Saturday, December 12, 2015

Adolf Hitler in Oz

Review of Adolf Hitler in Oz

This might sound kind of funny, but to me, Oz is a real place.

Then again, maybe that doesn't seem so funny to you. Maybe you grew up watching the famous movie as many times as I did. Maybe you read some of the books, or saw some of the belated sequels. Maybe Oz is real to you, too.

So when I heard that Adolf Hitler was coming to Oz, needless to say, I was concerned. After all, we know what he did to Europe. Would Oz fare any better?

We'd like to think the people of Oz would be smarter than those who fell for his tricks here in our world, but what if they're not? Some of the inhabitants might not be. Sometimes, some is all it takes. Maybe some could be enough for the wannabe conqueror to continue his Reich among the land of yellow-brick roads, talking scarecrows, men made of tin, and monkeys with wings?

That's what Adolf Hitler in Oz is about: the maybes that could happen if, instead of killing himself, instead Hitler went to Oz. It makes you think. It makes you wonder. It makes you worry. Yes, on the surface, it's a bit of a strange book. But that's no matter, because Oz is strange. And so how will the epitome of evil, Adolf Hitler, deal with that strangeness? That's for us to find out. The story seems real. Hitler’s reaction seem true to what we know of the man. Oz feels like a real place, lived in and a land where the fantastic is ordinary. And it's chilling to see how easily, yet believably, Hitler's evil finds a foothold in the merry old land. 

As Hitler works his evil, the satire is on point. I do not kid when I say it is terrifying; I was genuinely concerned about the fate of our beloved Ozians.

As you progress, it can be a bit of a challenge to follow the adventures of a protagonist that is a ruthless tyrant—break ins to the main action featuring Dorothy and the gang are very welcome, and I would've liked to have seen a little more of those classic characters. The conclusion was fine, and well reasoned, but I did feel it was a little soft on the old boy. (The author's closing statements do explain the theory behind the denouement.) And I did wish for an explanation on how two classic comedy actors found their way to Oz, as much as I enjoyed their contributions to the story.

Still, this is a strong effort, and the premise works far better than one could have reasonably expected. With Adolf Hitler in Oz, Sackett has given us a unique look at both the land we love so much, and the dictator that we hate.

-Jeremy Morong, author of The Adventures of Braxton Revere

No comments:

Post a Comment