Sunday, January 26, 2014

Read-a-Long: The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum


Earlier this year I mentioned that I might participate in the Read-a-Long happening at Simpler Pastimes. I ended up reading the famous story yesterday and below are my thoughts on a particular edition of The Wizard of Oz. The illustrations are by Lisbeth Zwerger and she says about the experience of drawing this story:
THE WIZARD OF OZ was new territory for me, and for an illustrator nothing could be better. Since I have no "seriously illustrated edition of the book and I've never seen the complete MGM film, I was able to approach the story with no preconceived ideas.


Oz #1. North South Books (Jan. 1999) Library

After being transported by a cyclone to the land of Oz, Dorothy and her dog are befriended by a scarecrow, a tin man, and a cowardly lion, who accompany her to the Emerald City to look for a wizard who can help Dorothy return home to Kansas.








I had high hopes for The Wizard of Oz because I know this story and the way it was written wasn't complicated. I was able to easily discern what the author meant without too much strain. I don't know whether it was because I tried to read it all in one day or if it dragged on but, I didn't enjoy the story as much as I would have liked. 

There's of course new things popping up for me in this story that I wasn't aware happened because I am going by the movie version in my head. It's not like I didn't know the movie didn't have every little thing the book had. The book just simply dragged on for me and I found myself skimming towards the end of the story. Moments felt unnecessary or drawn out and it put me off the whole story itself.

Zwerger's illustrations were very out there compared to the "common" art you find for The Wizard of Oz. I enjoyed the quirkiness of the art. The only thing I didn't like was how the scarecrow was depicted. I wish also for this book that I had the green glasses that came with it which I find to be ingenious. Apparently you would use some green glasses given to you with the book when you were in the Emerald City so you can see the green of the city emerge in front of your very eyes. Even with all this unique art I couldn't find myself enjoying the story. 

I feel like I should give it one more try with the graphic novel version. I'll have to read it slow to enjoy Dorothy's tale more. I guess that's just how I have to approach The Wizard of Oz. I feel like no matter what the original story doesn't compare to the movie adaption. Sometimes the movie is better than the book.

8 comments:

  1. It's too bad this didn't work for you. I know there were times when I wasn't enjoying reading it as much as I would like, but I never felt it dragged. Sometimes the pressure of trying to finish on a deadline makes reading less enjoyable, I think. It's been so long since I've seen the movie, that I don't think I can truly fairly compare, but my memory of it is that it has a greater sense of urgency than the book: the witch is more clearly dangerous, the pacing is faster. Sometimes that really is beneficial! Hopefully your next read is more to your taste.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I agree that sometimes reading by a deadline can have negative effects when reading a book but really if the book was fantastic it shouldn't make a difference. The pacing was the real issue with me and The Wizard of Oz.

      Delete
  2. Oh I have read this one when I was a kid and loved it. But I think I was young and it was something really for me then. I'm so sorry you didn't enjoy it that much. But yeah the movie is amazing maybe even more memorable then the book. Great review :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Books I've read when I was younger usually are more enjoyable at that age and not rereading them when I'm older. It's probably just me but I agree the movie is way more memorable.

      Delete
  3. When my son was young, I made a point of reading some of the classics to him. I enjoyed them very much. :-)

    Anna from Shout with Emaginette

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't think I was read many classics other than the Disney stories that I still know and love so much.

      Delete
  4. I have seen the movie a million times, but I have never read the book! I have recently added it to my list because someone told me that there are a lot of differences between the book and movie. I am sorry it dragged a bit for you, but I think it is awesome that you read it! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was worth giving it a try. I don't regret it at all. I think with a good format and giving myself time to read it slowly will help me enjoy the story more. Hope you enjoy The Wizard of Oz!

      Delete

Thanks for stopping by She's Got Books on Her Mind! I appreciate every comment and will always try to comment back. No awards please (: Thanks for reading!