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O Mágico de Oz

O Mágico de Oz

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O Mágico de Oz

notas:
3/5 (3.768 notas)
Duração:
164 páginas
3 horas
Editora:
Lançados:
9 de nov. de 2011
ISBN:
9788525425041
Formato:
Livro

Descrição

Quando um terrível ciclone levou Dorothy, a órfã, e seu cãozinho Totó do Kansas até a Terra de Oz, ela temeu não ver nunca mais sua tia Emily e o tio Henry.

Mas ela encontrou os Munchkins e eles lhe disseram para seguir a Estrada dos Tijolos Amarelos até a Cidade das Esmeraldas, onde o Grande Mágico de Oz lhe concederia qualquer desejo. No caminho, ela encontrou o Espantalho sem cérebro, o Lenhador de Lata e o Leão Covarde. Os quatro amigos partiram em busca de seus mais profundos desejos, e numa série de aventuras fantásticas eles encontram um campo de papoulas mortíferas, animais selvagens, macacos voadores, uma bruxa malvada, uma bruxa boa e o próprio Mágico de Oz.
Editora:
Lançados:
9 de nov. de 2011
ISBN:
9788525425041
Formato:
Livro

Sobre o autor


Relacionado a O Mágico de Oz

Amostra do livro

O Mágico de Oz - Lyman Frank Baum

Introdução

O folclore, as lendas, os mitos e os contos de fadas acompanham a infância através dos tempos, pois toda a criança saudável adora histórias fantásticas e manifestamente irreais. As fadas aladas de Grimm e Andersen trouxeram mais felicidade aos corações infantis do que qualquer outra criação humana.

Entretanto, os antigos contos de fadas podem ser classificados hoje como históricos na biblioteca das crianças, pois chegou a época de uma nova série de contos maravilhosos em que gênios, anões e fadas estereotipados são eliminados, junto com as aventuras de gelar o sangue criadas por seus autores para sublinhar uma moral terrível para cada conto. A educação moderna inclui a moralidade, portanto, a criança moderna busca somente divertimento em seus contos fantásticos e dispensa todos os incidentes desagradáveis.

Mantendo este pensamento em mente, a história do maravilhoso Mágico de Oz foi escrita unicamente para agradar às crianças de hoje. Pretende ser um conto de fadas modernizado, em que o encanto e a alegria são mantidos, enquanto os sofrimentos e os pesadelos são deixados de fora.

L. Frank Baum

Chicago, abril de 1900

O Mágico de Oz

Dorothy morava no meio das grandes pradarias do Kansas, com seu Tio Henry, que era dono de uma fazenda, e com Tia Emily, que era a esposa dele. Sua casa era pequena, porque a madeira para construí-la teve de ser carregada em carroções por muitos quilômetros. Tinha quatro paredes, um assoalho e um teto que formavam uma única sala; e esta sala tinha um fogão meio enferrujado, um guarda-louça para os pratos, uma mesa, três ou quatro cadeiras e as camas. Tio Henry e Tia Emily tinham uma cama grande em um canto e Dorothy tinha uma caminha em outro canto. Não havia nenhum sótão e nem porão, exceto um pequeno buraco cavado no chão, sob a casa, que era chamado porão dos ciclones, onde a família poderia se esconder caso surgisse um desses grandes redemoinhos, poderoso o bastante para esmagar qualquer casa que encontrasse em seu caminho. As pessoas abriam um alçapão feito no meio do assoalho da sala, dentro do qual uma escada conduzia a um buraco pequeno e escuro.

Quando Dorothy parava na porta de entrada da casa e olhava ao redor, não conseguia ver nada, exceto a grande pradaria cinzenta que se estendia para todos os lados. Nem uma árvore, nem uma casa quebrava a vasta extensão de terras planas que atingiam a linha do horizonte em todas as direções. O sol tinha secado as terras aradas, transformando-as em uma massa cinzenta por onde se corriam pequenas fendas. Mesmo o capim não era verde, porque o sol tinha queimado a parte superior das longas folhas até que ficaram da mesma cor cinzenta que se via por toda a parte. Somente a casa tinha sido pintada, mas o sol e as chuvas tinham levado embora a maior parte da pintura, e a casa estava triste e cinzenta como tudo o mais.

