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Rory Book Discussions > Wicked- no spoilers

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message 1: by Shannon, the founder of fun (back from sabbatical) (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:43PM) (new)

Shannon | 254 comments Mod
Please put all your Wicked related comments here that won't spoil the book for those who haven't read it yet. Muchas gracias!

message 2: by whichwaydidshego, the sage of sass (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:51PM) (new)

whichwaydidshego | 1996 comments Mod
Okay, I'm less than halfway through the book and find it is really dealing with some heavy issues. Much more than I expected from what people's reviews have suggested on here! I'm really liking the university years. I LIKE Elphaba.

As her world is opened up, she wants to understand more and more... and she is compassionate. And quick witted. And has already wisdom from experience and observation and difficulty. In some ways she is like Rory a little. Still maintains self-confidence and poise.

I don't think any of that was a spoiler. If it was, I'm soooo sorry. I just can't believe some of the issues Maguire is so eloquently "discussing" in this book. And it really is a discussion as different characters make such valid points for the different perspectives. GREAT writing so far.

message 3: by Tiffany (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:52PM) (new)

Tiffany I definitely wasn’t expecting Wicked to be so complex, either. It was much different than I anticipated (in a good way). And I did come away from it with an entirely new perspective of the Wicked Witch of the West. For me, her progression throughout the book was fascinating to “watch.” I really liked the younger Elphie, too.

message 4: by whichwaydidshego, the sage of sass (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:54PM) (new)

whichwaydidshego | 1996 comments Mod
Right. I'm halfway now. I feel like I'm sitting in on a really interesting lecture or having an animated in-class discussion at college. But that's a GOOD thing!

Maguire isn't just dealing with the question of "What is evil?" He is addressing the levels and ramifications of it. He is "discussing" free-will vs. determinism, hope vs. fatalism, nature vs. nurture, racism and separatism, isolationism, and he is delving into the political and religious quagmires in a seemingly innocuous way. I'm enthralled.

I'm also impressed how he has effectively captured a twenty-something rebel spirit... in fact each age thus far he has really captured well with Elphaba's specific type of personality.

Maguire is a provoker of thought. How rare, really. I'm so curious and fascinated to continue. I'm already behind in schedule today for reading too long! I should be on here now even, but HAD to tell SOMEONE! LOL

message 5: by Meghan (last edited Aug 25, 2016 12:55PM) (new)

Meghan I found the sibbling dynamics to be quite interesting. Elphaba was raised to almost revere Nessarose, as well as to be her servant. And I never got the feeling that there was a true resentment, other than for her father's lack of attention to her own needs. Nessarose has everything (that Elphaba didn't), but how do you think her physical limitations effected her future? And Elphaba's future? I liken it to inspiring an older sibbling to get into medicine in hopes of "curing" the younger sibbling's cancer (or whatever). Would a person be more inclined to take risks because a loved one is involved? And would those risks be positively or negatively viewed by the establishment? Especially if those risks were outside the boundaries of societal morals and ethics.

message 6: by whichwaydidshego, the sage of sass (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:02PM) (new)

whichwaydidshego | 1996 comments Mod
Not being through the book, I can't effectively answer that... but I will say that from what I know so far, I thing that Nessarose's deformity coupled with being her dad's favorite and being revered by her sister eventually made her a master manipulator. I'm still in the Vinkus section, yet I suspect that Nessarose's religious fervor has become a means of controlling others now, or at least a means of persuasion through guilt, etc.

In mentioning sibling dynamics, how interesting is it that (at least so far) the brother is so insignificant? Also, when I read those words I thought instantly about Manek, Irji, Nor, and Liir... about how they related to one another and their fates (though I don't know that yet completely). Most certainly such things are significant influences on us and the formation of our character and on how we relate to others and the world at large.

Okay, back to the book!

message 7: by Alison, the guru of grace (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:09PM) (new)

Alison | 1282 comments Mod
Wicked is so, so timely and complex.

