I just finished re-reading Wicked by Gregory Maguire. I read it at some point in high school, but it was one of those books that took me an eternity to finish because I would pick it up during a break or long weekend, but then totally forget about it for months at a time during the school year when other books and activities monopolized my time.
I’d forgotten how different it is from the musical. Oh yes, dear reader, I forgot to mention. There are many layers of dorkdom beyond this not-so-pulled-together façade. Other than the obvious, and among others, I am a huge theatre geek. I love everything theatre related and am thoroughly obsessed. The flames of passion have dampened a bit since I started college – less time and more demands on my attention, but the love remains. Don’t try to talk to me on Tony night. And don’t be surprised if interspersed with all the other genres on my iTunes list you find showtunes. Actually, my music library is probably still about 40% showtunes. The remaining percentage covers the majority of the rest of the spectrum. Excluding country and rap (and not even those two entirely), almost every musical genre has found a place somewhere in my music library.
I have veered horribly off-course (though still focusing on something that belongs in a library). Where was I? Oh yes, Wicked. Good book. I recommend it. Every once in a while it gets a bit frustrating, but it’s nothing an even slightly determined reader can’t work through.
Wicked is a great story on its own, but it’s even more enticing because of the familiarity of the subject matter. Everyone knows the story of Dorothy, her companions, and the Wicked Witch of the West (and if they don’t, what rock do they live under? I may not be up on all that’s hip, but the Wizard of Oz is classic. A childhood staple. But I digress…), but Maguire shifts the focus onto the antagonist of the well-loved story. Once he asks the questions – why does the Wizard want the Witch dead? How did the Witch become what she is? Is she really evil? What is evil? – you can’t help but wonder. And then you’re drawn in and there’s no turning back. Maguire doesn’t promise answers, and whether or not he delivers any is up to the reader, but Wicked’s is a captivating and enjoyable journey either way.
10 hours ago