Friday, February 22, 2008

Wicked by Gregory Maguire

I read this book cover to cover and for the first two days afterwards I couldn't even tell if I liked it or not.

The book is interesting, creative, and well thought out. I was intrigued by the histories, cultures, religion, and politics of the different ethnicities in Maguire's Oz. I particularly appreciated the way their many folktales offered an explanation for the various and incongruous accounts of the events and characters portrayed in the Baum books. I did not like the people of Maguire's Oz, however. I found them to be a morally bankrupt society on an apocalyptic level. The story was fraught with murder, intrigue, and sexual perversions of every sort. I found it offensive on many levels. It also took me a very long time to get into the story.

Elphaba, a.k.a.- the Wicked Witch of the West- goes through most of her life just trying to do what is right in spite of the wicked world in which she lives. She is constantly helping others and receives only the smallest portion of love from others in return. She is a tragic character and you hope that in the end she will go to some afterlife prepared for the inhabitants of Oz. This is not to be however, since there is no "After" for witches. Perhaps this is best, since it is her hope to cease a painful existance.

If this book were a movie, it would receive an "R"-rating at the very least. I understand that the musical is quite family friendly, so if you are interested in hearing the twist on the tale, I would buy tickets to a production and skip this one altogether.


Kim said...

I didn't ever finish this book. I did go back and try again after my original review but just couldn't do it. It is so perverse. Thanks for your comment on my review. I have been reading your blog a little and I love it. You have such a way with words. You should write that book someday.:)

As for searching by category, I use the labels and the "Links List" page element. Every post has at least one label that falls under a category. I just clicked on one of those labels in my post, like "read at your own risk" and all of the posts with that label come up. Then I copy the url and that is the link for that category. You won't be able to do this for every category until you have at least one post in that category. Does that make sense? I'm sure you can figure it out but feel free to email me or leave a comment if you have any problems.

I look forward to seeing your reviews.

Kim said...

I love the way you did your searches. It looks great and is so functional.

Chain Reader said...

After I read this one I felt like I needed to go through some sort of cleansing ritual or something! I've never read anything so disturbingly perverse. (I may be a bit sheltered, though.) I kept reading it thinking there would be something great in the end, but if there was, I didn't see it. I did like Elpheba,though. I'm going to the musical at the end of March, and I'm excited to see her story told in a more uplifting way!