Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West Wicked discussion


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the musical

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message 1: by Anne (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:32AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Anne okay... don't be mad anybody. I haven't even read the book. But I saw the musical! And it was amazing! and yes, I will read the book or else my friend will severely hurt me.


message 2: by Josina (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:42AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Josina I'm not mad, to be sure. I saw the musical twice, then read the book. I was so disappointed, I wanted to spit. Don't expect the plots to converge--really only the names are the same. The characterizations, the story, nothing is like the musical, which would be okay if the book were good. As a person who reads for a living, I can say that I don't think it is. It's full of frustrating loose ends and red herrings. I wish I could recommend it, but I'd just go see the show again.


message 3: by Roxanne (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:43AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Roxanne I too saw the musical then TRIED to read the book... the play was absolutely, out of this world incredible!!! I laughed out loud many, many times at the play... the book?? not at all~

There are very few things that are similar, like Josina said, only the names are the same. If you read the book first and don't like it, don't be put off if you have the opportunity to see the play.


message 4: by Andrea (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:44AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Andrea I read the book 1st and hated it the first time I read it (when I was in high school)...liked it a little bit better the 2nd time I read it 10 years later. I LOVE THE MUSICAL! (of course I love all musicals!) However, although the plots aren't the same at all I do think reading the book first gave me a better understanding of the musical. The set, for example, was all about the gears of the clock which isn't really mentioned in the musical...
Everyone who has a chance should go and see Wicked!


message 5: by Steve (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:50AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Steve I have not nor do I intend to see the musical, but I enjoyed the book a great deal.


message 6: by Camille (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:51AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Camille The book is great, but it's much much darker than the musical. Just like Breakfast at Tiffany's, I think it's worth reading this book before watching the musical.


message 7: by Charlene (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:51AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Charlene Like most of you, I also loved the musical and really didn't like the book. I tried to read it before going to see the show a couple of years ago and found the book read SO SLOW!!! It had its points where it was interesting, but overall, it just dragged.

I can't say how much I truly love the musical, though. I've seen it twice on Broadway and will be seeing it again in L.A. for my birthday in a couple of months!


message 8: by Steven Topich (last edited Aug 25, 2016 11:58AM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Steven Topich I have read the book and I enjoyed it. I plan on seeing the musical sometime.


message 9: by Letitia (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:03PM) (new)

Letitia Didn't read the book because everyone said I would be disappointed. The musical, however, is surprisingly moving! I expected something fluffy (I am a total nut for cheesy Broadway) and was astonished at how dense the musical truly is! The social, religious and ethical depth of the play really got to me...plus the spectacle just cannot be compared. Would see it again and again if I weren't poor.


message 10: by Jackie Marrs (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:04PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Jackie Marrs I read the book but have not seen the musical. I also had a hard time with the book - It dragged for me too. I guess at the time I just wanted an easy read. For me Wicked was not that--too much political issues for me to wade through.
I think when I picked up the book, I expected it to be more lighthearted and not so intense - more like the musical; maybe that was why I was so disappointed in it.
I have tried reading another of his book, but in the end, gave up.


message 11: by Nathan (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:09PM) (new)

Nathan I have not read the book but I loved the musical!


message 12: by Sarah (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:10PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sarah I don't think you should compare the musical and the book - did anyone that read the book truly think producers would create such a dark Broadway spectical and expect success? That is very hard to pull off. (other than Sweeney Todd I suppose)

I read the book, then saw the musical (and have now seen it 3 times), and yes, I have to admit I enjoy the musical more, but let's not discredit the source of it all - Maguire.

I enjoyed the follow up book - Son of a Witch - much more than Wicked. Check it out, give it a try.


message 13: by Nikki (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:20PM) (new)

Nikki I much prefered the book, just because it was darker, smarter and went much deeper. The musical is a nice piece of fluff, watered down for a mainstream musical audience. I like it for its entertainment value and because it brings strong female leads on stage at last (after all the crybabies of the 80's blockbusters), but i really don't think you should compare book and show.


message 14: by Seth (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:21PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Seth I and three of my friends independently came up with the same comment about the book: we couldn't put it down, but we weren't sure we were enjoying it. Of course, we each passed it on to someone else to read, so we must not have disliked it.

I saw the musical in SF before it went to NY, so it was still in (more) flux (than a show is normally). Our group had four people who had read the book and all of us disliked the show. I didn't expect as dark an ending, and I knew the politics and the munchkin sex club would get cut, but I did expect them to stick with the well-known ending where she dies. It was in the movie, ferchrissakes!

Also, I was saddened by the musical lyrically. It's clear that a lot of Disney has come from Schwartz' pen since Pippin.

