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Wicked Audiobook

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

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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

3.7 (5704 )
5 star
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Overall
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Story
4.0 (3259 )
5 star
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2 star
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1 star
 (162)
Performance
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  •  
    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
  •  
    Richard Las Vegas, NV, United States 07-24-11
    Richard Las Vegas, NV, United States 07-24-11 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    7
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    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "Loved it, Loved it Loved it"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Katherine 06-19-11
    Katherine 06-19-11
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    48
    1
    Overall
    "Good but not Great"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    mary 06-11-11
    mary 06-11-11 Member Since 2008
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    3
    Overall
    "disappointed"

    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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Richard phoenix, AZ, United States 02-26-11
    Richard phoenix, AZ, United States 02-26-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    6
    6
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    0
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    Overall
    "pretty cool 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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Erica Magna, UT, United States 02-17-11
    Erica Magna, UT, United States 02-17-11
    HELPFUL VOTES
    15
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    66
    3
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    1
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    Performance
    Story
    "Disappointing"

    I'm a rabid Oz fan that loved the series as a child and was interested to learn more about the Wicked Witch of the West. Her backstory is okay at first, and there are a few good parts, but Elphaba does not end up being the same witch found in The Wizard of Oz. Her story does not neatly tie into the fairy tale, and she acts in rather uncharacteristic ways...so, it was a disappointment. The political commentary also doesn't seem to fit the world that Baum created, especially when compared to the series as a whole. John McDonough is boring. He isn't the worst I've heard, but I found myself falling asleep to his readings so often that I would have to listen to another book after about an hour at work just to stay awake. He only has like three different voices, and I had a hard time keeping what character was talking straight at times. This book is also a lot more adult than Baum's series, so there are some graphic descriptions.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brianne 02-17-11
    Brianne 02-17-11 Member Since 2010

    Demolition D'bree of the Red Bank Roller Vixens

    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
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    22
    6
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    Overall
    "Choose wisely"

    Great story, but definitely preview before you buy....I really don't care to listen to this narrator for too long

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Beth Arvada, CO, United States 11-15-10
    Beth Arvada, CO, United States 11-15-10 Member Since 2012

    Say something about yourself!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
    ratings
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    88
    21
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    1
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    Overall
    "Really enjoyed this book"

    I wasn't really sold on reading it but thought I'd give it a try, I was pleasantly surprised. The author really went into detail with the character, there could've been more here and there but overall it was good. There were a couple of murky parts but I think that is what the author intentioned.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Emmanuel SICKLERVILLE, NJ, United States 11-14-10
    Emmanuel SICKLERVILLE, NJ, United States 11-14-10
    HELPFUL VOTES
    4
    ratings
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    22
    5
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    0
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    Overall
    "Great novel, narration not so hot.."

    The content of the novel itself is very good no matter how twisted and disgusting some of the events and characters were. It's an intriguing take on the origins of the Wicked Witch of the West and brings vivid life to the world of OZ that seemed so silly and unbelievable prior to this book. My only gripe is that the narration at times was very distracting and distinguishing between characters at the beginning was a chore.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kaui 10-23-10
    Kaui 10-23-10 Member Since 2015

    I love to walk and run listening to audiobooks

    HELPFUL VOTES
    126
    ratings
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    249
    82
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    13
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    Overall
    "The book is better than the play"

    I absolutely enjoyed every page of (or second of listening to) this book. As a child, I read every single book in L. Frank Baum's Wizard of Oz series, and I enjoyed the parallel reality created by Gregory Maguire. He talks about Tik Tok, Osma and other Oz beings, creating a wonderful alternative explanation for all that I enjoyed as a child. What a great way to enjoy Oz again as an adult!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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  • Kirsty Whittingham
    3/20/08
    Overall
    "Brilliant"

    A fantastic retelling of the life of Elpheba the wicked witch of the west in Baum's world of Oz. Detailed and rich this is evocative and draws you in instantly. A great reading too.

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Ollie Crook
    7/7/14
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great audiobook"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I've always loved the book Wicked, and listening to it as an audiobook was a new experience entirely. I would recommend this to a friend as it really makes the story come alive.


    What other book might you compare Wicked to, and why?

    I don't think you can really compare Wicked to anything - it's a reworking of The Wizard of Oz, making a child's story into an adult novel.


    What about John McDonough’s performance did you like?

    The narrators pacing was very good, and he got the humor of the book well - be prepared for a few snorts of laughter when listening! There were lots of characters who's voices he managed to make individual and memorable, so you can recognise them.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The ending of course is memorable, and with the narrators pacing he manages to make it moving.


    Any additional comments?

    I had already read Wicked before listening to the audiobook, and I would definatly recommend it! It really brings the book to life.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Craig
    Denny, United Kingdom
    6/22/09
    Overall
    "Hard Going"

    I found this audiobook really hard going and it turned into more of a chore than a pleasure, i found that the story was really hard to keep track off at places moving to quickly and at others dragging out. Overall I didn't really enjoy this book and wouldn't recommend it.

    3 of 4 people found this review helpful
  • Amazon Customer
    8/15/16
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "oh my word AMAZING"

    this book was amazing I'm going to listen to it again. I have fallen in love with this book

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Olly
    6/19/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great story, dull presentation"

    Struggle to finish this amazing story as the reader was dull and monotone. Let down

    3 of 5 people found this review helpful
  • Nya H
    UK
    4/15/13
    Overall
    "Keep listening"

    This book starts off quite weird and you have to keep ploughing through, until you get to the good part. Im not sure I would have pursued it if i hadnt have seen the play and knew the story line. - its a prequel to the wizard of oz. That in itself was enough to keep me listening. How the wicked witch became wicked

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Adrian
    1/2/10
    Overall
    "A nice twist"

    I love anything that gives a new twist to an established classic and Wicked didn't dissapoint. It's just unfortunate that it is keeping company with the Musical Version which to my mind was it's better is terms of characterisation, plot and twists. It just didn't seem as neat and clever as the musical but well worth a read!!

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  • Stephanie
    7/22/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A real twist"

    To hear how the wicked witch became wicked is a real twist on the yellow brick road story we all live Julie Garland for. It also makes you question who was actually good and who was bad. The book does drag in places and sometimes it was a little difficult to keep up with all the names but it was well worth it. I do have one question - what happened to Nanny?

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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