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The Complete Oz, Vol. 1 Paperback – December 2, 2008
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Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
orothy lived in the midst of the great Kansas prairies, with Uncle Henry, who was a farmer, and Aunt Em, who was the farmer’s wife. Their house was small, for the lumber to build it had to be carried by wagon many miles. There were four walls, a floor, and a roof, which made one room; and this room contained a rusty-looking cooking stove, a cupboard for the dishes, a table, three or four chairs, and the beds. Uncle Henry and Aunt Em had a big bed in one corner and Dorothy a little bed in another corner. There was no garret at all, and no cellar—except a small hole, dug in the ground, called a cyclone cellar, where the family could go in case one of those great whirlwinds arose, mighty enough to crush any building in its path. It was reached by a trap door in the middle of the floor, from which a ladder led down into the small, dark hole.
When Dorothy stood in the doorway and looked around, she could see nothing but the great grey prairie on every side. Not a tree nor a house broke the broad sweep of flat country that reached to the edge of the sky in all directions. The sun had baked the plowed land into a grey mass, with little cracks running through it. Even the grass was not green, for the sun had burned the tops of the long blades until they were the same grey color to be seen everywhere. Once the house had been painted, but the sun blistered the paint and the rains washed it away, and now the house was as dull and grey as everything else.
When Aunt Em came there to live she was a young, pretty wife. The sun and wind had changed her, too. They had taken the sparkle from her eyes and left them a sober grey; they had taken the red from her cheeks and lips, and they were grey also. She was thin and gaunt, and never smiled now. When Dorothy, who was an orphan, first came to her, Aunt Em had been so startled by the child’s laughter that she would scream and press her hand upon her heart whenever Dorothy’s merry voice reached her ears; and she still looked at the little girl with wonder that she could find anything to laugh at.
Uncle Henry never laughed. He worked hard from morning till night and did not know what joy was. He was grey also, from his long beard to his rough boots, and he looked stern and solemn, and rarely spoke.
It was Toto that made Dorothy laugh, and saved her from growing as grey as her other surroundings. Toto was not grey; he was a little black dog, with long silky hair and small black eyes that twinkled merrily on either side of his funny, wee nose. Toto played all day long, and Dorothy played with him, and loved him dearly.
Today, however, they were not playing. Uncle Henry sat upon the doorstep and looked anxiously at the sky, which was even greyer than usual. Dorothy stood in the door with Toto in her arms, and looked at the sky too. Aunt Em was washing the dishes.
From the far north they heard a low wail of the wind, and Uncle Henry and Dorothy could see where the long grass bowed in waves before the coming storm. There now came a sharp whistling in the air from the south, and as they turned their eyes that way they saw ripples in the grass coming from that direction also.
Suddenly Uncle Henry stood up.
“There’s a cyclone coming, Em,” he called to his wife. “I’ll go look after the stock.” Then he ran toward the sheds where the cows and horses were kept.
Aunt Em dropped her work and came to the door. One glance told her of the danger close at hand.
“Quick, Dorothy!” she screamed. “Run for the cellar!”
Toto jumped out of Dorothy’s arms and hid under the bed, and the girl started to get him. Aunt Em, badly frightened, threw open the trap door in the floor and climbed down the ladder into the small, dark hole. Dorothy caught Toto at last, and started to follow her aunt. When she was halfway across the room there came a great shriek from the wind, and the house shook so hard that she lost her footing and sat down suddenly upon the floor.
Then a strange thing happened.
The house whirled around two or three times and rose slowly through the air. Dorothy felt as if she were going up in a balloon.
The north and south winds met where the house stood, and made it the exact center of the cyclone. In the middle of a cyclone the air is generally still, but the great pressure of the wind on every side of the house raised it up higher and higher, until it was at the very top of the cyclone; and there it remained and was carried miles and miles away as easily as you could carry a feather.
It was very dark, and the wind howled horribly around her, but Dorothy found she was riding quite easily. After the first few whirls around, and one other time when the house tipped badly, she felt as if she were being rocked gently, like a baby in a cradle.
Toto did not like it. He ran about the room, now here, now there, barking loudly; but Dorothy sat quite still on the floor and waited to see what would happen.
Once Toto got too near the open trap door, and fell in; and at first the little girl thought she had lost him. But soon she saw one of his ears sticking up through the hole, for the strong pressure of the air was keeping him up so that he could not fall. She crept to the hole, caught Toto by the ear, and dragged him into the room again, afterward closing the trap door so that no more accidents could happen.
