Oscar Diggs, The Wizard of Oz
by Scott B. Blanke
This title was previously available on NetGalley and is now archived.
Pub Date 23 Dec 2021 | Archive Date 30 Jan 2022
Oscar Diggs, a con-man, and his shill, Chang Wang Woe, live in New York City during the Civil War In the Big Apple, they end up being conscribed into the Union Army to serve as balloonists. During a fierce battle, their leaking hydrogen balloon is simultaneously struck by a cannon ball and lightning, and this transports the two men to the magical land of Oz.
Once there, they find stowaway talking mice and a good witch who shows them true magic, such as instilling a protective kiss, controlling the elements, and turning the mice to piglets. The men fight a giant dragon and Woe loses, ultimately sacrificing himself, and disappearing into a deep chasm. Diggs spends the rest of the book attempting to rescue his partner and learning how to fit into this magical land.
All the magic in the world can't make you put this book down before you traverse the yellow brick road and make it safely to the other side. So buy this novel and follow, follow, follow the yellow brick road.
A Note From the Publisher
Scott lives in La Crosse, Wisconsin with his author wife. Scott enjoys gardening, specializing in exotic garlic, and amateur photography.
"An original and ambitious tale that takes readers on an exhilarating adventure filled with excitement, danger, and a great deal of humor." –Alice Benson, author of Her Life is Showing
"Oscar Diggs, the Wizard of Oz fills in the pieces of how the Wizard got to Oz. The book is loaded with wit, clever twists, and details that might normally go unnoticed." –Heidi Griminger Blanke, author of The Flashiest Time of My Life
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 5 members
Oscar Diggs and Chang Wang Woe met while performing in a traveling circus. Chang, 20ish, was a tall, rail thin contortionist. Oscar, in his sixties, was a short rotund con man schooled in prestidigitation (sleight of hand) by a retiring stage magician. In the year 1864, Oscar and Chang were playing their con game, Three Card Monte, on the streets of New York. Chang was the brains behind the con. "Less than satisfied customers headed their way carrying pick-axes or clubs." "Ambulate more rapidly, Oscar...".
Run they did into a large storefront. "Welcome, men...Here to enlist?...The hand saluting the two men held a huge ham sandwich...Mister Lincoln's draft law...power over any able-bodied man who walks through [this] door...Welcome to the Union Army." Diggs, becoming chief balloonist, with assistance from Chang, would ascend one hundred feet into the air as part of the Union Army Balloon Corp's information gathering. Going up in a thundercloud was unsafe, however, the order was to ascend rain or shine. "Booms from cannon fire and thunderous crashes from Mother Nature...the white, hydrogen powered balloon with the moniker "OZ" vanished. Where were Diggs and Chang? A beautiful red countryside emerged filled with short people strictly red garbed. "Are you coming to liberate us?...Rejoice, a wizard has arrived."
With a wave of her wand, Glinda, the Good, changed ten mice who scurried over the floor of the balloon basket into miniature, reddish piglets. Diggs was now outfitted in white, matching the royal emblem of the white OZ on his "flying conveyance". Glinda imparted words of warning, "Watch out for the Great Chasm Dragon...". Running out of hydrogen and hoping to convert to safer hot air, Diggs and Chang needed to cross the ravine ruled by the Great Chasm Dragon. Tragedy strikes!
"Oscar Diggs, The Wizard of Oz", by Scott B. Blanke is a creative, original foray into the Wonderful World of Oz. The masterful pen of author Blanke paints beautiful visuals of four distinct countries and their people under the umbrella of Oz. Hungry? Grab a ripe lunch pail from a lunch box tree. Unopened, the ice cream will stay frozen, soup will stay steamy hot. Need a seer? Consult the non seeing slug. This fascinating, humorous, and unputdownable read envelops the reader in a journey to OZ. Highly recommended.
Thank you Black Rose Writing and Net Galley for the ARC in exchange for an honest review.