Book recommendation: The Marvelous Land of Oz, by L. Frank Baum

You may remember that back in December I recommended the first novel in L. Frank Baum’s Oz series, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. My plan at that point had been to read one Oz novel, then something different, then the next Oz novel, and so on.

Well… I failed at my own plan. I actually ended up reading a few different novels before I started on the second in the Oz series, The Marvelous Land of Oz. I’m a bit ashamed of that, but I’ve decided to move past it.

Instead, I’m going to focus on telling you why I loved reading The Marvelous Land of Oz as much as I did.

The Marvelous Land of Oz picks up not long after the end of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. Tip, who is under the care of the wicked old Mombi, escapes his caretaker’s house after she threatens to turn him to stone. He takes with him Jack Pumpkinhead, a figure of wood and pumpkin brought to life by Mombi. Together, the two friends travel the land of Oz, meeting new friends and making new enemies along the way.

This second novel brings back much of the whimsy and childish fantasy of the first in the series. Most of the characters have such a wonderful innocence about them, while others are far more cunning than I would have expected.

While I enjoyed everything from the characters to the plot, my absolute favourite part of this novel was the dialogue. I laughed out loud many times while reading, and I’m fairly sure I had a smile on my face the rest of the time.

If the rest of the Oz novels are half as good as the dialogue in this one, then I can say with certainty that I’ll thoroughly enjoy them.

Goodreads summary

First issued in 1904, L. Frank Baum’s The Marvelous Land of Oz is the story of the wonderful adventures of the young boy named Tip as he travels throughout the many lands of Oz. Here he meets with our old friends the Scarecrow and Tin Woodman, as well as some new friends like Jack Pumpkinhead, the Wooden Sawhorse, the Highly Magnified Woggle-Bug, and the amazing Gump. How they thwart the wicked plans of the evil witch Mombi and overcome the rebellion of General Jinjur and her army of young women is a tale as exciting and endearing today as it was when first published over eighty years ago.

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