I just finished Gregory Maguire’s A Lion Among Men
It is the third book in the Wicked
series. I adored Wicked
and the fantasy world of OZ it recreated. We watched the Wizard of OZ
fairly often as children. Mike called it the “Weee
of AH” and wanted to see it over and over, which meant that I saw the film many times. It is a magical movie and there really isn’t much that children
will still watch that was made in 1939. Gregory Maguire
does a wonderful job playing on that childhood nostalgia, but with more adult themes. OZ deals with class issues, with civil war, rule of a dictator, a girl born green and talking animals that are treated as second class citizens. Although I was happy to reenter the world of OZ for a third time, this book falls far behind Wicked
and Son of a Witch.
The first two books deal with the same family, but the entry of the Cowardly Lion as the main character just doesn’t have as much of a hook. His only presence is in the first book, in the last chapter where he is part of Dorothy’s entourage. The coward never really overcomes his cowardice. His name is Brrr
, because he shivered as a cub. Poor Brr just couldn’t hold a story. But, if Gregory Maguire
decided to write another tale of OZ, I’d read it. I suppose if you make the trouble to develop a whole world, you would want it to serve as the backdrop to as many stories as possible.