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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 (4895 )
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  •  
    goddess_of_pipework Roswell, GA United States 04-10-06
    goddess_of_pipework Roswell, GA United States 04-10-06 Member Since 2006

    goddess_of_plumbing

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "abridgement, please!"

    On the whole, it was an enjoyable listen. The narrator was quite good. Definitely not for the kids, though! This is a very adult fantasy.

    The story itself was intriguing, but dragged. It took far longer to develop than it should have. There were several segments, such as the scene in the Philosphers' Club, that ate up time but really didn't add anything of value to the plotline!

    Elfaba, our heroine(?), is a gutsy, like-her-in-spite-of-herself underdog who refuses to be walked on. She helps Glinda, a spoiled rich girl, develop a heart and a conscience.

    Usually, I go for the unabridged versions, but, as an audiobook, Wicked would be more enjoyable abridged!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Steven Salt Lake City, UT, USA 03-26-06
    Steven Salt Lake City, UT, USA 03-26-06
    ratings
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    "A New Classic"

    You are definately not in Kansas anymore. This is a totally enjoyable listen right down to the story tellers voice. The charachters are vividly brought to life. As a child The Wicked Witch of The West scared me, today is a different story!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Linda Bethlehem, PA, USA 03-26-06
    Linda Bethlehem, PA, USA 03-26-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    4
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    "Read as a kind of revenge...."

    I hated the Wizard of Oz movie, but growing up we had to watch every time it was on because it was my sister's favorite movie. So I saw listening to this book as a kind of personal revenge. After reading the reviews, I wasn't expecting to like this as much as I did. And I really liked this book. In fact,I kept hoping she survived the bucket of water.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Julie Clarke 03-24-06 Member Since 2014
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Fabulous for Oz fans"

    First of all, I loved the Oz series as a kid and I appreciate this excellent and imaginative story. I am sure Baum would approve. However, I think it is for serious fans only. If you did not read "The Patchwork Girl of Oz," do not get this book. But if you are a lifelong fan of Oz, then you are in for a real treat. Also, the narration is top-notch.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Chris Blue Jay, CA, USA 03-20-06
    Chris Blue Jay, CA, USA 03-20-06
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    REVIEWS
    99
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    Overall
    "Get the abridged version if you can"

    After the first five and a half hours of listening, all one can think of is, "How will I ever get through the next 13 hours." The story just keeps dragging on and on with no action or story development.

    If you listen to the sample, which is the forward in the book, it sounds like a real interesting story. Unfortunently the story slowly begins before conception of the witch, and is entirely too focused on the mondane of her life.

    If there is an abridged version that gets to the important story plots and action, I would recommend that. Get the unabridged to help with insomnia.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Harold Sioux Falls, SD, USA 03-11-06
    Harold Sioux Falls, SD, USA 03-11-06
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    52
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    Overall
    "Wicked - The Life...Wicked Witch of the West"

    The story of Dorothy, her friends in Oz, and the Wizard have entered our collective consciousness and we sometimes see only a children's tale. This book presents a new view point: Oz seen by the Wicked Witch of West as she is born and grows to womanhood. The trials of one who is different and yet has the same feelings we do. The elements we know from Baum are present, but seen in a green tinted glass, distorted, and sometimes making more sense. I enjoyed this book very much and I highly recommend it.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    cathy 03-11-06
    cathy 03-11-06

    Middle School teacher with a 100 miles round-trip daily commute; which I could never maintain all these long years without audible books.

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    "wonderful!"

    Lovely piece for my hideous 3 hour daily commute. I enjoyed this creative Wizard of Oz prequel. Tilted a tad tongue-in-cheek, "Wicked" reveals at once familiar and nostalgic background bios on The Wicked Witch of the West, Glenda The Good Witch of the North, and Nessa-Rose, The Bad Witch of the East. It definitely lightened up my days.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    holley pennington, nj 03-10-06
    holley pennington, nj 03-10-06
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Tedious listen"

    I read this book a couple of years ago and loved it. Now that I'm commuting I thought it would be a good listen, but I found it rather tedious. Sometimes I found my mind wandering. I remember thinking it was hard to read, and I guess I rushed through the parts I found slow and relished the others.

    The narrator was very nice to listen to. I am now listening to "Son of Witch" and the author recorded the narration, which is disappointing. He's a much better writer than reader.

    I have to say, though, that this is one of the most clever books I've read and heard. And I think it's too bad they didn't follow more of the story in the musical. Maybe a movie?

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Ron Daytona Beach, FL 03-08-06
    Ron Daytona Beach, FL 03-08-06 Listener Since 2005
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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
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    "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

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