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

Wicked by Gregory Maguire
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Wicked is a retelling of the Wizard of Oz from the perspective of the Wicked Witch of the East, following her from her birth to her death at the hands of Dorothy. Maguire presents her as a vaguely political figure with conviction but a lack of strategy or purpose. He seems to be doing what what's-his-face attempted with the English Patient - presenting a fictionalized "explanation" of a character's behavior. In the English Patient it is an historical figure who was a spy during the second(?) world war. Here it is an iconic symbol of evil. Maguire's explanation is ultimately convoluted and boring. Elphaba's motives and politics are murky at best, Maguire is too reliant on the readers' knowledge of the Wizard of Oz and creates a world within a world that lacks continuity or the ability to stand on its own.
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