The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West : A Novel
Maguire, Gregory (Book - 1996 )
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.

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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.
Authors: Maguire, Gregory
Title: Wicked
the life and times of the wicked witch of the West : a novel
Publisher: New York :, ReganBooks,, 1996.
Edition: 1st HarperPerennial ed.
Characteristics: 406 p. :,ill., map ;,21 cm.
Local Note: 1 6 8 9 15 29 53 54 61 97 109 112 129 133 143 148 150 151 152 153 159 160 173 210 216 224 234 243 245 250 274
ISBN: 0060987103
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Report This Apr 20, 2014
  • artemishi rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Wicked is definitely the best Gregory Maguire book I've read to date (I have 3 left to go, though). It weaves some subtle political and social commentary (from our own American current affairs, and past) into the well-known Baum Oz books, adding a rich depth to a story I don't much care for. That's right- I dislike The Wizard of Oz. You may commence with the booing. Anyway, Wicked is well-written although, in his usual way, Maguire lets the reader connect the dots, and doesn't exactly answer any of the mysteries he sets up. Elphaba is not a relatable character, or a likeable one, but he still manages to convey sympathy for her constantly-foiled attempts to do good. In fact, I adore the musical, which distills this concept but sugar-coats it a lot more than the book. Don't read this expecting a whimsical love story with Fiyero, a hate-to-love friendship with Glinda, or a happy ending. The book makes Elphaba not just misunderstood, but actually at times truly wicked for her lack of compassion, empathy, and wide-scope-view-of-the-world. Ultimately, this is a musing on the nature of evil. With some pretty fleshed-out, three-dimensional (albeit not intimate to the reader) characters. I recommend it for fans of Gregory Maguire, the philosophy of morality, the Oz books, and political commentary with a flair of magic.

Report This Jul 09, 2013
  • Meeeeeee rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

Complicated book, with a little of religion , live love and politics in it,but a bit difficult to keep track of all the characters.

Report This Jun 03, 2013
  • blue_swallow_11 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

Easily the best book i have read all year... Very intricate plot, and it brings the wicked witch to life... If you havent seen the musical, its easily the best musical EVER!!!!

Report This Apr 30, 2013
  • Flute_Love rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Best book I've ever read, although, I got lost a few times and had to go back. and It was a little boring in some parts. If you like fairy tales you will love this book.

Report This Apr 26, 2013
  • britprincess1 rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

An intricate retelling of L. Frank Baum's The Wizard of Oz, moved into the perspective of the allegedly evil Wicked Witch of the West, this complex world is woven from what is accepted as reality combined with the fantastical elements of the world of Oz. I don't think the musical (what I know of it at least) does the novel justice. As epic a scale this novel is trying to reach, readers must be patient enough to get past the first few handfuls of pages to get into the story itself and not the expansion of the universe that is its setting. All good things come to those who wait, and WICKED is very good. I highly recommend this novel, but I don't think reluctant readers will enjoy WICKED as it requires perseverance through those first few pages.

Report This Dec 17, 2012
  • LazyNeko rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

I'm not familiar with the musical at all. Still, I didn't expect the book to be so... political. The complicated politics and race oppression of the various regions of Oz are imaginative, but the the Witch, as a title character, is under-developed and the frequent talk of the nature of evil and of the soul, hackneyed.

Report This Dec 17, 2012
  • Bettyboophume rated this: 1 stars out of 5.

Unfortunately while a potentially great premise, tremendously boring. I'm not quite sure how this was managed as the idea has merit and could have been better worked up

I just finished this book, I have heard about it for ages. It was a good book although sometimes it was hard to keep attention because it kept jumping through time and characters without much explaination.

Report This Oct 24, 2012
  • thewrittenpage rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

I, very reluctantly, read this book after receiving it as a gift. Much to my surprise I enjoyed reading it and found it to be a quick and intriguing.

Report This Jul 22, 2012
  • juliabowers rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

A very dense, character-filled novel focusing on the theme of good vs. evil. Well written but, hard to get through at points.

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Report This Apr 30, 2013
  • Flute_Love rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

Flute_Love thinks this title is suitable for 13 years and over

Report This Nov 24, 2012
  • jplesko97 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

jplesko97 thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over

orange_cat_2189 thinks this title is suitable for All Ages


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Report This Jun 19, 2011
  • sgeluardi rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

Dark and depressing. I kept waiting for this to pull out of the spin but it's whole story seems to be based on withered dreams. The main character is hard to like or enjoy also. One moment she might be very philosophical the next she'll act like an angry child.


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Report This Dec 17, 2012
  • LazyNeko rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

"I'm no pawn," said Glinda. "I take all the credit in the world for my own foolishness. Good gracious, dear, all of life is a spell. You know that. But you do have some choice."


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Report This Dec 16, 2011
  • rslade rated this: 1.5 stars out of 5.

"Popular" - from "Wicked"

A mashup of the different productions of "Wicked."

Find it at CLEVNET


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