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Plåtman från Oz (1918)

av L. Frank Baum

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Serier: Oz (12), Oz : Famous Forty (book 12)

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
1,1741015,887 (3.9)15
Dorothy tries to rescue the Tin Woodman and Scarecrow from the giantess who has changed them into a tin owl and a teddy bear and is using them for playthings.

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After the sprawling cast of The Lost Princess of Oz, Baum gave the next book a much more focused set of characters. Indeed, of the last four books, The Tin Woodman of Oz is the only one to have nothing like an Oz-in-peril narrative. Instead, it's a personal quest and a story of personal values. I didn't have much memory of this story going in, as I read it to my three-year-old. I mean, I remembered it was about the Tin Woodman questing to find his lost love, and I remember the Tin Soldier and Chopfyt and Nimmie Amee, but I didn't remember anything about the actual plot, and I didn't remember if I liked it or not.

To be honest, post-Tik-Tok my memories from childhood have been much vaguer. I have two theories. One is that from Lost Princess on, I had Del Rey mass market paperbacks, and those shrunk the art down, and I have tended to find that the less spectacular the art, the less clear and less positive my memories. My other is that I was a chronology-focused child as much as I am a chronology-focused adult—if not moreso. So I do wonder if I would plan to reread them all, but not make it all the way through every time, with the end result that I have read the early ones many times but the later ones not as much.

In any case, I might not have many memories of this book but ended up really enjoying it reading it to my son. It has a real unity of character and theme that is honestly kind of surprising for Baum. Woot the Wanderer wanders to the Tin Castle of the Tin Woodman in the Winkie Country, and upon being told that the Tin Woodman's whole reason for wanting a heart way back in book one was so that he could love a specific woman, wonders why the Tin Woodman never actually actually got together with her! So together with Woot and the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman sets out on a quest to find her again.

The thing that runs through the book is that the Tin Woodman and the Scarecrow have been made somewhat arrogant by their years of adventures and the exalted statuses. They keep blundering into places where they don't belong and aren't wanted because it doesn't occur to them that they wouldn't be wanted—even when Woot points out there's a "KEEP OUT" sign! In some Oz novels, the visits to weird communities feel like padding, but here they highlight what going on with the Tin Woodman's character. When, in the middle of the novel, the Tin Woodman meets up with Dorothy and Ozma, they are both a bit skeptical about his mission to find his lost love... but he goes on anyway. When he finds his own head in a cabinet (more on that here), not even it wants anything to do with him! And then he finds out that Nimmie Amee has no desire to marry him, as she is happily married, and just wants him, like everyone else, to go away. She hasn't been sitting around pining for him; she forgot about him just like he forgot about her. It's a novel about finding joy in what you have already, and not presuming that you are needed where you are not.

There's lots of good stuff here. I liked Mrs. Yoop, the giantess who practices transformation magic, and the cleverness the protagonists need to show in escaping him. Baum thinks through things interestingly as always; Mrs. Yoop has a magic apron that opens and closes doors, which Woot steals, and when he uses it outside, it opens a hole in the ground! Polychrome has a nice substantial appearance, and again as she was in Sky Island, is much less air-headed than she seemed in Road and Tik-Tok, demonstrating a lot of intelligence, and demonstrating some very good fairy magic. The challenge of what to do with the green monkey transformation that Mrs. Yoop saddles Woot with is an interesting one. All this plus an appearance by my favorite minor recurring character, the former general Jinjur, as forceful as ever. (What happened to her husband, though?)

Lastly, this novel shows Baum working through the implications of his worldbuilding, especially the way it had changed over the years. When Baum wrote Wonderful Wizard, people in Oz could die, so there wasn't really any question about the body parts that Nick Chopper had lost. By the time of Tin Woodman, though, Baum had established that people in Oz don't die (and never had*)... even when chopped up into little bits! So why hadn't someone just reattached the lost pieces of Nick Chopper? And what had become of them, if they were still alive? Baum establishes you need "meat glue" to connect body parts, and no one had any... and that Nick Chopper's head has been sitting in a cabinet for decades! It's a perfectly logical outcome of all the (slightly contradictory) worldbuilding, and it could be macabre or disturbing, but Baum, as always, just presents it matter-of-factly. To a kid (I can attest from reading it aloud), it's more funny than anything else.

