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Feeling like a "Wicked" read?


I am proud to say that I have actually decided to read some novels this summer as well as some essay books. Suprisingly I am reading for the sheer enjoyment of doing so. This summer has not been filled with wild tales of partying and other adventures but rather working profusely and then returning home dead tired ready to snuggle up with my book. Currently I am reading Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West, a novel by Gregory Maguire. I am a little over half way through the 400+ pages. It is really quite interesting how I came to find this book.


Unknown to most people is my love for musical theatre. Well, no more than a few weeks ago I bought the soundtrack to the musical Wicked and I fell in love with the production and its mesmerizing songs.


I ended up reading the liner notes of the CD jacket one day (as I examined it quite closely) and sure enough this wonderful production had been based on a book of the same name. The next thing I knew I was driving out to Barnes & Noble any inquiring whether it was in stock or not. (Sure enough it was, I mean come on it's B & N!) The salesperson that helped me also reccomended it highly.

That night I went home and began reading, by midnight I couldn't put the darn thing down. It was fascinating the world and story that Maguire formed around the Wicked Witch of the West. There is so much detail and explaination to all the things we see her doing in The Wizard of Oz (the movie not the books). The reader learns of her deepest and darkest secrets and why she is who she is. There is also the very twisted relationship between Glinda (Galinda) and Elphaba (Wicked Witch of West). The story is nothing shy of brilliant. We learn why Elphaba is allergic to water, why she wants those slippers so damn bad and why she became so wicked in the first place.


There are some really strong underlying themes about sexuality, the need to fit into a mold, and just the burden of being different in a world where everyone else seems the same. I simply can not reccomend this novel any higher. I adore it. The story is told as the mythology behind Oz is explained and for this reason I offer a bit of caution to those easily bored. I hope you are a patient reader that can stand to thumb through some detail before getting to the meat of a chapter. This is the kind of story that can be loved by young (13+) and old alike. Maguire really does go above and beyond the rainbow with this read.

Official Broadway Musical Website: Wicked

Comments (2)

Sounds awesome, Leslie. I might just have to pick up a copy of the soundtrack for myself... I love instrumentals.


If you enjoyed "Wicked, The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West", by Gregory MaGuire, you MUST check out Hannah Fury! She is a very talented singer/songwriter, who composed a collection of songs based on the book (her songs predate the musical by the way). They are hauntingly lovely and are so very true to the Elphaba that Maguire gave us.

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