Saturday, May 31, 2014

The Latest Oz Reading

My quest to read a new Oz short story a week continues today with "Beware the Naked Eye" by Rachel Swirsky, the next story out of Oz Reimagined. In this one, we see behind the scenes in the Emerald City during the events of The Wizard of Oz, and it turns out that Dorothy and her friends are contestants in a reality show competition! Oh, and that the show is a distraction, because some of the courtiers in the Emerald City have discovered that the Wizard is a humbug, and plan to assassinate him! It's actually more intriguing than that premise may sound. Much of the story is told from the point of view of a jeweler who is brought into the conspiracy, and how his views about Dorothy and the Wizard and his place in Ozian society changes as the competition continues. I will say that Swirsky very much knows the books, as the events clearly come from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz with some nods to later books as well. But this story really reminded me of The Hunger Games, with an indolent group of courtiers in the Emerald City being entertained by what was going on outside the city gates, not at all unlike the Capital in Panem. The ending of this story just cemented my initial opinion. It didn't quite turn out for Dorothy the way it originally did, but this story looks at a bigger picture.

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