Quando Tia Emily foi morar lá, era uma esposa jovem e bela. Mas o sol e o vento também tiveram um efeito sobre ela. Tiraram o brilho de seus olhos e só deixaram um cinza sombrio; tiraram o rosado de suas faces e lábios de tal maneira que agora eles também eram cinzentos. Ela era magra e macilenta, e já não sorria mais. Quando Dorothy, que era órfã, veio morar com ela, Tia Emily ficou tão espantada com o riso da criança, que gritava e apertava a mão contra o coração cada vez que a voz alegre de Dorothy chegava a seus ouvidos; e ainda olhava para a menina cheia de espanto por ela encontrar qualquer coisa que lhe desse motivo para rir.

Tio Henry nunca ria. Ele trabalhava pesado da manhã à noite e não sabia o que era alegria. Ele também era cor de cinza, desde sua barba longa até suas botas grosseiras, tinha um aspecto austero e solene e raramente falava.

Quem fazia Dorothy rir era Totó, que impediu que ela crescesse tão cinzenta quanto todas as coisas que a rodeavam. Totó não era cinza: era um cachorrinho preto com longo pelo sedoso e pequenos olhos negros que brilhavam alegremente de cada lado de seu narizinho engraçado. Totó brincava o dia todo, e Dorothy brincava com ele e o amava ternamente.

Nesse dia, entretanto, eles não estavam brincando. Tio Henry estava sentado no degrau da porta, olhando ansiosamente para o céu, que estava ainda mais cinzento que de costume; Dorothy, de pé junto à porta, tinha Totó nos braços e também olhava para o céu, e Tia Emily estava lavando os pratos.

Bem longe, ao norte, podiam ouvir um gemido fraco do vento, e Tio Henry e Dorothy observavam o capim longo curvando-se em ondas diante da tempestade que se avizinhava. Escutaram então um assobio agudo vindo do sul, e quando voltaram-se para aquela direção viram ondulações na relva vindo de lá também.

Subitamente o Tio Henry se ergueu.

– Um ciclone está chegando, Emily – disse ele à sua esposa. – Vou cuidar do gado.

Então ele correu na direção dos galpões onde guardavam as vacas e os cavalos.

Tia Emily largou seu trabalho e veio até a porta. Um rápido olhar lhe mostrou que o perigo estava próximo.

– Depressa, Dorothy! – ela gritou. – Corra para o porão!

Totó saltou para fora dos braços de Dorothy e escondeu-se embaixo da cama, e a menina pulou para agarrá-lo. Tia Emily, assustadíssima, abriu o alçapão e desceu a escada para o pequeno buraco escuro. Dorothy finalmente conseguiu pegar Totó e já seguia sua tia quando, na metade do caminho, ouviu um grande rufar do vento e a casa sacudiu tão forte que ela perdeu o pé e caiu sentada no chão.

Foi então que uma coisa muito estranha aconteceu.

A casa girou ao redor de si mesma duas ou três vezes e ergueu-se lentamente no ar. Dorothy teve a impressão de que estava subindo em um balão.

Os ventos norte e sul encontraram-se no lugar em que a casa havia sido construída e o tornaram o centro exato do ciclone. No meio de um ciclone, o ar em geral fica parado, porém a grande pressão do vento de todos os lados da casa fez com que ela subisse cada vez mais alto, até chegar bem no topo do ciclone; e aí ela permaneceu e foi carregada por milhas e milhas tão facilmente como você poderia carregar uma pena.

Estava muito escuro, e o vento uivava ao seu redor, mas Dorothy deu por si viajando confortavelmente. Depois dos primeiros giros e num momento em que a casa se inclinou muito, ela teve a sensação de estar sendo embalada gentilmente, como um bebê no berço.

Totó não estava nada satisfeito. Corria pela sala, ora aqui, ora ali, latindo bem alto; mas Dorothy sentou-se bem quietinha no assoalho e esperou para ver o que ia acontecer.

