Monday, January 4, 2010

Wicked : The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West.

Author : Gregory Maguire
Genre : Fantasy
Rating : 7.7/10

Though there is a lot to be said about this book, I will refrain from doing so. Mostly because only after reading it does one understand why it garnered vast measures of applause and criticism, equally. At any rate, both won it a fair degree of fame. This is one of those pieces that come along once in an odd while, to only be either loved or hated, with nothing in between. It is not a book that can be recommended, for it can only be discovered.

To draw a background, Wicked is the story of Elphaba- a green-skinned girl who grew up to be the Wicked Witch of the West. Yes, the one from the Wizard of Oz, which is probably the single most widely known cinematic product after The Sound of Music. It is about the entire convoluted series of events that lead up to her encounter with Dorothy. Her birth, her growing up into a young lady who would later attend Shiz University as a student, a wry and ingenious account of her days as an angst-laden, precocious youth,  the things that caused her to give up the course and the pursuit of a normal life, her experiences and experiments, and her eventual face-off with Dorothy. Through the course of the story, Maguire weaves a delightfully intricate tale binding all the previously known characters of Oz in a completely different manner. The characters are very well formed, and it all comes together through interleaved political allegories, social dynamics, the intricacies of family, and satirical constructs. If there is one thing the author has to be credited for, it is his impressive use of language and an imagination that leaves you in awe, on occasions far more than one.

Not all will pick up this book, few will finish it, and even fewer would like it. But the ones who do, would  find themselves with some very good reasons for doing so.


~MINDfreak~ said...

Never read the book (the illitrate that I am), but watched the musical here in teh heart of London. I have not seen many better! :)

Tangled up in blue... said...

And your review makes it sound very intriguing.. I am going to find it and read it! Thank you, I love the book reviews you do..

Sherry Wasandi said...

@ MINDfreak: Yes. From what I hear, Broadway earned it more credit than bookstores ever did. And I'm tempted to get ahead of myself and launch into a verbose speech about how modern society is a sucker for audio-visual sensory stimuli, and has lost its taste for/the ability to appreciate the finer/more complex things in life. But, I'll save it for some other day and some other place. :)

Yet, if I had the opportunity to see the musical after having read the book, I definitely would. I would never want to watch a movie made out of it though.

@ Tangled up in blue: The pleasure, is entirely my own. :)