Customer Reviews: Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz
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on January 9, 2003
While all of Baum's books are great, overall I think this was the one that I enjoyed the most. Like the very first book, the plot is simple. Dorothy gets pulled into a magical world against her will, and she wants to get home. She then goes through a series of adventures trying to achieve her goal. Although the book has "In Oz" in the title, Dorothy and the Wizard spend very little time actually in Oz. But don't let this put you off. The underground lands that they pass through are every bit as exciting and magical as the different lands actually in Oz. The ending (how they escape the underground world) is a bit weak, but the imaginative countries that they pass through and the adventures they have in each more than make up for this. Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz is a book that you will want to start reading again as soon as you finish, but don't. Go on to the next Oz book and then the next. While I believe that this was the best of the 14 original books in the series, they are all wonderful and I would recommend that everyone read the entire series from beginning to end. And then try the books written by some of the other authors. While none are as inspired as those written by Baum, many of them are very good.
And if you've read all the Oz books and are looking for other titles that are just as magical and just as inspired, try the Chronicles of Narnia, King Fortis the Brave or Abarat. All will introduce you to other magical worlds that are every bit as fun to visit as Oz.
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on August 9, 1998
This is one of my favorite Oz books. We see Dorothy and the Wizard reunite, of course, but there are some interesting things going on. The Wizard has become a grand character; Baum has thrown his own nature into him and has made him real to us. The Wizard is now a resourceful, sometimes devious, sardonic, yet compassionate man. The story delves into the bizarre with the Glass City and its vegetable people (and their gruesome demise). The Gargoyles are quite disturbing in their emotionally hollow, wooden world. The Braided Man of Pyramid Mountain provides dry humor (here we see Baum's love of puns). Esentially this is one of the more original works of Baum, with quixotic new characters, and further development of those we already knew. I think perhaps Ozma comes into her own in this novel; she is what a queen should be, loyal to her subjects, but not above the law; she is regal, kind yet firm, passionate and loving. Baum has created a fearsome yet beautiful per! sonage in Ozma. This is a great read; I would suggest it to non-Ozophiles so that the MGM movie can be challenged, and the true Oz can be appreciated in its majesty of fantasy, humor, horror, and splendor.
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on June 22, 2006
While not quite as compelling or dramatic as other installments in the Oz series, "Dororthy and the Wizard in Oz" is a pleasant follow up to "Ozma of Oz" (the strongest of all the early Oz entries). Baum doesn't try to accomplish too much in this tale--his main intent seems to get that humbug of a wizard back to Oz. Along the way there are some amusing adventures, populated with wonderful new creatures and characters. As a child, I especially enjoyed the scene (and illustration) in which the Wizard slices the vegetable king cleanly in half, though the escape from the gargoyles is also quite engaging. I think girls will love this book for the return of Dorothy and for the rascal, Eureka the kitten, while the boys will love the Wizard's dastardly sword and slights-of-hand that he performs throughout the book.
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on March 20, 2015
Originally posted, with appropriate formatting and links, at Fantasy Literature.

If you happen to know Dorothy Gale, let me advise you to stay away from her. The girl attracts natural disasters like she’s some sort of magnet. This time, it’s an earthquake. Dorothy and her cousin Zeb are traveling on a wagon in California when it strikes. Down they go into a big crack in the earth and keep falling until they land in a city made of glass buildings. There are several clues that they have entered a fairy realm: Zeb’s horse (Jim) and Dorothy’s kitten (Eureka) can suddenly talk, the Wonderful Wizard of Oz (who was also in California) shows up with nine tiny piglets in his pocket, and the inhabitants of the city turn out to be made of vegetable matter. Dorothy and her friends can’t get out of the earth the way they came, so they decide to try to walk to Oz where they know they’ll be welcome.

First they are nearly killed while trying to fight their way past the vegetable people. Then they are nearly killed when they travel through a land where the inhabitants eat a fruit that makes them invisible so they don’t get eaten by the local bears. Then they get captured and nearly killed by wooden “gargoyles.” Finally they make it to Oz where Dorothy introduces her traveling companions to all of her old friends and the reader gets to spend time with their favorite Oz characters (Ozma, Cowardly Lion, Tin Man, Scarecrow, Billina, Hungry Tiger, Sawhorse, Woggle-bug, etc.).
There are some continuity problems with Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz. At the end of the last book (Ozma of Oz), we are told:

…it was arranged that every Saturday morning Ozma would look at Dorothy in her magic picture, wherever the little girl might chance to be. And, if she saw Dorothy make a certain signal, then Ozma would know that the little Kansas girl wanted to revisit the Land of Oz, and by means of the Nome King’s magic belt would wish that she might instantly return.

But here Dorothy tells us:

“…Well, every day at four o’clock Ozma has promised to look at me in that picture, and if I am in need of help I am to make her a certain sign and she will put on the Nome King’s Magic Belt and wish me to be with her in Oz.”

Not only does Baum get it wrong in this book, but if Dorothy thought she had the power at 4:00 every day to wish herself to Oz, why the heck didn’t she do that instead of dragging her friends through all these life-threatening situations? Also, the invisible people warned Dorothy et al that they would have to sneak past the gargoyles, so why didn’t they bring the fruit that would make them invisible? Even the children who Baum is writing for are going to be asking these questions.

Still, Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz is fairly entertaining because it features the cute absurdities that Baum is so good at. There are a couple of thoughtful bits, too, such as the realization that if everyone in your town was invisible, you would care a lot more about your personality and behavior than about how you look or dress.

