Book Review : The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L.Frank Baum

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The Wonderful Wizard of Oz was the first book in a series of stories by L.Frank Baum, later reprints of the book took the name the Wizard of Oz instead which was the title of a highly beloved Broadway musical adaptation of the story.

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In the story a young girl called Dorothy who lives a grey and boring life in Kansas gets transported to the colourful world of Oz when she and her dog Toto are picked up in a cyclone.

The house they were in lands on the Wicked Witch of the East and kills her, an event which attracts the Good Witch of the North, Dorothy explains how she wants to go home and is encouraged to follow the yellow brick road to the Emerald city and seek the help of the Wizard of Oz.

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This all sound very similar to those who are familiar with the 1939 film starring Judy Garland, however I was surprised with how different the book was to this film adaptation.

I don’t want to give away too many of differences but I would like to talk about some of them with as few spoilers as possible.

The biggest surprise is the lack of a Wicked Witch of the West, she is in the book but only appears in one chapter half-way through the story so after her demise the groups journey is still not over.

There are various different lands and species in this book that do not appear in the film, one area that stands out is a land that is completely made out of porcelain china.

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A pre-warning that the book carries quite a heavy body count of various creatures that are slain by the four heroes of the story (Scarecrow, Lion, Tin-Man and Dorothy), these are not too graphic but younger readers may find them a little bit disturbing.

I love the 1939 film but I think I prefer this version as I felt that this adventure was so much more interesting and intense. I loved the character developments and the conversations they would have, one of my favourite moments in the book was when the Tin-Man and the Scarecrow were debating whether its better to have a brain or a heart, the characters have back stories in this too explaining how they became the way that they are, the Tin-Man’s backstory is particularly quite tragic.

This is a wonderful book and to be honest I was expecting to read a story I already knew and was pleasantly surprised when I read this and it was almost completely different and that reason alone is a great reason to pick up a copy and check it out for yourself.

I hope you enjoyed this review of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L.Frank Baum

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Book Review: The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

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The Hunger Games is the first in a trilogy of rather gruesome books written for Young Adults, the book takes place in North America however it is now a large city called Panem, Panem has twelve districts within its borders and each district is controlled by the Capital, the districts are all slightly different for example one district may focus heavily on coal mining while another may focus more on harvesting crops, these districts tend to be filled with lower and middle class citizens while the upper class who can afford a life of luxury live in the Capitol.

The Capitol holds an event every year called the Hunger Games and during the event two tributes one boy and one girl from each district are chosen at random to take part in a  live event where they will fight to the death in order for both them and their families to be able to live a better lifestyle by moving out of the district and into the Capital.

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The main protagonist of the series is Katniss Everdeen a 16 year old girl from District 12, Katniss lost her father in a coal mining accident and due to her mother being very sick has too put all of the food on the table and takes care of both her mother and little sister Prim, The first Hunger Games book is a thrill ride from beginning to end, in my opinion it only gets really good once the actual Hunger Games begin, its during the games that you get to see the strengths and weaknesses of each character although the book mostly follows Katniss on her journey, the book is a lot better than the movie in my opinion as I felt that the characters were better presented here and also certain events were better written than they were portrayed in the film.

The Hunger Games is emotional, tragic and intense all the way through and its bound to keep you interested, at some points I got so lost in the book that time would just fly by without me realising, its one of the best books I’ve read in a long time and it is a great start to my Reading schedule for 2018

Book Review: Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by J.K. Rowling

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Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets is the second book in the Harry Potter franchise, the book was written by one of my all time favourite authors J.K. Rowling and it was published in book stores on the second of July 1997 just one year after the release of its predecessor.

As a child the Chamber of Secrets was my favourite book in the Harry Potter series and at the moment that opinion is still the same, Harry’s second year at Hogwarts spawned many of my favourite characters and moments in the story, I would say that the most memorable for me would be Gilderoy Lockhart the new defence against the dark arts teacher who is a snobby, big headed and manipulative liar which is written to be obvious to the reader at first but throughout the book you start to learn of some of the more horrid things he has done to become as famous as he is, of course you cant forget the introduction to the Whomping Willow either, the Whomping Willow is an extremely violent tree that lives on the Hogwarts Castle grounds, its notorious for attacking anyone or anything that comes near it by swiping at them with its massive branches and in most cases causing very serious damage, then there’s Harry’s weird first encounter with Dobby the house elf and finally you cant forget that this book also reveals the true identity of Lord Voldermort who had not been completely defeated at the end of the first book.

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Speaking of the first book it should be noted that the second entry in the series is much darker and is therefore mildly scarier in comparison, the book deals with some rather grizzly topics including the murder of a student, hearing voices, numerous students being petrified by an unknown force and certain creatures wanting to devour the flesh of Harry and Ron.

If you are a fan of the Harry Potter movies then you may be interested in reading the second novel since a lot of moments in the book were missing from the film adaptation, in particular my favourite chapter “The Deathday Party” where Harry, Ron and Hermione join the ghosts of Hogwarts in the dungeons to help celebrate Sir Nearly Headless Nick’s day of passing is one of my fondest memories of reading the Chamber of Secrets as a child, on top of this J.K. Rowling yet again does a fantastic job of making all of the characters lovable apart from the the more villainous ones and when the mystery of the book is finally solved it actually links back to the early chapters which is great because not only does that prove that J.K Rowling didn’t just throw together some half arsed answer but the reader is able to actually solve the mystery themselves before the answer is revealed which only makes the book worth reading even more.

Thank you for reading this review of Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets by JK Rowling

you can contact me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

That was the last review for this month but April is going to be entirely dedicated to one of the most influential film directors of all time so look forward to that.

Book Review: Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carrol

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Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland is one of the most famous books of all time and its also one of my personal favorites, please follow me down the rabbit hole as I review this masterpiece of classic English literature.

So if you dont already know the book follows the adventures of a curious young girl called Alice through a magical world of weird and unusual things.

Alice is a very mature person but she is also very naive and she has unrealistic views on how the world should work.

One day she is sitting on the bank with her sister who is reading a very boring book with no pictures, Alice complains about this and talks about how in her perfect world books would be nothing but pictures, she ends up seeing a white rabbit in a waist coat run past the bank, this makes Alice curious and so she follows the rabbit down a rabbit hole and into the unusual world of Wonderland.

Without giving away any spoilers I will say that the novel is very different to the Walt Disney version of Alice in Wonderland, where the Disney film is very light hearted and comical, the book has a bit more of a darker tone and it also tackles a lot of adult themes including Puberty (Even though its written as a metaphor, its still obvious what the book is trying to portray)

I’m not saying that the book isn’t kid friendly but I would say that you may want to read this one with your child.

There are a lot of new characters in this book that you wont recognize from the film, the most memorable for me are the Mock Turtle and Gryphon.

Alice is a lot more bearable in the book as she is more independent and she is able to think for herself almost all of the time.

This is a fantastic book and overall I think it spreads a good message, that there does come a time to grow up and that life wont always go as we plan, the book is great way of showing people that living in a world with no rules and no consequences can be just as bad if not worse than living in a world that does have rules and consequences that follow.

Whether you like the film or not, I think everyone should read this book at least once, I have read the book multiple times and I’m not planning to stop any time soon.

Perhaps one day I will get around to reviewing the movie or better yet maybe even the second book.

I hope you enjoyed this Book Review of Alices Adventures in Wonderland by Lewis Carrol

If you respect my opinion, I will respect yours

you can contact me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com