicked mention some events, but they´re probably only some mentions to please the oz affictionados.

That's an interesting quote about writing new stories for children. It would be interesting to see how the morals and themes of children's literature has changed over time.

I love the musical and my cat is named Elphaba. My husband is a big L Frank Baum fan and we have seen the Wizard of Oz many many many times.

Wicked is definitely a very adult version of what happens with the Wicked Witch. I read it about 8 years ago so I need to go back and read it again. The musical is the family friendly version. I have read McGuires other books and there's a lot of adult themes. The musical and the book are very different.

I've seen the movie, but that's about it.

I'd love to read the books of the Wizard of Oz, but here where I live in a city near São Paulo is impossible to find the books I've read some reviews and summaries and am very eager to read but.

Read only two books in the series and I'm dying to read the other but it is a bit difficult to find them here in Brazil even harder in Portuguese

I read the original Wizard of Oz and watched the movie of course, but this book I did not like. The themes were very close to modern day. It had a dictator, and oppressed group of people, minority groups and how others dealt with them, scandal, corruption, etc. It felt very political and not fantasy at all. I wanted more of the feel of the original book. I really wanted to love this book, but just couldn't. Was I missing something?

No idea Dana - if you look at the comments in the different question sections, you'll see that most people that took part did not much like this book. So if you're missing it ... we all were too smiley