I enjoyed Claire Bronson’s narration of the audio version I listened to. You can “buy” the free Kindle version and then add narration for a couple of dollars.
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on April 17, 2016
Dorothy is visiting California when an earthquake strikes, sending Dorothy, Eureka her cat, Zeb, and Jim and his horse-cart inside the earth. Soon the Wizard and his nine piglets join them. Together, they embark on an adventure through the earth dealing with angry vegetables, invisible people and bears, and wooden gargoyles. Eventually they end up back in Oz where they are happily reunited with many old friends and the back story of Oz and the Wizard is explained.

Like the other Oz books, this fourth one included lots of fun wordplay. The story of OZPINHEAD was funny. I enjoyed Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz very much. I highly recommend it to people of all ages, especially those who are Oz fans.
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on March 17, 2011
Published in June 1908, Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz is the fourth book of L. Frank Baum's Oz series. Baum, the self-proclaimed Royal Historian of Oz, opens with a playful complaint to his "loving tyrants" that he has plenty of stories about other fantasy lands that he'd love to share, but he'll dutifully detail the latest of adventures of their favorite farmgirl Dorothy Gale.

Fresh off the trip from Australia, the high-spirited heroine is on her way to join Uncle Henry at a California ranch before heading back home to Kansas. With her kitten Eureka (yes, as in "I found it!") in tow, the girl is picked up by her second cousin and new friend Zeb and his old cab horse Jim when a violent earthquake opens up the ground and swallows them all. After a lengthy tumble and the realization that both Jim and Eureka can now speak, the travelers find themselves in the strange land of the Mangaboos, cruel vegatable people who blame them for the Rain of Stones and sentence them all to death.

Just then the humbug Wizard himself appears in a hot air balloon much like the one that blew him out of Oz so long ago. With his help, the others are able to escape these uncaring creatures and embark on an adventurous, many times dangeorus, journey back to the earth's surface. They travel through the Valley of Voe (a beautiful country where the people are invisible as well as the gruesome bears that eat them) and battle monstrous-looking Gargoyles (or Gurgles as Dorothy calls them), and climb the Pyramid Mountain before reaching the land of Oz.

Mr. Baum crafted another winner to the series with this one. First of all, the Wizard (whose real name is Oscar Zoroaster Phadrig Isaac Norman Henkel Emmannuel Ambroise Diggs) is back and we get a deeper look at his life before and after his reign over the Emerald City. Jim is a no-nonsense, at times gruff, character who gets a bit of a big head when he gets to Oz, but he's brought back down to size by some of the inhabitants. I loved that part. Eureka, Eureka, Eureka. How deliciously mischievous and unapologetic she is. There are several moments when she speaks openly about wanting to eat at least one the Wizard's nine pet piglets and never demures when the others scold her for it. Once in Oz, she's put on trial after one of them goes missing and never once does the obstinant kitten break a sweat.

The rest of the characters are enjoyable. Even the side ones like the Braided Man, an inventor who once lived above ground but fell into a hole of his own creation (he mostly manufactured holes for Swiss Cheese) and made his home halfway up Pyramid Mountain. He bides his time manufacturing rustles for silk skirts and uses colored ribbons to braid his long white hair and beard. He looks like a white Busta Rhymes or Lil' John. No lie. Lovely artwork as always by John R. Neill. His interpretation of the Wizard is less Mr. Magoo and more Robin Williams.

The downside of this installment is how much darker and more scary it is than the first three books. The hair raising encounter with the invisible bears in particular. I was also annoyed that Dorothy gets the "damsel in distress" treatment this time around. She's not exactly helpless, but she's not as headstrong as before and mostly relies on the Wizard for help. A small gripe that doesn't take away from the story. Enjoy!
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on October 14, 2015
L. Frank Baum fourth installment in the Oz series is ‘Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz’. This book takes us on another adventure with Dorothy. This time Dorothy is joined by her second cousin, Zeb and her cat Eureka and a horse named Jim. On the way they encounter an earthquake which takes them deep into the earth to the Land of the Mangaboos. Here they are re-united with the wizard whom we last bid goodbye in ‘The Wonderful Wizard of Oz’. Together, along with the wizard’s nine piglets, they must escape this whacky land. Towards the end we also get to meet Ozma, the sawhorse and the magical Emerald City.
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on June 14, 1999
I think Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz is a exciteing book which is funny and intresting in a lot of ways.I read all the Oz books but I think this one is one of his best!I definetly rate this a 5 star book! From Hallie McPherson
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on January 10, 2011
In this Oz adventure the wizard is reintroduced to the storyline in the darkest of Lyman Frank Baum's books about Oz. It starts with an earthquake and progresses through dark sectors of the earth. From the Glass city to the dragon layer near the crust of the Earth the whole story reminds me of Dante and his rungs of Hell, each layer having inhabitants that are queer and creepy. This dark adventure eventually concludes on a happy note but not before introducing us to exciting new characters and broadening the Oz universe. Dorthy and the Wizard of Oz is one of the stories I most cherish from L. Frank Baum because it is slightly creepy and dark. Amazingly creative and brilliantly written a book everyone will enjoy.
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on July 8, 2013
There are no pictures in this edition at all. Most, maybe all, of the original editions did have some pictures, which I would have liked to have seen. Also, as with the other free editions in this series, there are many typographical errors, mainly misspellings. There is also the occasional bit of text that's randomly bold for no apparent reason. I suspect that a printed copy of the book was scanned and run through OCR, with no follow-up accuracy check.

The story itself is pretty good. Although all of this series is clearly written for children, it's entertaining enough for adults to enjoy reading as well. But as an adult, I couldn't help but notice that many of the characters in all of these Oz stories, including the central characters, are often conceited, arrogant, and rude, yet at the same time, quite polite about it.
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