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The Road to Oz by Frank L. Baum

The Road to Oz (original 1909; edition 2008)

by Frank L. Baum

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Title:The Road to Oz
Authors:Frank L. Baum
Info:IndyPublish (2008), Hardcover, 144 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Road to Oz by L. Frank Baum (1909)

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    Lord Valentine's Castle by Robert Silverberg (aulsmith)
    aulsmith: If you enjoy the camaraderie of the friends on a series of adventures with magic things popping up but want something better written and more adult, give the Silverberg a try.

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Reread Summer 2004 from Gutenberg
  amyem58 | Jul 14, 2014 |
By some odd chance I can't explain, when I was really young the only Oz book I had was The Road to Oz. I had seen the Wizard of Oz movie, but I did not read the book until later, so Road was my introduction to Oz, and I am still very fond of its characters like the Shaggy Man and Johnny Doit.-though I now think Baum's statement that pretty little girls are never harmed by shaggy tramps could be dangerous. Even Allegro da Capo, the human musicmaker, still amuses me. The culminating birthday party may seem trivial compared to the climaxes of some of the stories, but it introduced me to Baum's non-Oz characters Who apper as guests, and I later hunted up those books too and enjoyed them. ( )
  antiquary | Feb 9, 2014 |
I really need to stop expecting these to have a plot, rather than a series of adventures culminating in someone going home again, but this one seemed even slighter than usual and I'm afraid just didn't do it for me. I didn't connect to the new characters (though delighted a little when old friends showed up), and nothing really happened. At least there were cannibals. (Well, I suppose they weren't technically cannibals. People-eaters, then.) ( )
  rrainer | Sep 20, 2013 |
I was a fan with the Oz series growing up, and it's great to know I'm still a fan as an adult! I love revisiting these books, they truly are timeless! ( )
  bereneezypie | Apr 26, 2013 |
The fifth Oz book by Frank L. Baum! I have to say I'm enjoying these - I find them very relaxing to read after a stressful day at the office! They are full of delightful whimsy, randomness and the childish magic of nursery rhymes and fairy tales. I love the illustrations (the editions I have been reading are illustrated by John R. Neill.) That all being said, they are pretty weird.

This book starts off with any parents worst nightmare - Dorothy meets a dirty homeless transient who then lures her away from her uncle's farm under the pretense of wanting directions to Butterfield. Okay, yes, the "Shaggy Man" is a good guy (well . . . . sort of, I mean people only like him because they have to - seriously, he has a magic "love magnet" . . which . . . this is just getting creepier.) But whether the Shaggy Man is a good guy or not, the implication is that it's okay for children to wander away from home with the first homeless guy who asks them to go on a walk, because good children NEVER come to harm. The book even says this, explicitly. How could any parents read this to their child? Why would Baum write it that way? Did they not have crime in 1909?

Anyway . . . Dorothy, Toto and the Shaggy Man wander into fairy land. On the way they meet a mentally challenged little boy called Button-Bright. I felt so sorry Button-Bright. He is a sweet little boy, delighted by the mechanical people and the animals they meet, yet the other characters are always making fun of him. At one point the Scarecrow launches into this long-winded and incredibly cruel speech:

". . . there are many kinds of buttons, you see. There are silver and gold buttons, which are highly polished and glitter brightly. There are pearl and rubber buttons, and other kinds, with surfaces more or less bright. But there is still another sort of button which is covered with dull cloth, and that must be the sort your papa meant when he said you were bright as a button. Don't you think so?" (p.210)

This is being said to a LITTLE KID who is lost, in a strange place and can't even defend himself. What the Hell, Scarecrow?!

They are also joined by Polychrome, the beautiful Daughter of the Rainbow, who spends all her time dancing around in her colourful gauze gown. Dorothy, Toto, the Shaggy Man, Button Bright and Polychrome wander from the Fox Village, to the Donkey Village and cross the deadly Waste, to make it to Oz in time to celebrate Princess Ozma's birthday. It's a grand celebration involving all the magical creatures of Fairy Land - even Santa Clause!

