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Visitors from Oz: The Wild Adventures of Dorothy, the Scarecrow, and the Tin Woodman Hardcover – October, 1998

3.3 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In time for the 100th anniversary of the publication of The Wizard of Oz, popular mathematician, pseudo-science debunker, professional literary eccentric and first chairman of the International Wizard of Oz Club Gardner (Classic Brainteasers; The Annotated Casey at the Bat) has cooked up this rather disenchanted bagatelle, mixing fin de (this) siecle satire with references to several childhood classics. As one would expect from the world's premier math puzzle expert, the book contains a little math puzzle. Dorothy, the Scarecrow and the Tin Man want to return to earth for a visit, but how can they get through the fourth dimension that separates Oz from earth? They do find an answer that is topologically sound, although not exactly easy to understand, and arrive back on the planet in time for 1998, where a good movie producer has summoned Dorothy to earth as part of a publicity stunt for a production of one of the Oz books. Another, evil movie magnate has other plans. Unfortunately, the magic of the Oz books doesn't survive arch references to Mayor Giuliani and TV newscasts. Although Gardner's introductory remarks about Oz are inspiring, this sequel (like the Scarecrow after his encounter with the Wicked Witch of the West) is just too disjointed to work. Color illustrations and spot art by Ted Enik.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

Gathering diverse information about the netherworld from myth, religion, literature, theater, art, music, film, television, and pop culture in a single, comprehensive volume, Van Scott offers a broad range of interpretations from hundreds of different sources, highlighting origins and disparities between descriptions (e.g., when describing the underworld depicted in Virgil's Aeneid, she makes reference to features of the underworlds found in Homer's Odyssey and Plato's Gorgias). Listings, organized alphabetically with cross referencing, vary in length from a quarter of a page for "Abbadon," the Hebrew word for destruction found in the Old and New Testaments, to several pages, as when the author highlights the visual appeal and psychological attraction of hell for music video performers. Hundreds of facts relating to hell make this fascinating reading, and Van Scott's fine research and treatment of the material enables the reader to grasp specific points with great depth. All libraries will do well to add such a contemporary title.?Leroy Hommerding, Citrus Cty. Lib. System, Inverness, FL
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 189 pages
  • Publisher: St Martin's Press (October 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 031219353X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312193539
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 6.2 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #4,996,213 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By J. Davis on April 11, 2006
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
After the publication of The Marvelous Land of Oz in 1904, the publishers decided to raise interest in it, though their publicity tools are very interesting in themselves. All at once, pins or buttons with a strange insect on them, bearing the slogan "What Did The Woggle-Bug Say?" began to appear. A newspaper carried reports of a strange monster terrorizing other planets by it's presence. However, readers of The Marvelous Land of Oz and anyone who happened to read a newspaper called The Ozmapolitan (which ran for a couple issues) had a better idea of what was going on.

Sure enough, August 28th, 1904, newspapers began to run Queer Visitors From The Marvelous Land of Oz, a comic page in which the Scarecrow, Tin Woodman, the Woggle-Bug, the Sawhorse, Jack Pumpkinhead, and the Gump come to visit the United States of America. The first seventeen stories ended with the question "What did the Woggle-Bug say?" The tale had ended with someone asking the Woggle-Bug a question and the Woggle-Bug's answer was not revealed. Children tried to discover the answer using clues in the text, written by none other than L. Frank Baum, or the pictures by Walt McDougall. Baum and Paul Tietjens, who had written the music for some of the songs as well as instrumentals in the original stage version of The Wizard of Oz, wrote a song called "What Did The Woggle-Bug Say?" After the contest stories ended, the series ran for nine more stories.

This was the beginning of a "Woggle-Bug" craze. Items directly connected with the series and items not connected with series appeared featured the Woggle-Bug, including The Woggle-Bug Game of Conundrums, the first toy connected to the Land of Oz.
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Format: Paperback
I've loved Martin Gardner's work for years. I've loved Oz for years. I /wanted/ to like his 1st Oz book, but I just couldn't. While he has interesting things to say and a few interesting characters, the levels of real-world negativity in the book were nothing short of crushing. The plot was merely adequate and the mechanics clunky. While Gardner was an Oz fan for much of his life (and a founding member of the Int'l Wizard Of Oz Club in '57, I recently discovered), it seems that he came to write his Oz book too late, after his cynicism levels had gotten too high to suppress in his writing and his sense of wonder had had just a few too many Wicked Witches attack it.
I really wanted to like this and I really didn't. (I'll also mention that the Posthumous John R. Neal Oz book, Illustrated by Eric Shanower, isn't really worth the time either, though it's not as bad.)
Sorry, Martin. :(
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Format: Hardcover
I have read all of the original Oz books by L. Frank Baum and some of the more recent ones. I can tell you right now that this book spoiled Oz for me. I can't imagine Oz having computers and telephones. The author may have tried to recreate the land of Oz, but he did not succeed. He kept going back to different books that Baum wrote about Oz, telling about this or that, and that was basically what the first two or three chapters were about! And also, I never really got into this book as I did with the others, for me, this book wasn't Oz. Gardner may have thought he was doing a good job, but I didn't. Oz is supposed to be a magic place, if there are computers and telephones and the like, it takes the magic away. And Glinda never had Oz transported to another dimension, she made it invisible or something, not to another dimension. For people who love Oz the way Baum and the other authors depicted it, don't read this book. It really does take away from the world that Baum created and others just improved upon. Gardner shouldn't have written this book, in my opinion, it shouldn't have ever been written. Just leave Oz the way it is.
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I was about halfway through reading this fine book for the first time, when I was shocked to hear that the author Martin Gardner had recently passed away. He was a mathmetictian and author, but most noted for his work on Alice In Wonderland titled The Annotated Alice. He was also a big fan of L. Frank Baum, to which he did a retrospective in his book The Wizard Of Oz And Who He Was. Gardner later wrote this book for the 100th anniversary of the original Wizard Of Oz. Set in modern day(when it came out it was 1999), movie director Samuel Gold wants to do a film based on The Emerald City Of Oz, so of course he tries getting Dorothy to help make it. He manages to email Glinda(who apparently was set up with AOL)and arranges for her to come to America, although Glinda had Oz sealed away from the rest of the world at the end of The Emerald City Of Oz, so she arranges for Ku-Klip(Tin Man's old tinsmith)to create a Klein Bottle to bridge the gap between to Oz and Earth. A "Klein Bottle" is like an inter-dimensional Mobius strip. They find that they have to install the bottle in the town of Ballville in order to be able to make it to America, so Dorothy along with Scarecrow and Tin Man head out to Ballville with the bottle. Along the way, they discover a doorway leading to Wonderland(yes, that Wonderland)and decide to give it a look. Once there, they find out the inhabitants there aren't as mad as Lewis Carroll advertised. After they come back from there, they have a run in with a pushy giant, but manage to finally make it to New York which is where the Klein Bottle leads to. They befriend Samuel Gold, however soon learn that he is not the most loved movie producer in town.Read more ›
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