The Marvelous Land of Oz by L. Frank Baum
Reviewed by Jason Koivu
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
A straw king? Transgender issues addressed? What in the heck's a wogglebug? Heaven knows what's going on here, but I like it!
Strange though it may sound, I preferred this sequel over the first book in L. Frank Baum's Oz series, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, from which most of Dorothy's famous story was drawn from to create the fantastic film The Wizard of Oz.
I'm beginning to think my reaction to the first book may have been prejudiced! You see, having only known the land of Oz from the movie, I was expecting that Oz, but that's not what The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is, not entirely.
After getting over that slight disappointment, I was able to relax and enjoy The Marvelous Land of Oz with its storyline completely unknown to me, its numerous unfamiliar characters and its delightful surprise ending.
Just like the first book, the narrative follows a similar "road trip" path in which the principle characters must journey on and on, overcoming occasional obstacles on their way to save the day, all culminating in a very enjoyable adventure indeed!
A bit of the old under the microscope treatment...
One point I'll focus in on in particular was the sexism/feminism. For the time in which it was produced (pre-women's suffrage) I wasn't too surprised to see stereotypical depictions of women, or more specifically, girls. However, I was happy to see various forms of female empowerment balancing it out. That sort of sensitivity towards gender issues seems rare for its time. Perhaps I shouldn't be surprised. After all, Baum was writing with a female audience in mind, as that's where his fan base overwhelmingly lay.