Wicked- The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West

by Gregory Maguire | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0060745908 Global Overview for this book
Registered by surmisez of Worcester, Massachusetts USA on 12/31/2005
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This book is in the wild! This Book is Currently in the Wild!
8 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by surmisez at -- Controlled Release in Salt Lake City, Utah USA on Saturday, December 31, 2005
Purchased book for Erishkigal as part of the Happy Birthday RABCK (organized by chich).

Book Description
When Dorothy triumphed over the Wicked Witch of the West in L. Frank Baum's classic tale, we heard only her side of the story. But what about her arch-nemesis, the mysterious witch? Where did she come from? How did she become so wicked? And what is the true nature of evil?

Gregory Maguire creates a fantasy world so rich and vivid that we will never look at Oz the same way again. Wicked is about a land where animals talk and strive to be treated like first-class citizens, Munchkinlanders seek the comfort of middle-class stability and the Tin Man becomes a victim of domestic violence. And then there is the little green-skinned girl named Elphaba, who will grow up to be the infamous Wicked Witch of the West, a smart, prickly and misunderstood creature who challenges all our preconceived notions about the nature of good and evil.

Journal Entry 2 by surmisez from Worcester, Massachusetts USA on Saturday, December 31, 2005

Part of chich's Happy Birthday RABCK.

Journal Entry 3 by wingerishkigalwing from Salt Lake City, Utah USA on Tuesday, January 10, 2006
just received as a birthday rabck from surmisez--thriled to recieve, and looking forward to digging in!

Journal Entry 4 by wingerishkigalwing from Salt Lake City, Utah USA on Friday, February 03, 2006
I thoroughly enjoyed this book! I found Maguires telling creates sympathy for Elfaba (the Wicked Witch), so that despite knowing her end, we don't want it to happen. Lots of interesting twists.

I'm putting this on reserve to pass around a few family members who want to read it, then I'll send it out to the wider world.

Journal Entry 5 by wingerishkigalwing from Salt Lake City, Utah USA on Thursday, February 23, 2006
Having enjoyed this book so much, I'm now passing it on to others in my very first bookring! I cobbled the"rules" together based on what I found from experienced 'ringers':

Wicked Bookring rules

1. Journal the book as soon as you receive it.

2. Take a month or less to read. *

3. PM the next person in the list early on, so you have their address and
are ready to send Wicked on it’s merry way when you are finished. Order
of the ring will be in the journal entry so check there before mailing on.
(in the event there has been a change).

4. Make a journal entry when you finish Wicked, adding your opinions to
everyone else’s.

5. PM the next person after you have actually mailed the book, so they
will know to be expecting it. **

6. . Enjoy ! and if there are any problems, let me know.

* life happens. if you get the address request and you’re already swamped
(with rings/work/whatever) please asked to be skipped, then let me know and
we’ll put you back in later. if you have the book and realize you’re not
going to be done in that time, please PM and let us know. If you’re going
to go over 5-6 weeks, please send it on and let me know if you want to be
added back on at the end.

** I have just discovered that by doing an online confirmation at usps.gov,
it costs only 14 cents!! I think this is great--leaves no doubt about who
did or did not receive the book in the mail. Don‘t know if there‘s
anything similar overseas. The media rate address for this is

i wasn't going to actually make this a rule....but it's so inexpensive and
has such potential to allieviate difficulties, that it seems silly not too!

And Wicked is going to:
Hexa (UK)
Niksu (Finland)
Irishcoda (NJ)
Katekintail (VA)
BooksnBeer (VA)
BigrTex (TX)
16stepper (AZ) <--------here? dissappeared :(( never to be
heard from again....
GateGypsy (BC,Can)
back to me

Journal Entry 6 by Hexa on Wednesday, March 01, 2006
Received safely - thank you so much! I've almost finished the book I'm reading so will get to this soon. Thanks for the beautiful postcard too.

Journal Entry 7 by Hexa on Sunday, March 12, 2006
This is a fantastic book, completely turns the familiar story of the Wizard of Oz on it's head. I love the way it mixes politics and magic and religion. Complex stories are always so much more believable than simple ones, and this one has a healthy mix of cynicism and warmth.

Sending on to Niksu as soon as I have an address.

Journal Entry 8 by wingNiksuwing from Helsinki, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland on Friday, March 31, 2006
Book is here, thanks Hexa! One bookring book ahead of this, then starting with this.

Journal Entry 9 by wingNiksuwing from Helsinki, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland on Saturday, April 15, 2006
Just to let you all know, I have started reading this book already, half way through but I'm going on a vacation and planning not to take this huge book with me. I'll continue reading it when I'm in Finland again (week 17). Journal more when I'm done.

Journal Entry 10 by wingNiksuwing from Helsinki, Uusimaa / Nyland Finland on Thursday, April 27, 2006
I finished this yesterday. Story was interesting but I think sometimes the language caused some problems understanding everything, as I'm not a native English speaker. That is also one reason I find the story hard to follow at times, especially when talking about politics.