Num certo momento, Totó chegou perto demais do alçapão aberto e caiu lá dentro; a princípio, a menininha pensou que ele estava perdido. Mas logo ela viu uma de suas orelhas surgindo de dentro do buraco; a forte pressão do ar o empurrava para cima de tal modo que ele não podia cair. Ela se arrastou até o buraco, agarrou Totó pela orelha e o puxou de volta para a sala; depois fechou o alçapão para que não pudessem ocorrer mais acidentes.

As horas se passaram lentamente e aos poucos Dorothy perdeu o medo; mas sentia-se muito solitária e o vento gritava tão alto ao redor dela que quase ficou surda. No princípio ela pensou que seria feita em pedaços quando a casa caísse de novo; mas à medida que as horas passavam e nada de terrível acontecia, ela parou de se preocupar e resolveu esperar calmamente para ver o que o futuro lhe traria. Finalmente ela se arrastou pelo assoalho tremulante até sua cama e deitou-se; Totó seguiu-a e aconchegou-se ao lado dela.

Apesar do balanço da casa e dos gemidos do vento, logo Dorothy fechou os olhos e adormeceu profundamente.

Capítulo 2

Dorothy foi acordada por um choque tão súbito e forte que, se não estivesse deitada na cama macia, poderia ter-se machucado. O sobressalto fez com que prendesse a respiração e imaginasse o que tinha acontecido; e Totó encostou seu focinho frio no rosto dela e ganiu tristemente. Dorothy sentou-se e percebeu que a casa não estava mais se movendo; nem estava escuro, porque a brilhante luz do sol passava pela janela inundando a pequena sala. Ela pulou da cama e com Totó em seus calcanhares correu e abriu a porta.

A meninazinha deu um grito de espanto e olhou em torno, seus olhos crescendo cada vez mais diante das visões maravilhosas que surgiam.

O ciclone tinha deposto a casa no solo muito gentilmente – para um ciclone – bem no meio de uma terra de incrível beleza. Havia lindas pastagens verdes por toda a volta, com árvores majestosas carregadas de frutos deliciosos. Havia canteiros de flores belíssimas por toda a parte e pássaros de rara e magnífica plumagem cantavam e voavam nas árvores e arbustos. A uma certa distância, um pequeno regato, correndo e cintilando entre margens verdes, murmurava com uma voz extremamente agradável para uma meninazinha que tinha vivido por tão longo tempo nas pradarias secas e cinzentas.

Enquanto estava parada olhando ansiosamente para a paisagem estranha e linda, ela percebeu que vinha em sua direção o grupo de pessoas mais engraçadas que ela já tinha visto. Elas não tinham a mesma estatura dos adultos com quem ela estava acostumada; porém, tampouco eram muito pequenas. De fato, pareciam ter mais ou menos a mesma altura de Dorothy, que era uma criança muito crescida para a sua idade, embora eles fossem, ou pelo menos parecessem ser muitos anos mais velhos.

Três eram homens e uma era mulher, e todos estavam vestidos de maneira singular. Usavam chapéus redondos que acabavam por pontas agudas a uns trinta centímetros acima de suas cabeças, com pequenos guizos ao redor das bordas, os quais tilintavam docemente enquanto eles se moviam. Os chapéus dos homens eram azuis; o chapéu da mulherzinha era branco e ela usava um vestido também branco que caía em dobras de seus ombros; sobre o tecido estavam espalhadas estrelinhas que brilhavam no sol como se fossem diamantes.

Os homens estavam vestidos de azul, da mesma cor de seus chapéus, e usavam botas bem engraxadas com laços grossos de cor azul-escuro na parte superior. Os homens, pensou Dorothy, eram mais ou menos tão velhos quanto o Tio Henry, porque dois deles tinham barba. Mas a mulherzinha era sem dúvida muito mais velha: seu rosto era coberto de rugas, seu cabelo era quase branco e ela caminhava com as pernas meio duras.

Quando estas pessoas chegaram perto da casa em cuja porta Dorothy se encontrava, pararam e murmuraram entre si, como se tivessem medo de chegar mais perto. Mas a velhinha caminhou até onde Dorothy estava, curvou-se profundamente e disse com uma voz doce:

– Muito nobre Feiticeira, você é bem-vinda à Terra dos Munchkins. Estamos tão agradecidos porque você matou a Bruxa Malvada do Leste, libertando o nosso povo da escravidão!

