by Gregory Maguire, is the bildungsroman story of the Wicked Witch of the West from the Wizard of Oz (I guess this technically makes it fanfiction). L. Frank Baum’s original has spawned many offshoots, and Wicked itself has inspired a popular musical of the same name.
WHY I PICKED IT UP
I learned about it through the musical soundtrack years ago and bought it shortly after. I review it now because of the latest Oz movie adaptation.
WHERE/WHY I STOPPED
I finished Wicked. I’m a big fan of works featuring anti-hero protagonists or the ‘other side of the story.’
WHAT COULD BE BETTER, IF ANYTHING
The book takes itself a little seriously at times, considering it’s fanfiction based on a children’s story, but it’s enjoyable. The prologue shows the witch spying on Dorothy & Co, while they’re on the yellow brick road. It’s good exposition and drops us in somewhere familiar. The first chapter drags on a little, but Maguire does an excellent job of promising action and surprises later by making one of the characters pregnant and foreshadowing a precipitating ‘evil’ event.
This is a good book. Even if you’ve never read the original, this is worth a look.