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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 Wicked is a richly woven tale that takes us to the other, darker side of the rainbow as novelist Gregory Maguire chronicles the Wicked Witch of the West's odyssey through the complex world of Oz -- where people call you wicked if you tell the truth. — Year...  more »
ISBN-13: 9780755331604
ISBN-10: 0755331605
Publication Date: 2006
Pages: 495
  • Currently 3.7/5 Stars.

3.7 stars, based on 15 ratings
Publisher: Headline Publishing Group
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: 26
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 + 37 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 19
Impossible for anyone who hasn't read the book to believe that they'd be able to suspend disbelief enough to accept the Wicked Witch of the West as the "good guy." My son-in-law nearly disowned me when I tried to describe the book to him.

Still, this book can and does make you believe it!

You'll never look at Oz the same way after reading this book. But don't worry, Judy Garland singing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" will still sound good to you if it does now.
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reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on
Another of GM's books that is definitely NOT for children. There are a few really creepy/icky parts in this book that I could have done without (in the city of Oz), but on the whole it was unique and fun, a very different and curious take on the classic story. I have NOT seen the musical, but I can tell you from photos I've seen that the sister "wicked witch" seems to be quite different in the musical than the book. STOP reading here if you don't want minor spoilers.... If you loved the classic Oz story, you may find some of the character changes offensive. Dorothy, at least in the book, is portrayed as an insipid idiot. The Wizard is evil, and Glinda is full of herself. If you are willing to accept these as another possible point of view, read it and enjoy it!
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 25 more book reviews
An interesting book.

Most of the book is from the point of view of the people around the Wicked Witch of the West. Those around her don't understand her It is only in the last section that we see things from her point of view. I wish that we saw more of the book from her point of view instead of those around her.

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