Wicked is one of the most clever books I've heard or read in a long time. I'm impressed by how the author has completely changed the way I feel about characters I've "known" most of my life. In Elphaba, he has taken a character I've always considered completely villainous and made me like her, and he exposes the goodness of characters like Glinda and Dorothy as simply a mask for shallow self-absorption. I also appreciate how the author's explanations for things are seamlessly woven into the story: why Elphaba wants the ruby slippers so much, why the monkeys have wings, why Elphaba is sensitive to water, and so on. Now I'm looking forward to watching the movie The Wizard of Oz again to see how irritating I'll find Dorothy and friends to be now!
This is a book that, in my observation, generates strong reactions and isn't for everyone, but if you don't mind having your perceptions of characters you've known and loved since childhood challenged, then perhaps you'll find, as I have, a new favorite book in Wicked.
So I read this book many, many years ago, it was brilliant then. Listening to it this time was just amazing. I really enjoyed it and felt that the narrator truely gave life to the characters. I had recently read the second novel of this series, Son of A Witch and felt I needed to re-read the first one to make some sense out of the few things that I had forgotten about. It did the trick and still remains one of my favorite novels. I also feel that this is one of gregory Maguire's best books.
I enjoyed this book very much. Seeing it thru the Witches point of view gave me a whole new prospective on the Wizard of Oz.
The book obviously has appeal, as evinced by the Broadway musical based on it, and by its best seller status. It is much darker and more thought provoking than the musical, however. That being said, I have yet to finish it. My attention keeps straying, and because of its excrutiating detail and tight plot, I find myself re-listening to the same part. The narrator is good, but as the majority of the book focuses on female characters, his deep voice can be distracting.
Should you buy this? I don't know. I won't get another of his books, but I think that if I finished it - I'd be glad I did. Listen to the sample, and see what you think.
"Wicked" is one of my favorite books of all time. I read it several years ago and was absolutely enchanted. I listened to it in order to refresh my memory of the story before listening to the sequel, "Son of a Witch." It is very well-read and I enjoyed it again but for some reason I feel that I preferred reading it. I am not sure why but the language he uses is just so beautiful, it is easier to savor in a book when you can go back over the words. I still recommend listening if you won't read it but if you are debating, pick up the book.
I thought the set-up was perfect for a witty and humorous story. This is not a comedy (which is why everybody is saying it is slow). If your interest is in a dramatic story comparing good and evil in an interesting world that is not ours then maybe this book is for you.
I'm an avid audio book listener and enjoy everything from fast moving fiction to Hawkin's "The Universe in a Nutshell." However, Wicked was simply way too slow paced for me to keep going. It's not that it's poorly written or the narrator is boring. It's just that it's so detailed and so slow moving that I could never get into it - after 12 hours I simply gave up.
Sorry all you fans of this book, but this listen was one of the most boring I ever subjected myself to. It was long, it rambled, and the storyline felt like it was written to take up time instead of move the story along. I forced myself to finish it but had to break up the listen with 3 other books just to do it. What a grand disappontment!
I had heard lots of good things about this, so
i gave it a try. Uggh. Couldn't get through it. Painful to listen to. Go see the play.
The person who could take the time to warm up to this book, is someone who has some serious time to pass. The writing is very detailed and descriptive, but it does this at the sacrifice of keeping any reasonable (for me) pace of story. I got bored and dropped it a third of the way.
Perhaps a second issue is that the very popular play which is based on this book is so very different in tone, tempo, detail and where it picks up the story, that the book won't work for your kids who have seen the play and want more of the same. In fact, the book is an adult experience to the point that I would say that it's R rated.