"VISITORS FROM OZ: The Wild Adventures of Dorothy, the Scarecrow, and the Tin Woodman in the United States" by Martin Gardner

"VISITORS FROM OZ: The Wild Adventures of Dorothy, the Scarecrow, and the Tin Woodman in the United States"

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First-novelist/polymath Gardner (essays: The Night Is Large, 1996, etc.) undertakes a sequel to L. Frank Baum's Oz story (on the occasion of its 100th birthday) and comes up with a winner. Using simple prose and similarly simple dialogue, Gardner constructs a riddle and solves it: Producer Samuel Gold has filmed The Emerald City of Oz because he truly believes Oz is a real place and so has sent an E-mail to Glinda, the good witch who roles Oz, asking if Dorothy and some her friends might not like to visit Earth again and go on tour for his animated movie. The big problem: Glinda has removed Oz to a parallel universe, away from the influx of humans. So how can Dorothy get from Oz to Earth and back again? Only Professor Wogglebug, T.E.H.M (Thoroughly Educated Highly Magnified) can manage this, which he does by having Ku-Klip (who made the Tin Woodman) build two life-size Moebius strips to form a Klein Bottle, which will deposit the travelers on Earth. On the way, they find the Entrance to Wonderland irresistible and have a chat with the White Rabbit, then meet Tenniel's pink caterpillar, the Ugly Duchess (actually a sweet-tempered, gorgeous young woman wearing a rubber mask because Lewis Carroll's readers expect it of her), the White Knight, Humpty Dumpty, the Cheshire Cat, the Mad Hatter, and other Wonderland folk. When the Klein Bottle is stolen, Private Detective Sheerluck Brown (a large brown bear in a deerstalker cap) recovers it from the giant Big Jim Foote. Arriving in moonlit Central Park, they are interviewed by Time and the New York Times's science editor, then appear on The Oprah Winfrey Show. When they are beset by mobsters, Glinda saves them by teleporting Waters of Oblivion to Earth. Before returning home, Dorothy & Co. tour the bookstores for Martin Gardner's Visitors from Oz. Deserves the Cosmotic Greatheart Medal of Oz from the Wizard.

Pub Date: Oct. 30th, 1998
Page count: 208pp
Publisher: Griffin/St. Martin's