Audio Review: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

wonderful wizardThe Wonderful Wizard of Oz
Author: L. Frank Baum
Publisher: Listening Library
Age Group: Children’s
Source: Library
Book Depository
Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

Summary from GoodReads:

L. Frank Baum’s timeless classic The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was the first uniquely American fairy tale. A combination of enchanting fantasy and piercing social commentary, this remarkable story has entertained and beguiled readers of all ages since it was first published in 1900. Ray Bradbury writes in his Introduction, “Both [Baum and Shakespeare] lived inside their heads with a mind gone wild with wanting, wishing, hoping, shaping, dreaming,” and it is this same hunger that makes all of us continue to seek out the story of Oz—and be nourished by it.
This Modern Library Paperback Classic is set from the text of the definitive first edition and includes the New York Times review of that edition as well as the original Preface by the author.

My Thoughts

So, I was visiting other Project Fairy Tale participants post, and I came across Alyssa‘s post about The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.  It made me realize that I have NEVER read this classic in children’s literature, and I decided to listen to the audiobook narrated by Brooke Shields.  I wasn’t exactly sure what to expect, having grown up with the movie.  I mean, I knew the book was different from the movie.  I knew that the slippers are silver in the book, for example.  So I don’t know if me loving the movie so much affected the way I felt about the book.  I liked the book.  I’m glad I read it.  But it isn’t a favorite of mine.

I don’t really have too much to say about it.  The book feels very episodic at times, which isn’t a bad thing, but not really something I enjoy.  Somethings from the book made me picture the movie very clearly.  For example, it’s often mentioned that the lion is holding his tail and wiping his eyes, and I could picture that in the movie.  I quite liked that.

Anyway, I am very glad that I finally read this, but I won’ be rushing out to read the others in the series.  There isn’t quite enough character development for my tastes.  And Dorothy is such a perfect little girl, and that can get on my nerves real fast.  But I think that is a sign of the times this book was written.  Like I said, I’m glad I can say I read The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, but I didn’t find this book amazing.  What do you guys think?  Have you ever felt this way about a book?  You know you should like it, and you can appreciate it, but it just doesn’t amaze you?

About Quinn

I'm a twenty-something children's librarian at a public library in Central New York. I've long left my teen years behind me, but I love to read YA and children's books. I have two adorable dogs. Ginger is a mix between a poodle and havanese, and Daphne is Bichon Frise. Other things I love: Favorite Movie: Singing in the Rain Favorite Book: Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen Favorite TV Show: Monk
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4 Responses to Audio Review: The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

  1. Ink and Page says:

    I read this in my youth, but to tell the truth, I can’t remember much about it. I know I tried to read others (isn’t there one with something that has a pumpkin for a head?) but I just couldn’t. And those were the days that I would read EVERYTHING.

    I think you’re right about the book being written for the times; ever since The Brothers Grimm adults have been portraying children the way they think they should act, ie super good. You’ll notice that the bad guys usually weren’t conflicted or a little good. They were just evil. For me, that makes those stories a little 2 dimensional.

  2. I don’t think I ever read this one, either… I don’t know if I could go back, though, and read it fresh. I’ve grown up knowing the story in one form or another.

  3. ladyruby07 says:

    The second book is actually quite amazing.

    I’ve read this book and seen the movie and it was really interesting for me because I read this after reading “Wicked.” I could see exactly what he took from both the book and the movie to make “Wicked.” It’s an interesting look at the world.

    • Quinn says:

      Some friends of mine have told me they like the other books in teh Wizard of Oz series more than the first.

      I haven’t read Wicked – it’s not really my kind of book – but I’ve seen the musical (which I know is different from the book) and I did like seeing where some things came from.

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