16 Sep 2015

Brain Soup Goes Gilmore: The Wizard of Oz

Brain Soup Goes Gilmore is back, hurrah! Dayeanne and Felicity skipped June to revamp the book club, but somehow a month-long break turned into a three month break (and I started wondering whether it was gone for good). They've done a lot of stuff to make the BSGG more interactive and flexible for members, which is interesting. This time around, they picked a few books that were mentioned in the show and allowed club members to pick a book (or a few books) to read. As it has been awhile, they started off with something simple - children's literature! I was quite excited by this option, because children's lit can be quite whimsical and off-beat. While I am familiar with the general narrative of most of the stories on the list, I had only read one of this month's options, and ultimately decided to go with something I hadn't read before. The options for this month were:

  • Alice in Wonderland
  • Babe
  • The Little Match Girl
  • Judy Blume (any book by her, as she's referenced multiple times in the show)
  • Rapunzel
  • Snow White & Red Rose
  • The Scarecrow of Oz
  • The Wizard of Oz
  • Stuart Little
  • Bambi

I was tossing up between The Wizard of Oz and Alice in Wonderland, but ultimately went with the former because I've never read it, even though I've had the Puffin Chalk edition sitting on my shelf for awhile now (but also because it's Alice in Wonderland's 150th anniversary in November, so I'm planning on saving my reread for then).  This one was, as presumably intended (by Daye and Felicity), a quick read - I read it in one sitting. Having grown up watching the film adaptation multiple times, I actually had low expectations going in. However, the film had changed more than I expected, so there were enough differences to keep me interested. The book is actually episodic, with Dorothy & co. encountering a new person or obstacle to overcome in each chapter. Rather than being an ever-present threat as she is in the film, the Wicked Witch of the West is introduced and killed off in a single chapter. I also finally found out why Glinda didn't just tell Dorothy how the shoes worked when they first met in the film - because she was filling the role of two characters (please believe me when I say that it has been bugging me for years). The books is charming, funny, and witty and I imagine would be enjoyed by children of all ages - it makes me sad I didn't get to visit this book in my childhood.

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