Jessica's Reviews > Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West

Wicked by Gregory Maguire
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Jul 20, 10

bookshelves: modern-fiction, fantasy
Read in February, 2010

AUGH. SO GOOD. WHY IS THIS BOOK SO GOOD.

Here were my first thoughts after finishing the book, February 1, 2010:

Finished Wicked. I am amazed beyond all description. I need more time to process the end. A cosmic joke? A fitting punishment? A redemption? All? None?

The political and religious tones of the book remind me of a very mature, very dark version of His Dark Materials, intersecting with the kind of in-depth world-building of, say, The Lord of the Rings and Gormenghast. I do see a lot of the epic tradition in this as well - in terms of the length, the journey through different lands (although epics frequently feature a journey to the underworld, and this one very deliberately questions the possibility of an after life/Other World), a hero of national importance, the involvement of supernatural forces, etc. And yet I also see a lot of the conventions of tragedy: anagnorisis, peripetea, scapegoating, hamartia.

If Wicked really is a tragedy, then what's Elphaba's tragic flaw?
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