Book Reviews of Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1)

Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1)
Wicked - Wicked Years, Bk 1
Author: Gregory Maguire
ISBN-13: 9780060987107
ISBN-10: 0060987103
Publication Date: 11/6/1996
Pages: 406
Rating:
  • Currently 3.3/5 Stars.
 3553

3.3 stars, based on 3553 ratings
Publisher: Regan Books
Book Type: Paperback
Reviews: Amazon | Write a Review

587 Book Reviews submitted by our Members...sorted by voted most helpful

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 + 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.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 521 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 that..it 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!
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 6 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 14
Really a great book, and a lot darker than you're probably expecting.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 98 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 12
A good, if rather long, read concerning the Wicked Witch of the West's side of the story. Dragged a bit here and there, but worth taking the time and reading.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 62 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 11
A fascinating look from another perspective of the characters from The Wizard of Oz. A little difficult to get into the language (some words that were supposedly 'common' but were never really explained) but other than that, really enjoyable.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 10
I've noticed this is a highly requested book on PBS. Maybe it's just me, but I never got into it. There are a few good parts but it's a lot about the political climate of Oz at the time leading up to and during Dorothy's visit. I found it incredibly tedious to read, but I know a lot of people who felt differently! It just wasn't my cup of tea, but I wanted to read it before I saw the musical!
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 11 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 10
Entirely different from anything I've read. I fell in love with Elphaba. The characters are well written and it's amazing how different they all are. Often when you read a work of fiction it's obvious that all the characters are the creation of one person. There is so much variety, and even the way they speak is different. I absolutely love this book, but don't usually recommend it because it's got some weird sex stuff in it- The kind that makes you feel kinda yucky inside. But the story is amazing and makes you wish when you watch The Wizard of Oz, that Dorothy won't throw that pail of water on the "wicked" witch.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 9
Interesting perspective on Animal rights and the witch's political struggles. I enjoyed this book but wasn't overwhelmed as many have been.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 20 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 9
A wonderful read. The book focuses on the wicked witch's life and even minimally covers the events occuring AFTER the fallen house. It was not what I expected but I was very pleasantly suprised and sad when the book ended. I want more.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 118 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 8
i absolutely adored this. i was hoping that wicked would be more adult and not just a cutesy tie-in for the much loved movie. this was a great "insight" into some of the characters that everyone is familiar with. i found myself really rooting for the wicked witch and didn't want to put it down.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 7145 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 8
Reviewed by K. Osborn Sullivan for TeensReadToo.com

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. Even her parents aren't too sure about her.

As the story progresses, we see Elphaba at college. She falls in with a number of fellow students, some of whom are more and others less accepting of the strange green girl. It's not just her skin color that's different, though. Elphaba thinks and acts differently than other people. And she has this aversion to water.... Well, we all know how that turns out for her.

The book is an interesting departure from the Oz books, including such details as why the Cowardly Lion is able to talk, and the fact that everyone in Oz thought Dorothy's dog, Toto, was the most irritating thing to ever draw breath. I wish, however, that I could have liked some of the characters. No one was particularly likeable, as far as I was concerned. Even Elphaba, who readers should have had some sympathy for, seemed odd to me, and I never understood her motivation for anything she did. In other words, I could have gotten over the fact that she was green, but it really bothered me that she didn't act normal. Also, a word of warning: Even though these are essentially fairy tale characters, this book treats them like adults, complete with sex, swearing, and the occasional murder. Younger readers should steer clear, and older readers should be aware of what's in store here.

In general, I recommend this book for OLDER readers who are huge fans of the Oz books or the Wicked play and want to go deeper. According to my husband, who is capable of appreciating fine literature, it also has literary merit. But for those of us who want to keep our memories of the Oz stories as sweet as the old Judy Garland film was, those readers might want to be careful around WICKED.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 93 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 8
Very different from my normal genre of paranormal romance, but it was really a good book. I liked the unique characters and the world in which they lived. The story was really interesting. The only negative I have is that much of the book uses old world type language & expressions and sometimes I had to re-read a part to understand what it was saying so it took me longer to read than most books. The story is the life and times of the wicked witch of the west from Wizard of Oz fame.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 7
A great concept, but unfortunately, I tried, but I just couldn't get into this book. The politics of Oz bored me and they took up a substantial amount of this novel. I was delighted to reach the point where Dororthy arrives in Oz, but it seemed the book was rushed to completion. My favourite section of the novel was Elphaba and Galinda's school years together - who'd have thought they would be roommates and friends!
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 24 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 7
At times,I found the book difficult to dicipher the author's choice of complicated vocabulary vs imiginary words. I'm glad I had the challenge of reading the book, but it was a struggle for me. Others in my book club LOVED IT! Must be my mommy brain?
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 7
Awful book! This is actually the first one that I cannot finish and the first one that gets a 1 star rating from me. I tried desperately to keep reading it because I love the idea behind the story but the plot drags and the character/place names are awful. I made it to page 125 and couldn't take it any more. I had such high hopes and this book fell flat.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 5 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 6
A highly overrated book. It wasn't awful, but fell far short of reaching the magical level of "The Wizard of Oz" and pales even further when you think about what the characters could be.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
Honestly I wasnt that impressed. I love books that try to make you look at things from a different point of view but this book just didnt work for me. It seemed to drag on and on and finally ended and it was almost like I was grateful...
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 24 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
I can't say much about this book other than I read to page 36 and couldn't swallow anymore. I found it offensive and disagreeable.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 5
I loved Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister, so I had high hopes for this book. The writing was good and the rethinking of Oz and the characters of the Wizard of Oz intelligent and thought-provoking. However, it wasn't good enough for me to want to reread. This is the sort of book to be read at a leisurely pace over several days, and didn't keep me turning the pages the way Confessions did. I was surprised to realize that I actually liked the retelling of the Wizard of Oz in the musical Wicked better than the book for character development, although the book definitely had more nuanced political and religion-related commentary.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
I could not even make it to the second chapter of this book. And I LOVE to read, I am always reading a book, and this is the first book in years that I decided NOT to read after beginning to read it. I hated it.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 36 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
Not the typical type of book that I read, but this was EXCELLENT. Anyone looking for a book to take you in this is it. I totally sympathized with the main character Elphaba! She definitely grows on you.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 11 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
There are few books I've read in my lifetime I disliked more. The only one I can think of right off the top of my head is Catch-22 which I was never able to complete. This book is a thinly veiled attack on religion and anything remotely regarded by the author as constrictive. There are several times when plot developments occur without any reason other than trying to remain within the confines of L. Frank Baum's original stories. Outside of the fact that the names of characters and places are the same as the original story, the book bears little resemblance to the stories written some 100 years ago. It is vulgar, crude, and generally a very boring read.

I cannot in good conscience recommend this book to anyone. I hesitate to even list it to pawn it on anyone else, but I see little reason to keep it in my collection.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 66 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
If I try to explain what Wicked is about, I sound like I'm describing a children's book. But Gregory Maguire's novel is hardly that, so here goes: Wicked is a retelling of the The Wizard of Oz from the viewpoint of the Wicked Witch of the West. This novel, however, is so much more than that. Wicked asks questions about the source of evil. It asks questions about making choices. It asks questions about why people turn out the way they do, and are they really what they appear to be?

Maguire uses dark humor throughout much of his story, which contrasts the serious questions asked. Many who read this book will identify with the Witch at several points throughout reading Wicked, and that's scary in itself.

Don't expect a children's book, or anything resembling the Oz from the movie or the original book by L. Frank Baum. At some points, this tale is quite tawdry. Have no expectations if you take on exploring it, but realize it is not light reading; realize this is not your grandmother's Oz.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
I just couldn't get into this book. While parts were interesting, and the idea of what happened in OZ before Dorothy intrigued me, a lot of the plot just dragged on and on and I couldn't finish the book. I found much of the book too far fetched (even for OZ) and the youthful characters seemed to be too imature and lacked any of the refined characteristics you get from L. Frank Baum (or maybe it's that the characters are too mature, as this is not a children's book). I think if you're looking for a good fantasy story you may enjoy this book, but other than names and places, do not expect this to be the OZ of the original books.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 275 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
Great! Absolutely loved getting a different perspective on the Wicked Witch of the West..quite a gal!
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 17 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
I loved it. I dont' know what rock I had been living under, but I had never heard of this book until I saw it on the shelf at Target. I found it difficult to do anything else until I finished it.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 66 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
Im not sure what I was expecting prior to reading "Wicked", but whatever it was, I finished the book with a feeling of disappointment. Where the movie "Wizard of Oz" depicts The Wicked Witch of the West as a very wicked witch indeed, "Wicked" characterizes her as a lonely, confused person who isn't sure of herself or where she fits into the convoluted society of OZ.
The Wizard is portrayed as a despot, an unkind person from another world (Kansas, maybe?). A person of questionable morals who felt the laws of OZ didn't pertain to him.
All in all, I felt the author rambled on in many of the chapters, causing me to just put the book down in disgust, only to come back to it later. (I hate to start a book and not finish it. However, I have been known to do just that in some cases!)

In summary, I just don't agree with the reviews on the back cover of the book. I don't see myself reading any of Mr. Maguire's other books. All you members reading my review - remember, not everyone's taste falls along the same lines - take what I have to say with a grain of salt. :o)
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 20 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
I finished reading it, but it was because of principle only. I would have just put it down, but I wanted to give the author the benefit of the doubt. I should have listened to my gut.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 4
I tried reading this book about three years ago when a friend suggested it to me. I just couldn't get into then. I ordered it as my first book after joining PBS. Again, I really tried to get into this book. I got as far as page 166 before I finally just threw it down in disgust. It is just ridiculous and boring. There just doesn't seem to be any point to it. Too bad I can't get the time back that I wasted on reading it.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 6 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
Wow. This book will really make you think.

In this amazing novel, we follow the life of Elphaba, later known as the Wicked Witch of the West, from birth to the bitter end. In between is a gripping tale that ponders the philosophy of good and evil, and makes you rethink your preconceptions of what you think you know.

The 'Wonderful Wizard of Oz' is anything but. More like a ruthless dictator without a shred of compassion or moral decency, let alone a conscience. The politics of Oz are complicated, but compelling, and all roads (including the Yellow Brick Road), lead straight back to the Wizard. Indirectly, as well as directly, his actions shape Elphaba into the person, or Witch, we know her as.

This book is a feast for the brain. I loved the words he used, even when i thought i would need a dictionary. It was a journey through a remarkable and vivid world, on the constant edge of political turmoil. I found the religious arguments on all sides deep and thoughtful. I found myself feeling deeply for the unfortunate girl who had the ill luck of being born with green skin, which in turn colored her life from start to finish (pun intended). Born into a family as screwed up as they come, her dysfunctions are as natural to her as the air we all breathe.

She fights for her entire life to be different, unique, and yes, to do good in the world. Animal rights is her passion, and she fights for justice and equality in Oz even as the odds are stacked against her, and even those who fought with her succumb to normal everyday lives, and forget the righteousness of their former campaigns against evil and tyranny.

Readers will be amazed at how Maguire can turn a story everyone knows into a complex and mesmerizing tale where more than one side lives to be told, and everything comes full circle.

I loved this book. Many people say it is hard to read or slow, but i did not find it to be either. I found it remarkable. The philosophies discussed within will turn you on your head.

My favorite quote from the book:

I don't comprehend religion, although conviction is a concept I'm beginning to get. In any case, someone with a real religious conviction is, I propose, a religious convict, and deserves locking up.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 774 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
I was a little reluctant to read this because it's a Wizard-of-Oz
related book, and I was afraid that I'd really object to what had been
done to L. Frank Baum's characters. But it didn't bother me, probably
because this book really is so entirely different. It's also really
more of a take-off from the movie, not the books, although there are a
few book-references in there as well.
Basically, it takes the character of the Wicked Witch of the West, and
treats her as if she were a real person, a woman named Elphaba, who
just happens to be green - and allergic to water.
The book is mostly a character study, and an exploration of what might
cause a person to be perceived as "wicked." Far from being an innocent
fantasyland, the Oz portrayed here is rife with political conniving,
exploitation, and a plethora of social issues. As she grows up, her
situation shapes Elphaba, but she's also an intelligent, self-aware
person... whose fate, we know, will eventually intersect with Dorothy
Gale.
I enjoyed the book - but I neither thought it was as wonderful as some
reviewers claim - or as much of a "downer" as others have said it was.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 140 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
16 CDs, 20 hours, Unabridged, read by John McDonough

As one of the most requested books on PBS and a Broadway play, I'll not address the story at all. I'll just say that even though long, this was a wonderful reading and a joy to hear. I have never listened to an audio read by John McDonough that I didn't like and he was as good or better here. He always manages to read the book as if he were telling the story straight to you, and gives the characters subtle but distinctive differences. Highly recommended.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 4
I really loved this book. I am a big reader of fantasy and The Wizard of Oz was one of my favorite movies growing up. You learn why she is green and so 'wicked' and maybe feel a little sorry for her. The story is dark and myesterious but so inventive and amazing - this is one of my all time favorite books.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 8 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I read this for book club. Not what I expected. Some parts were really interesting, and others sort of dragged. I guess I was expecting some more elaboration on the Dorothy vs. Witch relationship stemming from the "Wizard of Oz". However, very little of that is mentioned. This book deals more with the Witch's life prior to that time. And from what I hear from others, readers either really like or really dislike Gregory Maguire's writing.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 95 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I read this book after i had seen the show WICKED. Not really the same thing at all. The show at least had a plot line you could follow. Maguire's premise starts out great but he loses you half way through it. At a certain point I actually put it down because it was giving me a headache to read it. I agree with the other reviewwer - eirhter you love Macguire's writing or you don't. Put me down for don't.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Take the wild ride where you see the side of Oz before Dorothy planted her house there. This book is about the lives of the witches of Oz. From birth the little green baby would be known as Elphaba, she would have a very interesting, but difficult path in life. In college she would be roomates with The bubbly, popular, and blonde Galinda, (later to be changed to Glinda). The friendships, the love lifes, the amazing world that Gregory Maguire wrote is magical and keeps you spellbound. Come visit the Witches of Oz!
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 8 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I love love love this book! It tells the story of the wicked witch and all the people in her life. Good and evil? or just humans and nature's creature and the choices we make? Hmmm. Excellent intriguing read.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 7145 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Reviewed by K. Osborn Sullivan for TeensReadToo.com

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. Even her parents aren't too sure about her.

As the story progresses, we see Elphaba at college. She falls in with a number of fellow students, some of whom are more and others less accepting of the strange green girl. It's not just her skin color that's different, though. Elphaba thinks and acts differently than other people. And she has this aversion to water.... Well, we all know how that turns out for her.

