on May 23, 2000
This is Baum's last contribution to the wonderful series of Oz books. Having had this book for many a year it is good to see it back in hardcover. True there is the Del Ray paperback, but this one is the edition to get your children. Baum's books are still wonderful and magical today. His writing has a wonderful warmth and originality to it that one doesn't get very often. Even if your children only know of the film it's ok to get this for them. Dorothy and Glinda as well as all the other favorites from the MGM film are here with the new creations of Baum. Don't think this book is dull...far from it. Baum has written a very tightly plotted story with plenty of adventure. With all the original color plates and B/W illustrations from John R.Neil it makes a handsome edition to add to your collection.
on January 15, 2006
The last by the original author of the series, this shows how peacekeeping ambassadors (Ozma and Dorothy) can become involved in a dispute and detained, their mission pushed aside by evil dictators. The Su-Dic and Queen Coo-eh-oh are vain, evil adversaries, causing a "war" between two of Ozma's populations. When Ozma and Dorothy try to reason with both parties they are rejected by one group, and taken prisoner by the other. Glinda and an entourage from the Emerald City must rescue the group, aided by three enchanted fish, who must first endure the odd cabin of Reera the Red, the Yookoohoo.
A great end to the original series, and these facsimile editions were long missing from juvenile libraries. Two generations missed the original Oz series when it was out of print for 25 years.
Some time ago, I decided I would collect and read all 14 of the "Oz" books by L. Frank Baum. It took me a few years to find them all, but I finally finished my little project with "Glinda of Oz," Baum's final outing. Not one of the best books in the series but not one of the worst, either, "Glinda" falls somewhere in the middle. While visiting the good witch Glinda, Ozma and Dorothy learn of two factions living in a remote corner of Oz that are planning to go to war. Wanting to prevent such discord in her paradise, Ozma and Dorothy travel to this land to prevent the Skeezers and Flatheads from coming to blows, but wind up becoming prisoners in an island beneath a lake.
The biggest problem I have with this book, as with many of the "Oz" books, is that just because the title has a character's name in it doesn't mean he or she is the star. While this is one of Glinda's bigger roles, it's not really her book but more of an ensemble piece. Baum, as if he knew this would be his last outing, crams nearly every character he'd created into the rescue party that sets out to free Ozma and Dorothy (but no Hungry Tiger, sadly), and most of the characters featured in that rescue don't have much to do but stand around befuddled.
The story has a fair amount of magic and introduces a few new characters, but no particularly memorable ones. Though there's nothing really bad about it, the book is noteworthy mainly because it's Baum's last before he died and Ruth Thompson took over the series.
Wow. All this time and I've finally finished reading Baum's "Oz" books. Heh. Time to start looking for the ones written by everyone else...
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.
on May 21, 2016
I hadn't read the Oz books as a child so I decided I should give them a try. I suppose, were I a child of about 7 or 8, the book might have appealed to me. However I have read many children's books and enjoyed them. I didn't really enjoy this book. I read it to read it. It seems to me that perhaps as with modern authors someone wanted motor Oz books and so the author cranked them out. I won't rate it a one star but I didn't find it that great a read either.
on June 19, 2006
...come to an end, so perhaps it's fitting that the last Oz book to be penned by L. Frank Baum was about Glinda, the good witch. This book always left me a little sad as a kid, thinking that it was the last of the original series. Baum seemed to really find his stride with in the last few books of the series, with such excellent installments at "The Lost Princess of Oz", "The Tin Woodman of Oz", "The Magic of Oz" and--of course--this one. Baum shows a lot of ingenuity in this book and the sinking of the city underwater reminds me of a work of science fiction--but of course, Baum has showed glimmers of this before, with the introduction of such characters as the robotic Tik-Tok. In many ways, Baum just seemed a bit ahead of his time, which is why, I suppose, his books remain so timeLESS.
on December 25, 2008
If WIZARD is Baum's ODYSSEY, this one is his ILIAD. It's the most conflict-centered piece except RINKITINK and maybe THE LAND OF OZ.
More than most, this book has a plot which begins, develops, and concludes. More than most, it lets you watch the magicians at work together, pooling their resources to accomplish a complicated task. More than most it raises interesting long-term questions about distant local wars and the responsibilities of great powers.
It offers some of the most interesting secondary characters: not just the Su-Dic and Coo-ee-oh who are plausible, vivid personalities, but Red Reera, Ervic, the "three fishes" and even the Su-Dic's golden pig wife. All outstandingly Ozzy characters.
