|Photo courtesy of wikifirsteditions.com|
I have always loved the story of Oz, and really enjoyed the classic film from 1939, The Wizard of Oz. But the 1985 sequel, Return to Oz, was my favorite movie as a child, and remains one of my favorite movies to this day. I also really love The Wicked Years series by Gregory Maguire: Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West; Son of a Witch; A Lion Among Men; and Out of Oz. I knew that Out of Oz was going to be released soon, but I thought it was sometime next year. Just now, while looking it up for this post, I found out that the release date is November 1st! Um, I know what I want for Christmas!!! And how funny is it that I read this book and wrote this post right before the release of that book! I've never seen the musical Wicked, which is based off of the first book from Maguire's series, but hopefully I can see it someday!
Anyway, I don't think I ever read The Wonderful Wizard of Oz as a kid, even though I was such a big fan of Return to Oz. And, reading it now, I was surprised to find that it is so different from the 1939 movie adaptation! I mean, I know that something is always lost when a book is adapted into a movie, but for some reason, I didn't think it would be that way with this book. But there were plenty of differences. First of all, there is much more to the story than in the movie (and of course that is to be expected). Also, there is no mention of it all being Dorothy's dream. At least, it wasn't in this book. L. Frank Baum went on to write several more Oz stories, so some of the things in the movie could have been from those books. Also, the shoes Dorothy gets from the Wicked Witch of the East were "silver shoes," not "ruby slippers." I'm assuming that for the film, since they were using the new technology of Technicolor, they wanted the shoes to stand out, so they made them bright red instead of silver.
Also, I was pleased to see that some of the characters and things that Gregory Maguire used in his retellings were actually in this story, like the character of Boq, the Winkies, and the Quadlings. I don't think these were mentioned in the film, and I always assumed that Maguire had made them up himself. So it was really nice to see that Maguire had obviously done a lot of research before writing his novels. I always assumed that he had done a huge amount of research, but I think he probably did a lot more than most people realize.
Overall, I enjoyed the book, and I'm glad I finally read it, although I really think that I like Gregory Maguire's stories better, and I'm looking forward to reading Out of Oz!