Dorothy escutou maravilhada o discurso. O que poderia a mulherzinha querer dizer ao chamá-la de feiticeira e ao dizer que ela tinha matado a Bruxa Malvada do Leste? Dorothy era uma meninazinha inocente e sem maldade, que tinha sido carregada por um ciclone para muitos quilômetros de distância de casa; ela nunca tinha matado coisa alguma em toda a sua vida!

Mas a mulherzinha evidentemente esperava sua resposta; assim, Dorothy disse, com hesitação:

– Você é muito gentil, mas deve haver algum engano. Eu não matei ninguém.

– Bem, se não foi você, a sua casa matou – replicou a mulherzinha com uma risada. – Isso é a mesma coisa. Veja! – continuou ela, apontando para um canto da casa. – Ali estão seus

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  • (5/5)
    I just finished reading this book to my son, who is almost six. He really liked it, which sort of surprised me as it was more challenging for him to stay with than all the picture books and easy readers we usually share. I am very glad that my edition had all the old pictures in it so that it still had a little picture book flavor. That made the transition to more advanced reading easier.

    The one thing I will note: As with the Beatrix Potter stories I also read in my childhood, I was a little surprised at the level of violence in this book. I guess it is just a reminder of how times have changed. But if you are at all worried about creatures of various sorts meeting a rather gruesome demise, I would sit this book out. But I truly believe you would be missing out on a really wonderful story.

    Keep in mind as well that there are some MAJOR differences from the MGM movie -- the ruby slippers are silver, and Glinda is not the same Good Witch as the one at the beginning of the novel. (Spoiler: This change is what makes the movie Glinda seem so awful if you really think about it. She knew the whole time about the slippers and she never said anything?? Not cool.)
  • (5/5)
    A great book for the young and old alike. If you're familiar with the movie or with Wicked... throw everything you know away and immerse yourself fully in this wondrous piece of art. Dorothy is a determined, plucky girl, the Wicked Witch is very much a child herself, and the Scarecrow and Tin Woodsman are as humourous and heartfelt as you always thought them to be. I highly recommend this book to every little girl looking for some adventure and humour, and every little boy wanting the same!
  • (4/5)
    It's REEEALLLY good. The kind of books I love to read :D It's ''childish'', but not written as though we were children of 5 to understand it. :D
  • (4/5)
    A rather wonderful story! There were definitely some differences from the movie, which I found interesting, and I listened to the audiobook, which was a very nice interpretation/performance. I don't feel the political aspects were very pronounced, I'll have to read more analysis of that to understand it better, I suppose.
  • (5/5)
    The book is definitely different from the movie. The tale is directed towards youngsters with the use of repeating things and simplified wordings. There is a bit too much violence for a children's book, though. There is a scene where the scarecrow kills crows by snapping their necks.
  • (4/5)
    This is a classic I never got around to reading as a child. I skipped over children's books to comics and adult classics like "War and Peace." Now, as an adult, I find the tale enjoyable and gratifying to read, with little editorial comments sprinkled throughout. My favorite:

