Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Book Review: Wicked - The Life & Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire

One of my favorite books growing up was The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum which chronicles the adventures of a young girl Dorothy& her dog Toto who get swept into the Land of Oz via a cyclone. There she helps the people of Emerald City by defeating the Wicked Witch of the West and subsequently returning home. A children's book, it is a simple tale of good triumphing over evil.

Gregory Maguire flips the story's perspective - asking the readers to view the tale from the Witch's side. What makes the Witch so Wicked? Where did she come from? Why was she "evil" ? He then weaves a thoroughly engaging, enjoyable story about the Wicked Witch of the West - her beginning, her life and the circumstances that shape her to be "Wicked" and her ultimate encounter with Dorothy
Not a children's book, Gregory Maguire masterfully inserts pertinent questions about how does one define good and evil. He transforms the world of OZ into bustling, caste-driven, religion bound  society - one that shapes & creates the 'Wicked Witch". By the end of the book, you will be viewing the original classic in new light and will be forced to ask yourself - "Was the green witch really wicked?"

A definite must read, especially if you've read the original classic as a child. 

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