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Hello, my name is Kelly and I welcome you to the Bookend Diaries book blog. I created this blog to share my own reviews of existing and new books, to discuss with other readers what we’re currently reading, update you on my book club picks, and of course, to ultimately support the work of the authors we all enjoy. I am addicted to reading and I thought this would be a great way to reach out to other readers who are as obsessed with books as I am.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Wicked by: Gregory Maguire

***Purchased Through Barnes and Noble


Born with green skin and huge teeth, like a dragon, the free-spirited Elphaba grows up to be an anti-totalitarian agitator, an animal-rights activist, a nun, then a nurse who tends the dying? and, ultimately, the headstrong Wicked Witch of the West in the land of Oz. Maguire's strange and imaginative postmodernist fable uses L. Frank Baum's Wonderful Wizard of Oz as a springboard to create a tense realm inhabited by humans, talking animals (a rhino librarian, a goat physician), Munchkinlanders, dwarves and various tribes. The Wizard of Oz, emperor of this dystopian dictatorship, promotes Industrial Modern architecture and restricts animals' right to freedom of travel; his holy book is an ancient manuscript of magic that was clairvoyantly located by Madam Blavatsky 40 years earlier. Much of the narrative concerns Elphaba's troubled youth (she is raised by a giddy alcoholic mother and a hermitlike minister father who transmits to her his habits of loathing and self-hatred) and with her student years. Dorothy appears only near novel's end, as her house crash-lands on Elphaba's sister, the Wicked Witch of the East, in an accident that sets Elphaba on the trail of the girl from Kansas? As well as the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodsman and the Lion? and her fabulous new shoes. Maguire combines puckish humor and bracing pessimism in this fantastical meditation on good and evil, God and free will, which should, despite being far removed in spirit from the Baum books, captivate devotees of fantasy.

My Review Comments:

I have to say, if you love the idea of finding out what really happened before Dorothy landed in Oz than this is the book for you. There was a whole new world to discovery through this book that explained the story of Oz. It was an interesting twist to learning the back story of the relationship between Glinda the good witch and Elphaba the wicked witch. It will give you a new way at looking at the wicked witch of the west and the good witch of the north. You will also learn about the story through all the other unforgettable characters such as the Scarecrow, the Tin Man, and the Lion. After, seeing the musical years ago I just had to read the book that it was based on it. Besides, the fact the there is a rumor that Walt Disney is going to take the musical version and make it into a movie. Let me tell you it didn’t disappoint me at all and I couldn’t put it down. It was such a great concept to think that there actually was a world with another side to it in Oz before Dorothy landed there. I would just like to also add, that there are three other books that go along with this one in the series. They are as follows: Son of a Witch, A Lion Among Men, Out of Oz. The last book is coming out soon, with a fitting end which includes Dorothy to make the story complete. You will have to add these to your library.


  1. I loved this book! I really enjoyed seeing the "darker side" to Oz. Great review!

  2. I loved this book too! It helped that I had read all of the original Baum series, albeit 20 years ago. I have read the sequal and have the 3rd book on my shelf. Saw the musical last year and was very happy with it, but since I read the book about 10 years ago, I couldn't really compare it well.

  3. I'm a huge fan of the original series, and I loved this one too. I can't, however, figure out how they adapted this one to a musical. One day I'll have to see it and find out. :-)