The Road to Oz

by L. Frank Baum
Series: Oz 5
Reviewed date: 2010 May 3
272 pages
cover art

The fifth Oz book is a second-rate story. The story revolves around Dorothy trying to make it to the Emerald City in time for Ozma's birthday party. Along the way she meets:

  • Shaggy Man, a hobo with a magic Love Magnet that makes everyone adore him
  • Button Bright, a lost boy in a sailor costume whose favorite phrase is "Don't know!"
  • Polychrome, the rainbow's daughter
  • King Dox and King Kik-a-Bray, the kings of Foxville and Dunkiton, respectively
  • The Musicker, a one-man band whose breath produces music
  • The Scoodlers, a race of ill-tempered creatures with faces on the front and backs of their heads, who desire to make soup out of Dorothy and her party
  • Johny Dooit, a friend of Shaggy Man who shows up just in time to save them all from a tight spot

With all these wonderful characters, it must be quite an adventure, eh? No. It's not. After a few cursory setbacks, Dorothy and her new friends arrive in the Emerald City. We're treated to six chapters of filler, wherein Baum introduces us to a litany of crossover characters imported from his non-Oz books, who have conveniently arrived at Ozma's party just in time to convince us to buy Baum's other books. Then Ozma has her birthday party and everybody goes home. The end.

It's not a great Oz book, and I did not enjoy it.

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