Anne Hathaway is nothing short of masterful in her narration of Baum’s beloved classic. As she guides listeners through the world of munchkins, winkies, and quadlings; witches; and the humbug Oz, Hathaway’s impressive vocal repertoire shines. As narrator, she is lithe yet precise; her voice sounds lilting or emphatic, as the story details require. In character, she is spectacular. Each character is filled with personality - a light-voiced Witch of the North; a brusque soldier at Oz’s palace; a monotone, robot-like Oz; and a usually cheerful and genuine Dorothy. The variety enriches the listening experience. Yes, one may know the story well, but Hathaway makes this recording a definitive one.
Audie Award Nominee, Solo Narration - Female, 2013
One of the best-known stories in American culture, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz has stirred the imagination of young and old alike for over 100 years. Academy Award-winning actress Anne Hathaway (Rachel Getting Married, Alice In Wonderland), fresh from filming one of this year’s most anticipated films, The Dark Knight Rises, lends her voice to this uniquely American fairy tale.
Follow the adventures of young Dorothy Gale and her dog Toto as they get swept away into the magical land of Oz , where they encounter characters and places you may remember from the movie – and several more that never made it to the big screen – on an unforgettable journey to the Emerald City.
“It’s such a wonderful book and I was so happy to be a part of bringing it to life”, Ms. Hathaway said. “There are a lot of great voices in it. The more fun you have with it, the sillier and the more free you get with it, the better it is because it’s a story that can handle it. It’s amazing to be able to discover something new about something you feel you know so well.”
The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is part of Audible’s A-List Collection, featuring the world’s most celebrated actors narrating distinguished works of literature that each star had a hand in selecting. For more great books performed by Hollywood’s finest, click here.
Public Domain (P)2012 Audible, Inc.
“Anne Hathaway is nothing short of masterful in her narration of Baum’s beloved classic…As narrator, she is lithe yet precise; her voice sounds lilting or emphatic, as the story details require. In character, she is spectacular. Each character is filled with personality—a light-voiced Witch of the North; a brusque soldier at Oz’s palace; a monotone, robot-like Oz; and a usually cheerful and genuine Dorothy. The variety enriches the listening experience. Yes, one may know the story well, but Hathaway makes this recording a definitive one.” (AudioFile)
I am brutally honest. Popular, love everything they read, reviewers are scared to go neg. and risk their ranking. It's your money!!!
AS a kid, the first thing I looked forward to after Christmas was The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. It was always aired in Feb., which was sweeps month. I did not know that, I just knew it was sometime after Christmas. It was a great musical and this is a great book. They differ some and are the same a lot. The musical gave the Wicked Witch of the West a huge part that she did not have in the book. It was interesting to see the differences and easy to see why certain changes were made. The book is more violent, with some head chopping going on, but not enough to make the whole book not worth reading. It was published in 1900 and was the best selling children's book for two years.
Baum has an excellent imagination and I loved the ceramic people, which was not in the movie. There are lessons on courage, intelligence, tenderness, confidence and ambition, which children and adults of today can learn much.
Hathaway has taken a real beating by some reviewers. I did not always agree with her interpretations of the characters, (Valley girls did not exist when this was written) but I thought she brought life to the book. She kept it interesting. I much prefer a narrator that spices up the reading, as a reader who just mouths the words. Baum himself changed the book and characters in order to get it on Broadway. If he was alive today, I do not believe he would have a problem with his story being updated.
I also liked the book Wicked, which gives you the witches side of the story.
I'm just a dumb troglodyte who like reading. Me feel good after I read book.
My family and I drove from Boston to New York listening to "the wonderful wizard of Oz." At 3HRs 52MIN OZ was the prefect length for a long car ride. We were enthralled and memorized by the depth and beauty of the story. The book is moderately different from the movie, which allows much discussion around the discrepancies. The narrator, Anne Hathaway, is excellent, where she bring so much magic and life to multiple characters. Our family continues to discuss the book weeks after completion.
I would try another book by L. Frank Baum, but I would run away from Anne Hathaway as fast as I could. I have listened to many audio books, but this is the really the worst listening experience that I have had with one.
When the stork spoke in a Valley Girl voice. I had been trying to forgive her narration for the sake of listening to the differences between the book and the movie until I got to that point. It was really jumping the shark. Unfortunately there were many horrible voices to follow.
I felt like she tried too hard and pushed herself in front of the story. I couldn't get immersed into the fiction due to her cringe worthy voices with out of place accents and her misinterpretations of how the characters would vocalize in different places. Such as using a haughty voice when a character should sound frightened. Or even smiling mockingly while narrating a serious point in the story.
