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

Wicked by Gregory Maguire
Rate this book
Clear rating

by
245831
's review
Aug 02, 07

Recommended for: absolutely no one
Read in October, 2006

This book as become increasingly popular, mostly due to the success of the musical by the same name. the truth is however, its not very good. There are many interesting and intriguing plotlines in the book, and you wait for them to be clerified, and expanded upon, but many never are. many fantastic characters are introduced, and are hinted at playing an important roll later in the book.. doesnt happen. the book doesnt even really give you the background you want on the witch. it is made clear from the beginning that she has an eversion to water, but you never find out why. there are some vague mentions of some connection to the ocean, but it is never followed through. You never even get a really Good explanation to why she is green!! that part of the story is very quick, and pretty unintersting. The book is full of cool little interesting things that you swear will play a part.. but dont. I really wish someone would take this book and expand it to its true potential. the idea for the story is so cool, but the ideas are just so unorganized that it was truly a let down. My advice, borrow the book, see the musical. it is completely different from the book, but the story is much more thought out. the most disappointing part of the book for me, whas the ending. just awful. very laim. its like the author gave up, and just let her melt. no explanation, no insight into the witch. now, Im being pretty harsh. I should say that I loved the beginning of this book.. the first half even. but.. well.. the last half..what a letdown.
72 likes · likeflag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Wicked.
sign in »

Comments (showing 1-17 of 17) (17 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by [deleted user] (new)

Thank you for this review!


Nicole I agree with your review. I just finished the book, and while I loved the first half of the book (in fact, I couldn't put the book down), the second half was a letdown. It was very unorganized and it felt unfinished.


Paul I completely disagree. This book is fantastic. I couldn't put it down at all and laughed out loud a lot. It is supposed to make you think and see things differently and not take at face value the first thing you see. If he then turned around and spelled everything out for you, it would be hypocritical. The point isn't to tell you what Elphaba was really like, it was to show you how perceptions can be wrong (and entertain.) It does that superbly.


message 4: by Omni (last edited Dec 04, 2007 10:40AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Omni "If he then turned around and spelled everything out for you, it would be hypocritical. The point isn't to tell you what Elphaba was really like, it was to show you how perceptions can be wrong (and entertain.)"

No, i'm sorry, i think people misinterpret as intentional ambiguity lack of forethought on Maguire's part. There was a jump of about 10 years at the end that were COMPLETELY unexplained. Sadly enough, those 10 years were supposed to be the aim of the book, what went wrong with Elphaba. There were no suggestions, no clues, no lead intos that could make a reader create suppositions. It was just ignored in, I truly believe, Maguire's hope that we would all ignore his large mistake.

This wasnt the first Maguire I've read, and it wasnt the last, and I honestly think he has a trend of vagueness and very little explanation purely because he just doesn't have the explanations to offer.


Kathy Linda Well said. I agree entirely; you aren;t too harsh.


Carrie Schindler I AGREE wholeheartedly about the introduction and then the lack of explaination (sp?) What about the glass? Of course, we know that the WWof the W used the crystal ball in W of Oz to spy on Dorothy, but what if we didn't know that? The glassblower's part in the story is CRUCIAL yet so miniscule (in my opinion). There was a lot, I found, to be introduced and glossed over. Even the witch's heartbreak (which, I'm assuming led to her evil turn) was not explored very well. I mean, we understand why she lived where she lived, blah blah blah. Where was the emotion? I found it very hard.


Nancy Couldn't agree more. The author left every thought, plot-line, character, etc. unfinished. So sad considering how great this book *could* have been.


Leslie I'm on page 170-ish, and it was a struggle to even get that far. If the first half is supposed to be good, as uselessly wordy and vague as it is, then I can't imagine the boredum to come. And what is up with The Philosophy Club? Your education begins here? Tiger-sex? What was the point of that one guy tied to the tiger's stomach?


Annie Baker I am only half way through and have been for MONTHS. The first half was very entertaining. Elphaba's mother has been the most intriguing character and she died many chapters ago. I am trying to force myself through the second half bc I am going to see the musical in March--but I am really disappointed in how a book that started out so interesting has come to a screeching halt in level of interest for me and I still have 200 pages or so to suffer through. Glad to know I'm not alone in my opinion.


message 10: by Keith (new) - added it

Keith Annie wrote: "I am only half way through and have been for MONTHS. The first half was very entertaining. Elphaba's mother has been the most intriguing character and she died many chapters ago. I am trying to for..."

I'm so glad that after all this time, people still find my poorly written review helpful. I tent to keep to myself, but this book was such a disappointment that I had to write something. In fact, it is almost as if this book haunts me. I have friends who have recently started the book, and they are raving about it. Luckily, they havent asked me about it as of yet. You would think the "suck" factor would have gotten out about this book. but again, the topic and story the book follows is just so interesting, that people will continue to flock to it. I just wish there was a way to save it. is there a book based on the musical?????


message 11: by Katniss (new) - added it

Katniss Did you read the whole series? I'm only about halfway through but it seems to me that if there's as many loose ends as you suggest they might be addressed in the next books?


message 12: by Keith (new) - added it

Keith Katniss wrote: "Did you read the whole series? I'm only about halfway through but it seems to me that if there's as many loose ends as you suggest they might be addressed in the next books?"

No, I have not read any more Mcguire books. is "Wicked" part of a series? I know Mcguire has other titles, but none as a sequel to Wicked.

Honestly though, after reading Wicked, I had no desire to ever read another Mcguire book. There are too many other authors I'd want to read first. Probably very shortsighted on my part. but I'll never get back the time I spent with Wicked, and that makes me bitter! lol.


message 13: by Katniss (new) - added it

Katniss yeah, the next one's 'Son of a Witch' I think. But anyways...


Jennifer I understand there are several and most likely they are all combined into the musical. I saw the musical and my sister read the books - answers from the musical were not in the 1st 2 books, so I'm thinking you have to read them all. That's my plan.


message 15: by Erin (new) - rated it 5 stars

Erin Rose There are now four books. Wicked, Son of a Witch, one that focuses on the cowardley lion (sorry..I'm reading that one now and can't remember the name), and the fourth book that was recently released. All three of earlier books leave loose ends that I anticipate will be covered in the last book. I agree, some parts are dull. I just try to read them quickly so I can get to the last book so I can see how the author ends it all.

For anyone who isn't liking the series, I would recommend taking a look at some of the author's other books. They deal with other fairy tales, including Cinderella in the book "Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister". I have started that book and thought it was pretty good until my attention turned back to the wicked series.


Jennifer I was disappointed in the first book - typically when a movie or something is made from a book, the book is so much better. Since I thoroughly enjoyed the musical, I was excited to read the book - sadly, I was mistaken.


Brandy I could not agree more. This book had so much potential but was a huge disappointment.


back to top