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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 (4893 )
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Performance
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  •  
    05-23-07
    05-23-07 Listener Since 2007
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    125
    2
    Overall
    "Only fair"

    I'm half way through listening to this book and am finding it barely interesting enough to continue on during car rides, though not so interesting as to want to go back to it at every free moment as I have with other books. I find Mr Maguire's writing original yet laborious with most scenes elaborately described using unusual terms and intricate detail to very little purpose. Sometimes I find that distracting, as though he's trying to impress with his vocabulary - definitely not a spare style. I'm hoping it picks up as the first 10 hours have lacked action.
    There are a number of sexually perverse scenes; not that I mean to be prudish as this is obviously an adult piece of fiction unlike the children's literature whose settings and characters it's based on, but anyone considering it should be aware of them.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mathieu Toronto, Ontario, Canada 03-31-07
    Mathieu Toronto, Ontario, Canada 03-31-07
    HELPFUL VOTES
    22
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    70
    9
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    Overall
    "Brought me back"

    This narrator on this book was better than any of the stories my parents told me growing up. He had different voices for each character and really kept the story alive with his passion for storytelling.

    Aside from the entertainment value of the great story that is Wicked, I also enjoyed the way the author gave you a choice: either you can take the version of the Wizard of Oz the movie as "fact" for what happened or you can take "Wicked's" version of what happened while Dorothy was in Oz.

    My favourite aspect of Wicked was what isn't mentioned. As the author describes the political situation of the day in oz you begin to make sense of some of the things in the Wizard that either never made sense or that you never paid attention to before. But now that you've read them in Wicked it gives the Wizard a whole new dimension.

    I truly enjoyed this book and made a great road trip even better.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    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 2015
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    23
    3
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    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "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
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    196
    10
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    FOLLOWING
    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
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    3
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    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "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
    16
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    5
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    0
    0
    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
    ratings
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    12
    8
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    0
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    Overall
    "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

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