I think Nessarose was driven by her faith, and I think the two sisters were presented as metaphors for two different principles that lead people to live the kinds of lives that they live.
I think the author wanted the reader not to focus on WHAT is good or what is bad, but what makes something good to one person and bad to another? Which, as we all know, is a much debated gray area that goes back to the dawn of time and has been the basis for many past and present political conflicts. Is it childhood experiences, parenting style, personal conviction, religious beliefs...destiny? I think we're shaped by all of it.

message 8: by Alison, the guru of grace (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:09PM) (new)

Alison | 1282 comments Mod
And, to that question above, about Nessarose's physical limitations...I think it's interesting that the author gave such blatantly unignorable physical attributes to each sister...Nessarose has no arms! and Elphaba is Green! What is he trying to say? It's almost like he says...O.K., let's give these characters big things early on that could set them back, and see what they're able to make of their lives despite them. What is he trying to say about how being different from other people may drive us, or hold us back?

message 9: by Meghan (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:11PM) (new)

Meghan Oooh, interesting question Alison! Makes me think about differences and how that really is the biggest fear of society. Salem Witch Trials. Nazi Concentration Camps. Genocide of Native Americans (savages). Columbine and all the recent (and seemingly growing number of) school shootings.

But on a more general scale, think about sexism, racism, the treatment of overweight people (how many talk show hosts are putting on fat suits to see how people treat others who are 300 pounds overweight?). Think about class (economic, social, religious -- hindus anyone?). Political correctness seemed to spawn from the need to make differences at least sound less terrible (although I argue it made us less tolerable of said differences).

Are we creating our own "monsters" or are they a natural result from a darwinian theory of survival of the fittest? Cause or effect?

message 10: by Michelle (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:18PM) (new)

Michelle | 7 comments I am also not quite finished with the book yet,but the character development is quite intriguing. Overall, it seems that no character is really good or evil, but is struggling to discover how the various archetypes discovered from their experiences fit into their own personalities. I do not know if I really feel sorry for Elphaba the way that I feel sorry for Sarima. Sarima's interaction with Elphaba displays the two opposing roles that women are forced to "fit" themselves. Sarima, given a life of royalty and of taking care of children, is portrayed as uneducated. The only positive quality she is given is depth of feeling.

To comment on Meghan and Alison's comments, it does feel like the author wants us to believe that the differences that the characters experience are a driving force for their behaviors. It definitely touches on all the issues Meghan mentioned.

I don't know if I like it or not yet...I think that i need to wait until I am done.

message 11: by whichwaydidshego, the sage of sass (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:18PM) (new)

whichwaydidshego | 1996 comments Mod
Hey Michelle, even when it's over you may struggle with knowing if you like it or not... I did. Still am a bit! But I don't regret reading it. Dig in to the rest of it so we can talk more!

message 12: by Meghan (last edited Aug 25, 2016 01:19PM) (new)

Meghan I'll be honest. I don't really enjoy Maguire's writing. He's very hard to read and so dense. Sometimes it feels like he takes a very long time to say something.

But he brought so much to the table for thought and discussion. That I'm still talking about new subjects from this book after reading it 5 years ago (or however long ago it was when I read it) says something about how this book can stay with you. So in that respect, I really enjoyed it.

I am planning on reading his sequel "Son of a Witch" and his new book about the rogue toothfairy. But I did not enjoy his ones about Cinderella or Snow White. I'm not sure if they were written before Wicked--I think they were which would explain why I felt they weren't as well written.

But sometimes some of the best books I've read are books I did not like while reading them. But they just make me think and I love that about a book.

message 13: by Shannon, the founder of fun (back from sabbatical) (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:03PM) (new)

Shannon | 254 comments Mod
Ok - thought I'd add this here.... Tin Man is premiering on the SCIFI channel on Sunday at 8pm Central. I guess this is the Wizard of Oz reimagined. I thought it would be interesting to check out and I love Zooey Deschanel - she's so darling.

message 14: by Tiffany (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:03PM) (new)

Tiffany I've been seeing the previews for that too, but I didn't realize that Zooey Deschanel was in it until just last night. I'm with you Shannon, I adore her! Now I'm actually looking forward to watching it.

message 15: by Meghan (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:03PM) (new)

Meghan Oh Shannon, you totally beat me to it! I was going to mention that this is on. It's a 3 night mini-series.

It's definitely geared towards the Sci-Fi crowd (hence the channel). You're in the O.Z. (outer zone). DG (aka Dorothy Gale) finds herself via tornado there. She's now a tomboy with attitude. Alan Cummings plays some dude with a zipper on his head as his brain was removed. There's some cowardly beastie. And a ex-cop (aka the Tinman). There is a dog, but it's played by some guy (so a dogman?).