The creation of Chopfyt, made of leftover "meat" parts of the Tin Woodman and the Tin Soldier, is maybe slightly more disturbing, but there's a real "leave it be" moral in place by that part of the story. If he's who makes Nimmie Amee happy, who is anyone else to complain? Baum was always sort of fascinated by combining people to make other people; it's an idea we saw back in Sky Island, and right now (I am writing this back in mid-June) we are reading one of his other early borderlands fantasies, The Magical Monarch of Mo, where there's a woodchopper who ends up with a king's head glued on his body.

As I (re)read through these books, I'm always thinking about what characters never went on to star again. I quite liked the Tin Solider, the second tin man created by the same tinsmith as the Tin Woodman, who fell in love with the same woman, and ended up rusted in the same forest! At the end of the novel, Ozma assigns him to patrol the (seemingly) lawless Gillikin Country... and he promptly never appears again, aside from a brief cameo at Ozma's birthday party in Magic of Oz, even though the next two novels both largely take place in the Gillikin wilds! I liked his personality (I gave him a not-very-good-I'm-sure-working-class-English accent), and also I really want to know, exactly what army would a Munchkin soldier have been in around the time of Wonderful Wizard? The Tin Soldier of Oz, here we come, I guess!

* This book establishes that people in Oz have been immortal for a long time, clearly contradicting many aspects of Wonderful Wizard and other early novels (though Baum does contort to explain how the Wicked Witches could be killed). It also strongly implies that Ozma has been ruling Oz for a long time, and tells us that she's a fairy, a pretty blatant contradiction of the events we read about in Marvelous Land.
  Stevil2001 | Jul 29, 2022 |
L. Frank Baum is an author I have read many times since I first discovered him in second grade. I find that his books stand up to the test of time and they are books that I enjoy re-reading. Some of them are stronger than others but as a whole I quite enjoy both the stories and characters. ( )
  KateKat11 | Sep 24, 2021 |
A visitor to the Nickel-Plated Emperor, on hearing the story of how he a rusted tin woodman was discovered by Dorothy, asks a most important question - what happened to his love? The whole reason Nick Chopper's ax was enchanted by the Wicked Witch of the East, and he ended up replacing all of his parts with tin, was to prevent his carrying off a pretty Munchkin girl. Having a kind heart instead of a loving heart, the Tin Woodman has not sought out Nimmie Ammee until reminded of his promise to come back to her. That...makes perfect sense.

An impromptu expedition is made, deliberately excluding most of the overwhelming cast due to the personal nature of the quest. There are some novel events, but the story remains episodic and bizarre for bizarre's sake.

The long and short of it is that 'The Tin Woodman of Oz' is still rather bad as far as my standards of what Oz books should be -- I know, there's my mistake -- but the rare nod to continuity must be rewarded with something.

Another thing I often overlook in my reviews are the illustrations. They are charming and highlight the novelty of each book's content. That's it. I'll keep trudging on, Baum promises that 'The Magic of Oz' will be something special. Maybe he stopped taking reader suggestions.


Next: 'The Magic of Oz'

Previous: 'The Lost Princess of Oz' ( )
  ManWithAnAgenda | Feb 18, 2019 |
This is my personal favorite Oz book. It's markedly more existential than any other book in the series, quite bizarre in places, and it focuses on my three favorite characters: the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodman, and Polychrome. There are at least two or three Baum Oz books that are objectively "better," in terms of their well-roundedness or their universal appeal, but I think this is still a very high-level volume (and it has some of Neill's very best art, too). Those who can appreciate it are absolutely right to do so. ( )
  saroz | Nov 3, 2018 |
Reread Winter 2004/2005 in Gutenberg
  amyem58 | Jul 14, 2014 |
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Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
L. Frank Baumprimär författarealla utgåvorberäknat
Neill, John RaeIllustratörhuvudförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Herring, MichaelOmslagmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Huff, James E.Mapmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Martin, DickMapmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
McNaught, HarryIllustratörmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Neill, John R.Illustratörmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Ulrey, DaleIllustratörmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
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This Book is dedicated to the son of my son Frank Alden Baum
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The Tin Woodman sat on his glittering tin throne in the handsome tin hall of his splendid tin castle in the Winkie Country of the Land of Oz.
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Dorothy tries to rescue the Tin Woodman and Scarecrow from the giantess who has changed them into a tin owl and a teddy bear and is using them for playthings.

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