The book is an interesting departure from the Oz books, including such details as why the Cowardly Lion is able to talk, and the fact that everyone in Oz thought Dorothy's dog, Toto, was the most irritating thing to ever draw breath. I wish, however, that I could have liked some of the characters. No one was particularly likeable, as far as I was concerned. Even Elphaba, who readers should have had some sympathy for, seemed odd to me, and I never understood her motivation for anything she did. In other words, I could have gotten over the fact that she was green, but it really bothered me that she didn't act normal. Also, a word of warning: Even though these are essentially fairy tale characters, this book treats them like adults, complete with sex, swearing, and the occasional murder. Younger readers should steer clear, and older readers should be aware of what's in store here.

In general, I recommend this book for OLDER readers who are huge fans of the Oz books or the Wicked play and want to go deeper. According to my husband, who is capable of appreciating fine literature, it also has literary merit. But for those of us who want to keep our memories of the Oz stories as sweet as the old Judy Garland film was, those readers might want to be careful around WICKED.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 22 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Was the Witch of the West Wicked? This is the question the prequel to the Wizard of Oz attempts to answer. The concept of the book was inventive but some parts of the story were predictable (or maybe I just didn't like where the story went). I think it must be very hard to grow up green or for that matter in "anyway" that is different from the "norm". In this way it was a fairy tale not unlike the original. All in all, Im glad I read it.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 5 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
This book was truly awful and a chore to read. A friend said she tried several times over the course of 10 years and finally threw it in the trash. How they made a hit play is beyond me, I'm afraid to see the play now.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 55 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
This is one of those books where I think my expectations spoiled my reading experience. I've heard such wonderful things about this, and raves from people I trust. I went with friends to see the musical, and while it was cute, it certainly didn't blow me away. So on a whim, I picked this up because that's what I wanted. To be blown away. Everyone said the book was different than the show, so I figured it would be a given winner.

While it is different, it just wasn't as engrossing as I expected. It's all concept and no actual story. The premise is fantastic, and the first half of it really worked for me. I was excited about seeing the foundation being built for Elphaba's later deconstruction. But then she leaves Shiz, and everything goes downhill from there. Her characterization goes all over the place, and the story itself gets bogged down in all the political and thematic issues the author is obviously eager to explore. What should have been a pivotal emotional moment over halfway through gets swept under the rug, and I'm left feeling ambivalent about Elphaba and her gradual descent.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 4234 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Entertaining for a while, but not meant for people with short attention spans, like me.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 32 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I read "Wicked" after I had seen (and loved) the musical. The two do not follow the same story line. I had a tough time getting through the book. Maguire's writing style was difficult for me to read.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 5 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I really wanted to love this book because so many people claim to have loved it and it was on the NYT Bestseller list and all. But I really did not like it. It went on and on and on about the social and political climate of Oz which really held no interest for me at all. There were a lot of phrases and vocabulary that the author made up and never really explained very well. The motives of the characters are bizarre at best, and some of the exchanges and dialogue of characters was just plain weird instead of colloquial or friendly. There are also conversations where the second person knows what the first person is going to say before the first person says it and so it seemed stupid that the second person would know this bit of vital information before the first person said it. There were also some sexual interludes which just struck me as forced and out of place instead of going with the flow of the story, and in my opinion they weren't really necessary and didn't contribute much. I read the whole thing in case the end was somehow redeeming, but it was tortuous getting through it. And in the end, I was disappointed and wished I had just set it down after the first 50 pages and left it, like I wanted to. There were times when I would check to see how many pages I had left to read so I could be done with it finally and start on the next book that I am going to read. There are so many better books out there, don't waste your time.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 20 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Interesting twist on the story of the wicked witch. Definitely not a children's book. You actually find yourself rooting for her.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 3
Long, barely-readable fanfiction from someone who obviously wanted desperately to write about Munchkin porn.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 28 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
This book was on Nicholas Sparks recommended reading list. I enjoyed it more than I thought I would. I thought it was a little slow getting started, but then I just had to finish it. I was not familiar with Oz at all except for the movie. This book made it feel like a real place and you'll never look at the Wicked Witch the same way again.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 120 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I was pleasantly surprised by this book. I feared the author would do the cliched portrayal of the poor, repressed, teased, "sob story" regarding the Wicked Witch of the West. Another surprise is how the book focused on the politics of the Land of Oz, which I admit was something about which I've always wondered. I can't wait to read the rest of Gregory Maguire's books.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 31 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Not a typical fairy tale! I'm not sure what I was expecting of the Wicked Witch's life story, but this was definately not it. Politics, religion, predjudice, and human (& animal) rights are all issues that shaped her life. Was she really "wicked"? The book is slow in parts and I found the language a little difficult, but overall a good read.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 3
I made the mistake of reading the novel after seeing the musical in Chicago which was amazing. I think that cause me to expect things out of the novel that you can only get from the play, so i was left a little disappointed, but I will go back and read it again sometime just to see if I can understand it more without thinking about how different the play was.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Like most of us here, I am an avid reader. Rarely do I come across a book that is hard to read and does not inspire me to finish it. Wicked was exactly such a book - I stopped and read two other books before I could get myself to finish it. I wish I could recommend this book, especially given the cost of it, but I cannot.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 7 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
If you really like long-winded books, you'll love this one. I couldn't wait for it to end.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 1756 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This was such a creative book. I loved the thought of having the story from the witch's perspective and it was so well-written, my view of Oz will probably stick with this one instead of the original. I just loved it!
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 125 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
While the imaginative details describing how the wicked witch came to be who she was were amazing, I found this book to be very dark and had to drag myself through it. We bought tickets to the musical before I started reading, and two chapters into it I was much afraid to take my daughters to see it. BE AWARE: the musical and book share the same tag line and basic characters, but the similarity stops there. The family loved the light hearted musical but I won't let my daughters near the book until they are adults.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 160 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I really enjoyed this book. It was a "slow" read though...you can't just breeze through it and totally understand it all. It's more of a thinking-outside-of-the-box type book. I will never ever think of anything dealing with the Wizard of Oz the same again. I was so intrigued by the characters, and didn't have any trouble confusing them as some readers have mentioned. I did have to flip to the map in the first few pages a million times though haha! I recommend this book.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I loved this story! So fun to read, a little slow at times but in the end it was a great read
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 2
Great in theory, but I found it lacking. The book seemed to build characters and plot lines and then didn't follow through with any result. Overall I was bored with it at the end.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 16 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I ordered this book because a lot of my friends have read it and liked it. I was warned by another PBS participant that it was hard to get into. It WAS hard to get into. The storyline was good and it was interesting to get the other side of the story... but it was so detail oriented that it felt like a lot of filler. I ended up skipping many paragraphs just to get to the meat of the story. Overall, I enjoyed the storyline.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
The idea of this book really fascinated me. However, when I read it, I found it to be too dark for my personal taste. It has several interesting themes but, for me, it was hard to keep reading it. If you would like to explore the theme of the nature of evil, you may find this book a very interesting reach.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 46 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Very interesting take on life in oz and in everyday life. I can't read more by this Author
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 20 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Great book, although I did come to a point that I thought it dragged on a bit redundantly. Otherwise, I enjoyed it very much and recommend it!
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 22 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Very dark and somewhat "adult" in content. I'm sure others might enjoy it, but I was very surprised in just the first few chapters.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 2
I WAS KIND OF DISAPPOINTED IN THIS BOOK, WITH ALL THE HYPE I EXPECTED SOMETHING FAST PACED, AND COULD KEEP MY INTEREST BUT UNFORTUNATELY THAT DID NOT HAPPEN
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 145 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Can be quite confusing even when you know the Wizard of Oz story well. If you're not familiar with Munchkinland and the Emerald City, don't bother reading this until you at least watch the movie. But the book is a must read before you see the Broadway show or you'll never get what's going on.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 57 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I didn't particularly care for this book. It sort of dragged on and you pretty much already know the ending.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 15 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Perverted. A real stretch to fit into the story of the Wizard of Ox. The "wicked" witch loves animals but later sews wings onto monkeys to fit into the Oz story. An animal lover, as she is supposed to be, would not likely do that. I can't remember all the other points but I did not enjoy it.

I read this for a book club - we were all very surprised that most of us did not love it. The play is great but the book.... leaves a lot to be desired.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 7145 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Reviewed by K. Osborn Sullivan for TeensReadToo.com

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. Even her parents aren't too sure about her.

As the story progresses, we see Elphaba at college. She falls in with a number of fellow students, some of whom are more and others less accepting of the strange green girl. It's not just her skin color that's different, though. Elphaba thinks and acts differently than other people. And she has this aversion to water.... Well, we all know how that turns out for her.

The book is an interesting departure from the Oz books, including such details as why the Cowardly Lion is able to talk, and the fact that everyone in Oz thought Dorothy's dog, Toto, was the most irritating thing to ever draw breath. I wish, however, that I could have liked some of the characters. No one was particularly likeable, as far as I was concerned. Even Elphaba, who readers should have had some sympathy for, seemed odd to me, and I never understood her motivation for anything she did. In other words, I could have gotten over the fact that she was green, but it really bothered me that she didn't act normal. Also, a word of warning: Even though these are essentially fairy tale characters, this book treats them like adults, complete with sex, swearing, and the occasional murder. Younger readers should steer clear, and older readers should be aware of what's in store here.

In general, I recommend this book for OLDER readers who are huge fans of the Oz books or the Wicked play and want to go deeper. According to my husband, who is capable of appreciating fine literature, it also has literary merit. But for those of us who want to keep our memories of the Oz stories as sweet as the old Judy Garland film was, those readers might want to be careful around WICKED.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I found this book hard to read and I could not get into it
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I'm a huge wizard of oz fan and i simply hated where the author's imagination took me.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 13 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
It was hard to get through this. If you know a lot about Oz before you read this it might be more interesting.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 67 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I read this in 2001 after finding it in a book shop in Los Angeles. This was a year or so before the musical debuted. I was a little disappointed. It's dense, more a political drama than a whimsical adventure. When I was in New York the year Wicked debuted on Broadway I was almost reluctant to see the play. If you loved the play, you will be disappointed by the book. It's good, very smartly written, but dense and plodding and really tough to get through. Luckily I read this before I saw the play.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 39 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This book just didn't cut it for me. I was really looking forward to reading it and it took me a month to get 1/3 of the way into it.

I found it just dragged. Good idea but a very slow and draining read IMHO.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This was one of the toughest books I've ever read, with unusual names and places making it hard to comprehend. But overall it was a fantastic book and I'm glad I read it! Now looking forward to the Broadway play...
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
While I adored the musical (saw it twice), I hated this book. It's so different than the musical I almost couldn't follow some of the story. There were way too many characters, places and it was too long. I tried to read the new sequel but couldn't get past a couple chapters. I finally posted it and it was one of the first books I sent out as a new member.

MAM
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I know a lot of people enjoyed this book but I just couldn't get through it. I hope there is someone out there who will finish it and be happy to have it in their library!
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 2
not the easiest read, but well worth it. It is very dark and political, but good. maquire can get mixed up in the details like tolkein but it just takes a little more effort and patience to get through. Back in 1998, this was first time I had seen of re-telling a classic story from the so called villians perspective and it blew me away.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 212 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I've lost count of the number of times I've read Wicked, but I can safely say that I enjoy it more every time I read it. I adore getting caught up in the world of Oz regardless of the source, but Maguire's world holds a special place in my heart. I feel like I catch more about this world every time I read the series, which makes me respect Maguire even more as an author.

This version of Oz provides a great backdrop for commentary on things that are going on in our society, and really can be modified to think of social issues we're dealing with at any time. The struggle of the Animals in this book can be likened to the struggle of any minority in our social landscape, which makes it more sad to me because I know these kinds of horrible things have happened in our history, and are still happening now in some way or another.

To read the rest of my review, please visit:
http://www.dorolerium.com/?p=3200
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 13 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I tried...I really did. Three times in fact. But this was, by far, the most boring book I have ever read. Each time I would try to go a little further along to see if I could have been mistaken but I was never able to finish it.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 33 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This book was, for me, an extremely tedious read. The first half was okay but not great, I thought it was slow because we were being introduced to the characters and settings, etc. Unfortunately, it never picked up steam, it just got weird, then it got ridiculous. I have a pretty good suspension of disbelief, but I really did not believe the character's motivations for most of their actions. I think this is because I didn't really KNOW their personalities. Sure, Maguire went on about them for pages and pages, but it didn't grant us any insight into the characters. They would do things and I would find myself wondering why, why, why??

The plot... can't really pinpoint what it was exactly. I know it was supposed to be the life of the Wicked Witch, which it was, but there was so much extra stuff that just didn't need to be there. Her college years felt like just a bunch of spoiled rich kids whining about stuff. Maybe that's what it was supposed to be, I don't know, it just came off as annoying. Her life after that seemed, from what I can gather, out of character. She spends a lot of time just relying on a man. Up until that point she was just grumpy and only relied on herself, then she gets out of college, and starts relying on a guy and is still grumpy. Every major change just happened very suddenly.

I know Maguire was trying really hard to put in some kind of political agenda. The book is so thick with it I'm surprised it doesn't rub off on the readers hands when touching the book. Unfortunately I have no idea what that agenda is, from things I've read online it sounds like he's trying to criticize American Politics and Organized Religion, and that's really painfully obvious in his scene involving the "Philosophy Club." It's so forced though.

That's the biggest cause of tedium in this book, everything just seems forced and crammed in there. It's like he's trying to cram all his personal opinions into this world where it really doesn't belong, and it overpowers the story. Pile on top of that the fact that his language is so THICK. Don't get me wrong, I'm not against books with a good vocabulary, but this is really excessive. I don't know Maguire, and I don't know what's in his mind, but to me, it FELT like he was just throwing in "college words" to seem more intelligent. It made it frustrating to read, and a lot of the time I found my mind drifting away while I was reading. That seems to be the theme of this book though, unnecessary.

This really affects the method of storytelling and was frustrating. Whenever he'd bring up a new event or character or something that is seemingly important (like the introduction of a Lion which hints that it might just be the cowardly lion) he just grazes over it, or completely changes the subject or day or month and never returns to that idea. When there's an idea or point of view that he wants to express though, we get to read a discussion that goes on for pages and pages. He wants a discussion about the nature of good and evil and there it is, wedged into the story in a long discussion between a few characters. He wants an allegory for how bad organized religion is then we get the Philosophy Club. It doesn't feel like a natural progression of the story. It feels like he wrote the story, then went back and added in all these big ideas and discussions to beef it up. I know that probably ISN'T what happened, but that's certainly how it reads.

Another big thing is that her conflict with Dorthy seems like just an afterthought!! Dorthy is kind of mentioned a few times in the second half of the book, then at the end.... BOOM the confrontation which is just a huge letdown, and a little bit of wrap-up afterward. I know it's not ABOUT Dorthy, but I feel like she plays a pretty big role in the whole Wizard of Oz story.

