We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access .
Wicked Audiobook

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

Regular Price:$41.97
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Publisher's Summary

Heralded as an instant classic of fantasy literature, Maguire has written a wonderfully imaginative retelling of The Wizard of Oz told from the Wicked Witch's point of view. More than just a fairy tale for adults, Wicked is a meditation on the nature of good and evil.

Elphaba is born with green skin, a precocious mind, and a talent for magic. An outcast throughout her childhood in Munchkinland, she finally begins to feel as though she fits in when she enters the University in the Emerald City. While she hones her skills, she discovers that Oz isn't the Utopia it seems. She sets out to protect its unwanted creatures, becoming known as the Wicked Witch along the way.

Narrator John McDonough draws you in to Maguire's magical world of witches and talking animals, making it possible to believe in a land somewhere over the rainbow.

©1995 Gregory Maguire; (P)2000 Recorded Books, LLC

What the Critics Say

"A staggering feat of wordcraft." (Los Angeles Times)
"McDonough's excellent portrayals of Elphaba's outspoken, gravel-voiced nanny, Glinda's snobbish friends, and the wide-eyed, soft-spoken Dorothy make this excursion to Oz worthwhile." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.7 (5644 )
5 star
 (1954)
4 star
 (1539)
3 star
 (1075)
2 star
 (594)
1 star
 (482)
Overall
3.7 (3241 )
5 star
 (1245)
4 star
 (785)
3 star
 (602)
2 star
 (323)
1 star
 (286)
Story
4.0 (3204 )
5 star
 (1413)
4 star
 (942)
3 star
 (507)
2 star
 (182)
1 star
 (160)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Heather LEHI, UTAH, United States 12-19-11
    Heather LEHI, UTAH, United States 12-19-11 Member Since 2011
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    23
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Love the Musical, HATE the book!!!"
    What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

    If the book were more like the musical and not so dirty!


    Has Wicked turned you off from other books in this genre?

    No.


    Would you listen to another book narrated by John McDonough?

    Yes, I thought the narration was good.


    You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

    No


    Any additional comments?

    I couldn't even get half way through it because it was so dirty and crude.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    William Dupre 12-05-11 Member Since 2008
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    550
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "good story with reservations."

    while I did enjoy reading about the evolution of the witch and what drove her to become the Wicked Witch of the West, and of course her end was a foregone conclusion, I can't help but feel that this was a shaggy dog story with no resolution from the reader's point of view. I kept hoping for a payoff after the rich development of the characters in new and interesting ways. but in the end it was just an abrupt end with no real payoff, I gave it 4 stars because the story was so well thought out and read, but it lost the final star due to the ending. perhaps it will take reading the other three books to bring things into focus but I find myself with very little interested in pursuing more.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Toinette Chesapeake, VA, United States 11-26-11
    Toinette Chesapeake, VA, United States 11-26-11

    I write, I read, I cook, I watch movies...I'm a big kid.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    9
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "To the point."

    Wicked takes a child’s fantasy and turns into an adult’s fairy tale. You want everything to be simple and have a guaranteed happy ending, but reality keeps a sensible mature grown up from believing in such naivety. Wicked tells the story of the Wicked Witch in the way it probably would have really happened. Things are never as simple as they might seem. The narrator of this story brings the characters to life in a way that makes a daytime soap opera seem like a child’s favorite Saturday morning cartoon.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jennifer Los Angeles, CA, United States 11-21-11
    Jennifer Los Angeles, CA, United States 11-21-11 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
    3
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    35
    6
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A little too long"

    I didn't like this book as much as I wanted to. It's a little long and muddled with the politics of the fictional Oz. It was also way more "adult" than I was expecting, which I could have done without. But if you can get past that, it certainly has interesting parts, and it's fun to try to figure out how characters and events relate to the story we know and love.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jeanne Jamaica Plain, MA, United States 11-12-11
    Jeanne Jamaica Plain, MA, United States 11-12-11

    Jeanne

    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great fun!"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    James Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada 11-12-11
    James Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada 11-12-11 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    103
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    106
    23
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    8
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Clever but frustrating"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    dave SAN JOSE, CA, United States 09-22-11
    dave SAN JOSE, CA, United States 09-22-11 Member Since 2011
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Tear-jerking at Times"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Billy FOLSOM, LA, United States 09-01-11
    Billy FOLSOM, LA, United States 09-01-11 Member Since 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    0
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    37
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Wonderful story"

    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!!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Melissa Dayton, OH, United States 08-28-11
    Melissa Dayton, OH, United States 08-28-11 Member Since 2010

    Counselor with eclectic taste, I enjoy all types of fiction, dark, strange and twisted things, humor and explicitly.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    32
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    79
    37
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    10
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "What Fun...Perfection in Narration"

    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)

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert New Brighton, MN 08-10-11
    Robert New Brighton, MN 08-10-11
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    73
    3
    Overall
    "Not the Broadway show"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

Cancel

Thank you.

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.