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Archive for June, 2011

June 2011 in Black Lamb

Volume 9, Number 6 — June 2011

June 1st, 2011

The Black Lamb Review of Books VIII

In the cover story of this, our Eighth Black Lamb Review of Books, John M. Daniel urges a remake of the movie The Wizard of Oz that is more closely based on Baum’s ironic and imaginative novel The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Terry Ross discusses several books, old and new, in Spring reading. In Grandpa’s stories, Harvey Freedenberg reviews Tiá Obreht’s The Tiger’s Wife.

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Posted by: The Editors
Category: All Book Issue, Books and Authors, Month summaries | Link to this Entry

The lost wonder of Oz

or, Notes for the remake of an American classic

June 1st, 2011

BY JOHN M. DANIEL

It’s a common belief that if you have read the book first, and loved it, you’ll be disappointed by the movie. There are exceptions, of course, but I’ve found I agree with the cliché nearly always.

scarecrow.pngI read L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz before I saw the MGM movie The Wizard of Oz. It was the first book-length book I ever read by myself, and I have reread it many times, at least once for every decade of my life, every time discovering new truths. I have seen the movie several times, too, and I am brave enough to say aloud that every time I’ve seen the movie I’ve been disappointed.

It is not the purpose of this essay to trash one of America’s cherished treasures. Yes, The Wizard of Oz is a wonderful movie, the Wonderful Movie of Oz. Because, because, because, because the music is great; the special effects were stunning for their time and still hold up; the joy and hope expressed were an antidote to the Depression-Era doldrums; and of course there’s Judy Garland, who deserves her tenure in American hagiography. Believe me, I like the movie. But it ain’t the whole truth and nothing but the truth about the Land of Oz, and it falls short of the book.

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Posted by: The Editors
Category: All Book Issue, Books and Authors, Daniel | Link to this Entry

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