I don't know how I managed to make it out of childhood without reading this, especially because I've always loved the movie. But I finally got it out of the library this year and was surprised to learn that the Wicked Witch, whose reputation and stature have really improved lately thanks to Wicked, is barely in it.Far from the looming threat she presents throughout the movie, the witch is introduced and killed off in a single chapter. Which fits the pattern -- this is a very episodic story, with Dorothy and friends encountering a new denizen of Oz or a weird obstacle to overcome in every chapter. Things move along very quickly, and the book will probably only take the average adult about an hour to read.Most of what you love about the movie is here, with some memorable extra bits, including a town in which everything from the people to the animals to the buildings is made of delicate china. I haven't read any more of the Oz books, but this one is certainly worth a read just for its cultural significance alone.