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The Master Key

L. Frank Baum

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Book Excerpt: 
. . .I will grant."

Rob shook his head regretfully.

"If I were a great electrician I should know what to ask," he said. "But I am too ignorant to take advantage of your kind[20] offer."

"Then," replied the Demon, "I will myself suggest the gifts, and they will be of such a character that the Earth people will learn the possibilities that lie before them and be encouraged to work more intelligently and to persevere in mastering those natural and simple laws which control electricity. For one of the greatest errors they now labor under is that electricity is complicated and hard to understand. It is really the simplest Earth element, lying within easy reach of any one who stretches out his hand to grasp and control its powers."

Rob yawned, for he thought the Demon's speeches were growing rather tiresome. Perhaps the genius noticed this rudeness, for he continued:

"I regret, of course, that you are a boy instead of a grown ma. . . Read More

Community Reviews

This is an entertaining book, and it's quite different from the Oz series. The premise is that budding electrician Rob Billings Joslyn accidently summons the Demon of Electricity with his experiments. The Demon of Electricity is NOT the "minion of Satan" variety. It's more like the old term "daemon"

This is not one of L. Frank Baum’s best known works, and it probably should not be compared to the Wizard of Oz. Yet it is well worth the read, even if it is just to see what a great thinker predicted, in 1901, would be the most important electrical inventions of the following century. If you’re wan

L. Frank Baum is most famous for "The Wizard of Oz" series. It made him the first successful American author of children books. He didn't stop there--he wrote over forty other novels. He wrote this on in 1901, which is one year after the first Oz book was published. A boy named Rob is fascinated wit

eponymous sentence:
p11: "Because you have touched the Master Key of Electricity, and I must obey the laws of nature that compel me to respond to your summons."

p80: The man seemed to understand, by he would not let the glittering instrument out of his possession.

p91: Thereupon he descended un

In Baum's only foray into Science Fiction, he predicts cell phones, tablets, wireless communication, and the 24 hour news aspect of the Internet encapsulated in an technology-driven twist on the genie in the bottle story. The writing is definitely geared toward preteen boys, is couched in the pervas

Probably the weakest book I've read by Baum. The characters are not interesting, and the plot feels very sketched in; there's also a lot of racial stereotyping. The look at technology and the ending are interesting.

ENGLISH: Although the boy who is protagonist of this fantastic novel learns quite a lot during his adventures, and to a certain extent matures and makes the correct decision at the end of the book, I must admit that at no time I found him especially nice or felt identified with him.

The demon of elec

This was surprisingly good. Baum has the Oz books, but not all of his other works (or even some of the Oz books) are winners, so glad to find another of the good ones. The only unfortunate part of the book is that it reflects the stereotyping and colonialism of the time (the island of the cannibals)

It was fun reading this book. Takes you back to elementary grade level. It's a kid adventure, nice to read a fiction that makes you feel like a little kid again. Made me look back to memories in third grade. The class room had one book shelf 4 feet tall with around 100 paper back books to select fro

After reading all the Oz books I thought about reading Baum's other books that I own. I only started with this one because it the first one in a collection of stories by him. I will be reading the other because they look more promising, but I didn't really like this one and didn't think I would eith

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