A captivating biography of the eccentric author, filmmaker, and innovator, L. Frank Baum
Enchanting generations of fans, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, first published in 1900, was written by a man whose life was nearly as adventurous as his heroine Dorothy's legendary trip. Ambitious and always drawn to the unconventional, L. Frank Baum was not just the author of more than sixty books; he was at the forefront of moving picture technology and championed women's rights. A unique celebration of Baum's life, The Real Wizard of Oz explores the eventful times in which Baum lived (1856-1919), which influenced nearly every aspect of the Oz tales — from the Civil War to Hollywood (which was emerging as a mecca for creative hopefuls) to the gulf between America's heartland, with its tornado alleys and its cities teeming with "Tin Man" factory workers.
Baum, who died in 1919, two decades before MGM re-created his vision in eye-popping Technicolor, was a remarkable entrepreneur. He also developed the story for Broadway and created The Oz Film Manufacturing Company, convinced that he had found the perfect medium for children's stories — an audacious idea that made him a laughingstock among film distributors. Capturing the origins of an enterprise that continues to reach lucrative new heights — most recently with the smash success of Wicked — this audio book is a lively tour of a fascinating era and its most intriguing storyteller.
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by Rebecca Zanetti
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"Brooke Heldman narrates this biography as if it were a fairy tale, and thatÕs appropriate as THE WONDERFUL WIZARD OF OZ is considered an American fairy tale. The author shows how influences and incidents in the childhood of L. Frank Baum are reflected in his books. Heldman captures the authorÕs sense of wonder for her subject and his work. She modulates her voice when quoting Baum directly, providing listeners with clear cues. During long passages of narrative, she adopts a more studied tone. The only weakness in the production comes from the book itself. The author makes several historical side trips, which slow down the story of BaumÕs life and add little but length. R.C.G. © AudioFile 2014, Portland, Maine"
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