Friday, June 25, 2010

The latest Oz reading

I finished March Laumer's The China Dog of Oz the other day. It's been a long time since I've read a book by Laumer, but he was a prolific Oz author of the '70s and '80s. I corresponded with him for a while, bought many of his books, and was sad that I wouldn't be able to get the rest of his books once he died. But Oz fan extraordinaire Marcus Mèbés acquired the rights to Laumer's ouvre and reissued many of them in handsome, hardcover print-on-demand editions. So now I think I have the complete set...

Anyway, this book is about what the Glass Cat and the Woozy were up to during the second half of The Patchwork Girl of Oz, once Dorothy and the Scarecrow replaced them in the search party. They decide to go off on their own and see what they can do to help Margolotte and Unk Nunkie as well, alongside Toby the China Dog (the title hero) and Eureka. The manage to start an uprising of the insects of Oz, and help find some missing citizens of the China Country. Like a lot of Laumer's books, this one takes a lot of knowledge of not only the regular Oz series, but Laumer's other books as well, but at least there are footnotes to guide your way. The storyline also gets a little twisted and convoluted at times, but it all comes down to a satisfying end, and everyone gets what they want. We even get an inside look at the inner circles of Ozian politics. It turns out the Wizard and Glinda may have more to do with how the country works than anyone suspected. And Ozma's shortcomings as a ruler are definitely put under the microscope, but at least she recognizes them in the end.

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