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
"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)
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.
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.
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.
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.
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".
Avid Listener of Audible
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.
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.
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.
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