    "'For,' they said 'there is not another city in all the world that is ruled by a stuffed man.' And, so far as they knew, they were quite right."
  • (4/5)
    First of all this is the ugliest book cover ever.Wizard of Oz was my all time favorite movie as a child. I once left a movie at the theater to get home in time to see the movie, even though I had seen it at least six times. This was one of the first movies I bought my children. I don't know why I never read the book as a child or why I waited so long to read the book. I really enjoyed it.
  • (3/5)
    Wonderful tale.
  • (4/5)
    wonderful, wonderful, wonderful...!!!
  • (5/5)
    A must read if you're into the Wicked series by Gregory Maguire. And, the paperback I got from amazon.com has all the original illustrations, which are wonderful
  • (4/5)
    This Kindle edition of the classic children's book where Dorothy is carried by a tornado to the land of Oz is a pleasant read, very reminiscent of Lewis Carroll's Alice books. It is lavishly illustrated throughout, though the name of the illustrator on the cover differs from that on the title page (this may explain why Dorothy looks a bit different in some pictures - never like Judy Garland, though!). A nice, lighter read. 4/5
  • (4/5)
    This is the first chapter book I managed to read all the way through to my son. I don't think I had ever sat down and read it myself before. This is a good book for reading aloud to very young children, because the characters are very simple, and their goals are crystal clear and reinforced through constant repetition. Scarecrow wants a brain, Tin Woodman wants a heart, Cowardly Lion wants courage, Dorothy wants to go home to Kansas. It was no problem for my 4-year-old to follow the story or to be excited by the simple adventures the characters have. I was surprised that there were quite a few sly jokes thrown in as well, which go right over the head of a young reader but are amusing for adults. My son hasn't seen the movie, so he had no preconceptions, which helps since the book differs in many ways from the film. We also both enjoyed the whimsical illustrations in the Puffin Classics edition. I hope to find other children's books we can enjoy together, and I intend to mine the classics for them.
  • (4/5)
    I really loved this book. It's a classic. Although, at times, I felt the movie was probably a bit better, but still a must-read. I thought the book was much more childlike than the movie and was much more in the perspective of a child.
  • (4/5)
    The charming writing style of Baum reminds me of listening to stories made up at bedtime or around the camp fire. The descriptions of places and the actions of the characters are just enough to keep the plot flowing, but are not so heavy that they drag down the motion either. Baum has a way of describing something so that your mind knows exactly what the thing looks like without having to give a lot of time that would take away from the action.Each character shares the same adventure, but along the way has smaller personal adventures that prove that what they seek is really what they have all along. The reader knows this, but the characters never really do, which is also an interesting idea. This classic stays in the hearts and minds of young children all the way through their adulthood and is always worth reading over and over as we grow up, just to prove that in our hearts we can still be young again.
  • (4/5)
    I can't believe that after all this time of watching the movies and reading the books derived from the original story, I've never read the original! The Wizard of Oz is a cute, fun kid's adventure story that I could see young children absolutely loving. It is a bit simplistic in terms of writing and storytelling, but the message is timeless, and that counts for something. Careful parents -- this is the kind of story children ask to read over and over and over again.And I would just like to say that I really like the message of this novel. I think it's gotten lost within the numerous retellings over the years, but I thought it was really heartwarming and a good thing for kids to hear. I do wish the witch were a bit more evil and scary, though. She seemed more of a side character than anything, which was strange, again, after seeing/reading all the adaptations.As for the narration, it was good -- good pacing, intonation, etc. Fields makes sure to give everyone distinctive voices and does a good job at that. However, it contains nothing spectacular that would make me recommend it over the print version. I think reading either version is fine, it would just depend on your preference. I do, however, recommend reading it. It is slightly dated and I think adults would like it for its cultural history, not necessarily because of its inherent entertainment value (Although I'm still reeling over the whole silver slippers instead of ruby slippers thing. So weird!). But I'm sure that kids will love it!
  • (3/5)
    It's odd that this is the first time I've read an Oz book. I think I started one or two, long ago, and never finished them. But many people rave about Oz, and I love old books from that era (especially children's books), so recently I picked it up and read it through.

    It didn't take long. In fact, I was quite surprised at how quickly I got through it. It's quite a short book. It's also very simply written. I don't think most young American children (say, ages 7 and up) would have any difficulty reading it at all. The grammar is slightly more formal than modern American English, but the vocabulary is startlingly ordinary; far less challenging than I'd expected.

    Perhaps that's because most of the books I've read from that general era (The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was first published in 1900) are English, and use a considerably deeper vocabulary. The majority of Americans would struggle with an unabridged Peter Pan or Winnie-the-Pooh, and be utterly defeated by Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

    That said, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was a nice, light, and very quick read with some pleasantly funny moments. I'd heard that it was an extended political parable - the scarecrow representing Midwestern farmers, the Tin Woodsman representing the factory workers of the new Industrial Revolution, and the Lion representing...actually, I don't remember - but if that's the case (and it may well be) the result certainly doesn't seem to very complex. I probably won't read The Wonderful Wizard of Oz for myself again very soon, but I'll probably soon read it to my son - or see if he's interested in reading it for himself.

    I can't help but wonder if I'd have loved the book if I had first read it when I was seven. But I just don't know.

