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Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz

L. Frank Baum

Book Overview: 

Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz was the fourth of 14 Oz books written by L. Frank Baum. It is considered one of the “darker” of the Oz tales. However, it also is enlivened by Baum’s considerable wit, penchant for puns, and dry social commentary. In this title, Dorothy, her kitten Eureka, Jim, a cab horse, and Zeb, a ranch hand, descend into the earth through a rift opened by an earthquake. There they encounter the “humbug” wizard who once ruled Oz. In their journey back to the earth’s surface, they meet a number of potentially dangerous magical peoples and creatures including the cold-blooded Mangaboos, invisible bears, the flying wooden Gargoyles, a den of dragonettes, and an eccentric inventor. With a little help from Ozma, the group end up in Oz where they are treated to feasts and celebrations. The animals end up humbled by a few of their experiences in Oz, where all animals can talk, and return home a little wiser.

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .Sorcerer was beginning to take effect.

So the Wizard lost no more time, but leaping forward he raised the sharp sword, whirled it once or twice around his head, and then gave a mighty stroke that cut the body of the Sorcerer exactly in two.

Dorothy screamed and expected to see a terrible sight; but as the two halves of the Sorcerer fell apart on the floor she saw that he had no bones or blood inside of him at all, and that the place where he was cut looked much like a sliced turnip or potato.

"Why, he's vegetable!" cried the Wizard, astonished.

"Of course," said the Prince. "We are all vegetable, in this country. Are you not vegetable, also?"

"No," answered the Wizard. "People on top of the earth are all meat. Will your Sorcerer die?"

"Certainly, sir. He is really dead now, and will wither very quickly. So we must plant him at once, that other Sorcerers may grow upon his bush," continued the Prince.

"What do. . . Read More

Community Reviews

#4 in the original Baum Oz continuum and you can tell by this point that he was getting a little winded. The whole work comes across as a pandering to his pesky fans who kept demanding new works (he published one a year, it seems like) and is pretty sloppy. Dorothy and some redneck kid fall throu...more

Yet another series that I read lots in my youth, and thus retain a fondness for, despite recognizing that Baum is only a middling writer, at best. His inventiveness, which is his greatest strength, often gets out of hand and doesn't lend itself to satisfying narratives with a beginning, middle, a...more

This is one of my favorite of the Oz books. The the California earthquake that drops Dorothy and Zeb into the earth, the organically grown glass buildings, the vegetable people, the little old man living on a stair landing halfway up the mountain who makes rustles (for silk dresses), flutters (fo...more

The author says in the foreword to this book that he tried to fit as many of his fans' suggestions into the book as possible and I can well believe it as the book feels a bit like a box-ticking exercise sometimes, particularly near the end. (Man, what an awful sentence! Never mind; I'm too tired...more

Dorothy is supposed to be meeting up with her uncle in California to visit family. She meets Zeb instead (her cousin), and the two of them, along with their pets (a horse and a cat), go for an adventure together because there is an earthquake and they fall through the earth. Mangaboos (vegetable...more

4,5

Such a delightful and marvellous book!

Not my favorite Oz book. It just reads as a series of unrelated episodes as Dorothy and her companions stumble along under the earth trying to find their way to the surface again. There's the land of vegetable people and the land of creatures made out of wood and the land of invisible people, etc...more

So im reading all the Oz books plus the side books, but feeling a little sick so review to come when i'm feeling better

Would I spoil things if I mention something that implied in the title? Yes, Dorothy got to Oz eventually, but it took her about two thirds of the book to finally arrive there. This time she was minding her own business riding from a train station to a Californian ranch where her uncle was waiting...more

Please note that this book will spoil events from books one through three. So if you haven't read those books, skip over this review.

My general feeling once I finished this book was eh.

I feel bad for saying this, but the charm of the first two Oz books has worn off of me. I had issues with book...more

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