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

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

 

Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

When Dorothy triumphed over the Wicked Witch of the West in L. Frank Baum's classic tale, we heard only her side of the story. But what about her arch-nemesis, the mysterious witch? Where did she come from? How did she become so wicked? And what is the true nature of evil?

Gregory Maguire creates a fantasy world so rich and vivid that we will never look at Oz the same way again. Wicked is about a land where animals talk and strive to be treated like first-class citizens, Munchkinlanders seek the comfort of middle-class stability and the Tin Man becomes a victim of domestic violence. And then there is the little green-skinned girl named Elphaba, who will grow up to be the infamous Wicked Witch of the West, a smart, prickly and misunderstood creature who challenges all our preconceived notions about the nature of good and evil.

Review:

"Children — children of all ages, as Maguire reminds us in this splendid novel — need witches. Gregory Maguire has taken this figure of childhood fantasy and given her a sensual and powerful nature that will stir adult hearts with fear and longing all over again. It's a brilliant trick — and a remarkable treat." The Times-Picayune

Review:

"It is to [Maguire's] everlasting credit that he has succeeded so admirably that his book stands as an independent and inspired whole; it is also very close to being an instant classic....Maguire has hit a home run his first time at bat. That Wicked is a first novel is remarkable because it is so fully realized, so rich and involving. It is the most seamless interweaving of fantasy and reality since John Crowley's peerless Little, Big, written in poetic language as graceful as a Ray Boldger tap-dance." School Library Journal

Review:

"An outstanding work of imagination." USA Today

Review:

"Save a place on the shelf between Alice and The Hobbit — that spot is well deserved." Kirkus Reviews

Review:

"Gregory Maguire has taken this figure of childhood fantasy and given her a sensual and powerful nature that will stir adult hearts with fear and longing all over again." New Orleans Times-Picayune

Review:

"Gregory Maguire's shrewdly imagined first novel...is part fantasy thriller, part psychological study, part political cautionary tale. It's all fascinating. And it's impossible to deny the magic of Gregory Maguire." New York Newsday

Review:

"It's a staggering feat of wordcraft, made no less so by the fact that its boundaries were set decades ago by somebody else. Maguire's larger triumph here is twofold: First, in Elphaba, he has created (re-created? renovated?) one of the great heroines in fantasy literature: a fiery, passionate, unforgettable and ultimately tragic figure. Second, Wicked is the best fantasy novel of ideas I've read since Mervyn Peake's Gormenghast or Frank Herbert's Dune. Would that all books with this much innate consumer appeal were also this good. And vice versa." Los Angeles Times

Review:

"Listen up, Munchkins. Stop your singing, stop the dancing. The Wicked Witch is no longer dead. But not to worry. Gregory Maguire's shrewdly imagined and beautifully written first novel, Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, not only revives her but re-envisions and redeems her for our times." Newsday

Review:

"Maguire combines puckish humor and bracing pessimism in this fantastical meditation on good and evil, God and free will, which should...captivate devotees of fantasy." Publishers Weekly

Synopsis:

An astonishingly rich re-creation of the land of Oz, this book retells the story of Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West, who wasn't so wicked after all. Taking readers past the yellow brick road and into a phantasmagoric world rich with imagination and allegory, Wicked just might change the reputation of one of the most sinister characters in literature.

Synopsis:

This is the book that started it all! The basis for the smash hit Tony Award-winning Broadway musical, Gregory Maguire's breathtaking New York Times bestseller Wicked views the land of Oz, its inhabitants, its Wizard, and the Emerald City, through a darker and greener (not rosier) lens. Brilliantly inventive, Wicked offers us a radical new evaluation of one of the most feared and hated characters in all of literature: the much maligned Wicked Witch of the West who, as Maguire tells us, wasnt nearly as Wicked as we imagined.

About the Author

Gregory Maguire received his Ph.D. in English and American Literature from Tufts University. His work as a consultant in creative writing for children takes him to speaking engagements across the United States and abroad. He is a founder and codirector of Children's Literature New England, Incorporated, a non-profit educational charity established in 1987. The author of numerous books for children, Mr. Maguire is also a contributor to Am I Blue?: Coming Out From the Silence, a collection of short stories for gay and lesbian teenagers.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 22 comments:

