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.

Item Details

Elphaba, born with emerald green skin, comes of age in the land of Oz, rooming with debutante Glinda at the university, and following a path in life that earns her the label of Wicked.
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. ;,21 cm.
Contents: Prologue : on the Yellow Brick Road
I. Munchkinlanders
The root of evil
The clock of the time dragon
The birth of a witch
Maladies and remedies
The quadling glassblower
Geographies of the seen and the unseen
Child's play
Darkness abroad
II. Gillikin
The charmed circle
III. The city of emeralds
IV. In the Vinkus
The voyage out
The Jasper Gates of Kiamo Ko
V. The murder and its afterlife.
Summary: Elphaba, born with emerald green skin, comes of age in the land of Oz, rooming with debutante Glinda at the university, and following a path in life that earns her the label of Wicked.
Local Note: 1 6 8 9 15 29 53 54 61 97 109 112 129 133 143 148 150 152 153 159 173 210 216 224 234 243 245 274
ISBN: 0060987103
Statement of Responsibility: Gregory Maguire ; illustrations by Douglas Smith
Subject Headings: Witches Fiction. Oz (Imaginary place) Fiction.
Genre/Form: Fantasy fiction.
Topical Term: Witches
Oz (Imaginary place)
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Jul 30, 2014
  • skybarb rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.


May 10, 2014
  • mbssmith rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

An amazing book with many political and historical references. It accurately shows the cruelty of children through multiple characters.

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.

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.

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!!!!

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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

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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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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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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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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