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Wicked [Paperback]

Gregory Maguire
4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (596 customer reviews)

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First Sentence
From the crumpled bed the wife said, "I think today's the day. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Most helpful customer reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too Aug. 28 2007
Format:Paperback
Have you ever read a popular book and wondered why it was so popular? That's exactly how I felt as I worked my way through WICKED. Actually, that's not entirely true. I know why it's a New York Times Bestseller. Part of it has to do with the reason I picked the book up in the first place. I expected a light, fairy tale-like story. It's based on a children's book. There's a Broadway musical about it. Sounds like it should be fun, right? Uh, not quite. I get the feeling, though, that a lot of people thought as I did and bought WICKED looking for an easy-to-read lead-up to THE WIZARD OF OZ. I wonder how many of them finished reading the book when they figured out the truth?

Although to be fair, WICKED doubtless also owes some of its popularity to the fact that it's a well-written, literary novel that can be appreciated by well-read, literary-type people. Unfortunately, I'm really not one of those. Giving me a piece of deep, meaningful literature is like giving a copy of Hemingway's THE OLD MAN AND THE SEA to a manatee. In other words, I was disappointed. My disappointment was partly in the book for not fulfilling my expectations, and partly in myself for not being able to appreciate a quality literary effort.

In case you've been living in a hollowed out tree for the last couple of years and haven't heard about the play, WICKED is the story of the Wicked Witch of the West and how she became the Wicked Witch of the West. The book delves far deeper into the witch's life and times than any musical could in only two hours, however. In the book version of WICKED, readers are introduced to the witch, whose real name is Elphaba, when she is first born. She's green and has dangerous, pointy teeth. Needless to say, she's not too popular with the other children.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A look into the mind of the wicked witch Feb. 21 2006
By A Customer
Format:Paperback
Wicked: The life and times of the wicked witch. There simply aren't enough words on this earth to describe how truly wonderful this book was. When I bought it from the bookstore, the woman working there nearly fell to her knees praising the thing, so I figured I'd give it a go.
I loved the Wizard of Oz. It was, beyond doubt, my favourite childhood chapter book. But Wicked takes a whole new spin on Oz and it's inhabitants. The witch, whom I used to have nightmares about, is now one of my most favourite characters. She's an unconventional heroin that you learn to love and understand. Her life is sad and confusing and it leads her to the point of no return
To compare it to The Wizard of Oz is impossible. First of all, it isn't a children's book. It is a very grown up, dark and deep novel that only adults and older teens can appreciate. It's closer to Giorgio Kostantinos's--The Quest-- Than to our favorite childhood movie.
I cried at the end, I cried for Elphie, I cried for that witch that kept me up until 3am when I was 10. --.Thanks Barbara
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but at times a little slow May 25 2007
Format:Paperback
I picked this up at a used bookstore b/c I had heard so many things about it and I thought the idea of telling a story from the "bad guys" P.O.V. would be really interesting. I also got Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister but I haven't read it yet.

This book tells the story of the Elphaba (aka the wicked witch of the west) from her birth all the way to her meeting with Dorothy that ends her life. Throughout the book are many interesting tidbits, when the wizard arrives, the meeting of Galinda/Glinda the "good witch", where the ruby slippers came from, more about Elphaba's sister Nessarose who will be the witch crushed by Dorothy's house. Lot's of interesting stuff.

Unfortunatly the bad thing about this book is it's tendancy to go off topic and perhaps a bit too into detail about certain characters/events that really aren't that interesting. Plus there is a lot of politics and the idea of power throughout the story and it's hard to ever really see who is the good and who is the bad.

I still think the book is worth reading though, but I didn't find it to be a can't put it down sort of novel. Definetely worth it if you have the time and interest to read an odd book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Courage, Brains, and Heart March 10 2007
Format:Paperback
This is a gorgeous novel. The writing is beautiful, every scene dances off the paper and paints itself like a magnificent oil portrait in your mind. The characters are three-dimensional, gripping and endlessly interesting. Elphaba (Maguire's name for L. Frank Baum's "The Wicked Witch of the West" is probably my favourite female protagonist of all time. She is fiercely intelligent, strong willed, and passionate, but these very traits make her unsure of what is the best path in life, hesitant, and she gains a cold and harsh façade as a result. The world of Oz itself has never seemed to fleshed out or tangible and critical fans of fantasy novels and world-building will have little to complain about.

WICKED is a prequel to, and inversion of, L. Frank Baum's children's classic THE WONDERFUL WIZARD OF OZ (1900) but it is also a complex observation of society, politics, religion, humanity, and the nature of "good" and "evil." The characters are beautiful and you can't help but fall a little bit in love with them, the dialogue is perfect, and the language haunting. This is going to be a classic.
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Most recent customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars wanted the reunion
I really enjoyed the book but was disappointed with the ending. I just saw the play "Wicked" and was delighted that even not so wicked witches can have the " happily... Read more
Published 1 month ago by c Legere
5.0 out of 5 stars Amazing
Fantastic. Will be one of the few books that I will read several times. As with any good book it presents great ideas on humanity and what drives us. Read this. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Trevor A Loughridge
1.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as I had hoped
I was hoping for a new take on the wizard of Oz that would be a great companion to Frank Baum's Oz compendium. Read more
Published 6 months ago by cheeky corset girl
2.0 out of 5 stars Was expecting "wow!" reality was "meh"
I don't normally not finish books but this one just didn't capture my attention at all. It just seemed like nothing really happened, I don't even remember most of the characters... Read more
Published 12 months ago by englishvik
2.0 out of 5 stars Not the greatest book
Picked this up thinking this book would be more about Dorthy, the yellow brick road etc. Not at all what I expected. Read more
Published on June 9 2012 by Tnastiuk
5.0 out of 5 stars Loved it.
Truly an amazing feat of the imagination. The world Maguire creates is so realistic and fantastical at the same time, it makes the creatures live on forever in your mind. Read more
Published on Oct. 7 2011 by Neal Dalzell
5.0 out of 5 stars An Amazing Adult Fairy Tale
Although the novel was derived from the classic fairy tale The Wizard of the Oz, the story in Wicked is nothing like it; The Wicked actually turns the original story completely... Read more
Published on Oct. 3 2010 by Claire Fang
5.0 out of 5 stars An Absolutely Wonderful Read!!
I really enjoyed this book. Gregory Maguire gives you a new perspective on the familiar tale of "The Wizard of Oz". Read more
Published on April 4 2010 by Digger
1.0 out of 5 stars No where near worth the hype!
I've never tried harder to get through a book because I was sure it would get better, it doesn't. A dull disjointed story, uninspired characters, and little plot or anything to... Read more
Published on Sept. 7 2009 by Jeff Hansen
4.0 out of 5 stars Deffently a worth while read
I had heard several different views on this book. So I decided to giver a shot. I like it. Pre knowing the ending is a little bit of a disappointment, but on the same note, the... Read more
Published on July 4 2008 by Stephanie Martin
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