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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 (4776 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Ron Daytona Beach, FL 03-08-06
    Ron Daytona Beach, FL 03-08-06 Listener Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
    18
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    10
    4
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    "Great stuff"

    I enjoyed this book greatly, well...most of it. I really could identify with Elpheba. She was cold, hard and a realist. Anyway, I was kinda disappointed with the way she metamorphosed from the deep, passionate, cold character into the raving witch of the west. I knew it was coming but the author just kind of dumped her into it in the last half hour or so of the book. Overall, very good. Narrated very much to my liking.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Randall WETUMPKA, AL, USA 03-07-06
    Randall WETUMPKA, AL, USA 03-07-06 Member Since 2007
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    13
    1
    Overall
    "Wickedly Awful"

    This was the worse book I've ever downloaded. Its not funny, humorous, or particularly entertaining. The characters are not likeable and its difficult to care about what happens to any of them. This book ain't nothing like the land of OZ. Save your money for a better read.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Not Getting Any Younger 02-18-06 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
    0
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    8
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    1
    Overall
    "Two sides to every story"

    Wicked is a clever and captivating story as well as a thought provoking social commentary. Juxtapositioning the witch as the unlikely hero and the wizard as the politically motivated villian illustrates that there are two sides to every story.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jon hubbardston, MA, USA 02-08-06
    Jon hubbardston, MA, USA 02-08-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
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    35
    1
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    0
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    Overall
    "ehh..."

    it had a nice plot line, but the political and religious overtones were a bit much.

    1 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Aaron Baltimore, MD, USA 08-31-08
    Aaron Baltimore, MD, USA 08-31-08
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    5
    2
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    0
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    "Like Harry Potter but more for Adults"

    Comparing this to Harry Potter, it lacks the intense battles that Harry Potter has usually at the climax and falls more into the realm of how people really act. Because there is this strange persuasion towards reality, that I found very welcome in a novel of fantasy, you begin to understand the characters and believe in the world the author has created. I think this novel can stand alone as being a great listen without having to be propped up by the popularity of The Wizard of Oz and I actually was very taken in by the 'Wicked Witch' throughout the book. She's a tragic character, sort of a hero in a way. This was not what I was expecting and I was happily surprised. I'd recommend it for the casual fantasy reader who demands a little more reality from the fantasy genre to make them believable.

    4 of 9 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robin West Bountiful, UT, United States 04-01-09
    Robin West Bountiful, UT, United States 04-01-09 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    21
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    105
    17
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    2
    Overall
    "Simply dreadful"

    I made myself listen till the end in the hopes that there would be some redeeming value to this book. I'd really like to have my time back. Worse book ever. (Great play, only because it doesn't follow the book.)

    3 of 7 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Dorothy Orem, UT, USA 09-25-09
    Dorothy Orem, UT, USA 09-25-09 Member Since 2007
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    32
    1
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    FOLLOWING
    0
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    "Horrible Book"

    I am disappointed it this book. I only got into it 3 chapters and gave up on it. I did not expect the pornographic detail that was in the book. After talking to others who read or read at it. They had the same reaction. This title needs to come with a disclaimer so that unsuspecting listeners don't purchase this title expecting something else. All I can say is BOOOO to the author, and BOOO to Audible for not including a disclaimer.

    2 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Amazon Customer FL, USA 08-12-09
    Amazon Customer FL, USA 08-12-09 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    12
    3
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    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
    10
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    30
    5
    FOLLOWERS
    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
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