Hidden in the Shelves (15)

Hidden in the Shelves is a feature where I show off a discovery (or rediscovery) that I came across while shelving books for work.


Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire

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 become 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.

Summary from Goodreads. I didn’t just discover this. I’ve known about it for a while. It’s more of an “Oh yeah, I should pick that up” type of situation when I see it. I find myself enjoying reimaginings/extensions of old stories even if I don’t like/know the original story so it’s only natural that I want to read Wicked and the rest of the books. I’m not exactly sure what’s holding me back from grabbing it. Maybe¬† it’s because I tried a Gregory Maguire book before (What-The-Dickens) but was pretty bored with it. Maybe it’s because I never really enjoyed The Wizard of Oz and don’t have a great interest in trying the other books.

Have you read the book? Is it good?

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12 thoughts on “Hidden in the Shelves (15)

  1. I actually really didn’t care for it :( DNF, actually. I loved the musical and I was all about the musical and I was like “okay, I should totally read the book!” But it soooo wasn’t meant for me. It was kind of crass sometimes, really weird, and just totally not what I was expecting. I kept trying to pick it back up but there came a point where I just really didn’t want to force myself to keep reading it anymore. If you pick it up, I’m interested to know what you think!

  2. I read this book and found it fascinating. It was a bit weird in parts (but those parts can be skimmed)- but hearing the story from a different point of view was great. I read the Dickens one by him and did not find it as good as this one- it took me forever to read. I would say to give this one a try- you may be surprised!

  3. I tried to read it earlier this year before I went to see the musical. I was actually listening to it on audio which is what I do for books I’m not sure I can get into. But I got about halfway through and just decided it wasn’t for me. Like Brittany mentioned, it is rather crass, sometimes I don’t mind, but it just seemed over-the-top.

    I loved the musical, want to see it again. Somewhat understand parts of the book now, but it just seemed so long and drug out. I just couldn’t see where it was going. But I know people that love it. My friends I went with had read it and thought it was okay but nothing stellar. I won’t go back and finish it though.

  4. Dude, I love love LOVED this. Elphaba is so awesome. Like seriously awesome. And it has stichomythia so the rapid exchange of dialogues is again awesome. I just really loved it if you can’t tell by now.

  5. It’s been a while since I read this, but I remember really liking it. It was interesting to see a character you think is overtly evil as not quite evil and more just misunderstood and misguided. I think McGuire is one of those writers that either is or isn’t for you. It’s not an actiony, easy to get into kind of book but rather one that requires a good mindset for letting yourself get slowly immersed in this world. Maybe back when I read it I HAD that mindset, but last year I tried reading another of his books, Mirror, Mirror, and was SOOOO bored with it. It was an awesome concept, but SOOOOO drawn out and boring. Anyway…. if your TBR list is anything like mine, I’d suggest putting the book off and just seeing the musical. Because the musical is fab. :)

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