Gapers Block has ceased publication.

Gapers Block published from April 22, 2003 to Jan. 1, 2016. The site will remain up in archive form. Please visit Third Coast Review, a new site by several GB alumni.
 Thank you for your readership and contributions. 


Wednesday, May 12

Gapers Block

Gapers Block on Facebook Gapers Block on Flickr Gapers Block on Twitter The Gapers Block Tumblr

Book Club
« Ray Bradbury Loves Graphic Novels La Perdida Discussion Questions »

News Tue Aug 04 2009

The Wizard of Oz: Book vs. Movie

wizard_title_page.jpgAnthony Horowitz of the Telegraph writes that he hated the movie version of The Wizard of Oz as a child. He notes that there are vast differences between the book and the movie, and those of us who read the book in August 2008 will certainly agree. Here Horowitz expounds on L. Frank Baum's life, revealing him to be a failure at several careers and something of a white supremacist (wasn't aware of that one myself), and explores what makes Oz such a fascinating world. Says Horowitz on one of the major differences between the movie and the book:

...the storytelling is surprisingly violent. The film gave us the winged monkeys but spared us the wild crows, sent out by the Wicked Witch with the command: 'Peck out their eyes and tear them to pieces!' Forty of them are strangled by the Scarecrow who is probably not singing while he does it, while in the same chapter 40 wolves are decapitated by the Tin Man.

Forty wolves and 40 crows. I'm not sure those numbers are accidental for it seems to me that the books could have been almost purposefully in the style of the Bible. We are given as much detail about Oz as we are about the Garden of Eden. God-like archetypes - the wizard in particular - loom over the action. Things happen because they must.

GB store
GB store
Gapers Block presents Tuesday Funk, Chicago's ecclectic monthly reading series.
GB store



About GB Book Club

Book Club is the literary section of Gapers Block, covering Chicago's authors, poets and literary events. More...

Editor: Andrew Huff,
Book Club staff inbox:



 Subscribe in a reader.

GB store

GB Store

GB Buttons $1.50

GB T-Shirt $12

I ✶ Chi T-Shirts $15