Wicked by Gregory Maguire

8:19 PM

Pages: 406
Publisher: Harper Collins
ISBN13: 9780060987107
Genre: Fantasy 

Review by Phil

Synopsis (Goodreads.com): In Baum's land of Oz, 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. Green-skinned Elphaba, future Wicked Witch of the West, is smart, prickly and misunderstood; she challenges our preconceived notions about the nature of good and evil.

My Thoughts (Spoiler Free):

Having seen the musical many years ago, I kind of knew what to expect going into this book. What I didn’t expect was just how much I was going to love it, and relate to it as well.

Wicked’s storyline really hit home more than I thought it would. With Maguire’s insane writing skills and character development, you really begin to feel like you know Elphaba. The first section of the book is all about her birth and first two years growing up, giving the reader insight into her family life, as well as showing how even from her birth, people thought she was evil because of her skin color. The next section describes her life at Shiz University, one of, if not the best, colleges within Oz. There Elphaba meets Glinda (or at the time Galinda), over time the two become unlikely friends. The rest of the story follows Elphaba after her years in Shiz, and occasionally her relationship with Glinda.

Wicked is actually driven a lot by political and religious beliefs because Elphaba is constantly asking herself if she is actually evil, or if evil really exists. Aside from the main Elphaba driven plot, the world itself is just amazing. The amount of research that Maguire must had to have done into the Wizard of Oz is astonishing. He created a story around a completely different story, and instead of making the "Evil Witch" evil, he made her the heroin! The Wicked Witch of the West actually turns out to not be evil at all, just highly misunderstood.

Reading this book wasn’t like reading, I don’t really know how to explain it. Reading this book was more like creating a friendship with someone, and truly understanding their desires and feelings. I really feel like I KNOW Elphaba. For an author to be able to give that kind of feeling to his readers in only 406 pages is astonishing.

Not only am I now a fan of Wicked the book, but I am a huge fan of Maguires and I can not wait to pick up one of his next books! Wicked gets a well deserved 5/5 stars! This book has also been added to my favorites on goodreads!


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