Anyway, if you liked Wicked for it's twist on the classic story, this may be up your ally. Entertainment Weekly said it was great for originality, but not so great when it tried to pay tribute or allude to the original movie. They gave it a B+ I think.

message 16: by Robbie (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:06PM) (new)

Robbie Bashore | 592 comments Hi, all:
Now I see this is where the real meaty discussion took place. How fun to discuss things while in the middle of reading a book!

BTW, I read Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister, and I liked it better than Wicked. And I really liked Wicked!

message 17: by Arielle (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:06PM) (new)

Arielle | 120 comments Ok. Tin Man? I usually like Zooey Deshanel(?) but I have to admit to being a little underwhelmed by her D.G. I'm probably going to finish it tonight or tomorrow or whenever it's on, so I really hope that it gets I think it was a very interesting premise, but they did it in typical sci-fi fashion and made it just a touch hokey. On the other hand, it's supposed to be surreal, right? So maybe they hit the exact note that they were aiming for. Did anyone else watch this?

message 18: by whichwaydidshego, the sage of sass (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:07PM) (new)

whichwaydidshego | 1996 comments Mod
Hey, Arielle... I have them recorded, but haven't started watching them yet. Still, the two or three second glimpses I saw seemed... odd. We'll see. I got home from my trip just in time to set the recorder after reading this thread!

message 19: by Shannon, the founder of fun (back from sabbatical) (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:07PM) (new)

Shannon | 254 comments Mod
I watched the first part on Sunday. So far it's different enough, but it still has the SciFi channel thing going on that I don't particularly like - really bad 3D animation anyone? I was out last night so didn't get a chance to check out the 2nd installment - not feeling to motivated.

message 20: by Sarah (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:08PM) (new)

Sarah (songgirl7) I have had absolutely no desire to see it. Hmm.

message 21: by Erica (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:08PM) (new)

Erica Poole | 199 comments Ha! Ok so first off Meghan, I love what you said about differences being what we really fear in society. Especially the point about overweight people. As a 'big' girl myself, I am disguusted that it seems that overweight people are by far the last "ok" group to discriminate against. Not that they are the only ones who are, by no means, but somehow it is OK to do so. ANYWAY! Back to the book!

I also agree that I am not overall a Maguire fan, I have tried to read a couple of his others, including Son of a Witch, to no avail. Had to put them down and can't motivate myself to pick them back up! But he did an amazing job of taking such complex and grandiose issues as racism, slavery, government corruption, and caste systems and putting them into such an odd story! I didn't come out of Wicked feeling like I had been prostelatized (sp?) to but feeling that he had brought up some very heavy issues that apply to life today.

As far as the TinMan series go, I have Tivoed and skimmed thru the first 2 parts, but wasn't able to watch with concentration (hubby!) but I think I like it overall. It has some pretty good characters and I like how they have taken the concepts of TWOO and twisted them. I love how he is the 'tinman' without a heart, and how alan cumming is the 'scarecrow' without a brain and so on and so forth. If you like this idea, whether or not you like the resulting product you will probably also really enjoy "The Looking Glass Wars", a dark look at the 'true story' of Alice (Alyss) in Wonderland! Great stuff.

I am usually a big fan of Zooey, but I have to say that her wide eyed deadpan style of acting doesn't really fit well in this story for me. But I also have to admit, that part of what drew me to this story was the woman that plays the Sorceress, Azkadelia (sp?). She played Claire on Beverly Hills 90210. Yes, I watched it. I did. So sue me! Anyway, I always wondered what she did after that. So now I know.

message 22: by Shannon, the founder of fun (back from sabbatical) (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:08PM) (new)

Shannon | 254 comments Mod
Erica - that is so funny on the Claire from Beverly Hills 90210. Yes - I too watched it lol! My husband Joe wanted to turn it off as soon as he saw her. Her acting was much better than her 90210 days, but I think they could have found somebody better for the role.

message 23: by Alison, the guru of grace (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:08PM) (new)

Alison | 1282 comments Mod
My husband actually watched Tin Man and liked it alot. He said he wanted to get the dvd when it comes out. (?) I didn't have a chance to see any, as I am THE SOLE ENGINEER BEHIND OUR FAMILY'S ENTIRE CHRISTMAS EXPERIENCE. O.K. Got that out of my system.

