Top positive review
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A Great Collection for readers of all ages
on February 1, 2013
First let me start by saying that the Wizard of Oz was deeply embedded into my psyche long before I read the corresponding book. Every year they would play the Wizard of Oz much in the same way they'd show "A Charlie Brown Christmas" each year. It was a family tradition. And as I grew up I began hearing more about the movie, such as Judy Garland wasn't most people's first choice as Dorothy (though I grew up with her as Dorothy and I can't say that she wasn't right for the part...as to me she was Dorothy). I heard about the munchkin who was supposed to have committed suicide (only to find it was a rumor based on an ostrich type bird loose on the set)..and then I learned it was based on a series of books. But most were out of print when I found out, and I wanted to own them, not just read them from the library. So I waited. Eventually I picked up an ebook from Amazon, and while I love the Kindle fire I must honestly say I prefer physical books. There is nothing like closing a book after reading that final page. A sense of closure after committing yourself to immersing yourself into another world.
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. I am glad they chose the route they did. The first book contains the first three stories. Presented in a decent sized print (no bible sizes like most Omnibus type volumes)..it looks beautiful..my only wish is if they had made the design the cover (as the barnes and noble versions do with their leatherbound classics).. but the cover looks great and I feel as if I am holding a classic. I am unsure though if they play to include the non-Baum written Oz stories, as I only see five volumes listed and that should be enough for is stories. I do not know who wrote the subsequent volumes, or if it was based on his notes or whatever, but I am the type who does not believe once an author has passed that it's ok to continue his stories. Star Trek and Star Wars have so many books based on it, but it originated in a different medium. Star Trek started on tv then went to features, and star wars was in features as well as an animated story. So I do not mind them having many different authors trying their hands with the characters (though I only accept official sources as canon). But when you have a series of novels, and that is where it started, then I do not want someone who had no hand in it before, adding onto the storyline. That would be like a new cartoonist writing the Peanuts strip. So for me I only consider the Baum-written books the ones I must own. Hopefully if they are released to finish the set, it will be seperated.
That being said, these stories are great..and I look forward to reading the entire franchise. I am only doing this review now because I want others who search for Classics to know that this is out and that it looks great and is constructed with high quality. That is what I would want to know before I invest in collecting a series of this size. Also the price is right:). Hopefully other classic series will get this treatment as well (such as the Time Quintet)...Anyone wanting to enjoy classic literature and to add to their own libraries then this is a definite must have. A Great journey through a wonderful place filled with fascinating characters. You'll feel like a kid again...
Update: Due to questions I have received I feel Obliged to tell everyone that these editions are text only, and are NOT illustrated. It seems geared more towards adults who might read them to their kids or enjoy now that they are older. I have heard the bradford exchange has a unique collection of the baum books (replicas) that comes with bookends as well as slip covers. I believe those are $19.99 each though. as with anything they carry it's more a collector's item than just for casual fans. But if you are interested in just having a copy for your library these will do.