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Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West | [Gregory Maguire]

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

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.
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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

3.6 (4853 )
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Performance
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  •  
    02-22-07
    02-22-07 Listener Since 2004
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    1
    Overall
    "Nice book, but only for adults"

    I thought this would be a great book. It is such a neat idea and since it was so popular I had to check it out. This is an adult book. Don't think this is a Harry Potter kind of story about a little green girl's adventure. This book is surprisingly sexually graphic in some parts. Eventhough it is "unabridged", I think the story is a bit slow in some parts.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Summer Lathrup Village, MI, USA 01-08-07
    Summer Lathrup Village, MI, USA 01-08-07
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    1
    Overall
    "Wonderful"

    Great story, wonderful narrator. Very interesting characters and plot line. The story slowed slightly near the end, but overall I found this "adult fairy tale" to be highly entertaining and thought provoking. I couldn't stop listening to it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Susan Ann Arbor, MI, United States 12-24-06
    Susan Ann Arbor, MI, United States 12-24-06 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    23
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    "not a fairy tale!"

    This book is marketed as a fairy tale giving the impression it might even be suitable for children. This is definitely not the case--this book should definitely be in the adult section, foul language, "adult" scenes.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Elliot Gulf Coast of Texas 11-02-06
    Elliot Gulf Coast of Texas 11-02-06 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    27
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    196
    10
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    1
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    Overall
    "Almost Fully Satisfying"

    Provided an intriguing back story to the well-known Wicked Witch of the West. Seemed as though some of the threads were insufficiently left hanging, however. At the conclusion, I was still wondering what I'd missed. Good listen, but mildly dis-satisfying.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chrissy Austin, TX, USA 10-10-06
    Chrissy Austin, TX, USA 10-10-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    5
    3
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    "Too Long"

    This was a fun read, but could have been edited down to 2 volumes easily.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sarah Thompson USA 10-07-06
    Sarah Thompson USA 10-07-06

    Particular about products!

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    9
    5
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    Overall
    "Disappointing Story, Mismatched Narrator"

    I wanted to love this book, but for the most part, it did not fulfill its promise. There were some interesting details, but I didn't care for any of the characters, who were mostly selfish, annoying, dimwitted, and/or dull.

    Also, I did not like the choice of narrator at all! Almost all of the characters were female, so the crusty-voiced old man reader made the characters seem more coarse than I think the author intended. I would have chosen a female with a British accent.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Toledo, OH, USA 09-30-06
    Robert Toledo, OH, USA 09-30-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
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    12
    8
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    "Very Intresting"

    I liked it but I think somewhere along the way I missed the point other than we are all people and we all have our own problems

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joyce 09-14-06
    Joyce 09-14-06 Member Since 2002
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    4
    1
    Overall
    "Hated it !"

    Great idea... telling the story of the witch before she met up with Dorothy. Bad execution.

    However, I've seen the Broadway Musical based on this book twice. If was life changing. It is still hard for me to understand how such a beautiful show could be based on this book.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Joseph Gilbert, AZ, USA 09-06-06
    Joseph Gilbert, AZ, USA 09-06-06 Member Since 2002
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    3
    2
    Overall
    "@.@ whyyyyyy"

    I bought this on the weight that it was supposed to be funny and I had hope it was yet another of many faithful adaptations of stories in the OZ story, much like "Return To OZ". The only faithfulness this story has to the original are the names. And whats most is that it is not a kids story; it has violence and sexual sitations beyond anything I would have liked for this kind of story. I'm sure it might be okay in its own right, but it failed my expectations; it is more like a dull soap opera with a few minor wittisms set in the pre-Wizard of OZ story. I just hate how it has ruined the OZ story that I love. In my opinion, it was a waste of my money.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Francis Stratford, ON, Canada 09-02-06
    Francis Stratford, ON, Canada 09-02-06
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    1
    Overall
    "Now we know the rest of the story"

    Thank you Gregory Maguire. This is an intriguing story from beginning to end. The subplots and underlying messages make it a great book to listen to. The stories of the witch and her life add to the interest. Frank Baum would be proud to have this story told. The empathy for those whom we think we know is truly one of the strengths of the book. In the past I thought of the witch as being 'wicked'. Now however I have a better appreciation of her as a concerned and caring individual. Listening to the story unfold added to my sympathy for her. A must listen for the fans of "Oz".

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful

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