It was funny b/c he kept yelling at me, "What's this girl from?" And I could never get in there. I finally breezed past the den and he said, "Hey, hey, what's this girl from?" And I said, "Elf." And he said, "Ooooh, yeah."

message 24: by Meghan (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:08PM) (new)

Meghan Let the joy of the season begin! ha ha (I feel for you Alison! You're in a circle of love here so vent away! heh)

I wanted to watch it, but I just had to delete all the Hero episodes I recorded but didn't watch yet because I needed the space. Thank goodness for dvd. It's the only way I'll ever get to see anything these days. I liked the whole sci-fi twist to it, but I was wrong. ET gave it a C+ for the cheesiness I think. And is it just me, or is Alan Cummings the perfect casting for the Scarecrow? I just think he's so weird and slightly creepy (did anyone see the movie version of Circle of Friends? He played the creepy guy the family wanted her to marry? That is the image of him that is seared into my brain.)

I love Zooey though. She needs to come out with a cd though. I loved her voice in Elf.

message 25: by Erica (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:08PM) (new)

Erica Poole | 199 comments I think Alan Cumming is probably a genius actor. Hot, no, but great nonetheless.

message 26: by Meghan (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:08PM) (new)

Meghan I agree on the acting. But seriously, if you've seen Circle of Friends, you just won't get rid of that creepy "he looks like a pedophile" feel for him. He was that good.

message 27: by Sarah (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:08PM) (new)

Sarah (songgirl7) He was perfect as the odious Mr. Elton in Emma, too.

And say what you want about the Keira Knightly version of Pride & Prejudice, but Tom Hollander was PERFECT as Mr. Collins! The look on his face when he bows to Lizzie as they are dancing... loved it!

You would think, from reading those two books, that Austen had something against clergymen. But her father was one, and so is Edward Ferrars in Sense & Sensibility (eventually).

message 28: by Meghan (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:08PM) (new)

Meghan YES! I loved Tom Hollander as Mr. Collins. You could tell just how odious it would be for Lizzie to marry him, yet you knew at heart, he wasn't an awful person. Just not a good match for her.

message 29: by whichwaydidshego, the sage of sass (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:08PM) (new)

whichwaydidshego | 1996 comments Mod
Alan Cumming reminds me of PeeWee Herman - in the bad years. :D

He is a brilliant actor, though.

message 30: by Sarah (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:08PM) (new)

Sarah (songgirl7) When Alan Cumming (no s in his name) was on Broadway in Cabaret, I knew some people who thought he was the sexiest thing ever. I could not stop thinking of him in Circle of Friends, though.

message 31: by Alison, the guru of grace (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:08PM) (new)

Alison | 1282 comments Mod
He played a pseudo-adulteress husband to Jennifer Jason Leigh in The Anniversary Party. That was a pretty interesting movie.

message 32: by Erica (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:08PM) (new)

Erica Poole | 199 comments BTW, I have never been able to read Jane Austen, but my mother and my friend are sitting down with me to watch the whole Colin Firth version of P & P. So wish me luck!

message 33: by whichwaydidshego, the sage of sass (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:08PM) (new)

whichwaydidshego | 1996 comments Mod
Why have you never been able to read Austen?

That version of Pride & Prejudice is THE BEST. Highly recommend it!

message 34: by Sarah (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:08PM) (new)

Sarah (songgirl7) I love Austen!

message 35: by whichwaydidshego, the sage of sass (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:08PM) (new)

whichwaydidshego | 1996 comments Mod
Me too!

message 36: by Sarah (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:08PM) (new)

Sarah (songgirl7) Michele, check your inbox!

message 37: by whichwaydidshego, the sage of sass (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:08PM) (new)

whichwaydidshego | 1996 comments Mod
LOL I do come to the club first! It's convenient because I just type in "g" on the address line then scroll down one and I'm here! It should almost be my homepage since I come here more than any other place!

Anyway, I did finally go to my inbox and wrote you back, Sarah. You are an amazing woman, by the way. I'm really proud of you.

message 38: by Sarah (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:08PM) (new)

Sarah (songgirl7) Aw, thanks!

message 39: by Erica (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:09PM) (new)

Erica Poole | 199 comments Don't shoot me, but I get bored, and can't finish her books. I am trying, it has been a while since I have tried again, so I might take another stab at it. We shall see.

message 40: by Robbie (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:09PM) (new)

Robbie Bashore | 592 comments Erica:
I have trouble reading her, too. It's a thing I have about reading things written in non-modern language. I have enjoyed the movies I've seen, though. I especially like Sense & Sensibility. I cried the first time I saw it--such a rare event, I always take it as a mark of an amazing movie!

message 41: by Arielle (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:09PM) (new)

