The “Wonderful” Wizard of Futher-Mucking Oz
By Matt Youngmark
I’ve had this in my TBR Amazon cart for a while, and lo and behold, on Prime Day it was on sale! Used, but that’s ok. (Even more ok – it’s signed by the author!)
This is not the most original of books. A foul-mouthed teenager gets transported into a book and must play out the story in order to escape it and theoretically go home. Our foul-mouthed teenager is Arabella Grimsbro, our book is The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, and as we all well know, there’s no place like home.
Arabella starts her day at the mall and ends up in a weird store called “Voyages Through Literature,” which promises an immersive experience into a chosen work of classic literature. (I would have gone with Pride and Prejudice, but that’s just me.) Arabella picks Baum’s classic and instantly regrets her choice. It’s all a little too real, and she didn’t even really want to do this in the first place.
The story follows the book very closely, making the differences between the book (which Arabella had not read) and the movie (which she had seen many times) very clear. Matt Youngmark probably listed L. Frank Baum as a coauthor to avoid getting into trouble.
A point is made that the Scarecrow is kind of creepy and is incapable of swearing, and the Tin Woodman (not Woodsman like in the movie, but I agree Woodsman sounds better) is kind of hot. And The Good Witch Glinda is kinda sus. There is something different about the Wizard, but he also follows the script with his actions as close as can be.
Is this worth getting? Probably not. Just replace Dorothy with an angry teenager, and for the most part you have the same story. I mean, if you wanted to have a family book club where everyone reads the same book, you could give this to the teenager in the family (and maybe the parents) while the little ones read the original. The two will line up almost perfectly. It could also be good for a reluctant teen reader, I suppose. But if you’re looking for a different spin on the story, I’m certain there are better ones out there. (There are also at least two more books in the series, and the reviews for those are not very promising…) (Also note – the title has changed a bit on Amazon for… reasons…)
(This fulfills the 2021 CBR 13 Bingo square of “Home,” because there’s no place like it!)