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Wicked / Son of a Witch by Gregory Maguire

Wicked / Son of a Witch

by Gregory Maguire

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417538,083 (3.66)1
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    The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: Fans of this book should know where it all started.

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Showing 5 of 5
Storyline differs significantly from the smash Broadway musical, but both the stage and printed versions are fantastic. Spoiler Alert: Some diehard fans of the earlier Dorothy/Toto-centric tale may not appreciate this author's portrayal of their motives and behavior while hunting down the Wicked Witch of the West. Both Wicked and Son were very entertaining reads and I enthusiastically recommend reading both consecutively. ( )
  dele2451 | Aug 26, 2014 |
[Review of Book 2 'Son of a Witch' only]
More likeable than 'Wicked', the first book in the omnibus, if not quite as challenging, this has the same intelligence, mordant wit and salty use of language. I suspect that I will go on to read more of Maguire's work. ( )
  salimbol | Nov 25, 2013 |
I've listed WICKED separately as "Read but unowned" in order to rate it with 4 stars. The actual copy that I have, though, is this Barnes & Noble "luxury" edition that includes WICKED and SON OF A WITCH, and this particular edition I rate with a half-star. It is poorly printed with defaced typography on three or four pages, where the upper halves of some letters/words are glitched so that they do not properly align with the lower halves.

Watch out about buying this B&N edition. ( )
  CurrerBell | Nov 7, 2011 |
I just finished reading Wicked for the second time and loved it even more than I did back in high school. It was an exciting, interesting, genius reworking of the tale of Oz from the "witches" point of view, exploring the beginnings of The Wicked Witch Of The East, The Wicked Witch Of The West, and Glinda The Good Witch, and while it is a novel that may have begun from a work already in existence, it has truly created a whole new entity in itself. Elphaba was a believable female heroine, surprisingly well written from a male point of view. The writing itself was mysterious to read, in a way that didn't talk down to it's readers but gave them something to chew on without being a mess of confusion. This is a grown up "fairy tale" enjoyed by anyone who loves to explore the well known to discover layers and layers of story underneath. A great fantasy world of love, sex, politics, family, friendship, and philosophies of good, evil, and what constitutes a soul (animal? Animal? Human? Witch?). I hate to label something as a "book club book" because I feel it always makes a work sound cheesy, but if you have friends cool enough to read this with you, it is a great book to discuss and theorize about. Maguire is a wonder of a writer, greatly crafted in intelligent sly wit mixed with great imagination, and I am excited to begin reading Son Of A Witch for the first time as soon as I have time to crack open the second half of this enchanting green tome. ( )
  Jennifyr | Aug 26, 2011 |
Wicked was an interesting read, and I can see why it's so popular, but I wouldn't give it the highest praises and marks it has received. It struck me as a very popular fan-fiction more than anything else. It also felt a little too simplistic for me. All you need to know is that all the main characters who were "good" in 'The Wizard of Oz' are now rather pretentious, and all the "evil" characters are simply "misunderstood". Maguire really cherry-picks through his references, sometimes drawing from the 1939 movie, sometimes drawing from the original Wizard of Oz series. Often enough, the conclusions he draws will greatly conflict with the Oz series, so I wouldn't make it a solid prequel for Baum's Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

Despite my feelings on "Wicked" I gave "Son of a Witch" a try. Why not? They're in the same volume. "Wicked" was incredibly depressing and crude, and its sequel was even more so.

Again, it was an interesting read, but I don't plan on picking the book up again. ( )
  Rozax | Feb 26, 2011 |
Showing 5 of 5
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'Tis very strange Men should be so fond of being thought wickeder than they are. -Daniel Defoe, A System of Magick (Wicked)
In historical events great men--so called--are but the labels that serve to give a name to an event, and like labels, they have the last possible connection with the event itself. Every action of theirs, that seems to them an act of their own free will, is in an historical sense not free at all, but in bondage to the whole course of previous history, and predestined from all eternity. -Leo Nikolaevich Tolstoi, War and Peace (Wicked)
"Well," Said the head, "I will give you your answer. You have no right to expect me to send you back to Kansas unless you do something for me in return. In this country everyone must pay for everything he gets. If you wish me to use my magic power to send you home again you must do something for me first. Help me and I will help you." "What must I do?" asked the girl. "Kill the wicked Witch of the West," answered Oz. -L. Frank Baum, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz (Wicked)
I have no fear that the poetry of democratic peoples will be found timid or that it will stick too close to the earth. I am much more afraid that it...may finish up by describing an entirely fictitious country.

-- Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America, 1835, 1840 (Son of a Witch)
All cows were like all other cows, all tigers like all other tigers -- what on earth has happened to human beings?

-- Harry Mulisch, Siegfried, 2001 (Son of a Witch)
This book is for Betty Levin and for all those who
taught me to love and fear goodness. (Wicked)
L. Baum's second Oz novel, The Marvelous Land of Oz (1904), was dedicated to the actors David C. Montogomery and Fred A. Stone, who performed the roles of the Tin Woodman and the Scarecrow in the first theatrical version The Wizard of Oz.
In that spirit, Son of a Witch is dedicated to the cast and creative team of the musical Wicked, which opened on Broadway in October 2003--the night before Halloween.
To Winnie Holzman and Stephen Schwartz, foremost and first, for their vision; to Wayne Cilento, Susan Hilferty, Eugene Lee, Joe Mantello, Stephen Oremus, Kenneth Posner, and Marc Platt and his associates, for bringing visions to life; and, among all the capable cast, most especially to Kristin Chenoweth (Galinda/Glinda), Joel Grey (The Wizard), and Idina Menzel (Elphaba), for bringing life to visions. (Son of a Witch)
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A mile above Oz, the Witch balanced on the wind's forward edge, as if she were a green fleck of the land itself, flung up and sent wheeling away by the turbulent air. (Wicked)
So the talk of random brutality wasn't just talk. (Son of a Witch)
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Wicked : the life and times of the Wicked Witch of the West: Tells the story of Elphaba before she became the Wicked Witch of the West in the land of Oz, tracing her career as nun, nurse, pro-democracy activist and animal rights defender. Son of a witch: The sequel to Wicked returns to the land of Oz to tell the story of Liir, an adolescent boy last seen hiding in the shadows of the castle after Dorothy defeated Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West. Bruised, comatose, and left for dead in a gully, Liir is shattered in spirit as well as in form. But he is tended at the Cloister of Saint Glinda by the silent novice called Candle, who wills him back to life with her musical gifts. What dark force left Liir in this condition? Is he really Elphaba's son? He has her broom and her cape, but what of her powers? Can he find his supposed half-sister, Nor, last seen in the forbidding prison, Southstairs? Can he fulfill the last wishes of a dying princess? In an Oz that, since the Wizard's departure, is under new and dangerous management, can Liir keep his head down long enough to grow up?… (more)

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