Beth F.'s Reviews > Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West

Wicked by Gregory Maguire
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Dec 16, 08

bookshelves: witches, fairy-tales-and-fables, fantasy, infidelity, wizards-r-us, 2008, i-reviewed-this-bad-boy
Read in December, 2008

Here is yet one more instance that supports the old adage that “hindsight is 20/20,” because had I known how much I’d have enjoyed this book, I’d have read it sooner. I have no one to blame but myself for taking all the negative reviews so seriously.

For starters, there are several types of people who should not read this book because it will make them angry. The biggest one is that group of folks who is opposed to S-E-X appearing in books. The sexy scenes in this book are not graphic. They aren’t hot. They aren’t anything except ye olde average sex scene that for most of us (who are over the age of consent) isn’t worth getting bent out of shape for.

And on top of all that, the book is also jam packed with all kinds of issues that make people uncomfortable: Politics. Religion. Science. Racism. Magic. The Occult. Sexism. Class-based societies. Etc.

Mix that with a cherished fairy tale that a majority of us have some childhood history with and you’ve got a sensitive subject. The story and the characters are one we’re all familiar with: Dorothy, the Wizard of Oz, the Wicked Witch of the West, the Scarecrow, Tinman, Cowardly Lion, etc. But in this novel, Maguire has taken these beloved characters and twisted them to suit his purposes. The final product is something you will either love or hate. As if the rating didn’t already say it, clearly I’m a fan.

I picked this book up because of the hype and had no expectations for reading any of the subsequent novels Maguire has published. But now that the book is over, I find my curiosity has been piqued and I wouldn’t mind following up with Son of a Witch to find out what happens next in the political fiasco in Oz and the surrounding territories.
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Reading Progress

12/02/2008 page 1
0.25% "Airport reading for my trip to Texas."
12/10/2008 page 11
2.71% "This is a fatty book..."
12/11/2008 page 124
30.54% "So far I am really enjoying this book. It's funny and crude and not what I expected, but that's a good thing."
12/16/2008 page 354
87.19% "Wow...so I know Dorothy is going to melt the witch soon and I'm feeling a little bummed! I hadn't planned on the sequel..but now, well...??"
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Comments (showing 1-11 of 11) (11 new)

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message 1: by MelissaB (new)

MelissaB I saw the play a few months ago. It was really funny and really good. The books sounds pretty good too, thanks for the review.


Beth F. I never saw the play but am wishing I had! I've heard the book and the play are nothing alike which makes me even more curious to see it, now that I've read the novel.

It had a short run in Minneapolis but the show was sold out. But it's been running almost non-stop in Chicago for the past few years so maybe the next time I go out there I'll have to get some tix.


message 3: by Flunky (new)

Flunky im 10 and i was wondering if i could read this book. my moms friend is giving it to me tomorow. is this a good idea for my age??


Beth F. Hm, could you or should you?

I ain't yo momma so I'm not weighing in on whether or not I think you could/should read Wicked. However, out out of curiosity, have you read The BFG by Roald Dahl? If you haven't, you should.


Theresa I just went to "Wicked" on Saturday... I had read the book a year or so ago. The musical was AWESOME!


message 6: by Deb (new) - rated it 1 star

Deb Flunky wrote: "im 10 and i was wondering if i could read this book. my moms friend is giving it to me tomorow. is this a good idea for my age??"

The author himself would tell you no. He has several young children and he is appalled by the number of young women whose parents allow them to read this.


Angel Martinez Thank you for an intelligent, well-written review - one that recognizes the difference between the literal and the literary.

Good books offend people. If you're going to challenge people (heaven forbid) it becomes inevitable.


message 8: by Brianna (new)

Brianna The book was ok


David Sarkies It is a shame that a lot of people who shouldn't read a book end up reading it and becoming incredibly offended. While I don't think it is a great book, I still appreciated what Maguire was trying to do.


message 10: by Aleesha (new) - added it

Aleesha I'm so glad I read your comment because I was really excited to read the book until I started to read all the negative comments. Now I'm even more excited.


message 11: by Kristin (new) - added it

Kristin Mendez That's why I don't listen to critics. If I think something will be good, I go for it no matter what others say.


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