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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 (4585 )
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  •  
    Amazon Customer FL, USA 08-12-09
    Amazon Customer FL, USA 08-12-09 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
    ratings
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    12
    3
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    0
    0
    Overall
    "Depressing and unlike the stage musical"

    After seeing the musical on stage and being entralled with the story, I downloaded this book. Was very disappointed to find that the story lines are not the same. The stage play is uplifting overall, with friendship and love. The book is dark, depressing, with betrayal, infidelity, sadness and overall heaviness. I struggled throught the entire book, seeing spark of ideas that were taken into the stage play but no true common ground. Was really looking forward to this book and wish I had not read it. Will not recommend it to anyone. My disappointment is not in the reader, only the story.

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christopher SAN JOSE, CA, United States 05-03-09
    Christopher SAN JOSE, CA, United States 05-03-09 Member Since 2013
    HELPFUL VOTES
    9
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    30
    5
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    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    "disappointing, sad, and unredeemed"

    The book has so much promise but ends up driving into a depressing dead end. It is as if the author loathed all the characters in the story and had no idea where to go with the tale. There is an attempt at cleverness and some good characterer development -- but it goes nowhere. One plot line after another is developed and then left uncompleted. The let down is wrsened by the fact that the reader invests so much time in the tale. Very poor book.

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Tim Arvada, CO, USA 11-30-05
    Tim Arvada, CO, USA 11-30-05 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    26
    ratings
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    32
    2
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    0
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    Overall
    "No good."

    I was expecting a story something along the lines of an Oz fairy tale. Instead, this book was long, boring and just seemed to wander around without a point. It is an adult story, not for the kids. Really heavy handed with half-formed philisophical babble that didn't seem to have much to do with the story. Some of the characters seemed to have a reason to be in the book, but many of them were shallow and didn't have much to do with the plot. I kept waiting for something to happen, trying to figure out when things were going to pick up, but they never did. I can't believe this book was so popular.

    26 of 61 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Barbara 02-25-10
    Barbara 02-25-10 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    160
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    68
    46
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    7
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    "Disapointed"

    I'd heard a lot about how great this book is, so I desided to get it. It was boring from the start. I can't even bring myself to finish it. Interesting concept but badly done.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carol M. Miller Iowa 01-04-10
    Carol M. Miller Iowa 01-04-10 Member Since 2013

    heartmade4u

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    37
    1
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    Overall
    "Not What I Expected - Didn't Like This Book"

    I knew I would never get to see the play and I liked the premise of the "wicked witch who was really just misunderstood," but this book never delivered on my expectations. It is wierd and made me feel like I wasn't following the story. It felt like the same characters were being reintroduced in many different (unrelated) story lines without feeling like any of the stories revealed their arc or reached a conclusion. I love science fiction and am not squemish about sexual content. I didn't like this book because it wasn't well told, not because the content offended me. Don't waste your money. I'm sorry I wasted mine. I would give it zero stars if I could.

    1 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Publius Florida Orlando, FL 05-01-08
    Publius Florida Orlando, FL 05-01-08

    Fight the Power

    HELPFUL VOTES
    20
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    180
    9
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    "Wickedly BAD!"

    What a waste of time! A terrible, disjointed book without a point.

    3 of 8 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Anne-Marie Culver City, CA, USA 01-05-06
    Anne-Marie Culver City, CA, USA 01-05-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
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    1
    1
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    "So Entertaining!"

    I loved this Audiobook! The characters are delightful, and the story is extremely engrossing.

    2 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Louise 09-19-12
    Louise 09-19-12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Total Disapointment"
    What disappointed you about Wicked?

    I was totally disappointed with the depravity and sexual deviant story line of this book.


    What was most disappointing about Gregory Maguire’s story?

    I have only gotten through a couple chapters of this book and cannot go any further. Oz was not like this.


    Would you be willing to try another one of John McDonough’s performances?

    ABSOLUTELY NOT!!!!!


    What character would you cut from Wicked?

    The Author


    Any additional comments?

    Don't waist your money

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Laurie Henthorne Alberta, Canada 09-16-12
    Laurie Henthorne Alberta, Canada 09-16-12 Member Since 2011

    kittyskid

    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
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    Performance
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    "It really is wicked!"
    What made the experience of listening to Wicked the most enjoyable?

    The narrator, John McDonough, did a wonderful job of capturing Oz and its inhabitants.


    What did you like best about this story?

    I enjoyed the curious and enigmatic nature of Elphaba, the main character, and the fact that even though elements of the story are familiar, they are also surprising and new in this story.


    Which character – as performed by John McDonough – was your favorite?

    Nanny. Hands down.


    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Colleen Sterling, United States Minor Outlying Islands 11-02-11
    Colleen Sterling, United States Minor Outlying Islands 11-02-11 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    25
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    147
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    2
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    "I hated this book"

    I absolutely could not get in to this weird hobbit-ish story. I had to stop with the bizarre puppet sex show.

    0 of 1 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 271-280 of 300 results PREVIOUS127282930NEXT
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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.

    4 of 4 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.

    2 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 1 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.

    0 of 0 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

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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