Monday, February 20, 2012

The Latest Oz Reading

I just finished Sam Steele's Adventures: The Treasure of Karnak by L. Frank Baum (originally published as The Boy Fortune Hunters in Egypt by "Floyd Akers") just moments ago. It was, like most of Baum's other juvenile adventure books, pretty American-centric. Sam and the boys come in and steal treasures from Egypt! Their justification is that no "true" Egyptians rule there now, so they may as well take it instead. I'm glad that attitudes have become somewhat more enlightened since then. But yes, lots of adventures, lots of treasure, lots of good guys and bad guys and the like. Since Laura and I have also been slowly getting through The Adventures of Young Indiana Jones, I could very well see Indy and Sam Steele meeting up; however, Sam would be the bad guy, trying to steel the treasure that Indy is trying to learn about and preserve!

The highlight of this book for me, however (besides the chance to own and read an L. Frank Baum book I didn't have before) is the extra materials. Hungry Tiger Press always does well with the extras, but this one is extraordinary. The introduction is by noted Egyptologist (and my friend and roommate at the 2000 Oz Centennial Convention) David Moyer, who tells us just what Baum got wrong in the book. After the main story is Maud Baum's account of her trip to Egypt with Frank in 1906 (as published in In Other Lands Than Ours), just two years before this books publication. One can tell that Frank looked back at Maud's letters for some of the descriptions. I'd read this before, but it was good to read it again in context.

1 comment:

Hungry Tiger Talk said...

Thanks, Eric - it's a book I'm quite proud of :)