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)
Yes, you know how it's going to end, but you keep hoping for something different and in the end it's unsatisfying. So many questions unanswered, so much left hanging and apparently the sequel doesn't anwer much of anything. The premise is brilliant, and much of the execution is terrific, but something in the end is lacking.
The idea of this book is excellent. Unfortunately, the pompous "satire" that is used to present it is poorly executed.
If you love your satire dry and pompous, perhaps this book is for you. Otherwise: stay clear.
For so fantastical a setting the problems and characters in this novel are mundane to the extreme. It is not in the least engaging.
Other than the concept, the only positive thing to be said about this book is the narator, who does a fabulous job despite the material.
This story is about as engaging and believable as a George bush speech. Badly written and slow to develop, the story is compromised for character development, and when all is said and done you are left with unbelievable characters that you can't relate to.
This is a drab and humorousness tale of a woman's struggle for change in a repressive, hierarchical, and tyrannical society. Instead of the fantastical land of ahz we love, we are shown a fascist state: complete with a personality cult, prison and child indoctrination camps. A bad allegory at best, this book is entirely without substance and uninteresting.
Look elsewhere to use your credit.
Say something about yourself!
Wow, this is either a "Love" or "Hate" relationship with this book. I did like it. It was not 'action packed' but did bring up interesting ideas and a pretty good perspective to her life. If you are ready to sit back and enjoy a good tale, then this is good. If you think that, after listening to this, you wasted 20+ hours of your life, then Geez, don't listen past the first 3 hours. d'uh.
Good book, good narrator, good story.
I truly enjoyed this entire book. I was, of course, heart broken with the ending and only wish that Elphaba could have been better understood and her life not so tragic...but then there wouldn't be THIS story, right? At any rate, I highly recommend this audiobook and I can't wait until the musical becomes affordable for us working folks.
Wicked is one of the most clever books I've heard or read in a long time. I'm impressed by how the author has completely changed the way I feel about characters I've "known" most of my life. In Elphaba, he has taken a character I've always considered completely villainous and made me like her, and he exposes the goodness of characters like Glinda and Dorothy as simply a mask for shallow self-absorption. I also appreciate how the author's explanations for things are seamlessly woven into the story: why Elphaba wants the ruby slippers so much, why the monkeys have wings, why Elphaba is sensitive to water, and so on. Now I'm looking forward to watching the movie The Wizard of Oz again to see how irritating I'll find Dorothy and friends to be now!
This is a book that, in my observation, generates strong reactions and isn't for everyone, but if you don't mind having your perceptions of characters you've known and loved since childhood challenged, then perhaps you'll find, as I have, a new favorite book in Wicked.
So I read this book many, many years ago, it was brilliant then. Listening to it this time was just amazing. I really enjoyed it and felt that the narrator truely gave life to the characters. I had recently read the second novel of this series, Son of A Witch and felt I needed to re-read the first one to make some sense out of the few things that I had forgotten about. It did the trick and still remains one of my favorite novels. I also feel that this is one of gregory Maguire's best books.
I enjoyed this book very much. Seeing it thru the Witches point of view gave me a whole new prospective on the Wizard of Oz.
The book obviously has appeal, as evinced by the Broadway musical based on it, and by its best seller status. It is much darker and more thought provoking than the musical, however. That being said, I have yet to finish it. My attention keeps straying, and because of its excrutiating detail and tight plot, I find myself re-listening to the same part. The narrator is good, but as the majority of the book focuses on female characters, his deep voice can be distracting.
Should you buy this? I don't know. I won't get another of his books, but I think that if I finished it - I'd be glad I did. Listen to the sample, and see what you think.
"Wicked" is one of my favorite books of all time. I read it several years ago and was absolutely enchanted. I listened to it in order to refresh my memory of the story before listening to the sequel, "Son of a Witch." It is very well-read and I enjoyed it again but for some reason I feel that I preferred reading it. I am not sure why but the language he uses is just so beautiful, it is easier to savor in a book when you can go back over the words. I still recommend listening if you won't read it but if you are debating, pick up the book.
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.
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.
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.
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.
The ending of course is memorable, and with the narrators pacing he manages to make it moving.
I had already read Wicked before listening to the audiobook, and I would definatly recommend it! It really brings the book to life.
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.
"Great story, dull presentation"
Struggle to finish this amazing story as the reader was dull and monotone. Let down
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
"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!!
"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?
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