bookduck19, January 1, 2013 (view all comments by bookduck19)
I loved this book and the background story it provides for the Wizard of Oz.I actually find it to be much more interesting than its well known companion.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
(1 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)
ReadABookADay, August 13, 2012 (view all comments by ReadABookADay)
This is the most tedious book I have had the misfortune to buy in many years. It is a true waste of a good concept. I am finding trouble finding bad enough things to say about this pointless waste of ink and paper. On the plus side, if I can't manage to sell it back to a used book store, shredded paper is a fine addition to a kitchen compost pile.
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(0 of 2 readers found this comment helpful)
jerikajoy, August 12, 2012 (view all comments by jerikajoy)
This is the kind of book that is not only delightfully captivating- with it's brilliant humor and witty characters- but also one that can really make a person look at the world from a new perspective. If this book doesn't make you think about the world we live in, then you aren't paying any attention.
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(1 of 1 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 22 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780060987107
Author:
Maguire, Gregory
Publisher:
ReganBooks
Illustrator:
Smith, Douglas
Location:
New York :
Subject:
General
Subject:
Fiction
Subject:
Fantastic fiction
Subject:
Fantasy
Subject:
Fantasy - General
Subject:
Oz (Imaginary place)
Subject:
Fantasy fiction
Subject:
Oz (Imaginary place) -- Fiction.
Subject:
Oz
Subject:
Witches
Subject:
General Fiction
Subject:
Science Fiction and Fantasy-Fantasy
Copyright:
Edition Number:
1
Edition Description:
Trade PB
Series:
Wicked Years
Series Volume:
01
Publication Date:
December 2000
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
432
Dimensions:
9 x 6 x 0.1624 in 5.44 oz

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Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$16.00 In Stock
Product details 432 pages ReganBooks - English 9780060987107 Reviews:
"Review" by , "Children — children of all ages, as Maguire reminds us in this splendid novel — need witches. Gregory Maguire has taken this figure of childhood fantasy and given her a sensual and powerful nature that will stir adult hearts with fear and longing all over again. It's a brilliant trick — and a remarkable treat."
"Review" by , "It is to [Maguire's] everlasting credit that he has succeeded so admirably that his book stands as an independent and inspired whole; it is also very close to being an instant classic....Maguire has hit a home run his first time at bat. That Wicked is a first novel is remarkable because it is so fully realized, so rich and involving. It is the most seamless interweaving of fantasy and reality since John Crowley's peerless Little, Big, written in poetic language as graceful as a Ray Boldger tap-dance."
"Review" by , "An outstanding work of imagination."
"Review" by , "Save a place on the shelf between Alice and The Hobbit — that spot is well deserved."
"Review" by , "Gregory Maguire has taken this figure of childhood fantasy and given her a sensual and powerful nature that will stir adult hearts with fear and longing all over again."
"Review" by , "Gregory Maguire's shrewdly imagined first novel...is part fantasy thriller, part psychological study, part political cautionary tale. It's all fascinating. And it's impossible to deny the magic of Gregory Maguire."
"Review" by , "It's a staggering feat of wordcraft, made no less so by the fact that its boundaries were set decades ago by somebody else. Maguire's larger triumph here is twofold: First, in Elphaba, he has created (re-created? renovated?) one of the great heroines in fantasy literature: a fiery, passionate, unforgettable and ultimately tragic figure. Second, Wicked is the best fantasy novel of ideas I've read since Mervyn Peake's Gormenghast or Frank Herbert's Dune. Would that all books with this much innate consumer appeal were also this good. And vice versa."
"Review" by , "Listen up, Munchkins. Stop your singing, stop the dancing. The Wicked Witch is no longer dead. But not to worry. Gregory Maguire's shrewdly imagined and beautifully written first novel, Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, not only revives her but re-envisions and redeems her for our times."
"Review" by , "Maguire combines puckish humor and bracing pessimism in this fantastical meditation on good and evil, God and free will, which should...captivate devotees of fantasy."
"Synopsis" by , An astonishingly rich re-creation of the land of Oz, this book retells the story of Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West, who wasn't so wicked after all. Taking readers past the yellow brick road and into a phantasmagoric world rich with imagination and allegory, Wicked just might change the reputation of one of the most sinister characters in literature.
"Synopsis" by ,

This is the book that started it all! The basis for the smash hit Tony Award-winning Broadway musical, Gregory Maguire's breathtaking New York Times bestseller Wicked views the land of Oz, its inhabitants, its Wizard, and the Emerald City, through a darker and greener (not rosier) lens. Brilliantly inventive, Wicked offers us a radical new evaluation of one of the most feared and hated characters in all of literature: the much maligned Wicked Witch of the West who, as Maguire tells us, wasnt nearly as Wicked as we imagined.

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