Years before Dorothy and her dog crash-land, another little girl makes her presence known in Oz. This girl, Elphaba, is born with emerald-green skin -- no easy burden in a land as mean and poor as Oz, where superstition and magic are not strong enough to explain or to overcome the natural disasters of flood and famine. But Elphaba is smart, and by the time she enters the university in Shiz, she becomes a member of a charmed circle of Oz' most promising young citizens.
Elphaba's Oz is no utopia. The Wizard's secret police are everywhere. Animals -- those creatures with voices, souls and minds -- are threatened with exile. Young Elphaba, green and wild and misunderstood, is determined to protect the Animals -- even it means combating the mysterious Wizard, even if it means risking her single chance at romance. Even wiser in guilt and sorrow, she can find herself grateful when the world declares her a witch. And she can even make herself glad for that young girl from Kansas.
In Wicked, Gregory Maguire has taken the largely unknown world of Oz and populated it with the power of his own imagination. Fast-paced, fantastically real and supremely entertaining, this is a novel of vision and re-vision. Oz never will be the same again....Continua
The book sets out to wrestle with the nature and origin of evil - but fails to wrestle with the important questions. The book is full of symbolism that is called out to obviously in a contrived way, yet the symbols remain disappointingly vague as to their meaning. The plot drags, as many reviewers have pointed out. The first section of the book has a dramatically darker tone than the remaining sections, leaving the created tension unresolved. The characters seem inconsistent throughout the story....Continua
I really enjoyed this book, it's a really unique way of looking at a really old story. I loved the beginning showing where the Wicked Witch was born and how she came about.
Some parts dragged a little but for the most part I thought the story was well paced and exciting. I especially liked the ending when Nanny had really gone doddery and kept making hilarious comments. It really tied in well with the actual Wizard of Oz story at the end too with Dorothy and her companions.
Very original and unique story and I really enjoyed it. Would love to see the musical, must add it to my life's to-do list!...Continua
It's a great book, however my knoledge of English isn't enough to understand everything. I'm just a little annoying by the fact that the book is VERY different from the musical: I know it's "ispired of", and not "from" the book, but... oh, I don't know, I wish to read about Fyero and Fabala just like in the musical! :D
However, it's a good book to read! My advice is to read it!
Gregory Maguire’s “Wicked” is a victory in revisionist fictional writing. The novel is based on the origins of the Wicked Witch of the West. The author takes his time in establishing his interpretation of OZ. In wonderful detail we are told of the different races such as the Munchkin Landers, Quadlings, and Arjiki. Maguire even goes so far as to create a volatile political climate. The Wizard of Oz is portrayed as a cruel dictator determined to strip away the rights of Animals (not to be confused with animals). These are talking beasts who strive to be first class citizens. But the real fulcrum on which this story rests is the complicated character of Elphaba - who eventually becomes the infamous Wicked Witch of the West.
Elphaba’s childhood is disastrous. Though a large part of this is due to her being born with green skin, her parents are absolutely dysfunctional. Despite these problems - Elphaba’s personal actions as a young student are surprisingly moral. She openly questions the teachers at the School of Shiz when they support the Wizard’s anti - Animal rights propaganda. She even ends up joining a freedom fighter movement - though this ends unsuccessfully and with the death of her only lover.
What irks me about Wicked is how purposefully anti-climactic it was at times. I realize this was the writers intent to create mystery, but it borders on being infuriating. We are never really given any insight to the movement Elphaba was involved in nor was there an immediacy with its failure. When she seeks forgiveness for the affair with Fiyero, events unfold in such a way as to prevent the suspenseful moment from happening. Even her death at the hands of Dorothy lacked poignancy. Yes. We all know the Wicked Witch dies at the end of the story - but I didn’t feel Maguire’s novel owns that moment.
But again - what carries this story is the precocious, spiny, and endearing character of Elphaba. Wicked has many brilliant lines of dialogue and internalization. This was the main reason this novel was so easily adapted into a Broadway musical. Wicked is an entertaining read and deserves its place beside L. Frank Baum’s original work....Continua