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



[Click the cover below to check it out! If you don’t see a book cover below it’s probably ad-blocker settings]

[“Heyyy, little girl. Did you want to know… a secaret? ‘Cause I know one and it is soooo gooood to hear it. You want to know what it shwas? Alright, I’ll tell you what it shwas. I know. How to Count. Alllll de way to Schfifty Five.”]


“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.”

[OR IS IT? …No really, it’s a pretty different view of her.]


So first off, I’ve always been a fan of witches. My namesake only increases that love of witches. [I may or may not be a witch. <_<] So the concept of elaboration on The Wicked Witch of the West from the original Wizard of Oz was pretty interesting to me. I always see ads for the play/musical that is based on this book as well, so that further piqued my curiosity.

Starting into this book, I knew it wasn’t a children’s book, but holy shit, I wasn’t expecting exactly how adult this book was. It’s not porn or a trashy romance novel by any means, but there’s some fairly brutal death and rape depictions going on.


Also, some of the sex scenes are pretty descriptive when they happen. In addition, the book goes into multiple chapter-long descriptions and discussions about government and religion. So mainly if you’re interested, don’t start reading this book if you’re expecting L. Frank Baum’s story.


I ultimately really liked Wicked. I kept having moments where I felt like I didn’t like it, then a scene would pass and I’d like it again. My main complaints were the drawn out descriptions of government and religion issues happening in the story. [Sidenote: I also had a hard time taking some aspects of the story seriously, but I guess that’s par for the course on a book based on a ridiculous story as it is – such an example is that the little people {IE from the Lollipop Guild} called Munchkins {cringe} are called ‘Munchkinlanders’ in the book. Ehhh.]


For the most part, I liked the story the Elphaba [The Wicked Witch of the West] was given. The author makes her more understandable for the actions she took in what we all saw in Wizard of Oz. It has a nice build up for her character and also how  she ended up becoming so bitter towards the end of her life.


But, I really wish the book was much more about her rather than a description of her role in Oz and the emphasis in those parts. The book starts out with her birth and how unearthly she was, but there’s still a lot of questions I have about that. Some was explained, some wasn’t. Sure, it does give a lot of insight between the ‘Directional Witches’ that was a nice fill in. [Her being friends with Glinda, Witch of the North, and her sister Nessarose, who was the Wicked Witch of the East – the one that Dorothy smashed, and who the famous Ruby Slippers belonged to.]

The explanation of the Ruby Slippers in general was completely understandable and a nice touch done by the author.

If you’re looking for a good book that explains some of the mystery of the Land of Oz that also explains about the Witches of the land, I definitely recommend it. My only issues were the sometimes very long, strung-out sections about politics and religion that were insightful, but not very interesting. I ultimately wish there was more about Elphaba/WWW.

Will I go see the musical now? Maybe. I was explained the musical is the ‘Disney’ level interpretation of the story, leaving out all the parts of how dark the story truly gets. Will I read the sequel to Wicked, and the rest of the Wicked series? Also maybe. I was also explained the other books are more based about the politics that I’ve been complaining about.

I’m at least curious about the direct sequel, ‘Son of a Witch’ that’s based on Elphaba’s supposed son [that was conceived in a terrible way, apparently] but I’ve also been told that the rest of the books of the series only get more political. So. Ehhhh maybe.


I give Wicked 4/5 Flaming Broomsticks


[Also, I’ve proclaimed myself as the Wicked Witch of the South. Move aside, BWitches.]


“To Glinda she looked tired, terrified, but strong, as if her form were knit with iron and whiskey instead of bones and blood.”




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