Regular price: $41.97

Free with 30-day trial
Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month
OR
In Cart

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
    2,360
  • 4 Stars
    1,730
  • 3 Stars
    1,170
  • 2 Stars
    635
  • 1 Stars
    525

Performance

  • 4.1 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    1,837
  • 4 Stars
    1,116
  • 3 Stars
    578
  • 2 Stars
    201
  • 1 Stars
    184

Story

  • 3.8 out of 5.0
  • 5 Stars
    1,623
  • 4 Stars
    940
  • 3 Stars
    696
  • 2 Stars
    366
  • 1 Stars
    340
Sort by:
  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Melissa
  • COLUMBIA, SC, United States
  • 12-26-11

Great Reading!

I've read this book many times before and it was a pleasure hearing it read aloud to me. I heard many details that I had missed in earlier readings.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Heather
  • LEHI, UTAH, United States
  • 12-19-11

Love the Musical, HATE the book!!!

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

If the book were more like the musical and not so dirty!

Has Wicked turned you off from other books in this genre?

No.

Would you listen to another book narrated by John McDonough?

Yes, I thought the narration was good.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

No

Any additional comments?

I couldn't even get half way through it because it was so dirty and crude.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

good story with reservations.

while I did enjoy reading about the evolution of the witch and what drove her to become the Wicked Witch of the West, and of course her end was a foregone conclusion, I can't help but feel that this was a shaggy dog story with no resolution from the reader's point of view. I kept hoping for a payoff after the rich development of the characters in new and interesting ways. but in the end it was just an abrupt end with no real payoff, I gave it 4 stars because the story was so well thought out and read, but it lost the final star due to the ending. perhaps it will take reading the other three books to bring things into focus but I find myself with very little interested in pursuing more.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Toinette
  • Chesapeake, VA, United States
  • 11-26-11

To the point.

Wicked takes a child’s fantasy and turns into an adult’s fairy tale. You want everything to be simple and have a guaranteed happy ending, but reality keeps a sensible mature grown up from believing in such naivety. Wicked tells the story of the Wicked Witch in the way it probably would have really happened. Things are never as simple as they might seem. The narrator of this story brings the characters to life in a way that makes a daytime soap opera seem like a child’s favorite Saturday morning cartoon.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Jennifer
  • Los Angeles, CA, United States
  • 11-21-11

A little too long

I didn't like this book as much as I wanted to. It's a little long and muddled with the politics of the fictional Oz. It was also way more "adult" than I was expecting, which I could have done without. But if you can get past that, it certainly has interesting parts, and it's fun to try to figure out how characters and events relate to the story we know and love.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Jeanne
  • Jamaica Plain, MA, United States
  • 11-12-11

Great fun!

History is usually written from the perspective of the victors. This story covers the wonderful Baum stories from an entirely different perspective allowing us to see that things are not always as black and white as they initially appear.

Gregory Maguire has done his homework and stayed true to the books that most people don't know Baum wrote beyond the Wizard of Oz. I'm going to go through them all, but I expect I will be very disappointed when I reach that last of his books.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • James
  • Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
  • 11-12-11

Clever but frustrating

This is one of those frustrating novels where no plans every work out, where the protagonists are doomed to failure, and everything that happens is depressing. The idea that the Wicked Witch of the West from the Oz story might have her own point of view is a clever one. The novel starts out well. But it reaches its peak when the witch is still at school and then goes downhill. Even the witch herself becomes a less attractive character as the story goes on and most of the sympathetic characters are killed off or change for the worse.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • dave
  • SAN JOSE, CA, United States
  • 09-22-11

Tear-jerking at Times

This book has left me feeling a bit mixed up. It took a couple of hours for me to feel drawn in. However, what suddenly blossomed was a painfully phenomenal recreation of a character I thought I knew. In her early years, Elphaba (The Wicked Witch of the West) is the embodiment of youth's most insecure times. However, so well-adjusted to exclusion, she remains ignorant to any conscious sense of insecurity. That much more did I want to reach out to her in her rejection when reaching out to others.

However, despite the formative years, I felt the book eventually became very hollow and very rushed. Maguire's other-world descriptions began to become a bit too abstract. Even masterbatory. For those looking for a great beginning-to-end masterpiece, maybe look abroad. However, if it's a compelling, psychological character study you seek, you've found it.

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Billy
  • FOLSOM, LA, United States
  • 09-01-11

Wonderful story

I now want to see the show even more now.I just love this story,and the narrator was wonderful and brought it to life, I'm going listen to it again. I give this story and the narration 5 stars!!

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Melissa
  • Dayton, OH, United States
  • 08-28-11

What Fun...Perfection in Narration

Did not want it to end; although the plot gets a bit overtly political it was an absolute joy visiting old friends from a more mature perspective. The writing was phenomenal so many GREAT lines and Maguire definitely paints a vivid picture of Oz. 100% worth every cent! (or credit)