There's an interesting bit where it's stated that the citizens of Oz don't use money.

"Money! Money in Oz!" cried the Tin Woodman. "What a queer idea! Did you suppose we are so vulgar as to use money here? . . . If we used money to buy things with, instead of love and kindness and the desire to please one another, then we should be no better than the rest of the world . . . Fortunately, money is not known in the Land of Oz at all. We have no rich, and we have no poor; for what one wishes the others all try to give him, in order to make him happy, and no one in all Oz cares to have more than he can use." (p.155-156)

Now this in itself doesn't bother me, I find it interesting and it kind of tickles me how polar opposite it is to modern day American politics, BUT it's just so hypocritical. First of all, the Tin Woodman says "no one cares to have more than he can use" from his GIANT PALACE with its garden of life size statues of all his friends. Plus, the reader is constantly bombarded with descriptions of the rich silk and satin gowns and jewels and gold and palaces in Oz - talk about sending a mixed message! And furthermore, we know that not everybody in Oz gets all these pretty things because, in the second book, Jinjur's girl army stormed the Emerald City so that they could get to wear the pretty gowns and jewels. We know that there are farmers and craftsmen and soldiers in Oz - not to mention all the servants Princess Ozma has waiting on the royal visitors in her palace. Are the fifty servants who wait on the visiting Fairy Queens REALLY only doing it FOR FUN?

Okay, okay, I think I'm thinking about this too hard . . . these books are fun children's fantasy books, after all. Plus, I liked Santa Clause. ( )
  catfantastic | Apr 13, 2013 |
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» Add other authors (12 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
L. Frank Baumprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Neill, John ReaIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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To my first grandson Joslyn Stanton Baum
First words
"Please, miss," said the shaggy man, "can you tell me the road to Butterfield?"
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Please do not combine L. Frank Baum's The Road to Oz with the Little Golden Book adaptation of the same title, or with other abridgments, young reader's editions, anthologies, etc. Thank you.
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References to this work on external resources.

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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0688099971, Hardcover)

Dorothy and Toto are off again on an exciting adventure down The Road to Oz!

In order to help the lovable, ever-wandering Shaggy Man, Dorothy and Toto must journey through magical and mysterious lands. Soon the three are joined by a lost lad named Button-Bright and the beautiful young Polychromethe Rainbow's Daughter. With magic at work and danger about, these new friends must journey through cities of talking beasts, across the Deadly Desert into the Truth Pond, and through many other strange and incredible places before they can reach the Emerald City.

Along the way, Dorothy and her companions encounter a whole new assortment of fantastic and funny characters--the crafty King Dox of Foxville, the magical donkey King Kik-a-bray, the terrible bigheaded Scoodlers, and Johnny Dooit (who can do anything)--along with old friends Jack Pumpkinhead, Tik-tok, Billina, and, of course, the Tin Woodman, the Cowardly Lion, the Scarecrow, and the wonderful Wizard himself.

The Road to Oz is the fifth adventure in the magical Land of Oz. For the first time since the original 1909 edition, this stunning new facsimile edition illustrates Dorothy's fantastic adventures on different colors of paper reflecting where she and her friends are on the road to Oz. Featuring all of John R. Neill's 126 striking pen-and-ink drawings, this handsome deluxe edition is one to be treasured for years to come.

Afterword by Peter Glassman. This deluxe facsimile of the fifth Oz adventure reunites Dorothy and her friends for Princess Ozma's glorious birthday party. For the first time since the original 1909 edition, the 126 masterful illustrations are printed on colored papers, exactly as the author intended. A Books of Wonder Classic.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:37:03 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

Dorothy and her friends follow the enchanted road to Oz and arrive in time for Ozma's birthday party.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 6 descriptions

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