Sunday, January 15, 2012

Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz

Baum continues following the wacky exploits of Dorothy and her friends through various faery worlds in the fourth installment of the Oz books. We begin with Dorothy arriving to California on a train, which is inconsiderately five hours late to the train station. A young man named Zeb has been awaiting her arrival, she must wake him so that they can be on their way to the ranch where Uncle Henry is awaiting her.

In this volume, Dorothy's adventures begin when the horse and buggy in which she is riding is swallowed by a crevice created by an earthquake. She, Zeb, the horse (Jim), and her kitten (Eureka) fall for hours on end. They slow to the speed of floating as they approach the "center" of the Earth. There have reached a new magical world, it is filled with glass buildings that grew and plant people with no emotions and very short lives. These people are called the Mangaboos. The Mangaboos blame Dorothy and friends for the falling rocks that destroyed parts of the houses.

Shortly after Dorothy and Zeb arrive, something else falls from the sky. Upon closer inspection Dorothy and Zeb discover that it is a balloon. Inside the balloon is Dorothy's old friend, The Wizard of Oz. The current leader of the Mangaboos gives them a tour of the gardens, and shows them his replacement, whom he is avoiding picking in order to extend his own life. The Wizard and Dorothy do not think this is right, so they pick her. Despite Dorothy and the Wizard saving the rightful leader, the Mangaboos sentence the party to death. The entire group must flee.

The group heads upwards in an attempt to reach home, they travel up a winding spiral staircase inside of the mountain. When they exit the other side, they are in a beautiful valley that has a beautiful village in it. However, they can see no people or animals. They hear birds, but don't see them.

This book is as full of fun and weirdness as the others, but also shares in their formulaic nature. I am still quite enjoying them and the subtle humor and word choice. I did find this one oddly titled as they barely spend any time in Oz during the story. I am going to finish the whole series, but I don't think I'll continue to write a review for each volume as I have had much the same to say about all the volumes so far.

Happy reading!

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