Wicked Musical Tie In Edition: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West (Wicked Years (Paperback)) Paperback – 25 Sep 2004
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The novel that inspired the hit Broadway musical. 16 page colour insert from the musical When Dorothy triumphed over the Wicked Witch of the West in L. Frank Baum's classic tale, we heard only her side of the story. But what about her arch-nemesis, the mysterious witch? Where did she come from? How did she become so wicked? And what is the true nature of evil? Gregory Maguire creates a fantasy world so rich and vivid that we will never look at Oz the same way again. Wicked is about a land where animals talk and strive to be treated like first-class citizens, Munchkinlanders seek the comfort of middle-class stability and the Tin Man becomes a victim of domestic violence. And then there is the little green-skinned girl named Elphaba, who will grow up to be the infamous Wicked Witch of the West, a smart, prickly and misunderstood creature who challenges all our preconceived notions about the nature of good and evil.
From the Back Cover
When Dorothy triumphed over the Wicked Witch of the West in L. Frank Baum's classic tale, we heard only her side of the story. But what about her arch-nemesis, the mysterious Witch? Where did she come from? How did she become so wicked? And what is the true nature of evil?
Gregory Maguire creates a fantasy world so rich and vivid that we will never look at Oz the same way again. Wicked is about a land where animals talk and strive to be treated like first-class citizens, Munchkinlanders seek the comfort of middle-class stability, and the Tin Man becomes a victim of domestic violence. And then there is the little green-skinned girl named Elphaba, who will grow up to become the infamous Wicked Witch of the West, a smart, prickly, and misunderstood creature who challenges all our preconceived notions about the nature of good and evil.See all Product description
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The chapters are based on each character and carry out detailed sections on each individuals lives.
this is a must read for any wicked enthusiast!
However when the final installment came out I re-read all three to familiarise myself with the story and then went straight into Out of Oz. Surprisingly to myself I found A Lion in Winter much better on second read.
I read that someone here on this thread thought that you wouldn't be able to understand the book without reading the other three. I beg to differ: Out of Oz bows to the lowest common denominator by insisting on re-capping situations and characters from the other books. This was unnecessary and incredibly annoying. I want to be able to make my own remembering and associations, not talked to in a patronising manner by the author. It makes it very easy I would have thought to understand this as a stand alone book and if Maquire hadn't insisted on doing this so much the book would have been many pages shorter.
There is much that is compelling: Some beautiful and haunting writing as always, I disagree with the comments that there is too much description, I think it is essential in this series and the author is very skilled at creating this other land of Oz. I want to go back there again and again but apparently this will be the last time. Shame. Mr Boss is a great character and Glinda is always good value. However I agree with the comment already on here that Rain appears to chance character at school. The school chapters are bad filler. Not at all comparable to the Shiz University Scenes in Wicked, it is like something out of Little Women or a Dickens classic, seems out of place and rather childish and on the whole these books are not for children.
Dorothy is as always acutely annoying and distracting. Why is she in it? Seems totally superfluous to the plot. The trial ridiculous and could have been replaced with another sub-plot to achieve the same point - deflection. I am surprised that as Maquire re-wrote the Witches that he couldn't be bothered to completely re-write the character of Dorothy right from the start - In fact why not make the whole Dorothy, Scarecrow, Tin Man and Lion thing better? Anyway that is probably relevant criticism of and review for the first book I digress.
The author does not tie up many loose ends, just brings in minor characters from the other books for no apparent reason. The loose ends that need to be brought together are mainly not resolved. However there is one real surprise near the end of the book which pleased me and gave me hope for a great ending. I had started to think would not happen and unfortunately it didn't, ultimately a real fizzle at the end. ????????? Dreadful. It was an opportunity to answer the question we all wanted answered: What happened to ???????????
Unless there is going to be another book - and we are told there is not - this is an exercise in teasing the reader for profit.
I have made my own ending in my head. It is far better and I am trying to ignore the actual one.
This was a fantastic read and it was fascinating to read into the life and times of the little green girl who, though not inherently evil, grew up to become the infamous Wicked Witch of the West, along with her sister who became the Wicked Witch of the East.
I actually ended up feeling vary sorry for the witch and was quite saddened when she was killed by Dorothy. Though called the Wicked with she wasn't actually that evil and did have compassion and love within her.
The story kept me wanting to read one more chapter before putting it down and I was a little disappointed when it ended; I really wanted to witch to live in the end.
I recommend this story to any fan of the original Oz story who is interested in reading more about the land of Oz and its characters.
I wish this was available on the Kindle; the 3 sequels this book spawned are on Kindle. For some reason this book is available on Kindle on the US store but not the UK store. Oddly though the Amazon UK site sells the kindle version of this book in the German language, and on Amazon Germany you can get the English version of this book. Amazon, why is this? Why can I not get the English Kindle version of this book from Amazon UK, only the German version, yet on your Germany site it's available in English?