ravenotation

My LibriVox recordings & my reading journal (solo Litblog).


The Wonderful Wizard of Oz; Notes on Chapter 16

Wonderful Wizard of Oz, The

Chapter 16. The Magic Art of the Great Humbug

Disclaimer: notes transcribed as is, no editing has been made so as to preserve my original feelings as I read the chapter.

Oz grants Scarecrow, Tin-man & Lion’s wishes and he does so in such a way that it reminds me of those snake-oil travelling salesmen frequently seen in old Western movies.
He really is such a conniving confidence trickster.
Lion’s comment about Scarecrow’s “bran-new” brains had me bark out in laughter. Sharp indeed.

Afterthoughts
How the hell did the Great Oz come to power?
He must be very charismatic as he is anything but powerful or magical. A Wicked Witch turned a living flesh and bone man into a living man made of tin, I think the group should consider finding a Good Witch to perform similar powerful magic instead of this fraudulent Great Oz.

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The Wonderful Wizard of Oz; Notes on Chapter 15

Wonderful Wizard of Oz, The

Chapter 15. The Discovery of Oz the Terrible

Disclaimer: notes transcribed as is, no editing has been made so as to preserve my original feelings as I read the chapter.

The citizens of the Emerald City are naturally excited to hear Dorothy’s news. The last of the Wicked Witches is now dead and by the hands of such a young girl. Of course it would astonish them.

The Great Oz doesn’t come as a surprise, due to the movie. The situation does take a little longer to unfold but the outcome is the same.

Glad to read that I was right about the special green spectacles. Most satisfying.

Afterthoughts
Now that the Witch is dead (no I’m not singing), the Great Oz has been revealed as a fraud & the Winged Monkeys are temporarily enslaved to Dorothy’s wishes, how will the story evolve.
A lot of things differ between this book and the movie. It has been a pleasant read so far, so much so, that I’d hate to be disappointed with the rest of the story. I don’t think I will be.


The Wonderful Wizard of Oz; Notes on Chapter 14

Wonderful Wizard of Oz, The

Chapter 14. The Winged Monkeys

Disclaimer: notes transcribed as is, no editing has been made so as to preserve my original feelings as I read the chapter.

The group is lost and on calling the mice for help, the Queen of the Mice helpfully inform Dorothy about the charmed Golden Cap that she is currently wearing. She uses her first wish from the Cap & asks the Winged Monkeys to help them find their way.
Of course, they can’t really refuse and so the entire party gets an airlift back to the Emerald City. During that time the King of the Winged Monkeys tells his tale.
His people’s enslavement to the whim of the Cap-wearer seems like a harsh punishment for playing a prank on the North Witch’s fiancé but even so, the Queen of the Mice did tell Dorothy that they are well known for their callous manner.

Afterthoughts
It seems that the Winged Monkeys may well make another appearance. Dorothy has two more wishes.
Even though she is back at the Emerald City, I have a feeling about the Great Oz (that has everything to do with the spoiler-fest of the movie).
Dorothy may need the Winged Monkeys assistance again, and probably will at some point free them. Even if it is unwittingly like her previous escapades.


The Wonderful Wizard of Oz; Notes on Chapter 13

Wonderful Wizard of Oz, The

Chapter 13. The Rescue

Disclaimer: notes transcribed as is, no editing has been made so as to preserve my original feelings as I read the chapter.

Dorothy is again a celebrated heroine, for in defeating the Witch she has saved the Winkies of the West from slavery.
Their gratitude is great and help both Tin-man & Scarecrow back to health. They are generous, adorning their saviour & her friends with gold & jewels.
The Winkies are reluctant to let Tin-man leave & ask him to stay and rule the yellow Lands of the West. Obviously he cannot as he must accompany Dorothy back to the Emerald City and claim his prize from the Great Oz.

Afterthoughts
This chapter is merely a break from the violence of the previous chapter. I’ve learnt a little more about the Winkies, who appear to be a very industrious people.

Dorothy took the Witch’s Golden Cap at the chapter’s close, with the next chapter being called “The Winged Monkeys” I wonder if the Good Witch’s kiss will protect her again, perhaps she & her friends are destined to save them also.


The Wonderful Wizard of Oz; Notes on Chapter 12

Wonderful Wizard of Oz, The

Chapter 12. The Search for the Wicked Witch

Disclaimer: notes transcribed as is, no editing has been made so as to preserve my original feelings as I read the chapter.

