Saturday, 21 April 2012

Booklust Review: Wicked by Gregory Maguire

Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West

This is the first of many (I hope) book reviews. Wicked is the novel which inspired the musical of the same name. I went to see the musical a few years ago, not realising it was based on a novel. When I found out it was based on a novel, my sister bought me the books (it is part of a quadrilogy) alongside a copy of The Wizard of Oz for Christmas. I've tackled Wicked a few times without ever actually completing it, so when I broke up for Easter I was determined to finish it. And I did woohoo!

Anyway, the review - I'll try not to include spoilers. Wicked centres around Elphaba, who becomes to be known as the Wicked Witch of the West. It tells the story of how she becomes 'wicked', beginning at her birth. You follow her through her life, we discover her relationship to G[a]linda (who becomes known as the Good Witch) and how they met at school. 

The following description is taken from Goodreads:

'Gregory Maguire creates a fantasy world 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.'

I was blown away by this book. It differs from the musical, so if you've seen that, I highly recommend this to you. Unlike The Wizard of Oz the book isn't aimed at children, and contains quite a lot of sexual content, which shocked me at first. It is a political and social commentary on the nature of good and evil, using the world created in The Wizard of Oz. There are issues about different races, religions and the way that the land of Oz is ruled by the Wizard.
Elphaba is an intriguing character to say the least. She begins life as almost feral in the way she acts, but she grows to be eloquent and inquisitive, but also very opinionated and always independent, due the fact that she has always been different.

I don't want to say too much else as I wouldn't do the book justice. It is multi-faceted and I'm sure that the next time I'll read it I'll notice things I hadn't before. I wholly recommend this book to anyone. If you haven't seen the musical, you definitely should too. Because it is AMAZING.

What do you think of the book reviews?

Thanks for reading x


  1. I've been wanting to read this book for ages - definitely need to get my hands on a copy!
    Im dying to go see it in the West End too!

    Love the review, and i definitely think you should keep up the book reviews :)

    Natalie xx

  2. Go see it!!! I'm trying to get my sister to come see it again with me!
    I'll definitely try with the reviews, I enjoyed writing it :)


  3. My father and I are surprising my mother and driving her to Chicago for her 50th birthday. The surprise is that we We spent just $205 for tix..Really Do not miss it , especially with parents .. I would go again in a heart beat.

  4. I too love this musical! Wicked is my fave musical ever! I just love it.. See it and LOVE it. It is very different. Stay in the center or as far into the center as you can. Even though far over wicked tickets may not be "unsighted", there is a lot going on on stage.


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