History is usually written from the perspective of the victors. This story covers the wonderful Baum stories from an entirely different perspective allowing us to see that things are not always as black and white as they initially appear.
Gregory Maguire has done his homework and stayed true to the books that most people don't know Baum wrote beyond the Wizard of Oz. I'm going to go through them all, but I expect I will be very disappointed when I reach that last of his books.
This is one of those frustrating novels where no plans every work out, where the protagonists are doomed to failure, and everything that happens is depressing. The idea that the Wicked Witch of the West from the Oz story might have her own point of view is a clever one. The novel starts out well. But it reaches its peak when the witch is still at school and then goes downhill. Even the witch herself becomes a less attractive character as the story goes on and most of the sympathetic characters are killed off or change for the worse.
This book has left me feeling a bit mixed up. It took a couple of hours for me to feel drawn in. However, what suddenly blossomed was a painfully phenomenal recreation of a character I thought I knew. In her early years, Elphaba (The Wicked Witch of the West) is the embodiment of youth's most insecure times. However, so well-adjusted to exclusion, she remains ignorant to any conscious sense of insecurity. That much more did I want to reach out to her in her rejection when reaching out to others.
However, despite the formative years, I felt the book eventually became very hollow and very rushed. Maguire's other-world descriptions began to become a bit too abstract. Even masterbatory. For those looking for a great beginning-to-end masterpiece, maybe look abroad. However, if it's a compelling, psychological character study you seek, you've found it.
I now want to see the show even more now.I just love this story,and the narrator was wonderful and brought it to life, I'm going listen to it again. I give this story and the narration 5 stars!!
Counselor with eclectic taste, I enjoy all types of fiction, dark, strange and twisted things, humor and explicitly.
Did not want it to end; although the plot gets a bit overtly political it was an absolute joy visiting old friends from a more mature perspective. The writing was phenomenal so many GREAT lines and Maguire definitely paints a vivid picture of Oz. 100% worth every cent! (or credit)
I picked this up because I enjoyed the Broadway show. The characters are the same, the story is different. Things that I enjoyed about the Broadway show are not at all in the book, no good dead goes unpunished. However, the story stands fine on its own once you get past any preconceived notions.
It was a wonderful treat. The idea that the WWW (Wicked Witch of the West) could have a motive for being so evil completely left our minds. We thought, "well, she's bad.." to give this character a face and a life is an ingenious idea and a great story. Read it! I did. Love it! You will.
I enjoyed the first section very much, towards the middle of the second the story got be a bit draggy. By the third I had kept playing the selection, but not really listening. I can't bring my self to listen to the end with Dorothy. I grew attached to Alfaba (sp) and didn't want to see her die, she's not the villian any longer.
What a great idea for a book! The premise of this story could have been developed into a timeless tale; however, I was very disappointed that the author followed the mistaken theory that lewdness is necessary to captivate the readers attention. Five stars for the premise - zero for the manner in which it was developed in this book.
i loved the story, i didn't love some of the authors political ramblings, i think he was trying to give the book more meaning and tie it in to the real world by going on and on at times about the politics of "OZ" the discrimination between humans and animals who have human like intelligence and the governments secret quest to control everything completely, it could have been touched upon and had a better effect but instead he drug it into the ground, i listen to it all and found that you could just fast forward through the ramblings and it would have zero effect on the overall story which supports my feeling that the author made a mistake in dedicating so many pages to political rambling on.
anyway,despite that i truly did enjoy the book and would definitely recommend it,it is overall a good book.