This is a childhood favorite of mine and fondly remember my father explaining the economical and historical allegory. I wanted to hear it again. It was much shorter than I remembered but is just as wonderful. If you are not looking for the historical allegory its still a fabulous childrens book. I do have to say I was suprised that I did not enjoy the narrator as much as I expected. I love Anne Hathaway but her interpretation of the scarecrow was very hard for me to listen too. This is still a great listen for both parent and child or just for an adult.
This is simply a delightful and classic story that I and my children (ages 9 & 6) have enjoyed. If you've only seen the film, you should treat yourself to the novel - though it is admittedly difficult not to judge the book in light of the epic film.
What I could not tolerate was Anne Hathaway's dreadful performance. Ideally the narration should complement the story, but not distract or steal from the author's words. Hathaway's performance is a complete distraction - to the point that you hope certain characters won't have anything else to say because you don't want to hear her needlessly over-the-top voicing. Why does the palace guard have a southern (US) accent? Why does another person have a French accent? It's all just too much.
Do yourself a favor and pick from the 5 or so other versions of Baum's classic on Audible.
The Oracle Reviews
I never got to read this story growing up and didn't want my children to miss out, so when i saw that Anne Hathaway was the narrator I grabed it. I decided to listen it and was drawn in by Anne's performance. She broughtlife to all the characters in the world of OZ and new life to this the story.
Its a childs story that can be enjoyed by an adult with a young heart.
She is a supreme actress with great talent. I loved her performance.
I consider this stroy to be a classic. I find that when a classic like this is narrated by an actor or group of actors it adds new life to a story. I wish more classics were given the opportunity to have new life.
An old broad that enjoys books of all types. Would rather read than write reviews though. I know what I like, and won't be bothered by crap.
Dorothy sees Wizard!
This story is very different than the movie and stage play. There are a lot of different characters and more adventures for Dorothy and her friends that didn't make it to the movie. There are several sequels in this series and each story builds on the next. Very good!
Good first start.
Kansas vs. Oz?
I liked Anne Hathaway's performance for the most part. The only suggestions I would make is to leave out the valley girl character and the french maid accent. Doesn't fit in Oz.
I had never read the books but only saw the movie. Both myself and my six year old daughter. At first she didn't care for it because it didn't follow the movie, but then I explained how the book is the "real" story and the movie is the "Hollywood version" of it. She then listened with new ears and loved the true story and cannot wait for the next books and the new adventures!
"A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one." - Jojen Reed. #ADanceWithDragons
Now that we have that out of the way... I won't spend much time on the story BUT... This is a jacked up children's book if it was meant to be one... For one they keep lopping off heads off of people! The 'Wizard of Oz' is at best a con-artist! And the characters are... let’s face it... gullible... Maybe I am reading too much into this story.. >_<
Anne Hathaway though.... LOVE HER.... And thankfully she didn't massacre the book and did actually produce a performance worth 5 stars. To be honest, I changed my score from a 4 to a 5 stars because Anne actually got me through the book. I don't think anyone could make me be completely thrilled with the narration here but this is because I think the story was lacking so much (note also I am reviewing this right after listening to "Water for Elephants" and "Outlander" which are EXCELLENTLY written and even more EXCELLENTLY narrated). Even with the annoying squeaky voices (it does get annoying after the bazillion little person), Anne really kept me listening and I cut her slack for the squeaky voices because quite frankly, that would be how they sounded.
I say this... Audible need to invite Anne Hathaway back to do a real book... and by a real book I mean a Jane Austen book! I think anything Jane Austen or even Phillipa Gregory (if we want to go more modern) would fit her.
Sometimes you need to return to the source to remember just how good it was in the beginning. L. Frank Baum's delightful tale is still wonderful and not too different from the musical movie of the Thirty's that is now the familiar version.
People are so accustomed to the Judy Garland version that we forget the original story. The biggest shock is a reminder that the ruby slippers were silver.
Anne Hathaway was absolutely superb in this reading. She acts all the characters with her flexible voice and they are clear and distinct. Additionally she does the characters in a way that will appeal to children and old children alike. I hope to hear a lot of reading from her in the future. She is a super talent.
The combination of story and performance gives this a "10" rating on almost any rating system.
I recommend this book as a chance to get to know this story better.
The magic of the story is great enough without the glitz that hollywood added.
I forget that even the smallest change in voice adds to the experience. I enjoyed her rendering much more that I first thought I would.
A wonderful story narrated in a very vivid and sweet manner. You can picture the whole story and convey all the feelings listening to Miss Hathaway