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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

Critic Reviews

"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 Ratings

Overall

  • 3.7 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    2,381
  • 4 Stars
    1,743
  • 3 Stars
    1,180
  • 2 Stars
    636
  • 1 Stars
    528

Performance

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    1,855
  • 4 Stars
    1,134
  • 3 Stars
    585
  • 2 Stars
    203
  • 1 Stars
    188

Story

  • 3.8 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    1,645
  • 4 Stars
    953
  • 3 Stars
    705
  • 2 Stars
    367
  • 1 Stars
    343
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  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Bad, bad Dorothy

What made the experience of listening to Wicked the most enjoyable?

The narrative is rich and written for the well-read aficionado.

Who was your favorite character and why?

Has to be Fabula. Her life story is liberal, and empathetic.

What about John McDonough’s performance did you like?

I have heard him read many books. His sonorous rendition and shift in voice for characters is terrific.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

Not particularly. These are not characters that are especially attractive.

Any additional comments?

Friends have not enjoyed this book as I did. The author's command of the language is exceptional. Some words he beats to death, like

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • NEW NAME
  • Georgia, United States
  • 02-23-12

Story good, reading bad!

Who was your favorite character and why?

Leer was good, nice to be able to bring in a new character.

How could the performance have been better?

You couldn't tell the end of a chapter, the way it was broken up left me wondering if my iphone had shut off! Also, the performance seemed to have it's timing off, excited in parts that should have been morose, and just overall leaving it choppy.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Not the musical, and not the wizard.

If this book were a movie would you go see it?

Not sure I would like a movie version, but the musical I would like to see, as everyone who I have spoken to about the broadway version say that performance is much brighter.

Any additional comments?

Just finished this modern take on a classic tale...not sure I was too thrilled with it. From what I hear of the broadway show...this is not what I expected.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

A Hard Read

What was most disappointing about Gregory Maguire’s story?

The story itself is fantastic, but the language used to tell it made it hard to keep up with and a difficult read.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Boring!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

This one of the worst I've ever attempted to listen to. It MIGHT have been a little bit better with a different reader. He had an awful monotone voice that never seemed to change. The story was very slow and not very interesting. I wouldn't recommend this to anyone.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Moe
  • Oakland, CA, United States
  • 02-09-12

Loved it Loved it! That's all.

Detailed account of an interpretation of OZ. Wonderful, touching. Elphaba made me want to be a better person.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Jenn
  • San Francisco, CA, United States
  • 02-06-12

Wickedly performed

What did you like best about Wicked? What did you like least?

The voice actor was fantastic - he did a great job with all the different characters. I thought that the story didn't hold together very well - it could have used some editing - like the weird gratuitous sex club scene, what the heck was that about? The story started off really well - and just lost steam. I'm not interested in reading the follow-on stories.

What about John McDonough’s performance did you like?

He was great - all the characters were very well done.

Could you see Wicked being made into a movie or a TV series? Who should the stars be?

No.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Laura
  • Dearing, GA, United States
  • 02-01-12

Mind Numbing

What disappointed you about Wicked?

It was boring. I listened to the first seven hours, hoping it was going to get better. What a waste.

What do you think your next listen will be?

Anything but one of this guys books.

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of John McDonough?

Someone who can act.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

Disappointment

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Paul
  • United States
  • 01-29-12

Lost Between a Great Idea and Smut

I bought this book with high hopes. I really wanted to enjoy it. At first I did! The birth narrative was humorous and exciting. Shortly after, however, the book fell apart. My main problem with this book is that is was not well written. The characters were shallow and unlikable. The plot was rushed and barely comprehensible at times. I was expecting a book which explored the depths of the characters of Glinda, Elphaba, etc. What I got instead was a writer who couldn't decide if he wanted to write a trashy romance novel or a semi-interesting action book. What he eventually turned out is a book which only teases to get better, but only gets worse with each sentence.
I listened to it because I wanted to love it. Now, I would never recommend it to anyone unless you are really interested in an ankle deep approach to the land of Oz.

1 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

A whole new look at the wicked witch.

Our writer really dove into the characters in the story we all know and love. Great imagination was necessary to present the witch to us in this form. To give the reader a look into who she was and where she came from,,and why.
When I was a child I would watch the movie and be afraid of her, now I will see it in a whole new light. If your in love with "Wizard of OZ " then you may not want to taint that. This story will. For me it was in a good way. Some die hard fans may feel like the story has taken out the magic in the movie.
All in all. A good read..