This is another reread and a funny one — although actually this a relisten to a book I read as a kid.
More or less this is the movie. There’s some minor difference, including and especially the scope and role of the Wicked Witch. And the movie is entirely brilliant in the ways it balances the B/W Kansas scenes and the color/Oz scenes, as well as the doubling of the casting.
The other thing that’s really interesting is that whatever the limitations of the book — and there’s plenty — L Frank Baum wrote 13 more books in the series. And if not the first, definitely one of the most famous book “series” out there.
It’s got the same problem a lot of books early in the exploration of any genre is — it’s making things up as it goes along and sometimes that’s great and sometimes that’s terrible. Here it’s a mix. The worst thing a genre text can do is feel arbitrary in its choices. A lot of science fiction works that way, and early fantasy OFTEN works this way. I ended up liking this more this time around from when I read when I was younger, mostly because I have better appreciation for the storytelling aspects, the historical importance, and the sort of extra things that comes along with a book like this. What I didn’t like as a kid is that it just wasn’t the same thing as the movie, and I watched movie dozens of times as a kid.