I know a lot of people really, really LOVED Wicked, and that's great. I really don't understand WHY, but I'm glad that it reaches people. For me though, this was just a TERRIBLE book, and has permanently turned me off from his books.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 2
Ugh. I could barely get through this book. It took itself way too seriously and was overflowing with hundreds of unnecessary pages of existential meandering.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 16 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
They don't get much better than this. Read the book long before the play hit the theater here years ago. WONDERFUL wonderful story. I love the play on children's stories. Maquire has a comedic knack for this!
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 1756 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This was such a creative book. I loved the thought of having the story from the witch's perspective and it was so well-written, my view of Oz will probably stick with this one instead of the original. I just loved it!
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 18 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I enjoyed this book. Maguire addresses a lot of interesting issues brought up by the original story. Remember, this is based on the novel, not the movie. Certain details will be different if you're only familiar with the movie. This is a deep read, but not difficult. If you like debating the origins, and even the very definition, of things like evil, this is the book for you!
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 14 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I read this book when it was orginally published and loved it. I will save this book with my L Frank Baum collection. A great read!!!
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 2
I adore fantasy, but before I even got to page 15, I had been introduced to topics that were not acceptable to me as a Christian. I decided to put it down rather than fill my mind with more. I may be offended more easily than most, but I couldn't justify reading what may have been great fiction if it meant sacrificing mental purity that I work very hard to maintain. Maybe I already read the worst and it would be nothing after that--but I decided not to risk it. There are other things just as wonderful that I can spend my time reading.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 8 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
Loved it! The first Gregory Maguire book I've read, I had to go out and get all the rest!
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 2
This book is full of rich detail that immerses you in the world of OZ decades before the time of Dorothy's arrival. Maguire makes us question the nature of good and evil and the human psyche. I picked up this book and lost myself in its pages, not wanting to stop until the last page was turned.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 8 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This was so full of promise and I chomped my way through the first third of the book, only to really skip through the animals talking part. I wanted this to be be the other side of Oz, but I think it was more about "How thick can I make this book." I am in the book selling business,and definately do NOT recommend this. Our book club realy tanked this one.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This book was a VERY long read for me. It just took me forever to read it, because it was so hard to get into (and it's a long book, too). I was determined to finish it, though, and was left very disappointed. I wish I could get back the time I spent reading it.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 15 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I love this story
If you know The Wizard of Oz then you need to read the Witch's point-of-view
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 40 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I liked this book. I thought the entire idea of giving perspective on the behavior on the Wicked Witch and the Good Witch for the Wizard of Oz was quite creative. This seems to be one of those books that will either have you on the edge of your seat or disinterested from the beginning, so it's pretty much a draw. In any case, the story itself will forever change your views of the original Oz books.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 34 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
This was much more entertaining than I anticipated - - I completely forgot about my horrible commute while listening to this story. If you've seen the play "Wicked" this actually picks up before the play, when Elfaba was born, and gives a lot more background and detail, so it was just a fun time in my car. And it reminded me of how much fun it is to listen to a story. PS - not for children. Has a couple of juicy/naughty bits.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 2
Personally, I found this book very difficult to read. I just finished it after about 10 months! (which is very unusual for me, I usually read about a book a week). My problem may have been that I saw the play first. The book drug on & on & I am sorry to say that I didn't find it so enjoyable. But that is why they make chocolate & vanilla, right?
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 2
I read this, and then saw the musical. I think if I'd done the opposite, I would have been disappointed. It's not a bad book. It gives you a new perspective on The Wizard of Oz. However it's a little weird and a little bit slow in spots. Some of the things had me going "huh?" a few times.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 13 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 2
I didn't think that I would ever finish Wicked. I loved the idea of this book and was excited to read it. But it just dragged on and on. The ideas are great but it's too descriptive. The last chapter was the best and I loved it but I almost didn't get there. I don't think I'll be reading any more of his books.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 7 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
OMG the 1st chapter dragged on for too long. I found it engaging at times, but overall I felt I had to force myself to finish because I dislike starting a book and not finishing it. I read it because of all the rave reviews for the play, which I haven't seen, and ended up stumped over how they could turn this book into a musical!

Elphaba was an interesting yet likable character. It truly gives the life story of Elphaba from when she was born through to the end. Dorothy and her sidekicks are mentioned on occasion which was neat to remember the movie and see how The Wicked Witch tied in and understanding where she was coming from. Like another reviewer mentioned, there are many political and religious undertones if you don't mind that sort of stuff. Please note that the chapters were often too long.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 1
I couldn't make it through the book. I saw the musical and thought, hmmm maybe I'll read the book.

I couldn't get into it. Its slow, and uninteresting. I found my mind wandering while reading it, and so I just put it down.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 16 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I must say that I really liked this book. It did drag a bit in places but overall I enjoyed it. Very thought provoking on many different levels. I was disappointed with the ending even though that is the way the story goes. I felt the author could have done a better job of it. I would recommend this book to anyone who is open to new ideas and is not easily shocked.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 5 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This book will turn your preconceived notions of who is good and evil upside down. It was thoughtful, dark, and funny all at the same time. If you grew up on the yearly Wizard of Oz movie on TV, you may find yourself enraptured again with this grown-up, "rest of the story" version.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 87 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
If you're a fan of The Wizard of Oz, you will probably be thoroughly amused by this book. It's a cute retelling of the story of Oz from the wicked witch of the west's point of view, from the time she was a green, sharp-toothed baby. Adventure, intrigue, and (gasp!) even witch sex. I thought it was awfully cute and clever. Well done.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 6 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I did finish it, but it was slow in parts. There was a lot more musing on philosophies of life and evil and good than I like. Would have liked more of a flowing story. Interesting book.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 1
I continued reading this book, hoping it would get better. It never did. The idea of the story is good, but the telling of it was boring, almost pointless. The Witch seemed powerless and clueless. There was nothing really special about Elphaba. I don't think Elphaba's character very well developed. I was hoping to see her bloom throughout the book into some awesome witch, whom everyone claimed to be wicked. In hindsight, I liked the idea of the Wizard as the bad guy, instead of Elphaba.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 11 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
The author was hard to follow. He just kept talking about things that did not even matter. Not a quick easy read. The only reason I finished the book was to see his version of the end where the Witch and Dorothy meet. If not for that, I would have stopped reading and not finished it. After you read so much and try to follow all of his blah... blah... blah..., you want to see what happens in the end. It was nice to hear and see about Oz before Dorothy, where the Witch came from and all. I believe it could have been better, with a completely different storyline.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 37 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I ran out and bought this book after having seen the stage show in Atlanta, and to be fair to the book, my best friend warned me that the book is much darker than the stage show. The book is, indeed, darker. But, it is also overly complicated and tedious, especially the beginning. I felt that it was almost supposed to be some sort of riddle that the reader should have had the knowledge to decipher. It did get better as it went. There are a lot of more adult themes in this fairytale retelling. Teenagers who like the stage should probably are too young to read this one. Overall, I was disappointed, but that's just a personal opinion.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 5 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I was disappointed with this book. I love to see the other side of a story which this shows but the author tried too hard to be subversive for me to be able to enjoy the story.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 1
I agree with most of the previous reviews as it has many parts that I had to drag through and some I needed ro reread to make sure I understood as they seemed strange. I was about to go and see the play so I wanted to be done before I went...otherwise I think I may have given up. It is not your typical book and I dont think it is for everyone. The play is different in parts and not what I expected but am still glad I read before I went. It was not a book that really grabbed me in so it took me a while to get through. Not something I would read agin but still I am glad I read it. Also was not the worst book I've read and not the best either.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 8 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Upon its arrival I held it in my hands and stared at the cover for what seemed an eternity. Finally I gently opened the cover, staring down at the image before me for several minutes,I then began my journey into this new world created by Gregory Maguire.

I was mesmerized immediately and couldn't wait to snuggle up with it every free moment and step into the magic once again. Over and over I found myself gasping at vivid descriptions of events , or of what one of the characters was feeling as they lived or recalled in their memories. Lying within the pages,the few illustrations included and the authors imagination you will fall inside a world you would never have imagined as a child reading or watching "The Wizard of Oz".

I can't wait to read the next two in this trilogy and see where it will take me. I hope you too will enjoy this one. Blessings Bright & Dark...
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Wicked does not live up to its hype. Maguire uses the book as a platform to project his pseudo-philosophical prattle. If the misunderstanding of "evil" makes your mouth salivate and froth (or perhaps if you have an affinity for the word "froth"), go for it. For the rest of us, save your credit.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 5 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
What a different view of the wicked witch! I loved this book and pretty much any book that twists the old standard fairy tales. You really feel for the poor thing! From the first page I was hooked...this is a must read!
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 5 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
this book wasnt really my cup of tea, but i have heard a lot of rave reviews about it.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 1
The author's elaboration of the classic, the Wizard of Oz, particularly from the Wicked Witch of the West's perspective, was very well written. Where does evil come from? Are some born to it? Or, are they, possibly, just doing the best they can in the circumstances they are in and are misinterpreted by others? What is morality? The author takes on these kinds of questions from the Witch's perspective. I found it fascinating, and ordered the sequel, Son of a Witch.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I had no idea what to expect of this book. It was the most bizarre, intruiging book I have ever read! The imagination of Mr. Maguire knows no bounds. The book was interesting and keep me interested to the end. I can't wait to read "The Ugly Stepsister"!
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 6 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Interesting story of the life of the sister witches before we saw them of the big screen in the Wizard of Oz. Elphaba's life is intensely interesting.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 8 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I liked this book, I had enjoyed accidently seeing "The Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister" on tv a few years ago and sort of knew to expect the fairy tale to be fractured. Of course I'll never have to watch "The Wizard of Oz" from behind the couch anymore and I'm going to miss that.

I too saw the musical. I'm glad I read the book first. The first half of the show was pretty much according to the book. The second half was pretty much made up from some other story. But in retrospect it had to end that way, an unhappy ending does not a good musical make. Oh, spoiler alert I guess. But don't worry that it ends unhappily, you sort of know it will from the beginning, after all the witch is dead. But there is a follow up tale, "Son Of A Witch" that may sort of make up for the ending.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 58 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I really liked this book. The alternate story of the wicked witch gives a new perspective on the Wizard Of Oz. I have since read other books by Maguire. And I think out of all of them this one here is this best.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 38 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This book was extremely difficult for me to get through and I am not entirely sure why I stuck it out and read the entire story. I put it down three times to read other books that I consumed quite fast. The author spends a lot of time on detail and is thorough in explanation, but the writing style made it hard for me to become engaged by the story.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 1
It seems as if there are many people on PBS who feel they wasted their time with this book. I couldn't disagree more. While it's not one of my "favorite all time" books I really enjoyed it and think it's very worthwhile reading. Beyond just being a good story and comic novel the book has real substance to it. It will get you thinking about religion, history and theology. Most of all by the end of the book you will think about the individual characters and their responses to pain. The book is well put together and inspires thought about the human condition. One thing to be prepared for is that while the book isn't graphic there are many references to sex in a comical way.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 1
This was a great book that delves into the political machinations of Oz. It is an adult book and the musical made from this book was fabulous! This presented a whole new perspective on the beloved "candy coated" land of Oz that we all grew up with- terrific book that requires some in-depth thinking on the reader's behalf.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 6 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I did not like this book at all. It just drug on and on, in fact I could not even finish this book, which is rare for me. I think this is a book you either love or hate, there is no middle ground.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 20 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I liked this book it was really strange but also held your attention.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 36 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Pretentious much??? Good grief Mr. Maguire...I love the premise of the book...But do we need to show the world your mastery of the English language and the fact that you know how to throw a bunch of complicated words together??? I don't consider myself a genius but I do view myself as intelligent and I understood what you were trying to say but you could have said it better using less complicated wording...This wasn't written as old English prose...It was written to impress his friends and old college professors...Having said that, I will state again, I love the theme of the book...After chewing through the nonsense I found the story to be impressive...Maguire has a vivid imagination and he gives readers what they want...A view of the Wicked Witch of the West and what made her the way she was...Will I recommend it??? No...Why??? Because there are so many other books out there where the authors try to spin a golden story without making their audience feel like grade school drop outs...
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I loved this story!! I felt so bad for Elphaba (the Wicked Witch) She really wasn't wicked, just different, and amazingly lonely.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 83 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Didn't know if I would enjoy this as I'm not a big sci-fi/fantasy fan, but I loved the Wizard of Oz and the concept of the story was interesting. His introductions of side characters (the future Tinman) were subtle, and I ended up enjoying this book. I will definitely read his other stories!
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 10 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I had read one of Maguire's earlier books, and really had to trudge through it. It was painful, but I tried to finish it for my book club.

When this one was chosen years later, I was not thrilled; however, I was pleasantly surprised. It was so much better. He has drastically improved. This was a great read, and you really forget it is fiction about a land that never did exist. In discussion, several of us would refer to the story as "back when things were...." And then we'd realize that things never were that way because it was fiction. I say that just to let you know that you totally immerse yourself in it.

If you've read Maguire before and not been impressed, give this one a try. It is refreshing.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 8 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I hated this book. Yuck. It's slow. It's vulgar. It's crass. I wouldn't recommend this book to my worst enemy.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 63 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I wasn't horribly impressed by this, though I did like the story itself. The beginning just dragged a bit too much for my taste and the ending seemed like a cop-out. I liked the middle so much that I've got the rest of his books on my TBR pile though!
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 7 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This one didn't impress me much. The author had a very interesting idea, but got so tied up with the desire to comment on society and human nature that he left holes in the story. Hopefully "Son of a Witch" is better, though I haven't picked that one up yet.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 35 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Wow! I don't know where to begin. Is it possible to like and dislike a book at the same time? I will admit that I skimmed many parts of this book - when it became too political or was too much "lord of the rings" (I have a hard time with books like that). There were many times especially at the beginning when I told my husband "I don't think I can finish this book" but I stuck it out. I will say the meat of Elphada's story was just riveting and I couldn't stop reading. You really felt for her and her plight. It did remind me a little of "V for Vendetta". I will say though that I will never watch Wizard of Oz the same way again - LOL!
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 1
This book was very hard to read. I started it at least three times before I could get into it. It was nothing like I expected.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
As a Oz fanatic I was immediately drawn to Maguire's tale of Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West. Having read the book then seeing the Broadway musical, I can say, they are not to be compared. The musical is beyond fantastic and the book is absolutely wonderful! Maguire knows how to get you to fall in love with a wicked witch!
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 17 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Wow, if you want intrigue and politics and dark humour, here's your book.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 22 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Read the true story of the Wicked Witch of the West. This is hard to put down
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 1
I enjoyed this book so much that I finished it in a single day! Which is no small accomplishment in my life.

