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Tik-Tok of Oz: 11/13/20

Tik-Tok of Oz

Tik-Tok of Oz by L. Frank Baum marks the second of the last Oz books written by Baum. By this time he and his wife had moved to California. It also marks the first time a new American visitor is sent to Oz since Dorothy.

Betsy Bobbin arrives from Oklahoma via a near death experience similar to Dorothy's second trip to Oz in Ozma of Oz (1907). Presumably she was on the Arkansas river?

Although Betsy is new to Oz, this novel isn't her story. Despite Tik-Tok being the titular character, it's not his story either. Instead, it settles on being about the Shaggy Man's quest to rescue his brother from the Nome King.

Previous Oz books are fairly focused in their plots. This time, though, the focus is more gag oriented. The previous attention to detail is lacking too. For example, in the previous seven books, Glinda has been the Good Witch of the South. Now, though, she's described a living in a palace to the north of the Emerald City. It's no wonder MGM decided to make her the Witch of the North.

There's a lot to unpack with this novel. Like Ozma of Oz and Dorothy and the Wizard in Oz, the novel doesn't take place in Oz, save for a few scenes in the Emerald City. Instead, the novel is in Ev, the Rose Kingdom, the Dominions of the Nome King, and a few other edge of the map places.

By the sixth book, The Emerald City of Oz (1910), Oz is essentially a stable utopia, and well-mapped through Dorothy and Tip's adventures. I suppose Baum was bored with Oz, or was worried that his loyal readers were.

At the heart of novel, the Shaggy Man wants to rescue his brother. Thus, in terms of the road narrative spectrum, the travelers are siblings (CC). As the brother is known to be the in the Dominion of the Nome King, an underground location, the destination is the wildlands (99). The route taken, is the labyrinth (99) in that there isn't any particular danger to any of the characters, and the path out is the same as the path in, though the character's emerge changed by their journey. Thus Tik-Tok of Oz can be summarized as the tale of brothers traveling through the wildlands via the labyrinth (CC9999).

The next book is The Scarecrow of Oz (1915)

Four stars

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