I'm looking forward to give Maguire his second chance to convince me that his books are worth to read. Ugly stepsisters are coming to my way one day.

Thanks Erishkigal so much for giving me chance to read the book. I took this to postoffice yesterday and it's going to cross the sea in first class. It might take 6-8 days and I'm hoping it has a safe travel to US.

Journal Entry 11 by Irishcoda on Tuesday, May 02, 2006
Thanks, Niksu, that was quick! I just got it today, have been looking forward to reading it and started it as soon as I got it out of the package! :)

Journal Entry 12 by Irishcoda on Monday, May 22, 2006
Well, this was certainly different! I don't think I'll watch the Wizard of Oz again without thinking of this book and what a different point of view it provides! I don't want to spoil it for the readers following me so I won't say too much more except that I wish there was more focus on the Wicked Witch character. It was interesting to see things from other character's perspectives but I felt it took away from the witch character. I am going to be sending this on to Katekintail!

Journal Entry 13 by wingKateKintailwing from Burke, Virginia USA on Friday, May 26, 2006
I received this in the mail today, safe and sound! I'm a slow reader but I started on it as soon as I got it and am a few chapters in already. So far, I'm definitely enjoying it :-) Thanks!

Journal Entry 14 by wingKateKintailwing from Burke, Virginia USA on Friday, July 07, 2006
Ack! I realize it's been a month- so sorry! I just started a new job (my dream job) last week so the transition over the last few weeks has been draining and time consuming.

But I'm about three-quarters of the way through this book now and hopefully will have it done and sent out next week.

Journal Entry 15 by wingKateKintailwing from Burke, Virginia USA on Friday, July 28, 2006
Sent off today to BooksnBeer in the mail (with delivery confirmation). Again, many apologies for taking so long with it. I really hadn't anticipated getting a new job or it taking so much of my time & energy!

As for the book... I did enjoy it. I'm not sure I bought into the 'religious' aspects, because I've never really associated that sort of thing with Oz before, and the Time Dragon was an important thing to buy into, I think. Otherwise, I loved the way Maguire took the world and its characters and worked around them, like in movie/tv tie-in's or fanfiction. I loved the characters, and was very sympathetic towards the witch from the beginning. I loved seeing little elements from The Wizard of Oz and the rest of the series pop up (the Animals, The Tin Man's beginnings, the winged monkeys, the coveted shoes, the various territories of Oz, Ozma, the crystal ball, the water allergy, etc.). And I, personally, would have liked to have seen it follow the book canon more closely (though it was certainly closer to the book than the movie 'verse) but I can understand that more people are probably familiar with the movie than the books so he wouldn't want to completely confuse his readers.
Anyway, I did really like the book. It was incredibly interesting to get to know the characters and I liked it set up like bookends with Dorothy's presence, then starting at Elphaba's birth. I probably would have liked fewer jumps in time between sections, but other parts dragged for me so maybe I should take that back. It was definitely enjoyable and a great look at the "other side" of the well-known story.

Journal Entry 16 by BooksnBeer from Annandale, Virginia USA on Sunday, July 30, 2006
Received safe in yesterday's mail. Lookout the Wicked Witch is in Virginia. I have heard this is a good book - I don't want to spoil the surprise so I am not going to read any of the reviews until after I finish the book.

Journal Entry 17 by BooksnBeer from Annandale, Virginia USA on Tuesday, August 29, 2006
An interesting read. I will never again think about the Wizard of Oz story in the same way. Overall the message I got was that she was totally misunderstood. The statement Kermit the Frog made comes back to me – “It isn’t easy being green”.

I did feel like a few of the characters were rushed. I was a little surprised that a book this long still had a few holes.

I’m glad I read this. But, I’m not sure I will pick up the next book. It is a very creative angle and I think this would be fun to do with a few other children stories.

I will try and send this off in tomorrow’s mail.

Journal Entry 18 by BigrTex from Cedar Park, Texas USA on Monday, September 04, 2006
I couldn't decide which book to take along for the long weekend until this showed up on my front doorstep on Friday. I started it today.

Journal Entry 19 by BigrTex from Cedar Park, Texas USA on Thursday, October 05, 2006
I finished it about a week ago. I'm not sure why it took me so long - new job, large format book, less enticing than I'd expected.

I think I was expecting something more openly Oz-ish, a story of how the wicked witch grew up and the cute Oz folks that surrounded her. What I got was a treatise on Evil, involving politics, religion, et al.

I would still enjoy seeing the musical, which is how I first heard of this novel. And as others have mentioned, I'd likely give Maguire a second chance - but likely another bookring someday.

Journal Entry 20 by BigrTex at on Thursday, October 05, 2006

Released 13 yrs ago (10/4/2006 UTC) at



I finally got to the post office when it was open yesterday and sent this off to 16stepper.


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