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Wicked Audiobook

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

3.7 (5477 )
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3.7 (3087 )
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4.0 (3050 )
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Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Mathieu Toronto, Ontario, Canada 03-31-07
    Mathieu Toronto, Ontario, Canada 03-31-07 Member Since 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    22
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    70
    9
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    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
  •  
    Amazon Customer 02-22-07 Listener Since 2004
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    6
    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 01-08-07
    Summer 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 2016
    HELPFUL VOTES
    12
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    26
    5
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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
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    REVIEWS
    215
    10
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    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    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
    FOLLOWERS
    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
  •  
    KT USA 10-07-06
    KT USA 10-07-06

    Particular about products!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    18
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    9
    5
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    0
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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
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    12
    8
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    FOLLOWING
    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
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    12
    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
Sort by:
  • 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.

    1 of 1 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
  • 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

    2 of 4 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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