There is nothing wrong with the written work. It is the voice talent that took away from the overall experience. I think it is important to experience books unabridged.
Yes the scarecrow does sound kinda like Marge Simpson, but much more manic and with a Zombie-like fervor for BRAINS!! This was actually my favorite of her voice characters.
I think this reading is probably suitable for young children (as long as they don't mind wolves getting their heads chopped off and crows getting their necks twisted and broken.) Young children are probably amused by Anne's antics and her greatest follies will fly right over their heads. I listen to many audio books with my children and I want to be able to enjoy listening to the story as well and this book does not satisfy in that regard.
The story remains enchanting.
This would be a lovely audiobook for young children.
That said, from an adult perspective, Ms. Hathaway overacts and takes away from the overall experience. A lot of her character choices are very extreme or just plain odd, as though she strained to come up with something unique and new. A child will likely find the different characters fun, this audiobook really is incredibly colorful, there are no default characters. But as an adult, I found that a lot of her choices make no sense (the wizard, above all) and was a little annoyed by some of the more grating ones, like the over-affected stage English of the queen mouse, for example, the valley girl stork, or the Marge Simpson scare crow. In essence, the magic she captures in her narration is the magical range of Anne Hathaway, not that of the Wonderful Wizard.
Other reviewers rave about this version though, so I recommend listening to a sample before you buy.
This is a great presentation of the classic, which I think is best demonstrated by the impact it had on my 5 year old son. He sat quietly listening to the entire work from start to finish throughout a Saturday morning, soaking it all up and loving every second of it.
Anne Hathaway's great voice work compelled me to love the audio edition over the print version.
A tie between Cowardly Lion & Wizard .
Meeting Wizard .
I laughed repeatedly .
Hathaway truly needs to do more voice work . Anne did the impossible, she made something old , feel new and fresh again. She has wonderful vocal skills , and she has that gift to naturally create different voices- masculine or feminine . Anne made all these characters feel real, relatable, and entertaining . Plus, Anne has that rare gift that cannot be taught - charisma. This is truly one of the best audiobook readings I have heard in years.
Anne Hathaway did a good job with so many different voices but I had a hard time with the voice of the Scarecrow because it sounded like Marge Simpson. Listen to the sample on audible then go to youtube and listen to Marge Simpson it was too close to being the same voice I just couldn’t picture the Scarecrow in my head because the voice was Marge! That was the main voice that was just wrong and it took me out of the story, the rest of her voices were good with a few being annoying and some just not fitting, like a valley girl voice just seemed out of place. I guess I liked her narration overall I just wish the Scarecrow had sounded different.I would recommend this audiobook even with Marge Simpson cast as the Scarecrow! Anne does bring many voices to the mix maybe at times too many because some of them don’t seem to belong in the land of Oz but what do I know I’ve never been there!...
As I listened to this I came to the realization that I have never read Wizard of Oz before, yes I know I was shocked too. This story was a bit more violent in parts than I was expecting also there were some huge differences from the movie we have all seen 1,000 times so I had to try to get the movie out of my head and just go with the story, which I did enjoy. But in the end you can’t help comparing the differences…the shoes (silver, not red)...Toto (black, not brown) …Dorothy is a much younger girl…the violence, there is a lot of lopping off of heads that I did not expect..Also the witches seem to play a much smaller part in this than they did in the movie.
Everyone knows the premise of this story there are over 3000+ reviews and 98,000+ ratings on Goodreads alone so really what am I going to add other than if you think you have read this book but aren’t sure give it a try you may be like I was and realize you have never read the story Baum wrote, you only know the Hollywood version!
3 1/2 Stars
Would buy Frank's books, just not not read by Anne.
I thought the story was very fresh. It was very different from the movie we know and love. Anne tried to create memorable voices, but several turned out to be a 1980's 'valley girl' or some derivative thereof. Anne, I love your work, but this did not do it for me.
loved the book, not the reading
I never read the Wizard of Oz when I was young and was afraid I wouldn't be able to relate to the story, but Anne Hathaway really brought it to life. She did a wonderful job with the different voices and it was a really good listen.
I would recommend this in a heartbeat. The story had gotten old for me after so many years but Anne manages to breathe life into the characters more so than any version of the movie I have ever seen.
The initial scene where they meet Oz. I don't know how she came up with that particular voice for him (apparently, she doesn't either if you've seen the video clip of her talking about doing the narration) but I think it fits the character well.
I certainly would have if I'd had the chance.
Give it a shot. You'll be surprised how much you enjoy a story you've probably already experienced numerous times.
Report Inappropriate Content
If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.