What Makes Goblins Gobble?

The Oz Omnibus of Talking City Tales, by Ron Baxley Jr. – This volume collects three different tales about the Land of Oz, all following up on Baxley’s earlier The Talking City of Oz. I already looked at the first one, The Evil Emerald Village of Oz, but I didn’t check to see if there were any significant differences between versions. The next one, The Way Gobbling Goblins and Babbling Banshees Wheeled and Dealed Oz involves the live wheelbarrow from the previous adventures trying to get revenge by recruiting goblins and banshees in Ireland to invade Oz. The goblins really don’t do much other than eat, but the banshees are more threatening, and it takes the efforts of several Ozites to drive them out. Buyq Some Real Estate in Oz stars Boq’s brother Buyq, who’s a salesman, yet another complication in the issue of whether or not Oz uses money. He uses a duplicator machine he steals to make copies of Dorothy’s old farmhouse to sell, while three sisters based on the Fates from Greek mythology seek to corrupt some of the main citizens of Oz. It’s up to Dorothy and Buyq to foil their plot. The stories are full of clever new ideas, including a potion that pluralizes things, a pool hall cursed by the Wicked Witch of the West, and a live divining rod inside a robotic Munchkin body. There are a few nods to mythology, and an indication of more communication between Ozma and L. Frank Baum than we previously realized. On the negative side, the plots come across as somewhat disorganized, and the villains’ motivations never seem that believable. Also, the quasi-religious tone and tendency to make just about every established character pair off with someone seemed a bit out of place for Oz. It’s sort of like Baxley is going for more epic themes than are typical for the series, but incorporating them into stories that are a little overly silly even for humorous children’s books. Still, it could probably work with a little tightening of plots and reining in of ideas.

This entry was posted in Characters, L. Frank Baum, Magic Items, Oz, Oz Authors, Ron Baxley Jr. and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to What Makes Goblins Gobble?

  1. Thank you for your review.

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