A Barnstormer in Oz Mass Market Paperback – Oct 1983
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The story is an interesting one and it does an excellent job of staying true to the original THE WONDERFUL WIZARD OF OZ novel, while attempting to explain the world of Oz through a logical and scientific approach.
The book isn't the fairy tale that THE WONDERFUL WIZARD OF OZ is. Instead, it's a novel aimed at adults with a higher reading level. Some of the concepts and language are difficult to understand. For instance, I found myself looking several words up in a dictionary that I had never heard before. Also, there are some adult situations, e.g. Hank Stover takes up with a Munchkin mistress while he attempts to woo Glinda. Though the descriptions of the bedroom romps are more dull than graphic, they are still there. Then there's the acts of violence that happen throughout. Once again, the descriptions are more pedantic than graphic, but people are Ozians are killed in the book.
The erudite prose will be a turn-off some readers as will some of the adult themes found in the text. However, if you don't mind either of those things and are a fan of the original THE WONDERFUL WIZARD OF OZ, you will probably enjoy A BARNSTORMER IN OZ. Personally, I liked the story much better than the Gregory Maguire's novel, WICKED.
"Barnstormer" is a unique contribution to the Oz canon. Farmer attempts some scientific explanations for talking animals, sentient objects, and whether there was reproduction in that magical land. It stands out as one of Farmer's most accessible books.
Philip Jose Farmer will be remembered as a revolutionary science fiction author. (1918-2009)