Friday, November 13, 2009

Wicked {The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West}

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There is oh-so-much I can say about Wicked.  But the very first thing I have to say is that Gregory Maguire is a genius with words.  A genius I tell you!  The writing in this book is probably the most beautiful and clever writing I have ever experienced.  In the past I had tried to read the book and for whatever reasons would get distracted with something else so I decided to try the audio book and to actually hear the reader tell this story in Maguire's words is something I hope to experience again and again with more of Maguires masterpieces.  The story is so unique in the way he took a character (The Wicked Witch of the West) of a well known story (The Wizard of Oz) and expounded on her life.  You get reacquainted with some old characters and get to see them in a new light.  And the most interesting thing of it all is you get to see the political and religious life in Oz.

Throughout the story you learn who the dreaded Wicked Witch of the West really was, a good friend to Glinda, sister to Nessarose (The Wicked Witch of the East), lover to Fiyero, Mother to Liir, a strong willed woman who sympathized with the mistreatment and segregation of the Animals (groups of animals with human spirits..think the Cowardly Lion), and a rebel that wants to over through the Wizard of Oz.  I loved the fun play on words and the great names of towns and people in this book.

All in all it was a magical journey and I am looking forward to reading Son of a Witch (about Elphaba's son Liir), and Lion Among Men (about the Cowardly Lion).  I also think it would be great fun the read the tales Maguire spins on stories such as Cinderella and Snow White.  Look for more reviews to come as my To Be Read list just grew a mile or so longer!!! :)

Book vs. Movie:  OK so I know this is a HUGE HUGE Broadway hit and I haven't seen it yet!!!!  But I have to say that I would absolutely have to see this if it came in movie format!  I wasn't a huge fan of The Wizard of Oz when I was growing up (I mean the flying monkeys scared the hell out of me quite frankly) but this has such adult story lines that I think I would find if very amusing if in fact was done well.

by Gregory Maguire


  1. The musical is VERY different from the even has a totally different ending! It focuses mostly on the friendship between Glinda and Elphaba, and the character of Fieyro is TOTALLY different. He just has the same name.

    The musical is fantastic. I love it so much. But it is so, so different from the book.

  2. Yay! Great review! I love Wicked. I've never listened to the audio book, but I read it so much that the book started to fall apart. I love tat musical too. I saw it on Broadway. Awesome! However, as Jessica said above, it is very different from the book. It's still great though.

  3. I haven't read Wicked yet but I always see it at the book store and thought about reading it. Haven't seen the play either but I heard it's incredible!

  4. Nice review. I also loved Wicked. I think it's my favorite out of all his books. Son of a Witch was good for a sequel. I've yet to read A Lion Among Men, but I have it at home. I was really hesitant to see the musical, but thought it was amazing, though nothing can replace the book.