The Factory World by Joseph Edward Ryan
Simon is a young boy who sees a flash of green while playing the part of the cowardly lion in The Wizard of Oz and finds himself “birthed” into Factory World via factory pipe. He is freed from the pipe by a man who is just as bewildered at the world he is in as Simon.
He asks Simon “why the lion suit” so Simon outlines the story of Oz and the man decides he is The Tin man. Is this a revamped story of the Wizard of Oz? I hear you ask and the only answer I can give is “maybe”. You will have to make your own mind up about this novel.
It is majestically written but totally weird. You are wondering what the hell is going on, yet you dare not put it down in case you miss something big.
The real attraction of this novel besides the weirdness is the relationship between Simon and the Tin Man. The world they are in is murderous. Factories with large pipes bedeck the landscape which is populated by mannequin like creatures frozen in time. In this world you are nothing unless you can take from others but Simon and the Tin Man look out for each other.
In a weird kind of logic they decide to travel to the middle of Factory World in a blind belief that in the middle is a way back to the real world.
Is there a yellow brick road to the Emerald City? What are the mannequins? Why are there huge holes in the ground? Does the middle have a way back to reality?
Not for everybody this novel but I found it compelling reading. I think it has merged the boundaries between young adult and adult fiction. Well written with some stunning dialogue between Simon and the Tinman.
For something classy and different read this. A totally unique idea.