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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

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3.6 (4777 )
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  •  
    Robert Toledo, OH, USA 09-30-06
    Robert Toledo, OH, USA 09-30-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
    ratings
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    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
  •  
    Carolyn jackson, WY, United States 08-28-06
    Carolyn jackson, WY, United States 08-28-06

    Avid Listener of Audible

    HELPFUL VOTES
    28
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    "I don't even like fantasy"

    I am not one to read fantasy or sci fi; however, because I was a fan of the Wizard of Oz, I thought it would be interesting to hear 'the other side of the story." The wicked witch of the west was not the person I thought she would be and the story was not what I thought it would be. I could not wait to get into my car to hear what happened next. It is best to listen to the other half of the story told from the witches' point of view instead of just Dorothy.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Burlingame, CA, USA 08-28-06
    Robert Burlingame, CA, USA 08-28-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
    51
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    14
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    "Don't believe the hype: this book stinks!"

    Bo Dylan said it best, "Just because something's popular doesn't mean it's good."

    I had long been very curious about "Wicked" due to it's insane million selling status and subsequent Broadway musical. In fact it was the very first Audible title I downloaded when I first joined.

    It look me over a month to get thru just the first 5 hours since it was SO INCREDIBLY BORING that I lost interest and avoided it for days at a time.

    The whole story is nothing but a feeble attempt to be sly & witty, but is really just a thinly disguised Christian morality warning akin to C.S. Lewis' "Narnia" books. Gregory MaGuire is incredibly pompus and EXTREMELY long-winded and I have no doubt that L. Frank Baum is spinning in his grave right now in the REAL Land of Oz that we all know and love.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris Overland Park, KS, United States 07-30-06
    Chris Overland Park, KS, United States 07-30-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
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    "A love it or hate it kind of book"

    Mark me in the love it category. This is one of those books that I'm sure will have many detractors. In part, because I think they see satire where I don't see this being told in a comic version at all; rather, more as a semi-biographical alternative history. Taken in that context, and compared with many of it's peers in alternative history writing, the use dialog within this book forms an extremely effective narrative to help flesh out the motivations of it's characters. There are moments where this book borders on complete brilliance with it's use of characters and their interactions. It's rare that I find a book that causes me to stop, pause and think about the implications laid out. The reasoning within this book as well as continuity within unrelated Oz books is staggering in how aptly they can all fit together without major contradiction.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Chesterland , OH, USA 07-21-06
    Michael Chesterland , OH, USA 07-21-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
    26
    ratings
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    67
    11
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    "Unsatisfying"

    Yes, you know how it's going to end, but you keep hoping for something different and in the end it's unsatisfying. So many questions unanswered, so much left hanging and apparently the sequel doesn't anwer much of anything. The premise is brilliant, and much of the execution is terrific, but something in the end is lacking.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steven Stout 07-16-06 Listener Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "A tornado should blow a house onto this book"

    The idea of this book is excellent. Unfortunately, the pompous "satire" that is used to present it is poorly executed.

    If you love your satire dry and pompous, perhaps this book is for you. Otherwise: stay clear.

    For so fantastical a setting the problems and characters in this novel are mundane to the extreme. It is not in the least engaging.

    Other than the concept, the only positive thing to be said about this book is the narator, who does a fabulous job despite the material.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Alison Philadelphia, PA, United States 07-14-06
    Alison Philadelphia, PA, United States 07-14-06 Member Since 2004
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Worst book ever!"

    This story is about as engaging and believable as a George bush speech. Badly written and slow to develop, the story is compromised for character development, and when all is said and done you are left with unbelievable characters that you can't relate to.

    This is a drab and humorousness tale of a woman's struggle for change in a repressive, hierarchical, and tyrannical society. Instead of the fantastical land of ahz we love, we are shown a fascist state: complete with a personality cult, prison and child indoctrination camps. A bad allegory at best, this book is entirely without substance and uninteresting.

    Look elsewhere to use your credit.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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