Glinda of Oz, Oz #14

Glinda of Oz (Books of Wonder) - L. Frank Baum

'The Wizard of Oz' was the first real book I read cover to cover, and as soon as I saw listings for 14 Oz books I wanted to read them all. It didn't happen, which was probably for the best, but about five years ago I acquired digital copies of all of them and meant to knock them all out during my then-long bus commutes.


Other than the first two sequels - 'The Land of Oz' and 'Ozma of Oz', which are vital, works of wonder - these books are disappointing nonsense. Scratch that. Disappointing garbage is what is was. Continuity is routinely flouted for no good reason and Baum aggressively advertised his other book series in hopes of getting kids and their parents (and his creditors) to stop forcing him to write more Oz books. No dice, pal.


And then there was the whole weird fairyland subtext that no one grows old or dies ever since, long long ago, the Fairy Lurline enchanted Oz and went on her merry way. People can be hurt, people can be eaten, or chopped up, but those pieces don't die. This is so much better than explaining death to little kids.


Baum is still capable of wonderful invention throughout this series, but its the laziness of his plots and characterization that make the books difficult to read. The plot here should have been decent. Ozma and Dorothy read in Glinda's magic book that two hitherto unknown peoples in a distant corner of Oz are about to go to war. Ozma and Dorothy wish to stop this so they head over there, and when they get in trouble, a rescue party of most everybody else in Oz goes after them, with mixed results. No one talks about the problems of war except in the most abstract terms, Ozma's argument is purely divine right and when that's rebuffed she just waits for someone to magic the problems away.


The best line was when the Patchwork Girl predicts that someday Button Bright will wander off and no one will find him again.


If you somehow have made it through these books and desire more, there are some 26 other Oz books that were published through the 20s, 30s, & 40s and more dribbling into the modern era.




Next: 'The Royal Book of Oz' by Ruth Plumly Thompson


Previous: 'The Magic of Oz'