Favorite Books

  • Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.
  • Discworld series.
  • Good Omens.
  • Green Sky Trilogy.
  • Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy series.
  • Ishmael.
  • Misfortune.
  • Perfume.
  • Stranger in a Strange Land.
  • The Witch of Blackbird Pond.
  • Through the Looking Glass.
  • Winne-the-Pooh.
  • Witches Abroad.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

The Wonderful Wizard of Oz

     "WHAT?! You've never read The Wonderful Wizard of Oz?! Weren't you ever a child? Are you even American??"

     That is what you're thinking right now. Don't judge me. I was a strange child. When most girls my age were reading books such as that one, I was reading Stephen King- a pastime I was over by age 13. I liked horror and gore and Rambo First Blood Part II. I had read Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy five times before 6th grade. And I never liked the movie, The Wizard of Oz. I wasn't fooled by the green-skinned witch, the obvious segregation, the boring song and dance numbers (though I do love Klaus Nomi's cover of "Ding Dong, the Witch is Dead!"), the frightened, doe-eyed Dorothy. I had the moral of it figured out as soon as the Scarecrow said he wanted a brain. On top of that, I partially grew up in a pagan household, and though my step-grandmother had a really good sense of humor about villainized, Halloween-style, scary witches- even entering me into a costume contest dressed as a green-skinned witch when I was 6, I had a problem with witches being portrayed as inherently evil and supernatural. The whole movie just bored and bothered me. I wanted to be impressed. I just wasn't.

     When I was twenty-something, not long ago at all, my mom gave me a copy of Wicked she'd picked up at the Hospice Attic. I'd heard really good things about it, and thought the idea of telling a classic story from the perceived villain's point of view to be very clever. I absolutely loved the way Gregory Maguire breathed new life into the story and even fleshed out the myths, the characters, and the whole universe in which they lived. He gave the Wicked Witch of the West her motivation, a soul, and a conscience. He even made her sexy! Who wants to take me to the Broadway musical for my birthday?

     Cue forward to my very early 30s, and now I see the merit in reading classic children's books. So I picked it up and took it with me to the temp job I was doing. I read it in a day, and really liked the story as it was meant to be told. I was able to visualize it and believe in it. I think my favorite part, completely omitted from the film, was the little world of porcelain people. They were so tiny and fragile, and funny when they were offended by Dorothy's bumbling clumsiness.

     I don't mean for this to be a review of a book everyone already knows. I'm really searching myself for new impressions of old ideas, and my true feelings on classic and mythic archetypes. I'm searching for meaning in a world that seems to be filled with confusion and misunderstanding. I'm trying desperately to feel more alive and more human. I don't want to feel brainless anymore, and I very much need to feel that my heart is as open and big as I wish it to be. Most importantly, I want to find my own courage once again, because I'm finally Home, and there really is no place like it.


  1. You ARE on a roll!

    I love the way you think and write!

  2. Perfect end-of-spreadsheet treat. :) Thank you, honey!!!