Corina Black's Reviews > Wicked: The Grimmerie

Wicked by David Cote
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Oct 20, 10


Ello Ozheads!!

This book is wonderful. Utterly wonderful. As a fifteen-year-old Wicked fan, I only have so much opportunity to express the depth of my (admittedly unhealthy) passion for Wicked. This book is fantastic and very obsession-worthy. It features firsthand commentary from Idina Menzel, Kristin Chenoweth, Stephen Schwartz, Gregory Maguire, Winnie Holzman, director Joe Mantello, and loads of other people/cast members. It is very satisfying.

There were one or two things that bothered me... Hold on, lemme go grab my Grimmerieee... Here we go. (The cover is also very squishy and huggable <3).

Here it is: "A Quiz: Are You More Glinda or More Elphaba?" Some of these characteristics just did not delve deep enough to satisfy.

For example, Glinda: "Your brain is always craving more knowledge."

I'm not sure if that's truly a Glinda trait. Elphaba is the one who wants to see the world, learn, and share her ideas with anyone who will listen. Glinda, quite honestly, is scared of adventure, scared of confrontation (except with Elphie), and scared of things she doesn't have control over. Glinda will stop and back away when things get too rough. That's why she stayed with the Wizard despite his fraud. That's why Elphaba was the one to fly off into the sunset, screaming her passionate defiance into the heavens. Glinda might want knowledge to an extent, but Elphaba is the one who really craves it.

(I have a couple rants like this, but let's just do one Elphaba trait and move on)
Elphaba: "Your friends would describe you as a rebel."

Listen to the song "The Wizard and I". Elphaba is NOT a rebel by choice. She's not trying to stir up rebellion or band the people together to start a revolution just because she feels like it. She is, however, a girl who thinks for herself. She has a strong mind, which makes up for her damaged emotions. She also has the benefit of a heart that works with her mind, as opposed to against it. For example, her heart tells her not to trust the Wizard's fraud, and her mind works out the logic behind his phony smile. She understands the Wizard, and therefore detests him and his methods. Her heart breaks, and because she cannot bear to be dishonest to herself, she runs away. Do you think she wants to run away from her dream? No. In the moment, it was a clear choice to her, but in the long run, it was the hardest thing she had ever done. The only people who would say that Elphie is a rebel are the ones who do not understand her motivation.

Again, aside from the quiz, I am in total love with this book. The commentary from several cast members about their roles is completely fascinating. One of my favorites is from Ms. Carole Shelley. What an intelligent, experienced actress. I also love Kendra Kassebaum's commentary on Glinda. She uses the best words, like "innocent snobbery" and "It's about finding the truth in the story, never playing for the laughs".

Also, there's an original hand-written copy of an early draft of Defying Gravity, and Mr. Maguire's very first hand-written draft of the beginning of the book. Wow.

All in all, this book is about the journey. And as you read it, the interviews, the commentary, and you see scribbly notecards containing the very first plot ideas, and you look at early set design sketches, there's something wonderful there. Something that you can't believe the Wicked community would want to share with the public because it seems so personal. This book is a true journey, and I so don't care that I sound corny. Lots of love to everyone in the Wicked family, the writers, directors, actors, stage hands, the guy who programs the spotlights for the end of Defying Gravity, Idina, Kristin, every other wonderful cast member, and OBVIOUSLY, their kickass fans.
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