Gregory Maguire loved the classic tale of Dorothy and her encounter with the Wicked Witch of the West. But he wasn’t just fascinated by Dorothy and her trip down the yellow brick road, he was fascinated by the Wicked Witch and if she actually was so wicked. Gregory Maguire’s lovable character, Elphaba, was loved so much that his story was turned into one of the best selling Broadway plays called Wicked.
Wicked tells the life of the Wicked Witch of the West, Elphaba, before Dorothy takes her trip to Oz. The Wicked Witch wasn’t always wicked, however. She was once loving, caring, and kind. The story builds on the actions that drove Elphaba to become wicked. It builds on the idea of racism and equal rights in a world where Animals are being treated like animals, sorcerers and sorceress’ have too much power, dwarf sized people called Munchkinlanders are made fun of from their size, and a girl is harassed from being born with green colored skin. The story asks the question of whether people are born wicked or have wickedness thrown upon them.
Gregory Maguire showed a different side of the Wicked Witch of the West in his novel, Wicked. He showed the struggle of a girl who was born with green skin and how the world treated her. It reflected a lot on the racism going on in the world today. Gregory Maguire also added Animals in his world, especially to explain the Cowardly Lion who follows Dorothy around in the Wizard of Oz. These Animals were animals, but they walked, talked, and went to school like humans. But these Animals were not treated equally by humans. It seemed Elphaba knew the struggle these Animals were going through because of the torment she received through out her life of her green colored skin. So Elphaba makes it a big part of her life to bring awareness to people on how Animals are being treated and that everyone should be treated equally. She wanted to make a change. But making a change always comes with difficult decisions and sacrifices.
I did not like this book. I had a hard time finishing it, sadly. I was disappointed because I was looking forward to reading this book ever since I saw the play on Broadway two years ago. I thought the play was amazing. It had great singing and songs, fantastic acting, and a well done story that tied well into the Wizard of Oz. Although the book and play were very similar, I enjoyed the story of the play more.
I thought the beginning of the book was well written and really drew me into the story. When Gregory Maguire drifted off to other point of view characters, who I didn’t feel strongly about, I lost interest.
The story also jumped around a lot. This caused for poor character development and poor story structure. Everything happened sporadically without any build up towards the plot point.
That being said, I thought the book was well written. Gregory Maguire has amazing imagery and his writing has a sense of humor.
I did not know this book was an epic fantasy nor a four book series. The four books are part of the Wicked Years series. I am having a hard time deciding whether or not I want to give the next book a chance. We will see.
What were your thoughts on the book? Did you enjoy it?