Dorothy The Darker Side of Oz by Scott Stanford is a modern, dark interpretation of the classic "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" (originally written by L. Frank Baum).
Having seen the original film a number of times (not a fan but the family are) and not actually having read the book, my interpretation of the Wizard of Oz is one of bright colours, corny simplistic dialog and low tech set pieces, created primarily for a younger audience in a more innocent era. Dorothy, The Darker Side of Oz is almost the exact polar opposite, dark and quite graphic in nature.
The novel jumps straight into action from the very word go with dorothy arriving in the world of Oz within the very first few pages. Finding a twisted race of Munchkin's under the thrall of the Witch of the East and a stained, cracked yellow brick road, a road she must take if she is to find the Emerald City and the incumbent Wizard of Oz. On the way she will still find the brain deprived Scarecrow, the heartless Tin man and the lion (incarcerated at Mr Jack's infernal carnival).
The Darker side of Oz is quite far removed from the original vision, while the basic plot is roughly the same, the journey is quite different. Not knowing quite what to expect, it did take time to get used to the style of narration but this alternative world is richly presented and the characters engaging. It's all too easy to dismiss a novel that is essentially a re-write of a classic story but Dorothy a Darker Side of Oz is told in such a way to give a pretty unique, dark and quite twisted vision.
Packed full of strange creatures, crazy characters and carnivorous fauna, the Darker Side of Oz is a rewarding journey along a crumbling, blood stained and dangerous yellow brick road.
Written on Saturday 17th July 2010 by Antony.
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