It is wonderfully well written and exciting to take a behind-the-scenes look at some old literary characters. Who could have known that even the wicked witch has a story worth hearing!
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 14 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This book was so captivating I could hardly put it down! Definitely a great new way to look at the classic story of The Wizard of Oz.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
The idea of the book seemed captivating and I really really wanted to like it, but there were adulterous and sexual themes and language that ruined it for me. Unable to finish the book with a clear conscience.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 19 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Not the best thing to give a poor review to a book you are trying to swap but that is unfortunately the case again. Liking the original as well as the musical along with the feeling that this could be an interesting read, didn't turn out that way. I have a bad habit of continuing to read a book until the end even though there is no reason to. For me the characters weren't all that interesting (the possibility was there but unfulfilled) and I really didn't care about them. Mainly wished for the book to end. It was well written (words and grammar) but who cares about that if it is the only good thing to say about it in a work of fiction.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 92 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I cannot recommend this book for anything other than burning. I am sorry to even have it listed here. It's a very good thing that I did not spend the $15.00 on this paperback that someone did. I apologize in advance for passing it along through the system.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 1
The reviews on the back of the book includes "Save a place on the shelf between Alice and The Hobbit - that spot is well deserved." I have to disagree. While I enjoyed the book, it was very dark.. and fairly adult in nature.

Reviews on the book and the idea of The Wicked Witch of the West can easily lead someone to believe that this would be a fun book for younger readers.. perhaps something to read to the kids.. an extension of an all-time children's classic. WRONG. This is NOT for the children.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 9 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This book is absolutely awesome. His best in my opinion. You start to feel for the green witch, root for her. Now I have to read the sequel.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 7 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I really enjoyed this book. It's quite different from the play, but quite interesting to get the whole story. It's very detailed, and political.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I think it is over written. I was hoping for a book that would bring you back to the fascination of the original characters and Land of Oz, give some depth into the Wicked Witch and yes make you see a different side to her. But you have to read through so much political and religious views that there were many times I was cursing the author and wishing I never picked up the book. I don't know that I will read another book by this author. They take way too long to get into and then have you struggling to hold on and finish the book.

You do however come away with a new view of the wicked witch and it's one that she isn't wicked at all.

I do still want to see the musical and would hope that the time constraint would not allow for the story to be dragged out as horribly as it was in this book.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I enjoyed this book so much that I went and read the original "Wizard of Oz".
Gregory Maguire rendition of OZ in it's early beginnings pre-Dorothy is fantastic.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 1
I had a hard time reading this book. The storyline was great, but the way it was written made it difficult to keep my attention. Hopefully one day I'll be able to see the play and enjoy it much more. I will say it is a must read - if you can make yourself plow thru it - because some times it did feel like work to keep on reading.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 1
I enjoyed the book and the story. The background details are a little long and heavy, but it's a good story.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 159 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
All in all, this was a very interesting story on perspective and how things aren't always as they seem or as we believe them to be. It did drag in spots, but I am curious to read the other 2 books in the series. I think the author did a wonderful job of fleshing out Oz as a possible place rather than making it too good to be real (the characters have flaws, for instance, even those who are the "good guys"). He presents the "Wicked Witch of the West" as a sympathetic character without making her a "goodie-goodie."
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 36 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I raved about this book to everyone I met for the first hundred pages or so. After that, I realized my attention span was waning. The characters are so hard to keep straight and the story seemed to drone on forever. Despite my waning interest, I really wanted to finish the book before I saw the Broadway show. Alas, it didn't happen. I realize that life wasn't over and that I enjoyed the play without having finished the book.
The idea is phenomenal. How creative. The execution and the actual story, however, is one I could not get into.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
After reading this book I now feel sorry for the Wicked Witch of the West. You must have an open mind to read this.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 1
OK, I'll admit, I could not finish this book. The language is not easy to read and the story is ver convoluted. I saw the musical while reading this book and laughed as they made it a G version of an R rated book. Be warned, parts of this book are VERY risque. Gave it 2 stars.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 20 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
An interesting, sort of philosophical look at evil and its various guises. An overly-rosy viewpoint of kindheartedness is assaigned to the wicked witch of the west, but it is a look at who writes history and how it is shaded. I found Oz more believable in this story than in the original cultural myth...
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
The book was not what I was expecting. It stayed with me well after I had read it, but only because I was left wondering about a lot of things. Nothing was written as though Elphaba was speaking for herself. It could have been more interesting. Some parts dragged.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 1
It was an OK book. I was looking for a great story but found a new plot with a lot of political overtones. Not my cup of tea. I just could not get into the story.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Good book, if you're interested in fantasy stuff. Good, though, I liked it.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 1
An interesting take on the story of Oz. It took me a little while to get into this book, but I'm glad I stuck with it.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 61 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
If you have seen the musical, then this book will be a disappointment, since the book is NOTHING like the play. It is sometimes challenging to read, but it offers a very unique perspective into the lives of the characters of the "Wizard of Oz" series by Frank Baum. I liked the book, but I know of several people who saw the musical and then read the book and were very disappointed.

My mother loved the musical and looked forward to reading the book (she, like me, is an avid reader, and generally prefers the book to movies and plays) and then hated it and passed the book onto me. I actually liked the book, but also read it knowing that it was very different from the musical that I really liked.

I did end up skipping several paragraphs because the language of the book was long-winded and convoluted, but I was interested in the "other side of the story" that this novel offered. I grew up adoring the Land of Oz that Dorothy traveled to and it was fun to visit this land again, but from the perspective of the Wicked Witch of the West. I almsot liked this version better, since it was so sickly sweet as Dorothy tended to be.

I am looking forward to reading "Son of the Witch," so if anyone has that one -- post it!
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 191 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This is my second favorite Maguire book (right behind Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister); I loved how the Wicked Witch of the West grew up and had a heart for animal rights. The tale was intreguing and kept a good pace with lots of unexpected turns for me. Maguire's imagination was fantastic in this one.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 1756 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This was such a creative book. I loved the thought of having the story from the witch's perspective and it was so well-written, my view of Oz will probably stick with this one instead of the original. I just loved it!
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 7145 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Reviewed by K. Osborn Sullivan for TeensReadToo.com

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. Even her parents aren't too sure about her.

As the story progresses, we see Elphaba at college. She falls in with a number of fellow students, some of whom are more and others less accepting of the strange green girl. It's not just her skin color that's different, though. Elphaba thinks and acts differently than other people. And she has this aversion to water.... Well, we all know how that turns out for her.

The book is an interesting departure from the Oz books, including such details as why the Cowardly Lion is able to talk, and the fact that everyone in Oz thought Dorothy's dog, Toto, was the most irritating thing to ever draw breath. I wish, however, that I could have liked some of the characters. No one was particularly likeable, as far as I was concerned. Even Elphaba, who readers should have had some sympathy for, seemed odd to me, and I never understood her motivation for anything she did. In other words, I could have gotten over the fact that she was green, but it really bothered me that she didn't act normal. Also, a word of warning: Even though these are essentially fairy tale characters, this book treats them like adults, complete with sex, swearing, and the occasional murder. Younger readers should steer clear, and older readers should be aware of what's in store here.

In general, I recommend this book for OLDER readers who are huge fans of the Oz books or the Wicked play and want to go deeper. According to my husband, who is capable of appreciating fine literature, it also has literary merit. But for those of us who want to keep our memories of the Oz stories as sweet as the old Judy Garland film was, those readers might want to be careful around WICKED.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 1
Great book. It was nice to read someone elses point of view on the wicked witch of the west and how she came to be. However, the story did drag on in some places of the book, but overall a good read. I didn't like how the author kept jumping from one story to the next and kept you hanging. Good book, but I doubt I'll pick up the sequals to read.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 11 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Definately one of the best books I've ever read. I fell in love with Elphaba (aka Wicked Witch of the West). It wasn't an easy book to read. I really had to devote time and attention to it to stay on track. But it was soo worth it. You'll never look at the Wizard of Oz the same way again.

I've not read any other books by this author because this one was so difficult to read and I wanted to wait and find out what people thought about his other books before choosing another title to tackle. I will say that I've heard nothing but terrible things about the sequal to Wicked, Son of a Witch.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 52 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
The book wasn't what I thought it would be. The Dorothy part of the book was less than 20 pages. I stuck with it because it was well written but I was very disappointed!
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 1
A wildly perverted story that springboards from the Oz series. Couldn't make it through the first three chapters without feeling like thousands of brain cells were wasted in the effort. I cannot believe this ran on broadway for as long as it did!
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Couldn't get into it
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 24 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
i agree with everyone else it was awfull. couldn't get past the first chapter and wondered what the heck is wrong with the book . I can read anything and like it.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 13 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Pretty interesting read! Learned a lot about the land of OZ that you don't think about when you watch The Wizard of Oz. You find out what make the wicked witch tick.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 1
I really didn't like this book, but I forced myself to finish it. I shouldn't have. It was a huge waste of my time.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 40 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
i didnt care for this book at all. i saw the play and loved it though.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 94 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
A must read for any adult who read the Oz books as a child. I LOVED it. There's a bit of sex, but my library has it in the "Older Teen" section.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 33 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
An interesting concept, the world and story of the wicked witch from Oz, and yet the reader really has to work at finding the story. It draws out a lot and is a lot longer than it should be. I was almost ready to give up on it before the story began. But I didn't give up and was finally rewarded with a good story. I liked it (when I got there) but it does not add up to the hype
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
A lot different from the Musical, but still a good read... Deals with a lot of i]perception issues
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 31 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I started this book 11 years ago and hated it. I'm glad I held on to it because after seeing and loving Wicked the musical I decided to try the book again. There were parts that dragged for me, and as a fairly intelligent person it frustrated me that I had never even heard of some of the vocabulary the author uses. It almost seemed to me that the author was trying to impress by the obscure words he used; we get it, you're smart, just tell the story! All in all though, this is very clever and imaginative storytelling. I am looking forward to reading more books by this author, but after I get some quick, light reads in first.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 76 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I purchased this book when it was first released in paperback, I attempted to read it then, became bored and placed it on a bookshelf to try at a later time. Three or Four years later I tried again. I am VERY pleased that I did. This book was fantastic! It provided such an insight into the life of the Wicked Witch of the West that even though it is entirely fiction you begin to think differently about the book and movie, "The Wizard of Oz". Simply fantastic!
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 1756 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This was such a creative book. I loved the thought of having the story from the witch's perspective and it was so well-written, my view of Oz will probably stick with this one instead of the original. I just loved it!
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 1
This book started off slow, but once I got into I couldn't stop reading. I've heard you either love it or hate, and I liked it enough to want to read the next two books in the series!
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 7 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
We read this in our book club. Some of us found it a tough read. (It didn't hold my interest.) Some of us loved it.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 5 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This is a story with much immagination, but it left me empty and wanting more. I'm glad the Broadway Play leaves out the less-than-desireable parts.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I liked it but it was kind of tedious in parts. So much detail without a lot of action. Not exactly what I expected.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 11 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Ok, ok. I know I'm going to get flamed on this one, but I just can not get into this story whatsoeve. It's really strange since these types of stories are right down my alley. Everyone I know has read and praised this book to no end. I'm sorry guys, I just can't get into Maguire's writing style. It felt like he was trying too hard to be clever. Don't listen to me though; everyone else seems to love it.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Overall, this book was very good. It was very different from the musical and not what I was expecting but I still enjoyed reading it. There were some sad parts and the ending was a bit depressing but, like I said, it was still very good. The sequel, Son of a Witch, answered a lot of the questions I had at the end of Wicked, so I would recommend that one as well.
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Helpful Score: 1
could not get into it. read 2 chapters and just left it alone. sounded interesting, but could not pull me in.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 1
Wow!

This novel is so much more than a mere novel. Let me start by stating two things: 1) I have read many Maguire novels in the past, and this is by far the best, and 2) I love the "other side" of the story novels.

Wicked is about Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West, from The Oz novels, or for most of us, from the Wizard of Oz film. I am fascinated when authors give us the "other side" of these novels. By playing with classics, these authors actually corrupt our prior knowledge of characters that are almost historic. By this I mean, that when you play with the Wizard of Oz, and make Dorothy the sub-plot and the Witch the main plot, it makes one realize the layers of all stories....like for instance, what we think of as history. Isn't history subjective also? We learn historic events through authors, and their bias and subjectivity are naturally captured in their writings, and Maguire puts his own spin on the wonderful world of Oz. Anyway, I digress.

Not only is this novel about the Witch, or Elphaba, but it is also about the fictional world of Oz. Again, what is reality and what is fiction? I cannot help but ponder these ideas because Maguire makes us think about society, prejudice, and oppression throughout this wonderful novel, and he presents his ideas so eloquently. I do not know what genre this novel gets classified into, probably fiction, but I think it is more of a science fiction novel. Not the Star Trek kind of sience fiction, but the Ursula Leguin's Left Hand of Darkness type of science fiction. Wicked makes us think of utopian societies, and dysfunctional ones.

Maguire creates a fictional world for us in this novel. Or, does he? It is eerily reminiscent of the same oppressions and power struggles in our world......if you keep the Nazi's rise to power in the back of your mind, this novel is downright frightening at times. I could not help but compare the oppression of Maguire's Animals with the oppression of Jews in Hitler's Germany.

But again, I digress. Elphaba, the wicked witch, is not wicked at all in this tale. She is the "misunderstood rebel" fighting against the oppression of the...well, the oppressed. This is truly her story: how she was conceived, her childhood, her student years and her adulthood. She is not the carciture of evil presented in the famous film: I must confess here that I have never read Braum's novels, but I think I may have to. I have a feeling the film did to his novels, what Disney did to Lewis Carroll's Looking Glass.

Please, Please please read Wicked. Even if you have read Mirror, Mirror and not enjoyed it (which I didn't), give this one a try. There are so many statements about society, family, and power relations throughout this novel, that it should be taught as a college course somewhere. It is incredibly insightful, but more importantly, it makes the reader think and wonder. Isn't that what our novels should be doing? So few novels do this anymore that it almost comes as a shock when one does.

