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Was (1992)

av Geoff Ryman

Andra författare: Se under Andra författare.

MedlemmarRecensionerPopularitetGenomsnittligt betygOmnämnanden
8361519,230 (3.96)35
WAS is the story of Dorothy. Orphaned as a child in the 1870s, she goes to live in Kansas with her Aunty Em and Uncle Henry. They face drought and poverty. They face each other. Alone, abused, Dorothy meets an itinerant actor called Frank and inspires a masterpiece. From the settling of the West and the heyday of the Hollwywood studios to the glittering megalopolis of modern Los Angeles, WAS is the story of all our childhoods.… (mer)
  1. 20
    Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West av Gregory Maguire (jonathankws)
    jonathankws: More closely related to the original Wizard of Oz book, but still retelling from a different perspective
  2. 21
    A Barnstormer In Oz av Philip José Farmer (jonathankws)
    jonathankws: A much more Sci-Fi revisionist adaptation of the Wizard of Oz, but still quite dark
  3. 00
    Maybe the Moon av Armistead Maupin (aulsmith)
    aulsmith: Two dark tales of Hollywood
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This novel is beautiful, disturbing, intriguing, challenging. We are all so familiar with the Wizard of Oz--primarily through the film, but also through the books--that we may think there is nothing new to be said. (Certainly not after Maguire's Wicked came out.) But Geoff Ryman has visualized the real lives of Dorothy, of L. Frank Baum, of Judy Garland (indirectly) and of new characters whose lives are enriched because of the story that each of the others has told. How did Dorothy come to live with her aunt and uncle? Life in a land that was black-and-white was difficult at first, horrendous later. And what happened to her later? I finished reading this novel months ago and scenes still haunt me, both in a positive and a negative sense. I admire Ryman's imagination and his prose. ( )
  AnaraGuard | Nov 1, 2020 |
Wanted to like this more, as it is, I love Ryman's ideas, and look forward to reading more of his work. But truth be told, I'd forgotten I'd read this one at all... ( )
  Loryndalar | Mar 19, 2020 |
I don’t think many readers will stick around to the end of this dark, depressing, re-imagining of the Wizard of Oz story. It skips back and forth in time between 1) Dorothy Gael, a sexually abused orphan at Aunt Em and Uncle Henry’s homestead in Zeandale, Kansas; 2) Jonathan, a young actor dying of AIDS; 3) Frances Gumm, aka Judy Garland, who has an overbearing stage mother and a father who can’t keep his hands off teenage boys; 4) Bill, a psychologist who treats both an elderly Dorothy and Jonathan.

Dorothy and Jonathan both “check out” and slip mentally into Oz, also known as “Was”, meaning what could have been if they had had a happy life, instead of “Is”, what really happened. I read all the way to the end to find out what happened, and I wish I could say it was worth it.
( )
  memccauley6 | May 3, 2016 |
Geoff Ryman clearly demonstrates his prowess as a writer with his novel Was. This is a tragic exploration of the Dorothy/Oz culture of L. Frank Baum from both an historical and modern perspective.

Ryman chooses the voice of a fictional inspiration for Baum's story, that of Dorothy Gael, who is orphaned due to a diphtheria epidemic, and is sent to live in Kansas with her Aunt Em and Uncle Henry. That story explores the benign neglect of Dorothy and the eventual destruction of what had been an innocent, intelligent, creative soul under the weight of religious zeal, ignorance, and the inability to control primal needs.

As a counterpoint to that tragedy, Ryman also introduces the character of Jonathan, with whom we journey from his boyhood struggle with autism through his tragic demise as an AIDS sufferer.

The story is told with an honest, compelling narrative, beautiful in its delivery, rending in its simplicity. Highly recommended. ( )
1 rösta fiverivers | Dec 13, 2014 |
I love this book with its interlinked stories all based around the Wizard of Oz. There is the real life Dorothy, growing up in amongst poverty and abuse in 1870s Kansas. There is Jonathan, the gay actor dying of AIDS in the 1980s, obsessed with the Wizard of Oz since childhood. There is Bill working in a 1950s asylum. And there is a little bit about Judy Garland playing Dorothy in the film. It's pretty grim reading in parts, and really quite bleak. It gets a little bit too fanciful towards the end, but as a whole is a great read. ( )
  AlisonSakai | Aug 24, 2013 |
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Författarens namnRollTyp av författareVerk?Status
Geoff Rymanprimär författarealla utgåvorberäknat
Jennings, KathleenOmslagmedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Pappas, Cassandra J.Formgivaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat
Rembert, DanielOmslagsformgivaremedförfattarevissa utgåvorbekräftat

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This is the use of memory: For liberation-not less of love but expanding

Of love beyond desire, and so liberation

From the future as well as the past. Thus, love of a country begins as attachment to our own field of action

And comes to find that action of little importance

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--T.S. Elliott, Four Quarters
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WAS is the story of Dorothy. Orphaned as a child in the 1870s, she goes to live in Kansas with her Aunty Em and Uncle Henry. They face drought and poverty. They face each other. Alone, abused, Dorothy meets an itinerant actor called Frank and inspires a masterpiece. From the settling of the West and the heyday of the Hollwywood studios to the glittering megalopolis of modern Los Angeles, WAS is the story of all our childhoods.

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