Arielle | 120 comments I love Pride and Prejudice! And I think I've seen all of the different versions, but I really liked the newest one the best. Quick subject change:
Tin Man? Don't Even Watch It. Not kidding. The ending? ich. My husband and I are the kind of people, that once we've put four hours into watching something, we'd better finish it. So we did. I could have been doing something else for six hours, and I'm so irritated at myself that I sat through all of that.
Back to Jane Austen, I love the movie with Kate Winslet and Emma Thompson. Which one is that? I might need to netflix it now that it's on my mind!

message 42: by Alison, the guru of grace (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:09PM) (new)

Alison | 1282 comments Mod
That is the classic Sense and Sensibility by Ang Lee. It may be the best Austen adaptation. I can't even think about it without tearing up. Great performances all around! Any true Austen-phile must see the BBC version with Colin Firth. Colin Firth is Mr. Darcy! It's definetely worth the time. Emma is well done also. The new P&P with Kiera was a little too modernized for my taste. Did anyone notice that in the last scene she was sitting on that table just like Molly Ringwald did at the end of Sixteen Candles? I really didn't know how to take that.

message 43: by Sarah (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:09PM) (new)

Sarah (songgirl7) I know that the Keira Knightly version is so modernized, and there are parts I really hate, but there are some things I really like about it. I know Mr. Darcy was way reserved and his first proposal to Lizzie was very properly in a parlour, but I love the way the movie set it outdoors, in the rain. I love how they changed the line from "You must permit me to tell you how ardently I admire and love you" to "I love you. Most ardently." It was just so sexy and passionate. And I know that courtship in Austen's world was NOT sexy and passionate, but the romantic in me still thrills at that scene!

message 44: by Meghan (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:10PM) (new)

Meghan I have to say the new version of PP is what got me through the book. I just pictured the actors saying everything. It helped.

I LOVE Ang Lee's SS. I love that it's an Asian director who "got" a classic Brit Chick Lit book.

message 45: by whichwaydidshego, the sage of sass (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:10PM) (new)

whichwaydidshego | 1996 comments Mod
There is so much I hate about the latest one. It's so ridiculous and unbelievable. She is TERRIBLE in the role, acting at times more like a rebellious punk-rocker. Bleh. I couldn't stand the bastardization. I like the actor that played Mr. Darcy, but I thought he was too dull. And Elizabeth's father? GIVE ME A BREAK. Yeah, I'm not a fan.

The BBC version with Colin Firth was OUTSTANDING in my opinion. It was true to the story (which is far more interesting than the watered down modern version) and was compelling.

By the way, don't EVEN bad-mouth the book... it's one of my 4 all-time favorites.

If you don't like old-style writing, you must HATE Shakespeare. Oh, but if you want a fun Austen movie, go for the 1999 version of Mansfield Park. It's steamy and funny and touching. It's a modern twist in a good way!

message 46: by Robbie (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:10PM) (new)

Robbie Bashore | 592 comments I do okay (just okay) with Shakespeare, primarily from having seen a lot of theater productions. When it's done well, it can be really fun.

message 47: by Sarah (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:10PM) (new)

Sarah (songgirl7) That's the thing people sometimes forget. Shakespeare was meant to be performed, not merely read (wich the exception of the sonnets). Some of the jokes don't work on paper. Shakespeare was also really big on puns and sometimes modern audiences don't get the references.

But I actually find Austen very readable. I don't think the language is that difficult. Try reading Chaucer sometime. Bleh.

message 48: by Robbie (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:10PM) (new)

Robbie Bashore | 592 comments One time my husband and I were reading the Canterbury Tales together (his choice, obviously), and it usually put me to sleep. One time I said to him, "will you *please* try not reading it in meter." Then he told me he was already trying not to read it in meter and thought he was succeeding. Ultimately, I asked that we just move on to a different book.

message 49: by Dottie (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:11PM) (new)

Dottie  (oxymoronid) | 698 comments Funny you bring this up, Sarah -- I just rediscovered that Shakespeare is for "declaiming out loud" -- I started Julius Caesar for CR group and was reading just bits of it aloud to hubby -- WOW, did it inspire me.

message 50: by Sarah (last edited Aug 25, 2016 02:11PM) (new)

Sarah (songgirl7) I had to read the Canterbury Tales for school earlier this semester. I couldn't even get all the way through it and ended up bluffing a little on the midterm. Still got an A- though.

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