Thursday 24 June 2010

Review: The Wizdom of Oz

Hitting the shops tomorrow is a book called The Wizdom of Ozby Philippa Merivale, but I was lucky enough to be sent a review copy earlier in the month. (Getting advance copies of lovely new books is one of the best perks of writing a blog!)

The Wizdom of Oz is a sort of book within a book. One one hand it follows the lives of a teacher and a group of students in their final months at college before they graduate; on they other it is an analysis of the symbolism found within the novel The Wonderful Wizard of Ozby L Frank Baum.

The teacher, Professor Theo, is obviously popular with his pupils, who happily agree to meet him after school each week to study Baum's novel. They identify with the novel's main character, orphan Dorothy, who was sent to live with her dull relatives in boring Kansas, with a nasty neighbour and no friends. At times everyone feels their life is miserable and they are powerless to change it.

As they read the novel, following Dorothy on her journey to the Land of Oz and then via the Yellow Brick Road in search of the wizard who can solve all her problems, the students learn that it can be read as an allegory. The Yellow Brick Road is the road of following our dreams, full of adventures that test us, teach us about ourselves and eventually give us the strength to face our fears.

The witches within the book are also seen as symbolic; The Wicked Witch of the West representing how jealousy and hatred can blind us to the good things in life, and the Good Witch of the North representing the power of love and hope that can open our hearts to happiness.

Publisher O-Books says:
"Read this book and find your very own yellow brick road to enlightenment! Have you ever felt short of direction or personal power, been out of a job or out of love? Then take solace. In The Wizdom of Oz, old professor Theo takes a bunch of his best-loved students on a journey through this brightly-lit and colourful place, the mythical planet of Oz, where the hearts and minds of its inhabitants and its visitors is more visible than they are in the half-light, or the humdrum of ordinary existence on planet Earth. He shows them what this place, or this state of mind, really has to offer anyone ready to follow their hearts and light up their lives."
The Wisdom of Oz is a really good book to read when you feel life's problems have worn you down and you need a bit of encouragement to brighten up your life - much like the novel and the movie that inspired it, really.

The Wizdom of Oz, a DVD of the movie The Wizard Of Oz [1939]and the original book containing the story The Wonderful Wizard of Ozare available through Amazon.

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (Penguin Popular Classics)
The Wizard Of Oz (3 Disc Collector's Edition) [DVD] [1939]

1 comment:

James C. Wallace II said...

Would you consider reviewing my two novels, Magician of Oz and Shadow Demon of Oz? I'm certain you'll find them very entertaining and, of course, there are witches involved.
If so, please contact me at and I'll provide you a pdf of both books.

Per Ardua Ad Alta!

James C. Wallace II
Royal Liaison to Princess Ozma