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Lunch » Tags » Books » Reviews » Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West » User review

Wicked : The true story of wizard of oz!!!

  • Jul 1, 2010

I was really touched by the original story line of Wicked. It changed my perspective of the Wizard of Oz story completely. Growing up having been in love with the movie, I found myself resenting everything it stood for, as if it were a non-fiction situation, and Wicked had revealed the truth to me.
I would recommend this book to anyone who loved the movie, and wants a huge reality check on their perception of this fictional world. If you were hoping for the demise of the witch in the movie, be ready to wish you could bring her back to life. If you were one of the few rooting for the witch in the movie, be ready to prove yourself right. The twist from the story of Wizard of Oz to the story of Wicked is a complete 180 degree turn. Nothing is as it seems.
 The setting is much more modern and relative to the world we live in. With obvious fictional exponents, Wicked takes us out of the fantastical world of Wizard of Oz, and brings us, instead, a world with universities, prisons, families, and real people.

 The story follows the story line of the original Wizard of Oz story, but gives us these new events that we weren't aware of. Because, as the original story follows the life of Dorothy, Wicked follows the life of the "Wicked Witch of the West", a label you will soon be disgusted with.

 Elphaba's character is presented to us in such a way, that we become drawn into every emotion she feels, and every hardship she encounters. Her character triggers a sort of empathy in us, while on the other hand Dorothy is made out to be the totally clueless girl lost in a world she knows nothing about - a character setup that makes much more sense in reality.

I believe the message of this story was that a character can't always be judged on the lack of depth the author has provided. It's always better to wait for another author to come along and write that specific character's story, so we know where each character is coming from. This should be done more often, and I'm disappointed that it hasn't. More authors should look into the so-called villians of these popular stories, and decide what life was like for that character, and why they did what they did. It would offer every reader a chance to see things from another perspective, which is the point of literature in my opinion. 

A popular children's book, "The True Story of the Three Little Pigs by A. Wolf" by Jon Scieszka, tells the entire story line of The Three Little Pigs, but from the side of the "Big Bad Wolf". It turns the whole fiasco into a misunderstanding that turned the wolf into a bad guy. This is similar to what happened with Wicked. We are given the villian's side of the story, which proves the original story to be totally wrong.

I don't believe any author could have walked in the shoes of Elphaba, "The Wicked Witch", the way the Gregory Maguire did. He wrote in such a way that fully exposed the emotions of each scene, but without over-writing and leaving us to wade through boredome. Not once was I bored with Maguire's style of writing.

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July 01, 2010
Great job on this review, Courtney! My only suggestion is for you to edit the top portion that said to delete the review prompt questions. You don't need to include that section with your review. To remove it, simply click the edit button that should be near the title. Otherwise, great job! I look forward to more of your writing in the near future!
July 01, 2010
=D thank you! i didn't even notice that i forgot to delete one of the template lines. thanks for pointing that out.
July 01, 2010
Not a problem, lol! The template questions are easy to miss, especially since I have so many of them listed!
More Wicked: The Life and Times of ... reviews
review by . February 22, 2011
I loved this book, but I made the mistake of reading it after I saw the musical. The musical is loosely based on the book. I love both though. The telling of the story of Oz from the Wicked Witch's point of view. WE now get her trin of thought, and see how and why she is portrayed as she is in "The Wizard of Oz."Read this book and it's sequals like they are glimpses from the other side.
review by . January 04, 2011
A dazzling feat of fantasy storytelling.
Since childhood, I have been a fan of the 1939 movie The Wizard of Oz, which was based upon L. Frank Baum's book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. While I have not read the Baum original, the movie was about what happens when Dorothy Gale's house lands in Oz, killing the Wicked Witch of the East, and how the Wicked Witch of the West pursues her to get back her sister's ruby slippers. We just presume that the Wicked Witch has always been wicked. But has she?      This book, …
review by . July 06, 2010
Before you go on. Be warned when I start talking about this book I have a tendency to say to much. I tried not to put too many details out there to ruin it but if you haven't read it and want to be surprised don't read this review yet.      I have to say I never would have considered reading this book had it not been for my sister in law. She read the book and wouldn't stop talking about it. So in an effort to make her stop I read it. I absolutely love this …
review by . August 03, 2010
    This is an extremely well written book. I was sucked into the characters lives. I read it in my teens and remember being appalled and fascinated at the "truth behind the story" portrayal that Maguire presents.   I would reccomend this reading to anyone in their late teens as at that age it is shocking, intriguing, and exciting all at the same time. It also helps a person to see other moralities and question their own morality and way of thinking by example.  …
review by . December 30, 2010
Since childhood, I have been a fan of the 1939 movie The Wizard of Oz, which was based upon L. Frank Baum's book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. While I have not read the Baum original, the movie was about what happens when Dorothy Gale's house lands in Oz, killing the Wicked Witch of the East, and how the Wicked Witch of the West pursues her to get back her sister's ruby slippers. We just presume that the Wicked Witch has always been wicked. But has she?    This book, Wicked, on …
review by . July 21, 2010
Going into this book, I knew that it was about the Wicked Witch of the West from Frank L. Baum’s The Wizard of Oz, but I really knew very little else. As the saying goes, there are two sides to every story and the author of Wicked, Gregory Maguire, does an excellent job of portraying this idea. Baum makes the story very fantastical and interesting, but it is also presented over the course of a few days (or a dream, depending on your viewpoint), so the scope is very limited. One of the things …
review by . July 02, 2010
   I love the different view of Oz that Gregory Maguire presents in this first part of three. Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West is far more different than what people think and it is inspiring to me since I have a morbid habit of sympathizing with the bad guys in books and movies. I felt excited and couldn't put it down. I love the way all the main characters in Oz are portrayed. Its like an intense emotional roller coaster that you don't want to get off of.      …
Quick Tip by . August 09, 2010
I very much reccomend. Best retelling of a "classic" story I've encountered. Makes you re-assess a few ideas (hopefully)
Quick Tip by . July 21, 2010
not my favorite book by this author. i really enjoyed most of his other books though, so defo check out those if you like this one.
Quick Tip by . July 16, 2010
Very entertaining... it's a whole new take with a whole new point of view!
About the reviewer
Courtney Bliss ()
Ranked #1008
I love to read. I love fiction. I love poetry. I love fantasy. I love books. I am going to college to be a high school reading/writing teacher so I can share my love of literature with future generations, … more
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About this book


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 Kansas?as 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, ...
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ISBN-10: 0060987103
ISBN-13: 978-0060987107
Author: Gregory Maguire
Publisher: Harper Paperbacks

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