    Oh, I almost forgot: Of course I've seen the movie many times, and am quite fond of it. I expected the book to be very different from the movie, and it was - but it turned out that the movie was more faithful to the text than I'd realized. That said, I have to say that the movie actually seemed to make a strong theme (there's no place like home, of course) which the book lacked. But then, Dorothy seemed much younger in the book.

    It was also interesting that in the book, the voyage to Oz was clearly NOT a dream (Uncle Henry had had to build a new house to replace the one that had been taken away by the tornado), whereas the movie made it fairly clear that Oz HAD all been Dorothy's fever-dream (since, among other things, the house was unchanged and still there).
  • (4/5)
    By now everybody knows - or should know, the tale about Dorothy and Toto. No matter what you believe, which theory is behind this (hi)story, there's just as many reasons to read or reread a series as Oz. Mine was nothing more than this beautiful clothbound classic! Isn't it pretty?!?!
  • (4/5)
    Book way better than movie. As an adult reader I did find it a bit twee and predictable but it is a children's story and should be enjoyed as such
  • (5/5)
    The most beautiful of this novel so far. Illustrations to die for.
  • (4/5)
    Well finally read it and while it's not really a great piece of ligature it is truly a fun story that all kids should read once they are at an age where they can handle heads being chopped off.
  • (4/5)
    If you are familiar with the movie then this is a great book that can further explain the story. There were many different representations and symbolism throughout the book that could help make different connections to the movie. The book is worth reading. It is a story written for children but can be very much enjoyed by adults as well. It is a great story about friendship and working together. The readers will discover that each character thought they needed the Great Oz's help when really they had the gift(s) within them.
  • (4/5)
    Enjoyed it very much. Loved that the slippers weren't really ruby.
  • (4/5)
    Such a quaint tale about the wonders of the placebo effect.
  • (4/5)
    You know the story, a little girl wishing that she could make it over the rainbow to escape the gray tinged life she leads at present only to be confronted with the fact that life may appear greener on the other side but "there's no place like home" after all is said and done. The best thing I can say for those that have only seen the movie is you can keep the images of the primary characters if you wish...but that's about it. The land of the Munchkins is far less munchkin-ny and Glinda sparkles WAY less than her supposed taffeta gown though she is still in fact a powerful and very good witch. The infamous shoes are NOT red, the flying monkeys don't actually work for the Wicked Witch on a full time basis, in fact...the Wicked Witch herself plays a very small role in comparison to her betrayal in the movie though Dorothy's journey is still fraught with dangers at every turn. Even the characters themselves are presented in different shades of their personalities.Quite the contrast but DEFINITELY worth the journey down the road of yellow bricks to discover all there is to see. What makes this edition stand out from the rest? The illustrations and the hardbound packaging. It's not your typical lush images that we've come to expect from this story. They are a bit more bleak, a bit more drab and yet they work well with all they depict. From Dorothy's sunny face which is given an extra hint of color in an otherwise fairly monotone landscape to Toto's adorable little self with spunky attitude to spare, from the uncovering of the grand humbug to the reality of the poppy field not the fantasy and all the way to the melting of the witch herself, it's a happy marriage between story and image.In conclusion, a worthy read indeed for the seasoned Oz visitor as well as those just journeying past the colors that arc across the sky. It makes sharing the story with a new generation a grand adventure once again not only in text but also in visual aids.**review copy was received in exchange for my honest review - full post can be viewed on my site**
  • (4/5)
    Easily read nice book. Even if you've seen the movie there are still surprises, which is nice./SysterSara
  • (5/5)