So think and wonder and read Wicked. If only to read the sequel, A Son of a Witch. With a title like that, how can you not read it?
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 1
i was not impressed at all with this book. i waited so long to finally read it that i was very excited to recieve it in the mail. i normally will only take a few days to read a book, sometimes devouring books in mere hours, but this book took me 2 weeks to read. there was so much hype about this book, especially since it had been made into a broadway musical, and it had been very highly recommended by several friends, but it left me wanting. i understood the premise alright, a reworking of frank l baum's wizard of oz, a prequel if you will, only told from the perspective of the wicked witch of the west. i anticipated humor, wit, tongue-in-cheek parody. what i got was a book about politics. on top of that it was the politics of a made up society that i have nothing invested in. for the life of me, i just couldn't make myself care about this book, its characters or the politics. the characters were superficial to me, lacking any depth or personality at all. The main character, elphaba, was vague with her thoughts and emotions, even with the reader, and left me wondering what her thinking was behind her actions and that made it very hard to care about her at all. the time frame of the book seemed off to me too. about the time i'd start to immerse myself in the story line the time frame would jump ahead, several years ahead in fact, and just pick up like you are of aware of what took place between where it stopped and now. it was distracting, i found myself asking,"what happened next?". Anyway, i do not think i will be reading any more of mr. maguire's books. i do not care to read another story that makes no sense and leaves me frustrated that i just wasted time on a story that didnt take me anywhere or teach me anything. that makes me truly sad...how i wanted to be able to say that this was one of the best books id ever read, but alas, it was not. not even close.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 24 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
All stories have two sides. This one is the story of the Wizard of Oz's Wicked Witch of the West her sister the Wicked Witch of the East and Glinda the supposedly good witch. It tells of their lives, very detailed. Full of legends, mystery, politics, murder and magic. A wonderful story. If you are a fan of the Wizard of Oz it is a must read. You wont be sorry. Well done Mr McGuire.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 9 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This was an amazing read! As a child of the sixties I grew up anticipating the time once a year when The Wizard of Oz would be on TV (remember time before DVD and TiVo?) And as much as she scared me the Wicked Witch was my favorite character. I picked this book up having never heard of it, scanned the back cover and thought.... what the heck? It had me from the first chapter. Once I let go of my previous Oz references and let Maguire show me a truly expanded Oz I was mesmerized. It is what I think of as a "smart" read meaning that there was alot that made me think. There were parts out of my comfort zone...I struggled with the few political paragraphs as I am not a political person. I like a book that expands my horizons, opens me up to new ideas especially if they are as well written as this one is. If you are an Oz fan you should definitely visit it thru Wicked and the other three books in the series. If you like altered Fairy tales you will enjoy this book as well!
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 99 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Really enjoyed this story a lot. I'd never thought of when she was born, how strange it was that she was born green. Just figured that OZ was a land of lots of different people, animals, creatures, colors. Shows the witch as a totally separate and unique "person". LOL Lots of story in this unabridged version. Good narrator too.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 4234 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
A little tedious for me, after the initial originality wore off.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 129 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Couldn't get into it...would rather see the musical. Kind of graphic for my taste. :/
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 72 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
wonderfully creative... interesting creating an entire back story of the wicked witch's childhood and upbringing... not my cup of tea exactly; but very worth the read... the first 30 pages are a slow start - but it picks up...
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 24 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Crap. PURE CRAP! It was difficult to pick it up because the Wizard of Oz has been done so wonderfully and is a masterpiece in itself how could ANYONE add to it to make it any better, right? Well, I tried to keep an open mind when cracking it open and I am disgusted! The author puts a modern sick twisted story together to make it work. I have only read to the fourth chapter and couldn't stand it. One of the suggestions is that the witch was castrated at birth, REALLY? Would this really make someone so evil and wicked? The story idea was good, but really, really horrible and annoyingly sickly put together. Makes me think the author has some serious issues! This is TRASH!
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 46 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I wanted to read this book because of how much I enjoyed the Broadway play. That being said, the book doesn't resemble the play very much. The story is much more involved and enjoyable in a different way. The story involves love, friendship and quite a bit of politics. The "wicked witch of the west" is really a good person with good intentions. Good read although it gets a little confusing with all the different aspects of Oz. I would recommend this book very much.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 29 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Novel on which the Broadway play is based. A morality tale warning us all not to judge people based on t he color of their skin - green or not.
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Helpful Score: 1
This book was a pleasant surprise. I don't like musicals or the Wizard of Oz movie very much, but I was intrigued about the back story of the Wicked Witch of the West. You don't have to be a fan of either to really enjoy this book, although familiarity with the story helps add to the fun of this book. The book makes some good points about faith, religion and our perception of good and evil. Overall a very satisfying read.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I really wanted to like this book. It was getting rave reviews as a musical, but wasn't coming to Los Angeles for quite a while. The concept sounded great: Tell the story of the antagonist. Not just the story from the point of view of the antagonist, like Jon Scieszka's Wolf version of "The Three Little Pigs," but a real meaty story that has almost nothing to do with Dorothy. I really wanted to like it...
Unfortunately, I just couldn't get around Gregory Maguire's style. The first few chapters were interesting, but then it became much more verbose and, at the same time, vague and distant from the events. I guess a good analogy would be a movie that starts off looking good, but then the image starts getting fuzzy around the edges. And then the camera starts shooting from a distance so you aren't exactly sure what you're supposed to be paying attention to. And the image gets even fuzzier so you're not exactly sure what you're looking at.
I really wanted to like it. It was a good concept with an interesting, but poorly executed, plot. I don't think I will read another of his books any time soon.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I enjoyed this book. It really made the whole Wizard of Oz story make sense. After reading this book the movie was on, and as I watched it, I started seeing the story from the Wicked Witch's perspective.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 1756 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This was such a creative book. I loved the thought of having the story from the witch's perspective and it was so well-written, my view of Oz will probably stick with this one instead of the original. I just loved it!
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 11 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Turns the typical image of the Wicked Witch on its head. Very creative story.
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Helpful Score: 1
I loved the point of view of this book. It was interesting to see this story told complete with back story and how things came to be in Oz. It is very political but only helps to develop the characters into a more adult genre than expected.
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Helpful Score: 1
This was such a creative book. I loved the thought of having the story from the witch's perspective and it was so well-written, my view of Oz will probably stick with this one instead of the original. I just loved it!
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 203 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
An enchanted book that takes a close look at good and evil through the life of Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West who lives out her days in the Land of Oz. A great read!
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 38 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
LOVE the musical. HATED the book.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This book was amazing. The characters, the lands, I loved it all.
The Wizard of Oz will never be the same after reading this book...
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 5 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I'd read and enjoyed Confessions of an Ugly Step Sister, so picked this up too. The beginning was engrossing, but the more I read, the more I had to force myself to continue. After a while it begins to feel too long, too slow and pointless. I did finally finish it, but more because I'm stubborn than because I wanted to.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
If you pick up this book expecting to read something similar to the beloved movie then put it back. The only thing similar are the names. The life and times of Oz as Gregory Maguire sees it is another world entirely. It really cannot be looked to as the Witch's side of the story since its completely rewritten.
The wonderful Wizard of Oz is a tyrant, Elphaba (aka The Wicked Witch of the West) is a political activist, and Galinda (aka Glinda the Good Witch) is a hoity toity that can't get past her own beauty most of the time. While I did find this book interesting enough to read through, I ultimately did not like it. I certainly was not expecting all the sex, violence and political craziness in a book taken from a children's story.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This book started out very good, but then I had a hard time finishing it. It lost me about 1/2 thru, I did hear though that the play was fantastic.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 2 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I found this book difficult to finish. It is well written, and has a good story line, but it is so dark and depressing that it was not enjoyable to read. This book leaves one with a similar feeling as in high school, where drama is always high and self esteem is non existant.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 12 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
A little slow at first, a few racous moments, but overall a fabulous book. You will never watch the Wizard of Oz the same way again. I almost hate to trade this one.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 65 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Disappointing. :^(
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 159 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I couldn't finish this book. I even tried listening to it on tape. I didn't like any character which made it difficult to get thru the unpleasant parts. Wanted to like it but.....
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 9 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
It was an enjoyable read. Tough at some parts, but mostly enjoyable. Gave an interesting POV, which is always fun. But after reading it I feel like I should have been warned ahead of time that I needed to be pretty familiar with the Wizard of Oz. Some assumptions were made in the book and made it hard to follow parts of the plot. So re-read Wizard of Oz first, unless you remember it pretty well. It's only fun if you can compare the two...
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 1
This is the second book by this author I attempted to read. I plowed through Mirror Mirror after seeing the movie, hoping to find a richer telling of the story, only to find a totally different tale.
So I began to read this book, hoping to find an enjoyable transport, but made it through only a few pages before setting the book down, vowing to never read anything from this author ever again. How this was ever published is beyond me.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Didn't even get halfway thru this book because of the annoying way it is written.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 5 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I couldn't even finish this book. I tried desperately, as I too wanted to read it before watching. I just couldn't. Mad that I spent full-price at B&N for it and couldn't even read it. The story SOUNDS interesting, it just couldn't keep my interest!
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 1
This book is not the glossed over MGM version of events. It gives an in depth look at what it was like to be GREEN. All of these books tie together. Wicked, Son of a Witch, Mirror Mirror, and Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister. They prove the fact that there are indeed two sides to every story.

If you have read the original versions of Cinderella, The Wizard of Oz,or the Return to Oz books, you would realize the book version is very dark and one sided. I loved all of these books. I see some of the characters in a new light. Mirror, Mirror explains how the Cowardly Lion became so cowardly. How Glenda is more like Kinsella's Shopaholic than a sugar coated fairy.

Just read the books with an open mind and they are thought provoking.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 7 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
A good book. Story drags on in some places.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 1
I LOVED THIS BOOK! I couldn't put it down. I didn't have high hopes for this one; since a lot of the reviews I read said it started out good and fizzled towards the end. I didn't think that was the case. Now, if you loved the Harry Potter books; this is fantasy, but not written in the same style at all. If you are easily offended; this also isn't the book for you. This is an "R" rated book and NOT for children. If you LOVE the "Wizard of OZ" this may also not be the book for you. This book isn't without it's faults; te author goes on a little bit here and there with his thoughts on "good and evil", but other than that, it's really good.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 1
It was ok, but it was not really my cup of tea. I am glad that I read it, especially since it's gotten so much attention recently. But I don't think it is a book I would read again, and it did not inspire me to check out any of his other fairy-tale based books. Worth reading, but only once.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 3 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I hade high hopes for this book and couldn't wait to read it but I must say this is one of the worst books I have ever read. I didn't even finish it. I kept hoping it would get better but at page 200 I gave up.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 11 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
I'm sorry to say that I just couldn't get through it...not even close. It came highly recommended to me, but after a couple chapters it felt like work.
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Helpful Score: 1
This was such a creative book. I loved the thought of having the story from the witch's perspective and it was so well-written, my view of Oz will probably stick with this one instead of the original. I just loved it!
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 4 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
While I am a big fan of the Wizard of Oz, I could not get through this book; hence I have posted it on the website. Meanwhile-the witch was a dream Dorothy had while knocked out!
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 1
I have to say, I thought this book was really stupid.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 30 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
With all the hype about this book I wasn't sure I was going to like it, but I LOVED it. It was a bit slow and hard to get into in the begining. There are a lot of characters and different locations. It gave so much insight into the character of the Wicked Witch of the West and how she came to be. Maybe I liked it since it was about her life and not focused on Dorthy.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 1
very good book, held my inerest from start to finish....I couldn't put this book down!
Scae of 1-10....I give this book a 10!
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 51 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
This book took some time to get into but once I did I was not dissapointed. I found Wicked to be a very interesting take on how Elphaba bacame the witch and the events that led to her death. Don't expect this book to go right along with the Wizard of OZ. In Wicked OZ and its charicters are much different than what you would expect. Keep an open mind and you might enjoy this book too.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 6 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
Wow. This book will really make you think.

In this amazing novel, we follow the life of Elphaba, later known as the Wicked Witch of the West, from birth to the bitter end. In between is a gripping tale that ponders the philosophy of good and evil, and makes you rethink your preconceptions of what you think you know.

The 'Wonderful Wizard of Oz' is anything but. More like a ruthless dictator without a shred of compassion or moral decency, let alone a conscience. The politics of Oz are complicated, but compelling, and all roads (including the Yellow Brick Road), lead straight back to the Wizard. Indirectly, as well as directly, his actions shape Elphaba into the person, or Witch, we know her as.

This book is a feast for the brain. I loved the words he used, even when i thought i would need a dictionary. It was a journey through a remarkable and vivid world, on the constant edge of political turmoil. I found the religious arguments on all sides deep and thoughtful. I found myself feeling deeply for the unfortunate girl who had the ill luck of being born with green skin, which in turn colored her life from start to finish (pun intended). Born into a family as screwed up as they come, her dysfunctions are as natural to her as the air we all breathe.

She fights for her entire life to be different, unique, and yes, to do good in the world. Animal rights is her passion, and she fights for justice and equality in Oz even as the odds are stacked against her, and even those who fought with her succumb to normal everyday lives, and forget the righteousness of their former campaigns against evil and tyranny.

Readers will be amazed at how Maguire can turn a story everyone knows into a complex and mesmerizing tale where more than one side lives to be told, and everything comes full circle.

I loved this book. Many people say it is hard to read or slow, but i did not find it to be either. I found it remarkable. The philosophies discussed within will turn you on your head.

My favorite quote from the book:

I don't comprehend religion, although conviction is a concept I'm beginning to get. In any case, someone with a real religious conviction is, I propose, a religious convict, and deserves locking up.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 1
I thought this was a really great book! I liked being able to see the original story from another perspective. Some of the writing was hard to understand, but I liked how the author tied up most of the loose ends by the ending.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 1
This book is one of my favorite. It is very political in nature, makes you feel every emotion that is written. Yes, it is a little tough to get through if you aneed to have your books tell you what to think. Very intricately woven tale that has you loving and hating the characters simultaneously.
Glue this book to your hands, you wont regret it!
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 27 more book reviews
I'm a real fan of fantasy and I love the Wizard of Oz. WICKED tells the story of the Wizard of Oz from the Wicked Witch of the West's perspective. I think I was expecting something whimsical. WICKED isn't. With this title, I don't know why I was surprised! I didn't particularly like it, probably for this reason, however, I do know people who do. Besides, it's a successful play now, isn't it?
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on
A good story, but it seemed a little sloooow in the beginning.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 7 more book reviews
This book was a little hard to get into at first, but overall a very good book.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 45 more book reviews
A different sort of book than I usually read.. but it was very good and I liked the twist ..looking at OZ from a different point of view than Dorothy's.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 35 more book reviews
Interesting look at the nature of good and evil as we learn the story of Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West. You'll not look at the story of the Wizard of Oz quite the same way afterwards.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 962 more book reviews
An interesting twist on the typical story that everyone knows, about Dorothy and the Wicked Witch of the West. However, we see that Elphaba (the Wicked Witch) is neither as wicked nor as witchy as the one in E. L. Baum's tale. Instead, she has vulnerabilities and heartaches, and must survive against a prejudiced, cold world.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 5 more book reviews
I loved this book, I've read the books from the Wizard of Oz..this is a great behind the scenes read.
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A fun, dark and political satire based on the story of the Wicked Witch of the West.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on
I really liked this book--Gregory Maguire has an innate talent for retelling tales that we all know and love, giving us empathy for characters we might have never felt for before.
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I heard this was great,but I just couldn't get into it.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on
Great, great book. The story is a really great twist on the traditional Wizard of OZ and Maguire does a wonderful job of making such one dimensional characters (good which, and other Oz figures) look like people- and not the ones you thought you knew! The only down side to this book is that he goes a little overboard fleshing out the politics of the land...a little boring at those parts.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 12 more book reviews
i enjoyed this book, i liked that it was a different point of view. all in all, a pretty good read
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 13 more book reviews
The story of the wizard of Oz from the point of view of the Wicked Witch of the West. It was unlike what I was expecting - with truly rounded characters and a complicated, intricate literary universe. Not quite light reading, but definitely easy-to-read, I highly recommend.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 8 more book reviews
With a husky voice and a gentle, dramatic manner that will call to mind the image of a patient grandfather reading to an excited gaggle of children, McDonough leisurely narrates this fantastical tale of good and evil, of choice and responsibility. In Maguire's Oz, Elphaba, better known as the Wicked Witch of the West, is not wicked; nor is she a formally schooled witch. Instead, she's an insecure, unfortunately green Munchkinlander who's willing to take radical steps to unseat the tyrannical Wizard of Oz. Using an appropriately brusque voice for the always blunt Elphaba, McDonough relates her tumultuous childhood (spent with an alcoholic mother and a minister father) and eye-opening school years (when she befriends her roommate, Glinda). McDonough's pacing remains frustratingly slow even after the plot picks up, and Elphaba's protracted ruminations on the nature of evil will have some listeners longing for an abridgement. Still, McDonough's excellent portrayals of Elphaba's outspoken, gravel-voiced nanny, Glinda's snobbish friends and the wide-eyed, soft-spoken Dorothy make this excursion to Oz worthwhile.
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I CAN SAY THAT I NEVER KNEW THIS MUCH ABOUT THE "POLITICS" OF OZ. IT WAS AN INTERESTING READ. IT TAKES SOME CONCENTRATION- BUT IN THE END YOU CAN SAY- "YES- I HAVE BEEN TO THE WORLD OF OZ AND SURVIVED." I FOUND MYSELF FEELING SORRY FOR THE WITCH- READ AND SEE WHY!!! :}
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 21 more book reviews
Fabulous book! Macguire is a great author to make the Wicked Witch of the West an endearing character.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 20 more book reviews
Slow moving, especially the 2nd half. I was disappointed that the end seemed rushed and a bit unexplained.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 16 more book reviews
Smart, witty and thought-provoking, Wicked is much more than a fairytale. It's politically charged and entertaining.
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Really wanted to read this book but was not to my liking.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 31 more book reviews
Wonderful!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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One of the best books I've ever read, and the basis of the Broadway play.
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It was a difficult read but I couldn't wait to finish because it was such an interesting idea.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 9 more book reviews
This is an excellent take on what may have made the Wicked Witch of the West so wicked. The author does a great job of weaving a story that leads up to the famous turn of events in The Wizard of Oz. An interesting look at nature vs. nurture and society's role in development. Very entertaining, funny at times and well worth the time to read it.
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Maguire tells the story of Oz from the perspective of the villianous Wicked Witch of the West. A good story which questions, "What is 'evil'?". It was difficult to read at times, but worth the effort.
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For some reason, I just never got into this book. I read about half of it, but lost interest.
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It's a very different take from the Wizard of Oz witch I knew as a child.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 11 more book reviews
Eh, I couldn't get through it. good luck!
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 24 more book reviews
Much better than I expected. I so totally felt differently about the witches of Oz after reading this book and look forward to reading the book about Elphaba's son.
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I loved this book. A bit of a long read, but worth it. It's about the backstory to the Wizard of Oz, focusing on the Wicked Witch of the West. Also a major Broadway production.
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The acclaimed "prequel" to THE WIZARD OF OZ-- as you've never thought of it all before!
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About the Wicked Witch of the East, and how she came to be that way..
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I refuse to believe this book needs a review, but to sum it up - it's fantastic!
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This book was a very interesting take on the young life of the Wicked Witch of the West. I enjoyed it.
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While my book club loved it, I was not impressed. I thought it was a long and tedious read.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on
I always wondered what kind of life the Wicked Witch experienced. A great read you will not be able to put down!
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Very interesting, although it does get preachy at points.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 42 more book reviews
Really terrific. Extremely creative. A bit disturbing, but a new favorite.
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A wonderful read, I couldn't put it down. An interesting view of a story everyone thinks they know. A look into evil and how it is viewed.
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Very humorous twist on what went on behind the scenes of Oz. A long read for me, but I loved it!
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An imaginative, insightful look into the "wicked witch's" side of events in the Land of Oz. It is a kind of a prequel to the Wizard of Oz. Although it was a well written book and excellent story, it left me with a sense of depression.
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If you loved the musical, you may be disappointed by this book as I've been told it is nothing like the musical. However, I have never seen the musical, so approached the book with no preconceived notions. The characters were interesting and quirky, and the setting was fascinating, but the plot moves slowly and didn't integrated the story of Dorothy and the Wizard more as an after thought. Overall, though, it was an enjoyable book.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on
Really interesting! Would love to see the theater production one day.
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Wicked started out great, and then fell by the wayside. Too much detail, and too many ideals crammed into a medium length tale. Maguire brought up many questions, but failed to answer most of them.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 8 more book reviews
I absolutely love the idea of the Wicked Witch of the West simply being 'misunderstood' and was really looking forward to this one. Ultimately I was a bit disappointed. The characters redefined were well written, but the plot lagged and couldn't hold my interest. I found myself putting it down frequently - though I did end up finishing it eventually.

I usually am not a fan of stage/film adaptions - but in this case I enjoyed the musical much more than the book.
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I thought this was a great book. I always thought the the "Wicked" witch of the west was this horrible person by the way the movie portrayed her. The book shows that she wasn't really wicked at all. She was just misunderstood. People assumed she was wicked as soon as they met her just because of her green skin. If I had to grow up the way she did I would have probably turned out the same. It's crazy that her mother used to always hope that she would drown. What kind of mother does that?? Elphaba was a great character in this book. Dorothy seemed like a little goodie too shoes. It's too bad that Dorothy wouldn't have melted from Elphaba throwing water on her. :) Great read!!
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This is a great book! I read it before I saw the musical, and no, it's not really like the musical. This book is more graphic and not so happy-go-lucky. It's a great book though, give it a chance! Just don't expect it to be exactly like the musical.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 6 more book reviews
Not for me. I truly didn't appreciate the authors style or process.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on
Having read the story of Oz as a child I couldn't help but wonder about the side of the tale not being told. Then along comes Gregory Maguire and fills in the blanks. The story of Elphaba aka the Wicked Witch of the West is well written; at times moving but alternately funny. Maguire makes the reader truly think about the nature of 'evil' as well as the damage of gossip. Once you pick up this book you won't be able to put it down until you've read every page, and by the time you are done the opinions you held of the original story by L. Frank Baum may well change. Happy Reading :)
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on
I find this book kinda slow. I am having a hard time getting into it. To be fair though i have only read 3 chapters.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 7 more book reviews
I liked this book. it is out of my genre but it so clearly gives you another prospective of the wicked witch her sister and how all of OZ was not all there was in this place. The writing is very clever, it bogged in political issues of their day but only for a chapter. Interestingly enough just change the peoples and cratures and it could be placed in many countries of today. I could relate to the green girl!
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Several people told me, after I requested the book, NOT to bother reading it because the play is SO MUCH BETTER. So I've chosen to follow their advice.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 4 more book reviews
This book is a must for fantasy buffs. Throw out all you know about Oz and prepare to delve into a magnificent retelling of a childhood fav. If you expect it to be nice and sweet, it is not. It's an adult version of the Wizard of Oz.
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The only luck is bad, all fate is unkind, the prime ingredient of the universe is selfishness leavened with malevolence.
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Super fun reading. The Wizard of Oz from the witch's point of view, with lots of political themes and undertones. The play is fantastic - the book is much more affecting.
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I am sorry, I tried to read this book. It is TERRIBLE. After my daughter said she couldn't read it, I tried. She's right. Don't waste your time.
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I loved this book. It was great.
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Unusually imaginative take on the Wizard of Oz. It's been a while since I read it.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on
To hard to get into. Gave it away before I finished it.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on
The writing was creative and witty but I didn't care much for the storyline. There was almost too many details to follow and the characters made choices that I didn't think matched up with the storyline.
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Interesting premise but I got bored and barely finished it.
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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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Whenever there is a story like that of the Wizard of Oz and all its characters, everyone wonders what happened before. Maguire does a great job of combining every characters stories and also explaining why every character is the way they are from their backstory. It has lovely twists and turns with surprises that you may not see. A great read for anyone especially those with a love for the Wizard of Oz and/or the musical Wicked.
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I want to start off by saying THIS IS NOT A BOOK ABOUT THE MUSICAL. Although they do have some of the same plot, and obviously same characters, the musical was only inspired by this book. The characters in the musical were written specifically for the musical, and they are a few major key differences between the two. That being said, I very much enjoyed this book.

I won this book in a charity raffle, and instantly fell in love with the characters. It tells the story of the wicked witch, and how she became wicked. She was once just a little girl, who just happened to be green. She grew up with Glinda as a roommate in school. This is a book I recommend, but I do so with the thought that you must keep an open mind about the book. It is also the perfect story for those who feel outcast in school/life.
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Interesting take on an old story. It was a little hard to read but it made you think about things from the other side. I would recommend this book to any one who likes to thing about what could have been.
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A good and imaginative story in theory. However, as much as I tried to get into the book, the archaic and very formal language, all the politics, and so much boring detail to get into the story, that I couldn't even finish it. I saw many reviews that say the book gets better when Dorothy arrives in Oz, but I didn't have the patience nor the time to get through to that point. Maybe I missed a good ending, and I'll try again some other time, but for now, this book was disappointing.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on
I love the twist that the author provided on the wizard of oz and the focus on the Wicked Witch and how she became her wicked self. A great examination of how there is no clear line between good and evil.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on
I really did love this book. I couldnt seem to be able to put it down. After reading this book, no one will ever be able to watch the wizard of oz without seeing it as some twisted cover up. I recommend it to all my friends.
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This is a WONDERFUL book! If you loved the Wizard of Oz then you have to read this book!
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I tried to read this book a few years back and I couldn't get through it. I found the excessive use of vulgar language to be a distraction and it didn't add anything to the characters or the story. That being said the idea is very clever and original. If you are a fan of the musical, be aware that the two are nothing alike.
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This is an astounding book! The writing is both jarring and lyrical and the fully-fleshed characters whip us through a world where no one can really agree on the definition of evil... Not even the reader.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on
Wonderful book. A must read for all.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 737 more book reviews
This is the story of a woman born with green skin whose life is driven by that color. She is last in the eyes of her beloved father and seems to fail at many things that she attempts. Elphaba is intelligent, sensitive, and thoughtful but life directs her into becoming the Wicked Witch of the West. She attends a school to be educated but when her favorite professor is murdered (a political act) she leaves the school disillusioned and unhappy, leaving several good friends and a sister behind. Elphie becomes a revolutionist and during that period falls deeply in love with a former schoolmate. She and her lover find happiness together but when he is killed as a result of her revolutionary actions, she temporarily loses her mind. Slowly, she recovers in a convent. When she leaves it, she is accompanied by a small boy, Liir, and she doesn't really know why. The reader discovers when Elphie does that Liir is her son born of the great love of her life. Life gets rather complicated when Elphie decide that she must seek forgiveness from her lover's wife. The story is heart rending and depressing at times but life sometimes hands good people raw deals. So it is with Elphie. I find the author's tie-in with Dorothy and her friends a bit contrived. Nevertheless, I'm glad I read this book.
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Didn't like it, book is a very slow read, and half of the time the story does not focus on the main characters. I think I am done with Gregory Maguire's books.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on
It was just OK for me. It did drag on at times, but I tried to perserveer. I unfortunately could not get thru the whole book. Not because I couldn't stand it; it was just too slow for me.
The author definately has a great imagination though.
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I loved the concept of this book, and it started off with so much promise, but seemed to lose focus shortly thereafter. The style of writing, and even some of the characters, was inconsistent.

I don't know if the author thought it would make it "edgier" or something, but the insertion of a couple of back-to-back F-bombs midway through felt completely out of place and shattered any illusions I had of being in the land of Oz. Not that I'm a prude, they just didn't fit in with any of the conversations and mannerisms used throughout the book.

