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Arbie's Unoriginally Titled Book Blog

It's a blog! Mainly of book reviews.

Currently reading

Ack-Ack Macaque
Gareth L. Powell
Progress: 249/792 pages
V for Vendetta
David Lloyd, Alan Moore
Progress: 82/296 pages
Introduction to Topology
Bert Mendelson
Progress: 10/224 pages
Basics of Plasma Astrophysics
Claudio Chiuderi, Marco Velli
Progress: 58/250 pages
Ursula K. Le Guin: The Complete Orsinia: Malafrena / Stories and Songs (The Library of America)
Brian Attebery, Ursula K. Le Guin
Progress: 454/700 pages
A Student's Guide to Lagrangians and Hamiltonians
Patrick Hamill
Progress: 7/180 pages
Complete Poems, 1904-1962
E.E. Cummings
Progress: 204/1102 pages
The Complete Plays and Poems
E.D. Pendry, J.C. Maxwell, Christopher Marlowe
She Stoops to Conquer and Other Comedies (Oxford World's Classics)
Henry Fielding, David Garrick, Oliver Goldsmith
Progress: 256/448 pages
Gravitation (Physics Series)
Kip Thorne;Kip S. Thorne;Charles W. Misner;John Archibald Wheeler;John Wheeler
Progress: 48/1215 pages
The Wizard of Oz - L. Frank Baum I once saw an obscure movie-musical with this title but only many years later did I discover that it was an adaptation of a famous children's book. I decided to find out if, like so many other movie-from-book adaptations, the book was the superior work. It turned out that, indeed, the film was much the weaker of the two. Here's why:

The story is action-packed where-as the film is quite dull. The story has only one person sing one song, where-as the film has numerous pointless song-and-dance sequences involving heaps of folks. Toto is cuter in the illustrations than in the film (especially when he has to wear green-tinted glasses).

I was most astonished by Dorothy's remarkable talent for accidentally destroying Wicked Witches - she wipes out the entire population in Oz. Which leads to a really strange aspect of the book. The Land of Oz does not really conform to my knowledge of it. I mean, I've never been there, but Baum describes it as a cultivatable land surrounded by a desert, where-as I'm fairly confident that actually the desert is in the centre and the cultivatable land surrounds it! Also, Baum describes various strange folk and even stranger animals. Now, I know there are Aboriginies in Oz, but they seem to be physically and mentally normal folks, rather than being made of, say, china, tin or straw. Also, the strange animals Baum describes seem to bear no relation to the marsupials I've seen in documentaries. Perhaps Baum should have done some research first? Also, it seems entirely preposterous that a cyclone could transport an entire house from Kansas all the way across the Pacific.

Despite all these freaky, unbelievable and inaccurate elements to the story, The Wizard of Oz is an amusing tale - though not really living up to its fame or deserving of even a very bad film adaptation.