Thursday, March 28, 2013

Audiobook Review: The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum

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Title: The Wizard of Oz
Author: L. Frank Baum
Narrator: Anna Fields
Publisher: Blackstone Audio
Edition: Unabridged
Duration: 3 hours 59 minutes
Summary: (taken from Goodreads)
Join Dorothy Gale, Toto, and all of her friends as they explore the incredible land of Oz. The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is American's most enduring fairy tale. From the moment Dorothy puts on the silver slippers (changed to ruby slippers by MGM to take advantage of their new advance in movie making: color) until the moment she clicks her heels and returns home to Kansas you will be swept away and captivated by her extraordinary story. 

Overall Rating: 3.5
I can't believe that after all this time of watching the movies and reading the books derived from the original story, I've never read the original! The Wizard of Oz is a cute, fun kid's adventure story that I could see young children absolutely loving. It is a bit simplistic in terms of writing and storytelling, but the message is timeless, and that counts for something. Careful parents -- this is the kind of story children ask to read over and over and over again.

And I would just like to say that I really like the message of this novel. I think it's gotten lost within the numerous retellings over the years, but I thought it was really heartwarming and a good thing for kids to hear. I do wish the witch were a bit more evil and scary, though. She seemed more of a side character than anything, which was strange, again, after seeing/reading all the adaptations.

As for the narration, it was good -- good pacing, intonation, etc. Anna Fields makes sure to give everyone distinctive voices and does a good job at that. However, it contains nothing spectacular that would make me recommend it over the print version. I think reading either version is fine, it would just depend on your preference. I do, however, recommend reading it. It is slightly dated and I think adults would like it for its cultural history, not necessarily because of its inherent entertainment value (Although I'm still reeling over the whole silver slippers instead of ruby slippers thing. So weird!). But I'm sure that kids will love it!