This book also has a more sci-fi quality to it than usual, with a deadly poison capable of inflicting major environmental damage and an island held in place by an expanding metal column. (Baum shows he's not senile, by remembering that if you lower the water level and then raise the island, it goes way above the lake's surface.) The pictures of Coo-ee-oh's hi-tech magic instruments enhance the sci-fi feel. There's also a greater sense of real danger in this book than many others. The Su-Dic and Coo-ee-oh are as serious and ruthless as any of Baum's villians and there's nothing comical about either of them except maybe the idea of canned brains, which is presented as dead serious.
Some readers complain that it's not really about Glinda. OK, but is WIZARD really about the Wizard? Is EMERALD CITY about the Emerald City AT ALL? Also, SCARECROW.
More objectionable is the inconsistancy that Dorothy was wearing the Magic Belt the whole time, and should have been able to teleport home. Plus, didn't she learn in LOST PRINCESS to make wishes on it? Baum invested way too much power in the Magic Belt from the very beginning. Lifted it from the Tarnhelm in DAS RHEINGOLD but that's another review.
on April 8, 2012
Glinda of Oz was the last book in the original series about the beloved fairy land by L. Frank Baum, published posthumously in July 1920 (a year and 2 months after his fatal stroke). Where Baum's playful letter to his readers usually prefaces the text, a brief note written by the publishers takes its place. They say that unfortunately "The Royal Historian of Oz" was called away to a place (heaven) where other children can hear his stories, but he wrote this novel with love and care for his fans to remember him by and they all hope we enjoy them.
The book opens with Dorothy and Princess Ozma traveling to the Quadling Country to visit with Glinda, the Good Witch of the South. While looking through the Good Witches' Great Book of Records, Ozma discovers that a war is soon underway between the inhabitants of two lesser known parts of Oz, the Skeezers and the Flatheads. Both Ozma and Dorothy embark on a journey to both places in order to prevent warfare, but are made prisoners by the queen of the Skeezers, Coo-ee-ooh, and submerged in her underwater glass kingdom. It's up to Glinda and the others to set things right.
It's nice that Glinda finally has her moment in the sun. She's appeared in all of the Oz books, but never as a main character. Obviously the late Baum saved the best for last by allowing the Great Sorceress to show her stuff. Other favorite characters like Scraps, the Scarecrow, the Wizard and Billina show up too. One of my favorite parts of the story involves a new character named Ervic, a Skeezer who escaped the island before it was submerged, and his journey to the home of Reera the Red, a Yookoohoo (witch) who can transform herself, as well as everything in her home, into whatever she wishes. When Ervic first arrives, he finds Reera as a grey ape wearing nothing but a lace cap and an apron (to keep her cool in the summer heat) and does everything she can to run the boy out of her unwelcoming domain: making her creepy crawly pet spiders, a giant rat and a large crocodile bother him in order to make him run away. However, the boy stays calm thanks to 3 magical fishes who guide him through it all.
Although the Oz stories would continue under the writings of Ruth Plumly Thompson and many other authors, none of them could touch Baum's masterful mix of adventure, suspense and magic. What a send-off.
"In which are related the Exciting Experiences of Princess Ozma of Oz, and Dorothy, in their hazardous journey to the home of the Flatheads, and to the Magic Isle of the Skeezers, and how they were rescued from dire peril by the sorcery of Glinda the Good."
Always one of my favorite Oz books, Glinda was Baum's last and posthumously published. I cannot count how many times I have actually re-read it over the years-- that should be enough of a review in and of itself.
on June 20, 2010
In many ways this is a typical Oz book, with all the usual fun elements and characters.
But I've just re-read the series, and found something really troubling. Often in the other books the "bad" antagonist characters (the Nome King, Kalidahs, etc.) advocated or committed acts of violence. In the other books those characters are always foiled by their own foolishness and the kindness, gentleness, cleverness, and magic of our heroines and heroes. Unfortunately, in this book there are some disturbing moments of terrible behavior on the part of our beloved characters. Among other things, Dorothy talks about "whipping" the Pink Kitten! What the ?!?!?!?!?!? (Yes, the Pink Kitten is incorrigible and ultra-naughty, but still!)
I had forgotten how much these things upset me as a little girl. In the other Oz books Dorothy and Button Bright would never try to hurt another creature. This is so un-Ozish that it troubles me.
Glinda of Oz is still fun, but not a book I'd give my little girl. In my opinion better choices include Ozma of Oz, The Emerald City of Oz, The Patchwork Girl of Oz, and The Lost Princess of Oz.