With the glasses off, Dorothy’s dress magically becomes white along with Toto’s fancy ribbon, which kind of lends weight to my previous thoughts about the protective nature of the green glasses.

There’s an awful amount of killing going on in this chapter. Especially from Tin-man and without any remorse, strangely enough.

I’m surprised with the Witch. She defeated Oz and drove him out of the Lands of the West but has difficulty dealing with Dorothy’s party. Resorting to using her, what amounts to, third & final wish with the Golden Cap. The Winged Monkeys know better than to harm Dorothy, due to the blessing visible on her forehead. That hasn’t helped Scarecrow & Tin-man, even Lion did not escape since the Western Witch wants to use him as a steed.

More is written about the silver shoes. The Wicked Witch of the West knows about the, apparently, powerful charm on the shoes. The author doesn’t let the reader know any more about them. Just that they hold great power, the Witch wants them & Dorothy is as clueless as I am about their true nature.

Hell-fire! The Witch doesn’t last very long, I expected her to last longer than one chapter. Baum didn’t make too much of Dorothy’s enslavement or Lion’s captivity. It was all over in so few words, although the actual experience for Dorothy seems to have lasted a few days.

Afterthoughts
After all the build-up from the Great Oz about the wickedness of the Western Witch, and setting such a horrible task as to kill said Witch, it’s all very anti-climatic.


The Wonderful Wizard of Oz; Notes on Chapter 11

Wonderful Wizard of Oz, The

Chapter 11. The Emerald City of Oz

Disclaimer: notes transcribed as is, no editing has been made so as to preserve my original feelings as I read the chapter.

Everything is green inside the City of Oz too. Not surprising, I’d have benn more surprised had it not been so. Dorothy shouldn’t be surprised either as her glasses, having a grent tint, would make most things appear green even if they were not. It is strange that there appear to be no animals. It wasn’t difficult to find glasses for both Toto & Lion.

I wonder why the Great Oz will only grant an audience to one of the group per day. He couldn’t be that busy surely. And what is he afraid of that he does not show his face to his people. He must be curious of Dorothy then, to allow her to see him. The blessing on her forehead and her silver slippers have done much for Dorothy’s good fortune.

Alas, the Great Oz dare not show his true face, he does appear to like disguises but at this point in the story, I can’t help but be influenced by the movie.
Concerning the task he has set, the murder of the Wicked West of the West, Dorothy does have a point. If Oz can’t kill the witch, what made him think she could. I’d have thought silver slippers & a kissed forehead can only help her so much.

Afterthoughts
I think I understand where the Great Oz must have gotten his reputation from. I am willing to bet the wizard has set the same demands to all who come before him asking for help. A reputation well deserved.


The Wonderful Wizard of Oz; Notes on Chapter 10

Wonderful Wizard of Oz, The

Chapter 10. The Guardian of the Gates

Disclaimer: notes transcribed as is, no editing has been made so as to preserve my original feelings as I read the chapter.

Lion wakes and the journey resumes. Following the road of yellow brick, they finally reach what seems to be the outskirts of the Emerald City. Instead of blue houses & clothes, it is all green. As I knew it would be.
All the residents are afraid of Lion but Dorothy plucks up the courage to speak to one them. A room & food is freely given and little Toto finally gets to eat. I don’t think he has eaten since the bread ran out some chapters ago. Certainly I’ve never come across a dog who actively seeks out fruits & nuts to eat. The woman who offers shelter has a husband who seems quite knowledgeable about the Great Oz. Unfortunately, the information he imparts isn’t very optimistic. How will Dorothy & party convince the Great Oz to grant an audience? Me, I’d sneak in somehow. There’s always a back door to be found when it’s important enough.

The Emerald City itself is exactly that, a city embedded with emeralds. No wonder the gatekeeper insists on making all of them wear special glasses. The light refracting off the gems is blinding, forcing all who live there to wear these glasses, even little dogs. It all sounds enormously impractical. And who the heck did they get to mine all of these emeralds, that would be a workforce to rival that of the pyramid builders.

Afterthoughts
This chapter seems more like a means to an end. Wake Lion up, get to the city. I believe the real adventure will begin very soon now, and I’m looking forward to it.