So, I'd recommend the book, but it's not a happy-fun book (then again, neither are the Baum books). The musical was ok in the form I saw; it might be much better now. I'd gladly get the cast recording and put it in my mix (especially the stand-out party song at the school... the big flying number people talk about was pure schmaltz).


message 15: by Crissy (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:24PM) (new)

Crissy Well, I've never read the book or seen the play, but I think I get what happens. And also, I'm always listening soundtrack and memorizing the lyrics. lol. I love it!


message 16: by Steve (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:24PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Steve The novel is very political. Is the musical? It's such an integral and enjoyable aspect of the book that it seems strange for it to have been excised. But then I know nothing of musicals or the audiences they vie for.


message 17: by Deb Cat Lover (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:26PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Deb Cat Lover I so agree w/ you! The book was a joke & my friend read it first then was afraid to take her kids to the musical. I hadn't read the book yet, but now I see why. I'm looking forward to seeing the show again.


message 18: by Deb Cat Lover (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:26PM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Deb Cat Lover OOPS! My message was to message 2. I'm a Goodreads virgin & I shouldn't be trying to add my 2 cents. I'm just seeing how these work. Sorry! I'll butt out.


message 19: by Sarah (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:28PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Sarah I briefly saw a performance of one of the songs from the musical on tv (part of a parade or something?) and I have to say that I was totally turned off. It seemed like a silly idea to me in the first place to make it into a musical, so my opinion wasn't too surprising. But Seth (msg 16) has a good point about the Baum books vs the movie. However, I have to admit I haven't read them, so I need to get on that before I make any claims. In general, I guess sometimes things need to be made a little more accessible to the masses in order to succeed.


message 20: by Robbie (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:59PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Robbie Bashore I chose the book for my bookclub several years ago, because I thought it was very good and it would fuel lively discussion. When someone mentioned that the musical was soon to debut, I was very surprised and wondered how and why anyone would make that book into a musical.

Only recently, somebody gave me the soundtrack to the musical, and our whole family, including my 6 y.o. daughter and 4 3/4 y.o. son, loves it. Someday, we'll go see it.

After hearing the soundtrack, I decided to re-read the book, because I kept telling my husband, "well, that's not how it happened in the book..." I had to tell my poor daughter that, no, I wouldn't read it out loud to her, and that maybe she could read it herself in 8 years or so!

So, I like both, but they *are* very different. I read Son of a Witch before RE-reading Wicked. It was torture for me to get through it, and I don't want to try again. Both books can be appreciated more by those who have ready many of the original Oz books.


message 21: by Kai (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:00PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Kai One of the best books I've read this year, and in November I get to see the Musical! Cant'wait.


message 22: by [deleted user] (new)

I perfectly agree that the book was so much different than the musical. But in my personal oppinion the musical was so much better and fits a lot more age groups.


message 23: by Jenny (new) - rated it 1 star

Jenny Moon I haven't seen the musical, but I would hope it is nothing like the book. I really tried to love the book and even kept reading well after the last interesting point had vanished, but it's just terrible all around. Definitely stick with the musical!


Adornable  Wow, I am really disappointed to see how many people are writing about how great the musical is, then them writing about how poor the book is, which they tried to read afterwards. The book is FANTASTIC. I really like his treatment of a classic of childhood literature, the twisting around of the characters and the introduction of political themes.

Just like anything else, the interpretation of the story will change how you experience it. I generally find musicals to be grating and in many of them, only half of the songs actually move the plot along. I don't plan to see this musical.

I rarely keep fiction after reading it, due to space constraints, but this in one of the few fiction books I own.


message 25: by [deleted user] (new)

Ok, one, I read the book before I saw the musical. I wanted to get a basic plot of the musical before I saw it (and I had already heard the music). I just was really dissappointed with how the book compared to the musical


message 26: by Penny (new)

Penny Sun I loved the play and haven't read the book yet, but I really enjoyed the plotline and the unique perspective. I did think the story had a very happy ending, to the point of perhaps being overly happy, but I still enjoyed it a lot.


message 27: by [deleted user] (new)

Really Elphie was separated from her one true friend never to see her again. How is that happy?


Katrina read halfway through the book....couldn't finish it I was so bored....I saw the musicl this weekend and now I am going to suck it up and finish the book and see what I think! wish me luck!


message 29: by [deleted user] (new)

Don't bother hon.


Colleen I would love to be original, but - loved the show and soundtrack, hated the book.


message 31: by Mike (new) - rated it 4 stars

Mike Lmao! The book was amazing and the musical is amazing you can't compare them cause they are completely different. They both are eamazing standing alone, but the darkness of the book and the way everything is set is alot better than how the musical is played out.


message 32: by Malia (new)

Malia i thought that frank baum's book were Not dark however dark you think the book is[ i haven't read it]. i have the soundtrak and enjoyed it, though you're right the musical is a bit disney.


message 33: by Rachel (new) - added it

Rachel Vidmar I agree with Mike. I've never read the book, i'm not sure if I want to, but I know enough about it to know that the book and the musical are 2 completely different stories, except for the relation to wizard of oz and the names of the main characters, such as elphaba and galinda. I've seen the broadway play twice in LA, and I absolutely loved it. I probably will eventually read the novel, but until then, lets not get the two mixed up.