Large gaps (years!) in time happen between several chapters, but it wasn't always clear. The author expects us to make the leap, and I did, but it wasn't a smooth transition. It just felt like a lazy way to squeeze in as many stories as possible within the book.
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Not exactly what I was expecting. It doesn't hold the innocence of the Wizard of Oz.
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I had a hard time getting in to the story with all the fictional names and places but it was worth sticking with it! I can't wait to read Son of a Witch next.
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very engrossing. i liked the use of the original wizard of oz, and the way it put a different spin on our perception of the (fictional) truth.
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This is one of the best books I have ever read. Loved the completely original take on The Wizard of Oz. It purports to be the back story of the Wicked Witch of the West. It is harsh and sympathetic all at once. Gregory Maguire has a wonderful, sly, funny, ironic and highly entertaining view of the story we all thought we knew so well.
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From Publishers Weekly
Born with green skin and huge teeth, like a dragon, the free-spirited Elphaba grows up to be an anti-totalitarian agitator, an animal-rights activist, a nun, then a nurse who tends the dying and, ultimately, the headstrong Wicked Witch of the West in the land of Oz. Maguire's strange and imaginative postmodernist fable uses L. Frank Baum's Wonderful Wizard of Oz as a springboard to create a tense realm inhabited by humans, talking animals (a rhino librarian, a goat physician), Munchkinlanders, dwarves and various tribes. The Wizard of Oz, emperor of this dystopian dictatorship, promotes Industrial Modern architecture and restricts animals' right to freedom of travel; his holy book is an ancient manuscript of magic that was clairvoyantly located by Madam Blavatsky 40 years earlier. Much of the narrative concerns Elphaba's troubled youth (she is raised by a giddy alcoholic mother and a hermitlike minister father who transmits to her his habits of loathing and self-hatred) and with her student years. Dorothy appears only near novel's end, as her house crash-lands on Elphaba's sister, the Wicked Witch of the East, in an accident that sets Elphaba on the trail of the girl from Kansasas well as the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodsman and the Lion and her fabulous new shoes. Maguire combines puckish humor and bracing pessimism in this fantastical meditation on good and evil, God and free will, which should, despite being far removed in spirit from the Baum books, captivate devotees of fantasy.
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I have to admit that I could not get through this book. I found it extremely tiresome. It sat on my shelf for a year, and them I decided to get rid of it.
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I personally LOVED this book. It was an excellent read, and I loved how so much stayed the same, and yet so many other things we saw through different eyes. The witch doesn't seem like the kind of character you'll become attached to, but I surely did! Definitely worth the time in my opinion.
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Not an easy read, but interesting and intriguing. Gave unique insight into the Witch. I loved, loved, loved the characters.
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If you ever wondered about the politics of OZ, this book is for you. Also, if you love the musical, this will give you the insiders track as to what it was all about.
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This book is incredibly boring. I couldn't even get halfway through it before I'd had enough. Far, far too wordy. I forced myself to read even that far hoping that something, anything, would happen but nothing ever did. I'm glad to be rid of this book but sorry someone else had to waste a credit on it.
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Tongue-in-cheek and wonderful!
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This is really a quirky story that flips the Wizard of Oz story on its head... I wanted to read it before I went to see the musical Wicked, although I understand it is pretty different from this book. All about the Wicked Witch of the West... birth to death. She isn't really as wicked as she appears... just unappreciated by her family, tormented by injustice, conflicted in love, and searching for meaning (aren't we all?!?). I liked it and recommend it. I agree with others who have reviewed it here who say the story moved slowly in parts... this is true, but all in all it is interesting and worth the read.
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Interesting slant. Sometimes slow, but not that bad. Makes me wonder how people come up with so many details.
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Started out interesting but then got weird. Long-winded.
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I was surprised by how much I disliked this book. I found it meandering and uninteresting, its characters unlikeable and not particularly compelling, and its point...obscure. Maguire takes pleasure in constantly referencing the complicated history and politics of Oz while rarely elaborating on the backstory he's created - eventually I found this unbearably tedious. One to avoid.
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I really enjoyed this book. It was slow at first, but once the characters started developing, I really got into it. Its a really interesting twist on the original Oz story. Anyone who has read the original, or seen the movie, will surely enjoy this.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on
It was a good story just really hard to stay on and read it. Took me longer than usuall to get threw it compared to other books of its size. I'm not sure I want to read the rest of the series.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on
This is one of my favorite books. It gives you another perspective on the characters of the Wizard of Oz. Elphaba, the witch and heroine of the story is really not so bad. She was desperately misunderstood by society and circumstances made her out to be so evil. There are a lot of political undertones in the book and it was much more serious than the musical or the movie. I'm looking forward to reading the next book in the series- Son of a Witch.
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The first 2/3s of this book were awesome. It's like Maguire got bored writing it toward the end. It just kinda fizzled out.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 15 more book reviews
this is a twist on the wizrd of oz story. this is told from the wicked witch side of the story. Showing you how and why she becomes what she is. Almost feel sorry for the wicked witch with the side of the story, because she didn't have an easy life. I almost think if certain things hadn't happened she might have been a good witch too. But of course then we wouldn't have the Wizard of OZ.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 5 more book reviews
This book changed my life.
I re-read it like once a year.
This book is everything a novel should be and more - it's attention to detail is amazing but it never feels small. Everything that I've read by Gregory Maquire has been great and this is my personal favorite of his.
You should read it.
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This book took me a little bit to get through. A very different look at a classic tale. It was a good story, just a little more difficult to get through. The author's style is different from most of my preferred readings.
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I loved it. I didn't think I would, even as I began reading it, but as I read liked the fact that the characters who we met in The Wizard of Oz are totally different, but at the same time there are many references to the more familiar story - where did the Ruby Slippers come from, why was the Lion cowardly, where the monkey got their wings....all very cleverly woven into this tale! In my mind, I like to keep the original story and this one separate, though - things are much more clear cut in the original, while this book blurs the lines between good and evil.
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Loved this book and since I am a fan of the Wizard of Oz, it really was interesting to see the background of the witches.
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I'n not the type to abandon a book but I just couldn't finish reading this one. BORING!
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What a fascinating book. I had expected Wicked to be a lot less adult than it wound up being, but this was a good thing. The themes it presents and discusses turned out to be a lot deeper than those I had expected to find. In a lot of ways, the plight of Elphaba is a akin to the plight of many adults of the world as it exists today --- plagued not by mistakes, but by things that just didn't really work out the way they were supposed to. I felt myself drawn very very strongly toward Elphaba; she struggles with life in a way that seems surprisingly close to my own struggles. Who knew that I could identify with the Wicked Witch of the West!

One of the book's great strengths is also one of its downfalls, though... The myths of Oz are woven in excellently at the beginning of the book, but by the end, when the confrontation with Dorothy is finally happening, events feel forced and false. This is because Maguire is much more constrained in his presentation at the end, where he has to follow Baum's sequence of events with much more precision, and the rationale for the Witch's actions are really stretched to the breaking point.

Very enjoyable, and definitely worth reading. Not for elementary school kids, though! 4/5 stars.
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JUST OKAY..
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on
I wish the author didn't feel compelled to write all about sex. It was disgusting. The storylines were good, however. I hope the musical is way different.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on
Sometimes I wonder what exactly makes a bestseller a best seller. I found myself having trouble finishing this book. In fact I rarely do this, but I am not finishing this book! It is ridiculously boring.
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A fun read -- modern-day classic!
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2 stars = I liked it but... I don't understand the hype with this book. The story was fanciful and interesting. The writing was awkward and spotty. It's worth reading once if you're interested in the book, but I wouldn't read it again.
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Overall an excellent novel. I liked how the author took an existing world (the Land of Oz in this case) and made it his own. If you've ever seen the movie or read any of Baum's Oz books, Wicked shines a very realistic light on Oz. The only bad point ot the book is the ending. It feels as though he was rushed to tie up all the loose ends.
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A really interesting twist on the Oz we all know! I really enjoyed the book for it's different point of view...
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on
Took me about 4 tries before I could get into it. Once I did I couldn't put it down.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on
I read this because I wanted to know what everyone was talking about. I really didn't enjoy the book. I didn't like his charavters or his writing. Though his idea is a good one, his execution of it was boring. He almost ruined OZ for me.
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This was much better than any of his other books. It is very much a political roadmap to Oz.
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I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was "magical".
I've purchased Son of A Witch and will read it soon.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 103 more book reviews
Loved it! Couldn't put it down. Gives a completely different perspective to the Wizard of Oz.
Currently looking for the other books in the series too.
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Great writing. I really loved the new point of view. I don't think the Wizard of Oz will ever be the same again.
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A wonderful and surprising tale of the 'real' story behind Dorothy's adventure! Definitely surprising. Very good. Not intended for children by any means! This was the first of Maguire's books that got me hooked on his style. He takes works from our childhood and then gives an adult look at the "behind the scenes" kind of deal. It's quite a different style and very good writing. I love the idea! Wicked in particular is the story of Elphalba, the Wicked Witch of the West from the Wizard of Oz. Each of the sequels were excellent but this one was the creme de la' creme of this particular series.
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Creative, thought provoking, very different...
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Entertaining read that gives a twist to the Wizard of Oz. It took me about a month to read it, because it did not capture me the way some novels do.
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I loved this book. It definately wasn't what I expected but it was an enjoyable surprise!
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I wasn't able to finish this book, I didn't enjoy it as much as I had hoped. : (
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A wonderful retelling of an old familiar story of Oz but this time from the "witch's" point of view. Excellent read.
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Very entertaining!
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If you like the Wizard of Oz (especially reading any of the books) you should enjoy this book. It is the "other" side of the story and makes to witch much more personable.
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Writing style difficult to read, unwarranted hype.
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A little different from the Broadway show, but a good read.
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Not what I expected (who knows what I expected) but I really liked this book
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You'll never look at the Wicked witch the same way again! Loved this story.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 60 more book reviews
I loved this book - the religion and politics of Oz and all. What an amazing imagination Gregory MaGuire has. I'll never look at the Wicked Witch of the West the same again.
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I enjoyed this more than I thought I would. Very interesting take on a classic story. The Wizard of Oz will never be the same for me.
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This is the story of the Wicked Witch of the West, and how she got that way.
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Imaginative and creative--a twist on the Wizard of Oz story that shows how everyone's perceptions differ.
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You must read this book quite slowly in order to get a comprehensive understanding. It is slow reading. It is interesting. It is different than any other book I've ever read.
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I read through the other reviews and was quite surprised by the range of comments. I LOVED this book. It was one of the best books I have ever read. I though about it for months afterward. If you're in the mood for a book where you will learn a few new words, rethink the meaning of 'evil', and ponder it for months, then this is the book to read. That being said, my mother didn't like it.
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What a wonderful book. It makes you look at "evil" from another perspective.
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I really miss it on this one. I understand the story is dark, but pointless and poorly written. This book is clearly a sign of how starved the reading population is for a well written fresh story.
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I couldn't finish it. I found it to be boring, slow, and unreadable. It is an acquired taste . . .
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I loved this book. It really makes you think about the concept to evil vs. good.
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You have to be twisted to read this book about the wicked witch of oz.
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This book will give you a whole new perspective on the Wizard of Oz!
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A cool perspective of the classic novel.
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An interseting twist to the story you thought you knew!
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Elphaba (the witch) is not a simple character, and Oz is not a simple, fairy tale land. In Wicked, we get to see the history behind "The Wizard of Oz." Wicked is very much a literary work of art. It is a book of social and political commentary, full of people that remind us of our own acquaintances and packed with situations we find ourselves in--or find ourselves avoiding--all too often.

This is an entertaining story, but it is also a story that makes you think. Highly recommended!
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I tried, I really did. But I just couldn't get into this book.
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I absolutely loved this book. I could not put it down, I carried it with me around the house to read it whenever I could! I'm looking forward to reading more of this author's books!
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A new take on an old tale, Wicked gives a detailed account of the life of a little green-skinned girl named Elphaba who would grow up to be the infamous arch-nemisis of Dorothy Gale. She's not "Wicked," just misunderstood! It is an interesting story, woven around an essay on the nature of evil. Young/Sensitve readers beware - I was surprised by some laguage and racy themes.
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everythimg you always wanted to know about Oz.
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I really liked this book. 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?
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Good book! To really enjoy it, you need to watch "The Wizard of Oz" before hand.
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I really enjoyed the book. I picked it up because of the musical, and though the plots are very different, I really enjoyed it
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An interesting read, to say the least. It's a rather draining book, honestly. A LONG read. I'm undecided whether or not I enjoyed it as much as I thought I would.
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This was definitely a different spin on things. Not what you would ever expect.
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Interesting POV look, afterall what if we *were* misinformed in the Wizard of Oz?
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 79 more book reviews
An excellent twist to the original story!
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i really enjoyed this book but agree with Marci that the politics was a little too drawn out. i loved the school years with the 2 main charachters and cannot understand how they made this dark novel into this wonderfuly popular Broadway musical
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A great book! I like the view from the Wicked Witch that makes her out to maybe not being so wicked after all.....
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Very good. Made me think way different about "The Wizard of Oz". Made me feel sad for the Wicked Witch of the West.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on
It was vulgar. Usually I enjoy vulgarity, but this was an insipid sort. Too many unexplained situations, open ended questions, pointless narratives. Could not finish it. Unusual for me.
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I have read a couple of Gregory Maguire's other novels, Next Queen of Heaven & Confessions of an Evil Stepsister, with mixed reviews. I liked Confessions a lot, and Queen a little. My feelings about Wicked were a bit underwhelming. Maybe I was tainted by the Broadway Show hype? The story was told in a visually beautiful manner; Maguire is a real detail author. The books makes me curious about the play, but as far as the story, I felt disappointed. I sympathized with the Wicked Witch of the West, Ephalba. Am I naive to want a happy ending for her sake? Maybe. I will still continue to read the rest of this, and his other fairy tale series.
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I am absolutely enthralled with this book. Once I picked it up it was very hard to set down. I think it lends a different view of the wicked witch. Beautifully written in vivid detail!!
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love, love, love this book!!
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 72 more book reviews
Don't go into this book expecting anything. And I don't mean that in a bad way! This book is really one of the most unique, unclassifiable things I have ever had the pleasure to read. We all know the familiar story of Dorothy Gale's adventures in the magical land of Oz, and how, in the initial novel, a wicked old green witch tries to kill her for some shoes. But we never got to hear the story from the witch's perspective, did we? This novel explores adult themes and creates defining fantasy characters, the landscape of Oz it paints is a far-more complex one than ever encountered before. Don't miss this book, and don't think it's merely a gimmick to make money. It's far more than that. It's highly literary and mixes such opposite genres like fantasy, politics, drama, romance, and character study. Very interesting stuff, highly recommended!
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This was such a creative book. I loved the thought of having the story from the witch's perspective and it was so well-written, my view of Oz will probably stick with this one instead of the original. I just loved it!
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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.
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!
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I really loved this book. Although it started off slow, it quickly picked up and I was hooked. A great twist on the Oz story.
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Loved the book! Entertaining!
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I had wanted to read this book for sometime. I plan to read as many of Gregory Maguire's books as I can. He is an incredible writer. The writing is top notch, a use of the english language not often seen. The story is also good, giving a whole new perspective on what is good and what is evil. Try it!!!
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on
fantastic book!
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on
The Musical is loosely based on this book...very loosely. I enjoyed the book and Gregory Maguire's great imagination to embellish on the world of Oz. The book isn't feel-good like the musical. The ending is like the book and the movie.
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It's dark and not a lot of humor. If you're into angst and foreboding, then this is your book :)
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it's been a year since i read wicked, but i remember i just could not put it down. especially during the first part. it did get a little political, but i was okay with that. i breezed through that part (though it felt very much like required reading at that particular point), because i wanted to get back to elphelba.

her character had be absolutely enthralled. overall, i loved the book and am looking forward to seeing the musical... which, from what i am reading on here is pretty different.

we'll see!
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on
Great spin on an childhood classic. Very in-depth look into the Wicked Witch of the West's mind.
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Being a fan of the wizard of oz I thought, and was told by someone I would love this book. It was hard to read with and contained some sex talk that was disquisting. Not at all what Ihad in mind when I stated to read this. I guess the story of the Wizard of Oz is a story that go a thousand different ways from the first story.
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This was picked as a book club choice and was very excited to read it. I love reading stories that give you a different version of what you thought you already knew. When I was finished with this book, I wanted to go back and read Baum's OZ books to see how true to those Wicked was (or could have been) There were little details that came back to me from Return to OZ. It was very hard to read at first because of the fictional words, especially when he went into politics and religion, but after a while you got used to them. It was a great book that did leave you wondering about a few things, but hopefully those questions will be answered in the sequel.
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i luved this book it was good i am now reading son of a witch
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I am a big fan of the Wizard of Oz. I loved the movie and this book. This book tells the story of the wicked witch and her life. Once I started reading it I couldn't put it down.
If you are a fan of the Wizard of Oz, I think you would enjoy this book.
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One of my all-time favorite books! Brilliantly written and immensly imaginative - I love how all of the story lines come together to end up at the scee we all know in The Wizard of Oz.
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This was such a creative book. I loved the thought of having the story from the witch's perspective and it was so well-written, my view of Oz will probably stick with this one instead of the original. I just loved it!
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Could not get into it.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on
Interesting. The Broadway play is different and much better! Could have been written a bit more smartly and more creatively. Very interesting concept, but the execution of the concept was very melancholy and down-trodden.
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I love this book! It is one of those hard-to-put-down types!
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I just could not get into this book no matter how hard I tried. I gave up after about 75 pages.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 20 more book reviews
Boy was I confused, its not a children's book!
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A fun and captivating book, especially for those of us who grew up watching the Wizard of Oz on TV every year.
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I liked this book a lot! I am a teen and would definitely recommend it to other teens and adults, but not children because of language . Reading this book really makes me want to see the musical, I hear it is really good!!!
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Awesome!
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on
It took a while to get into the book. when i started reading it was a little confusing. but the more i read the more it made sense.
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A surprisingly thorough and complete story of how a person with very little malice can end up being viewed so evilly. I really did not appreciate how excellent the writing would be nor how strongly the author would keep to this first person narrative, but I have found myself looking forward to the next book far more than when I read the original books by frank baum. These are definitely on the mature side and only suited for those who are ready to read about alcoholism, rebellion, betrayal, and persons' whose only good quality is they continue to try even if they aren't very nice to anyone.
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This was something totally different than what I usually read. I did enjoy it - but an interesting take on The Wizard of Oz. Explores the concept of good and evil. Is evil present in all of us - as well as good and it's a "choice" of which one guides us? Or is it a learned trait? Explores the reasons why Elfie (Wicked Witch of the West) was "wicked". Was it the fact that she was born green and had no nuturing as a child? Was it a result of how she was treated growing up? Explores her early childhood and friendships/relationships throughout her life.
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Found it a little hard to get into, but I did finish it.
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if you've seen the musical, it's a bit different, but it is interesting to see the roots of it. good fantasy read
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I'd seen the musical and was intrigued to find out more about the life and times of Oz and the Wicked Witch of the West. This book gave me what I expected and hoped for, and yet it didn't. The story is fleshed out more than the musical's plotline, and you do get more insight into the personality and life of Elphaba, the wicked green anti-heroine. However, the details start getting skimpier and Elphaba's motivations get murkier as the story moves along. How she actually becomes "wicked" and glories at her newly won reputation as the Wicked Witch of the West is treated shabbily. The plot details and looks at Elphaba's life get traded in for discussions of morality and the origin of evil and the theology of souls, and it's a poor tradeoff where readability is concerned. The story never recovers from this derailment and the last section of the book, which should have been exciting and enthralling as this is the section where Witch meets Dorothy, is a big letdown. Throughout the book, the main character is referred to by name, as Elphaba, although different nicknames are ascribed to her at various times, yet in the last section she is continually referred to only as The Witch and no longer called Elphaba, a distracting device designed to distance the reader emotionally from her death.