    This is one of those reviews I feel ridiculous writing because who doesn't know the story of The Wizard of Oz? Dorothy is a child living in a one-room house in Kansas with her aunt, uncle and dog. A tornado rips through the plains but before Dorothy and her little dog can make it to the hole in the floor the tiny house is swooped up in the tornado's vortex and they are whisked off to a fantasy land. Upon landing they inadvertently kill a wicked witch (of the East). The townspeople munchkins are overjoyed but all Dorothy wants to do is go home. So, the munchkins give her the witch's shoes and send her along a yellow brick road. At the end of the road is a wizard who supposedly can help her get back to Kansas. Along her journey she meets some oddball characters (a tin woodsman, a cowardly lion, and a brainless scarecrow). Unbeknownst to them, they are being watched on their journey. The deceased witch's sister (Wicked Witch of the West) wants the shoes given to Dorothy. To read The Wizard of Oz as an adult is 100% entertainment. I had fun taking note of how many times the brains-needing Scarecrow did something exceedingly smart or the Cowardly Lion acted inherently brave or the no-heart Tin Man felt true compassion. Other amusements: the group discussing heart disease.
  • (4/5)
    Why have I never read this book before?! Okay, I'll tell you why I've never read this book before - I HATE the movie. There, I said it. Get the lashings over with now, because I doubt I'll be changing my mind any time soon. The music! The stupid man in a lion costume! The wrong-coloured shoes! No no no. So, as you might imagine, it was a very pleasant surprise when I found myself, twenty pages into the book, sitting with a gentle smile on my face thinking, "Yeah, just one more chapter before I go do something useful." This is actually a really lovely little book! It is charming and whimsical and full of polite conversation and intriguing creatures, just as a children's classic should be. As Dorothy and her friends wend their merry way towards self-knowledge and magical wish fulfillment, they meet with all kinds of nice people, bizarre monsters and tricky situations, but you know that everything's going to be okay in the end because Baum said so. That said, it's not all sunshine and roses in the Land of Oz, oh no... What Baum omits by way of serious peril for his leading characters, he makes up for with the macabre ends he concocts for the naughty beasts that threaten them. Yes, the Wicked Witch of the West is destroyed with a humble bucket of water (if that's a spoiler... well, if you don't know it now you never will) - but everything else is thrown off a cliff, has its neck broken, is beheaded or chopped in half by the Tin Man's axe. All the kinds of deaths that make me shudder and put down my lunch for a moment. But then everybody skips on and is very jolly to have survived another menace, so that's okay.Needless to say, the book was a wonderful little read, despite the fact that I had "We're off to see the wizard" stuck in my head THE WHOLE TIME. Baum's imaginary world was a delight to explore, twisting old fairytale cliches into something new and unique (like the mischievous Winged Monkeys and their three wishes taking the place of the traditional genie, for example), and Dorothy's well-mannered sweetness was like a soothing balm for my summer-holiday-brat-frazzled nerves. My edition is a smart little 'Great Reads' hardback, with cute cartoony line drawings that don't look AT ALL like the movie characters (much to their credit), which I found really rounded off the reading experience. Roll on book 2 - I think I'm hooked!
  • (5/5)
    This is one of those extraordinarly intelligent children's books, which I suppose is why it turned into a classic. That and the fact that it's brilliant and enjoyable as well, of course.
  • (5/5)
    The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, written by Baum was reinterpreted through film by MGM studios, as many of you know. The film and the book contrast on certain aspects, such as Dorthy's silver shoes. In the film the shoes are ruby (MGM's colorful alteration). Nevertheless, the idea, the characters, and the adventures are basically the same in both text and movie. Dorthy gets dropped in the Land of Oz after a cyclone picks up her house in Kansas. Throughout the story, she meets the Tin Woodman, The Scarecrow, and the Lion who all accompany her on her adventure to get back to Kansas. Dorthy (unknowingly) posses the power to take her home in her silver shoes the entire time. Unlike Carroll's Wonderland, where we find out that Alice had been dreaming the entire time, in the Wizard of Oz, Baum insists that The Land of Oz is in fact a real place. At the end of the story, Dorthy returns to Kansas by clicking her heels and she sees the new shed that Uncle Henry has built while she was away (the cyclone had destroyed the old shed). Things of this nature happened in real time with Dorthy's disappearance, suggesting that Oz was in fact a real place and Dorthy was not dreaming. However, in the famous MGM film, Dorthy was dreaming after she fainted.
  • (5/5)
    No matter what age you are, The Wizard of Oz never gets old. If you have watched the movie, ( and who hasn't), you will no doubt experience great surprise at how very different the book is. All the same, despite all the commentary, I really believe this is just a great fantasy for children, with no real great hidden messages. It's just a great deal of fun. The book ( and the other books in the series) and the movie should be re-visited from time to time. I think it's good for us, not matter what age you are.