Dortha I think I may have liked the book more if I had read it before seeing the show. I started reading it and just kept hoping it would get better but it never did. I was mostly expecting Glinda and Elphaba to jump out of the book and start singing, though, and that may have been part of the problem.


message 35: by Lisa (new) - added it

Lisa If you want to READ the story of the musical, get WICKED: THE GRIMMERIE. It's the story of how they took some really basic "seeds" from the novel and turned it into a fantastic musical. As a librarian, I can't recommend the novel to kids, teens, or people who don't enjoy R-Rated stuff. LOVED LOVED LOVED the musical and hope to see it again soon! The kids sing the songs in carpool.


message 36: by [deleted user] (new)

Any one living in the Bay Area will be happy to know that Wicked is going to be playing in San Francisco as a temporarily permanent musical!


message 37: by Lara (last edited Apr 19, 2008 03:15PM) (new) - added it

Lara I absolutely LOVE the musical!! Wicked is one of the most successful musicals of all time for a reason! You shouldn't go in expecting it to be like the book. All the musicals that I've seen that are based on novels (ex. The Scarlet Pimpernel, Jekyll and Hyde, The Woman in White) are very very different from the novels. It's a different form of entertainment.
just adding my 2 cents :o)




message 38: by Jess (new) - rated it 5 stars

Jess I read the book and i loved it!!! But people had said to me that the book was way better than the play. and other people had said the play is way better than the book. But it a really awsome book. but not so sure on the play. Isn't there a sequil to the book about elphaba's son


message 39: by [deleted user] (new)

The sequel is called "Son of the Witch". YOu have to take a second glance at it like the poster for "Meet the Fockers"


message 40: by Amber (new) - added it

Amber I saw the musical and it was amazing. I can't get the songs out of my head! I haven't read the book yet, but it's on my list to read. So is the second book, Son of a Witch.


Rheanna I am halfway through the book and so far I've found it really enjoyable. I really want to see the musical and I am familiar with most of the songs due to youtube of course. I know that most of you have been saying that the musical is much better than the book, but surely, the book was written first so I admire Gregory Maguire for having such a vivid imagination. Even if the plot of the musical is different, a musical can't really be compared to a book. So if the musical is a completely different plot, who cares? And remember, the book was written first so don't go criticising the book because it wasn't what you expected.


message 42: by Cecily (new)

Cecily I really loved this book, and I've also seen the musical six times. But they're two completely different forms of media, so it'd be hard to compare them.


Martha Jones Thorn wrote: "I really loved this book, and I've also seen the musical six times. But they're two completely different forms of media, so it'd be hard to compare them."

Anne wrote: "okay... don't be mad anybody. I haven't even read the book. But I saw the musical! And it was amazing! and yes, I will read the book or else my friend will severely hurt me."


Martha Jones I saw the musical first.....FABULOUS.....then tried to read the book. I couldn't even make the connection and to me, it was very tedious reading.


Rebecca Camille wrote: "The book is great, but it's much much darker than the musical. Just like Breakfast at Tiffany's, I think it's worth reading this book before watching the musical. "

I agree...I read the book first, thought it was Amazing. Saw the musical...was great too, but a completely different thing. if you read the book thinking it will be like the musical, you will be disappointed more than likely.


Glinda the Gallifreyan I read the book a couple times, found it to be only ok. However, about five months ago, I saw the musical. ~Wonderful, I call it wonderful~ *sings to tune of 'Wonderful.' It's just- amazing. All the moving parts to the stage is amazing, the cast I saw was amazing (I was almost crying at the end), they had me laughing my head off, and it's a complete, full-blown spectacle you have to take part of. I've been obsessed with the musical ever since, but the book never really got me.


Helen The book provides important background to understanding their motivations in the musical. Fro example, Elphaba is not really wicked!


message 48: by [deleted user] (new)

i have not read the book yet becausei cant find it!however ive seen the musical and loved it!:)


Glinda the Gallifreyan I agree with you, Helen. I found that I got more out of the musical because I read the book, for example, how everything was clockwork- like it was be


message 50: by Glinda the Gallifreyan (last edited Oct 07, 2011 04:14PM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Glinda the Gallifreyan I agree with you, Helen. I found that I got more out of the musical because I read the book, for example, how everything was clockwork- like it was being told by the Clock of the Time Dragon. That still doesn't mean I didn't like the musical more. =]


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