Characters are never fleshed out enough to garner sympathy or likeability and the sections of the story reflecting the well-known Wizard of Oz story are far too brief to enjoy properly. Author Maguire goes through all this trouble setting up a rich and detailed storyland and then pulls away the vicarious enjoyment we could've had comparing this refreshingly new take on old familiar scenes and people by removing almost all such references out of the plot.

An interesting but flawed read, not all I had hoped it would be.
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Absolutely fabulous, it's mystical while being earthly and political. I recommend this to anyone and everyone.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 49 more book reviews
It was a pretty good read.
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an amazing book! much more comprehensive than I expected
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I could not finish this. I got to the explicit and perverse pantomine within the first few pages and wondered why is this is here? The author was making fun of low humor, debased entertainment, and superstitious mindless people. However, in order to do so, he had to conjure up, yeah, low humor, debased entertainment, and threaten to make the reader into a superstitious mindless person. I decided to walk away.
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I did not enjoy this book at all! I read it because my 20 something had seen the play in New York and was raving about the play. From what I've been told the play has a diffrent plot line and conclusion. I do not suggest this book
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A little dry for my taste.
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An interesting peak at the history behind Oz and how the characters ultimately became who they are.
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Tough to get into, but once I did I was hooked. Much darker than I anticipated. Much more complex and satirical. I am looking forward to the sequel now!
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I realy liked this book and almost hate to get rid of it. It was long but I couldn't stop reading it. The ending was sad but I still liked it.
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The story of the Wicked Witch of the West, beginning from the odd birth of the green skinned girl until her death. It is thought provoking and sad, and rife with political maneuvering and social injustice. Worth reading.
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An interesing book full of metaphore for modern times. A great reader's grouop selection. A little blurb at the end of the new book, Son of a Witch. Left me wanting more.
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Mom wanted me to read this. Otherwise I would have stopped about half way through. I just couldn't get interested after the plot started getting complicated. The first few chapters were gripping. But then there are all of these twists and turns and characters and I just found it all very hard to care about for some reason. I like his childrens books quite a bit. And I do read and like complicated books sometimes, like Infinite Jest. Not macho enough for me maybe? I don't know.
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This book was not what I was expecting- but it was quite intriguing. Definitely a page turner, despite my lack of firmly grasping some underlying theme of social commentary that my mind glimpsed parts of as I read.
The "f word" was thrown in once or twice, but it seemed as though it was just for shock value.
Certainly worth reading and interesting enough to make me want to read more by this author.
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The back cover of the book states, "Save a place on the shelf between Alice and the Hobbit..." I would have to disagree. This is not the fairy tale that I had imagined, although I did like the tie-ins with the Wizard of Oz. This is a rather dark story and is definitely an adult book. At times I found it hard to follow. I am glad I read it since I plan to see the musical but I don't plan to read the sequel.
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wonderful book! great story and great imagination.
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This is the story of the Wicked Witch of the West, born a green-skinned girl named Elphaba. She is a smart, prickly & misunderstood creature who challenges all our preconceived notions about the nature of good & evil.
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A little difficult to follow, but what an imaginative story.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on
This was a decent read but VERY difficult to get in to the story line. Took several chapters.
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I read "Confessions" first and I loved it, so I decided to read the best sold of all of Maguire's book to follow and I have to say I was throughly disappointed. Wicked was not my cup of tea. Full of political, and religious points of view and lacking in the magical department. It certainly is not a book to enjoy as a summer reading and leaves a bad taste on what you thought was a fantastic idea- to dwell on the history of the infamous witch. He mentions elements that are never throughly explained (color of skin, aversion to water, unloved son) but leaves the reader looking for answers-not enough of an explanation. It just lacks creativity in the punch line department. Also the dialogue of good and evil is very uninteresting and gives the reader no real sense of purpose. I wouldn't recommend this book. It was not only boring, but forgettable and I think I prefer to stick to the original fairy tale of the Wizard of Oz, at least that was completely and utterly magical.
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I heard how spectacular the Broadway show was, but was disappointed in the book.
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Wasn't able to get into it for some reason.
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Wonderful retelling of the fairy tale. Plus a new wrinkle, the politics of OZ. Who knew?
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More of a social commentary disguised in the retelling of the Wizard of Oz from the Wicked Witch's point of view.
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Amazing book! Become best friends with the characters!
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Just could not get into this book and I really tried. But I know many of my Book Group members liked it.
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It's the story of Oz from the Wicked Witche's point of view. I enjoyed it.
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This was a fun twist on the beloved story of "The Wizard of Oz". I liked the way the author gave us a different look at the familiar characters.
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Excellent... :)
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on
Really a fun read. I couldn't wait to watch the Wizard of Oz all over again.
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I'm only on chapter 4 but I have to say, this is one of those cases when I think the musical (which I want to see but haven't BTW) has to be better than the story it is based off of.
I mean, while the story is meant to be different, and I know elements of the OZ books are dark (I've read pretty much all of the real OZ series, which has much more depth than the movies) I just don't think Wicked stays true to the written 'authors tone' of OZ.
If it was written in a more sort of 'talking to the reader' way I think I would be able to take it more seriously (I thought it was going to be written in 1st person when I bought it as well) but because it is so 'out there' and on top of it doesn't connect with the reader I think it falls flat many times.
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I enjoyed this, just a touch less than Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister, can't wait to read the rest of his books!
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Our book club loved this book. Not a quick easy read but well worth the effort. Contains reading group guide.
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A reinterpretation of the Wizard of Oz, as told by the Wicked With of the West. Thought-provoking and adult.
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awesome book. hard to put down. i couldn't read it fast enough.
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A twist on the Wizard of Oz
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Less fabulous than "Confessions ...", but still a fun read. I love the twist on the old fairy tales.
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The "true" story of the Wicked Witch of the West from the WIZARD OF OZ--an interesting fantasy giving the witch's side of the story
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The start was a little slow for me but it's a great book. Makes you look at the Wizard of Oz in a whole new way.
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Very different from what I would have imagined.
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I could NOT get into this book at all. Very disappointing.
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I wanted to love this, but I found myself losing the thread about halfway through and just giving up. This is a fun premise, but the delivery wasn't much fun.
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Fantastic read! You'll never watch The Wizard of Oz the same way again.
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Novel about the orgins and life of the Wicked Witch. I personally didn't like it, it was just a bit too odd for me. And sad. But, apparently it's a popular book, so what do I know?
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You definitly dont look at the Wizard of Oz, Dorothy or the Wicked Witch of the West the same after reading this book
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Interesting story, clever plot, a little too much detail, but worth reading.
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Give you a new thought about the Witch of the west and Glinda the Good Witch.
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This book is Maguire's best
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A GREAT READ!
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I love this book so much that I often reread it!!
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A lot better than the musical, that's for sure. (though the musical is good too)
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 280 more book reviews
I could not get into this book: I found it weird!
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A very involved tale of a fictional land. This author has a great mind!
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I loved this book! I love the idea that everyone has their own side to every story. Interesting twist on the Wizard of Oz.
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when I was a little girl I absolutely loved the Oz books. I still do...however I am not sure Frank L. Baum would like this book. I tried and I didn't. I think I would just like to keep the memories like they were and not mess them up with this book.
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Not my style at all. I could not get into the story and found some of the language vile.
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Great Book~!
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I really, really enjoy the music from the musical adaptation of this book. However, I didn't really enjoy this book as much as I thought I would. I found it a little slow in some parts and things were honestly a bit on the graphic side.

It wasn't worth the $9 I spent on it, but I hope that it goes to someone who enjoys it more than I did!
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Little too long for my taste but some story!!! Gives you a whole new perspective on that green witch.
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Provocative read, but it took me a while to get through.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 75 more book reviews
This is a prequil to the Wizard of Oz - it tells the story of Elphaba, who becomes the wicked witch of the west. Delightful tale!
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I could not put it down.... and while it wasn't at all what I was expecting it was still a great story!
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Fantastic plotting, great characters, such a unique vision of an iconic novel.
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A thought-provoking book. Great for book club discussion.
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I'm the only one in my book group that liked this book. I read the original Wizard of Oz afterwards which enlarged my enjoyment of this book. It is an odd, odd story.
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Maguire rewrites the story of The Wicked Witch of the West from the Wizard of Oz from the sympathetic perspective of the Witch! The history of the Land of Oz that Maguire creates is magical, as are the twists in perspective he gives this new take on an old story: what's bad becomes good, and vice versa. This book has been turned into a successful broadway musical and Maguire has written several other books along the same lines: "Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister," etc.
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I set this one aside for other books, it just didn't keep my interest. Moved kind of slowly & didn't make me care about the characters.
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Great. Interesting, fun, and well written.
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Loved this book! I'll never look at "The Wizard of Oz" in the same light again. Interesting premise and well written.
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Loved this book-it was fun to get the "true" story.
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Great story! Could not put this one down!
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Nothing like the Broadway musical - no happy ending here - very strange book, which I did enjoy, but full of philosophical ramblings about the nature of good and evil - have never really read anything else like it -
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Wow, what a weird book. It is very complex...and not consistent with the movie. I wouldn't have finished it except that it was for my book club. A few of us decided that this book might very well be the result of an acid trip. ;) Also, I'm told, the book is completely different from the stage/musical version.
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Imaginative, fun read!
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Very imaginative and interesting. Be sure to read till the very end.
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Well, it's got a lot of interesting philosophical points to it, but I'm not in love with it. My cousin was trying to read it and just couldn't get into it. I will admit that if you stick with it, it gains momentum and becomes much better the further you get into it.
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I read and liked Mirror Mirror and Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister, This book is ten times better!!! Defenitly the best book by this Author
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 138 more book reviews
Good story but I thought the writing style was difficult to read and keep up with. But, definitely a great story.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 32 more book reviews
The book had a lot of political and religious concepts that I didn't fully grasp, but it was interesting. It wasn't anything like what I was expecting. I would like to read of Maguire's work, but will probably not buy the books.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 25 more book reviews
Gives an entirely different view of OZ, quite sympathetic to the 'wicked' witch of the west.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 47 more book reviews
Loved this book and I don't normally buy into fantasy. Certainly a creative and intuitively written work of art. Can't wait to read the other ones.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 15 more book reviews
The characters got confusing for me and at times the story was slow. I think I'll like it better if I see the Broadway show.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 8 more book reviews
I LOVED this book-could not put it down!
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 21 more book reviews
Amazing story!
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 35 more book reviews
Excellent read! I absolutely loved this book.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on
Geat book, deffinatly not for children! I loved this book, it one you can read over and over again!
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 16 more book reviews
Great read! Insight into the Witch's life, her motivations. Philosophical and entertaining at the same time.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 97 more book reviews
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 would 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.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 29 more book reviews
Explores the life and times of Oz before Dorothy lands. Focuses on the Wicked Witch of the West and her family and friends.
I enjoyed this book very much. Oz will never look the same to me again.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 18 more book reviews
Just...go see the musical. It captures all the good parts of this book. Plus your daughters can see it--you may not want your teens reading this.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 46 more book reviews
If you are going to see the play, you will want to read this book.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 5 more book reviews
Enjoyed!
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 6 more book reviews
I really didn't care for this author, so I thought that I would try to find it a new home.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 192 more book reviews
Unreadable - was unable to finish it.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on
I had never seen the much acclaimed show that toured the country, but I'm almost glad I missed it. I had heard how wonderful it was to experience it. That said, this is the first and only book that I just could not bring myself to finish it. I was on vacation and this was the only book I had to read with me. That is the only reason I got most of the way though it. Even my husband noticed how a 530 page book was taking me over a week to read. This for me is very abnormal.
Wicked takes you through the stages of life of Elphaba; and how prophecy for her, her sister, and close friend come to life throughout their lives. There's really not too much more to it from what I read. There were only a few part that engaged me to read more enthralled, but those were short lived. I was not expecting a "happily ever after" scenario through the book as we know how her story ends. However, there was not enough to the plot to keep it interesting for me.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 4 more book reviews
a great book
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on
Interesting story, a little long-winded...
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on
This is the paperback edition with the broadway musical tie-in. It includes photographs from the original broadway production.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 2 more book reviews
Long, and good, political. Interesting
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 3 more book reviews
I was a bit bored of this book after about the first third, and stopped reading it.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 67 more book reviews
Wicked was great because of the perspective it gave on how the Wicked Witch of the West came into her role. It was very fascinating to get a back story on the characters that eventually came into Dorothy's life. An awesome book.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 54 more book reviews
This was not the easiest book to get through but I was glad I stuck with it.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 284 more book reviews
Have not been able to get "into" the book. Friend told me it really picks up after the middle, but life is too short....
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on + 279 more book reviews
I read alot and I was unable to make it through this book. I am unsure why it is popular.
reviewed Wicked (Wicked Years, Bk 1) on <