The last book that I read for The 1920 Club week which finished yesterday was The Story of Dr Dolittle by Hugh Lofting. I’ve read a few of these books but this is the first one which explains that Dr Dolittle had been a doctor for humans, but he was far more interested in the many animals that he had in his house/surgery. Not surprisingly this upset his patients, one sat on a hedgehog and eventually he found he had only one patient left and no money was coming in. That one patient – the cat’s meat man – suggested that he should become an animal doctor. Dr Dolittle set about learning to speak with animals and in no time he was able to pay his bills again.
When a swallow brings news that all of the monkeys in Africa are dying of a strange disease (yes I know!) Dr Dolittle sails to Africa with lots of his animals including Chee Chee his monkey. So begins the adventure that sees them being locked up by a king when they travel through his land, but of course Polynesia the parrot helps them to escape.
Of course Dr Dolittle does manage to save the lives of the monkeys who haven’t already succumbed to the mystery disease that has killed thousands of them.
If only Covid-19 could be so easy to sort out.
This was an enjoyable read and it’s the first in a series of books which was turned into the film starring Rex Harrison in 1967 and more recently Robert Downey Jr. in 1998.
My other Dolittle books are really nice old ones but this on is a modern one from 1998, published by the Daily Mail – of all things. The rather naive illustrations, also by Lofting, are charming.
It’s the week of the 1920 Club and I thought I had read quite a few books published in 1920 but it turns out that since starting this blog I’ve only read one – The Courts of Idleness by Dornford Yates, you can read my thoughts on it here.
Oops I’ve just realised that Open the Door by Catherine Carswell was also published in 1920, you can read my thoughts here.
I’ve also read Queen Lucia by E.F. Benson, another 1920 book but apparently didn’t blog about it, that’s strange as I love that series.
Glinda of Oz by L. Frank Baum is my first choice for the 1920 Club hosted by Simon at Stuck in a Book and Karen at Kaggsy’s Bookish Ramblings
I bought this book years ago but hadn’t got around to reading it before now. I had been under the impression that this was the only sequel to The Wizard of Oz so was very surprised to discover that this is number 14 in the series and there are also a few short story compilations too.
In this one, two of the tribes who inhabit the land of Oz are at loggerheads. The Skeezers are led by Queen Coo-ee-oh who is incredibly supercilious and a tyrant, her people are afraid of her but as she rules by magic they’re unable to do anything about her behaviour.
The Flatheads are furious because Queen Coo-ee-oh turned their queen into a Golden Pig and there’s nothing they can do about it. When Dorothy and Princess Ozma discover what is going on they’re determined to help the situation, but its some time before all of the magic that Coo-ee-oh has performed can be undone. It’s made more difficult because Coo-ee-oh has been turned into a swan and is so enamoured of herself that all she can do is admire her reflection in the lake. Princess Ozma has to ask for Glinda’s help.
This was a lovely light read, just right for the moment. It’s another journey involving a Cowardly Lion, Scarecrow, a Patchwork Girl and various others, but I feel that the book has a serious side, presented in a light manner. The lesson being that war is to be avoided if at all possible, something that I’m sure a lot of people felt just two years after the end of World War 1.