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Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1)
Wicked - Wicked Years, Bk 1
Author: Gregory Maguire
 The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West — 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 ...  more
ISBN-13: 9780060987107
ISBN-10: 0060987103
Publication Date: 11/6/1996
Pages: 406
  • Currently 3.3/5 Stars.

3.3 stars, based on 3561 ratings
Publisher: Regan Books
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover, Audio Cassette, Audio CD
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review
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Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 39
Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire begins decades before Dorothy falls into the scene, with the birth of a strangely green baby girl who has unusually sharp teeth. We follow Elphaba as she grows up, attends university, and falls into the political turmoil behind the scenes at the Emerald City. Maguire paints a detailed background of the realistic politics that shape Oz into the country it is when Dorothy arrives. The Wicked Witch of the West may be a tortured soul, but for different reasons than you had previously thought. The book is perfectly understandable even if you have never seen the movie or read the original book, but several parts are much funnier if you have. The end of the story can drag on if you are not interested in introspective psychological monologues, but flipping past a few pages of internal commentary can speed the story along.

Literary Quality: 8/10

Enjoyment: 8/10
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 412 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 38
Fairy tale retelling, interesting reading and silly at times, but like the other Maguire book I've read before--Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister--I found it to be a bit slow and draggy in spots, and my attention wandered. Definitely not as good as all the hype had me hoping for. Still, I found the speculation as to the origins of Glinda and Elphaba--and her dead sister and the ruby (actually silver) slippers from L. Frank Baum's tale quite interesting and amusing, as were the political machinations that got the Wizard where was when Dorothy came on the scene a few years later. Maguire certainly has an imagination! I'd like to see the Broadway production of this, though--I bet that would be something!
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 27
Not at all like the musical. If this is why you want to read the book you will be disappointed.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 9 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 24
This book is great. Be prepared that it will not follow your idea of "Oz" with respect to the movie. There are definate "religious" and political undertones. However it will capture your imagination and you won't be able to put it down.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 541 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 19
I tried very hard to read this book because I do like the Wizard of Oz etc etc. The start of the book is good, but after really drops off and gets to be rather dull, boring, and hard to follow. Half way through I was disappointed by the book, as I was expecting so much more, and was also disappointed with the content that was put into the book. Why children are reading this book I don't know..but they shouldn't be. Older teens perhaps, but not 8 year olds!! I have heard the musical is very different and have even looked up the differences, and yep, it's really different. I think the musical would make more sense, and move at a faster pace and not be so wordy and full of filler words and content.

I say don't waste your time with this book. Think what you want to think, you'll probably come up with a better story anyways!
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reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 3 more book reviews
The only luck is bad, all fate is unkind, the prime ingredient of the universe is selfishness leavened with malevolence.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 26 more book reviews
I simply didn't like it. No fault of the book; just not my style. I had seen the play Wicked, and somehow had the delusion that the play was based at least loosely on the book -- even though everyone I knew who had read it told me it wouldn't be.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on
A very interesting social commentary.

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Elphaba (Primary Character)
Galinda/Glinda (Major Character)
Fiyero (Major Character)
Boq (Average Character)
Nanny (Minor Character)
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