Hour after hour passed away, and slowly Dorothy got over her fright; but she felt quite lonely and the wind shrieked so loudly all about her that she nearly became deaf. At first she had wondered if she would be dashed to pieces when the house fell again; but as the hours passed and nothing terrible happened, she stopped worrying and resolved to wait calmly and see what the future would bring. At last she crawled over the swaying floor to her bed, and lay down upon it; and Toto followed and lay down beside her.
In spite of the swaying of the house and the wailing of the wind, Dorothy soon closed her eyes and fell fast asleep. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
Top Customer Reviews
After getting the hardcovers, I went to find the spot I left off in The Marvelous Land of Oz and wasn't seeing the chapter. I noticed the top of the right page said "Road to Oz" which is a book in Volume 2, not Volume 1. So I thought I was being silly and looking at the wrong book, but nope, I was looking at the right one. One page (Page 310 I believe) was for "The Marvelous Land of Oz" and the next (page 311 i think) was for "Road to Oz" It kept going on with "Road to Oz" for about 42 pages and then switched back to "The Marvelous Land of Oz". I opened the 2nd volume to verify that it matched exactly and it does (same page numbers and everything). So there are 42 pages missing from "The Marvelous Land of Oz", causing it to be unreadable.
I DID find my spot in the paperback version before returning it, so the issue was only in the hardcover version.
I have contacted the publisher over a week ago and haven't heard back.
For right now, I've decided to just not purchase the books as they are not available locally (in hardcover anyway) and I'd want to know the issue was fixed before ordering them again. With that said, if anyone reads this that owns the hardcover version, I would greatly appreciate a comment letting me know if you have this issue as well. I assume it was an issue with a certain printing run of the hardcovers or something.Read more ›
I read the original book that the movie was based on, I was already informed that the movie took some liberities and combined some elements from other volumes. So I didn't expect to read a play by play of the movie. Though different, the story is still profound. A Joy to read. I then read most of the second book. But, by then I realised I must find this series in hardcover. I searched from time to time on amazon and finally found they'd be releasing it this year. So I ordered the first volume, and have received it. The second is on the way. I had figured they might do an all in one Omnibus edition at some point, much like you'd find in Barnes and Noble or in ebook form.Read more ›
Lines of text will inexplicably break into two paragraphs. Inverted commas are in the wrong places. Capital letters of names come and go. While it does no harm in the reading of such lovely tales (my first time and enjoying them immensely), these grammatical and printing errors do jar a smooth reading. Punctuation and the like should be invisible to the reader and, at times, I can't help wishing that the publishers had taken just a little bit more effort and its production.
Also, two columns would have made this so much easier to read, both for the eye and for ease in reading.
It should be noted that these annoyances can't ruin a good tale, and the Oz books are good tales, so points lost only for the publication, not for the content.
I love revisiting books like this from my childhood. It really brings about a nostalgia rush which I enjoy and reading lite children's lit like this from time to time is something I find relaxing. The books are still entertaining and they really do whisk you back to different time. However, I really wish the publisher had spent more time picking out a better layout for the type set.
For some sort of comparison of reproduced volumes of early 20th Century American publishing, I'd point out the Ballantine versions of Robert E. Howard. The huge difference here is that Ballantine is a real publishing house and Trilogus (who published these compilations) seems to be not much more then people publishing on Lulu.
So if you want a cheap version of these books then this is okay. The original text is here and it is a classic series. Unfortunately the layout is ultimately symptonmatic of a lazy publishing company.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
i loved it was very very hard to put down my friends often had to snap me out of it so i would listen to the teacher or speaker. no problems with it for mePublished 17 months ago by rainbowbutterfly
Arrived in excellent condition! Final book to my physical series and I downloaded the Kindle series as well! Thank you!Published 23 months ago by HalfDOreo
In order to follow the characters in Gregory McGuire's series and those in The Tin Man, I decided to read the original Oz chronicles. The stories, the physical presentation, etc. Read morePublished on January 6, 2014 by MIGHTY MICK
I was mislead by the size. I thought it was 2ft by 2ft not 2 by 2 inches ,therefore I was really disappointed.Published on December 8, 2013 by misia broadhead
Oz, the Complete Collection is a great path to remember childhood time spent reading favorite books. This is a great read.Published on August 20, 2013 by Tractor Lady
The tweens @ our library love these Oz books! I intend to get the rest of the series & donate them also.Published on June 20, 2013 by Mary