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Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked…

Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West

by Gregory Maguire

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: The Wicked Years (1)

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19,82149881 (3.62)1 / 492
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  1. 243
    The Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum (TuesdayNovember, lucien, sturlington)
    lucien: An obvious choice and one that's already listed. I will add that if your only exposure to the original is the film, I'd recommend this short read. There are several ideas Maguire plays with that are only in the book.
  2. 82
    A Lion Among Men by Gregory Maguire (KrazySkaterChick)
  3. 84
    Son of a Witch by Gregory Maguire (Kerian)
  4. 52
    The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly (Shuffy2)
  5. 30
    Grendel by John Gardner (mcenroeucsb)
    mcenroeucsb: Both are books that give you the "bad guy" take on classic tales.
  6. 20
    The Good Thief by Hannah Tinti (mhmolinaro)
  7. 31
    Was by Geoff Ryman (jonathankws)
    jonathankws: Set more in the 'real world' this re-telling of Oz compares three protagonists: a gay male actor with AIDS, a girl called Dorothy who a fictional L. Frank Baum 'created' Oz for, and a makeup girl on the set of the original film version film who encounters Judy Garland.… (more)
  8. 42
    The Looking Glass Wars by Frank Beddor (joyfulgirl)
  9. 32
    A Barnstormer in Oz by Philip José Farmer (jonathankws)
    jonathankws: More affiliated to Science Fiction, this retelling focuses on Dorothy's son who returns to Oz by accident.
  10. 11
    A Nameless Witch by A. Lee Martinez (infiniteletters)
  11. 23
    Running With Scissors by Augusten Burroughs (khoov00)
    khoov00: This book seems to appeal to some with the same sense of humor as it would take to appreciate the book Wicked.
  12. 413
    1984 by George Orwell (hayfa)

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English (490)  Spanish (5)  Dutch (1)  Catalan (1)  Hungarian (1)  All languages (498)
Showing 1-5 of 490 (next | show all)
It is one thing to say this is a retelling or maybe scenes from the eyes of others within Dorothy and the Wizard of Oz ala Rashomon; however, this book is neither of those things. It is Oz bastardized! About halfway through, I thought Maguire would have had a better book if he would describe sordid details he did to the corpse of L. Frank Baum. Riddled with moral relativism and painfully PC in the most painful PC way possible, everybody has a topical name. I will give him two stars for eccentricity and for helping me fall asleep at night; otherwise run far away from the book and enjoy the musical. ( )
  revslick | Apr 8, 2014 |
If this was a page turner I would have given it five stars but even if it's not that exciting it was written exceptionally and has a good plot. The character of Elphaba is really endearing. I was so atatched to her that I felt sad towards the end. I know what will happen since I've read "The Wizard of Oz" but it still feels sad. Elphaba was not able to get what she wished for. Maybe she was "wicked" because everything she campaigned for was lost... even Fiyero. This is a sad, lonely novel that also talks about politics and morality. ( )
  krizia_lazaro | Mar 17, 2014 |
I loved this book from the very opening. McGuire allows us to see the happenings in Oz in a completely different light and context. The book is difficult to get into, but by the time the second section of the book starts - you are IN! Push through, it's worth the effort. ( )
  Laurie.Schultz | Mar 15, 2014 |
At first, I hated this book. I thought it was really boring and didn't understand what all the hype was about. And then I got to the last section of the book and all I could think was... "Wow!" Everything that seems trivial and boring throughout the first three-fourths of the book suddenly makes sense and is actually really important in understanding Elphaba's life. So basically I view this book as a compromise. If you are willing to put up with some really boring stories in the beginning in order to get to the magnificence that is the end, I think it is totally worth it. However, if you aren't good at pushing yourself to read a book you don't find interesting, I wouldn't suggest reading this. I, however, did not regret finishing this book. On the other hand, if you really like The Wizard of Oz and have actually read some of Baum's books about it, Maguire does some really phenomenal stuff with Baum's world such as giving vital roles to more minor characters from the original work. ( )
  CareBear36 | Mar 8, 2014 |
Gave up on this one. Not my cup of tea. ( )
  njcur | Feb 13, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 490 (next | show all)
Although Mr. Maguire demonstrates a knack for conjuring up bizarre adventures for Elphie and introducing her to an eccentric cast of creatures (though nowhere near as enchanting as the many creatures Baum invented in his multiple sequels to "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz"), his insistence on politicizing Oz and injecting it with a heavy dose of moral relativism turns a wonderfully spontaneous world of fantasy into a lugubrious allegorical realm, in which everything and everyone is labeled with a topical name tag.
With a husky voice and a gentle, dramatic manner that will call to mind the image of a patient grandfather reading to an excited gaggle of children, McDonough leisurely narrates this fantastical tale of good and evil, of choice and responsibility. In Maguire's Oz, Elphaba, better known as the Wicked Witch of the West, is not wicked; nor is she a formally schooled witch. Instead, she's an insecure, unfortunately green Munchkinlander who's willing to take radical steps to unseat the tyrannical Wizard of Oz. Using an appropriately brusque voice for the always blunt Elphaba, McDonough relates her tumultuous childhood (spent with an alcoholic mother and a minister father) and eye-opening school years (when she befriends her roommate, Glinda). McDonough's pacing remains frustratingly slow even after the plot picks up, and Elphaba's protracted ruminations on the nature of evil will have some listeners longing for an abridgement. Still, McDonough's excellent portrayals of Elphaba's outspoken, gravel-voiced nanny and Glinda's snobbish friends make this excursion to Oz worthwhile
added by kthomp25 | editPublisher's Weekly

» Add other authors (11 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Gregory Maguireprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Avirom, JoelCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Smith, DouglasIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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
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
"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
This book is for Betty Levin and for all those who
taught me to love and fear goodness.
First words
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.
"Maybe the definition of home is the place where you are never forgiven, so you may always belong there, bound by guilt. And maybe the cost of belonging is worth it."
"Ah, we're slow learners, Nanny countered. But they can't learn at all" (p.12).
"You're not so bold at all," said Elphaba, "you're about as bold as tea made from used leaves" (p.129)
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AR 6.4, 25 Pts
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0061350966, Mass Market Paperback)

When Dorothy triumphed over the Wicked Witch of the West in L. Frank Baum's classic tale, we heard only her side of the story. But what about her arch-nemesis, the mysterious witch? Where did she come from? How did she become so wicked? And what is the true nature of evil?

Gregory Maguire creates a fantasy world so rich and vivid that we will never look at Oz the same way again. Wicked is about a land where animals talk and strive to be treated like first-class citizens, Munchkinlanders seek the comfort of middle-class stability and the Tin Man becomes a victim of domestic violence. And then there is the little green-skinned girl named Elphaba, who will grow up to be the infamous Wicked Witch of the West, a smart, prickly and misunderstood creature who challenges all our preconceived notions about the nature of good and evil.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:42:19 -0400)

(see all 9 descriptions)

A fable for adults on the subject of destiny and free will by a writer of children's books. It tells the story of Elphaba before she became the Wicked Witch of the West in the land of Oz. The novel traces her career as nun, nurse, pro-democracy activist and animal rights defender.… (more)

» see all 5 descriptions

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