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Go see the Musical - don't bother with the book
Wicked - Gregory Macguire
Member Name: Worthington87
Wicked - Gregory Macguire
Advantages: the nice cover and a different story to the traditional one
Disadvantages: drags on for a good 500 pages and making you impatient and frustrated.
The book Wicked written by Gregory Macguire and based on The Wizard of Oz provides a prequel to to the story and a the point of view from the witch, who was very much misunderstood.
The plots begins before Dorothy ever appeared. It centres around Elphaba, who in the beginning wasn't a wicked witch but a child born green. Her parents are horrified, she is violent and spiteful, but still keep her. Soon her sister Nessarose is born. Later on in life, Elphaba is acceptted at Shiz University where she meets Galinda. Things start to radically change when their teacher Doctor DIllamond is murdered - Doctor Dillamond was a goat with some humanoid form, in that he could walk. Since there is an attitude from higher powers to get rid of intelligent academics and Animals like Doctor Dillamond, the death sparks off a series of events - namely Elphaba and her friends trying to find out what is going on. There follows Elphaba's personal quest, with her own idealogies, political ideas put into action against what she thinks is wrong.
The story basically revolves around politics, the distinction between good and evil and also misunderstanding on Elphaba's part and character and a not so good way of handling things.
What can I say besides the play was Wicked but the book was not? The book looked great and had received a big update, using the musical's marketing poster to sell it's story which admittedly works a treat.
I had already read book reviews on Wicked and was interested to see what I personally felt and while it is nothing like the musical and by this I mean, fun and engaging, it at least has the ambition to drag on for 500 or so pages near enough with three parts to the story and one cannot help thinking that there is less content and drive to the story and more of a 'droning on'.
The story is centered around a mish-mash of politics going on and the reader never at any point has a close relationship with any of the characters, not even the protagonist, Elphaba the Wicked Witch of the West, this is a definite drawback to the story. At no point is the reader involved closely with any of the characters, it is as if you are seeing the events played out through a window - at a distance. Overall, there is a sense of nostalgia, like old childhoods or past traditions forgotten.
With so much conversation about "what is evil?" you can't help but think that the author is just whittling on to waste words to fill up a few more pages to make a good solid book.
The descriptions and language was lovely creating nice pictures of the land of oz. Nevertheless the story feels rather dated, as though it is only a slightly update version of Tom Brown's Schooldays which pretty much gives you a headache.
Perhaps once you've seen the musical the book just doesn't live up to it.
>> This book can be found in all waterstones book shops, retailing at £7.99.
Summary: a story of the wicked witch of the west's life