Posts Tagged ‘familiar characters with a mature turn’

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

May 27, 2009

Author:Gregory Maguire

Title: Wicked: the Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West

Genre: Fantasy

Publication Date:1995

Number of Pages:408

Geographical Setting:Oz

Time Period: n/a

Series: Wicked Years

Plot Summary: How well did we know the Wicked Witch of the West from Frank L. Baum’s Wizard of Oz? Our Wicked Witch is the protagonist is a tragic figure. We follow her through her life from her birth to her inevitable end, learning all the details behind the scenes as Maguire twists and turns never shown by Baum. Elphaba is a strange child. By her mother, heir to the highest throne in Munchinkland, and to her belief the daughter of a minister. She goes to Shiz University where she mets and becomes close friends with Galinda, Bok (a Muchkinlander), and Fiyero, a Vinkus prince. She is joined by her sister Nessarose, a girl born without arms who requires a pair of enchanted jeweled shoes given to her by their father that allows her to walk. At Shiz learns terrible truth of the Wizard’s tyrannical, anti-Animal (with a capital A) rule and drops out to join the resistance in the Emerald city. From there things only get worse for her… Especially after a young girl lands in Oz… On her sister…

Subject Headings: Oz (imaginary place) – Fiction, Fantasy Fiction, Good and evil – Fiction, Witches – Fiction

Appeal: steady, deliberate, familiar characters with a mature turn, complicated backdrop, rich setting, tragic, linear and building plot, political undertones, dark, serious, imaginative, nostalgic

terms that best describe this book: familiar, dark, tragic

Similar Works and Authors (Fiction):
Jasper Fforde: Thursday Next series: Delves into other existing works of fiction, nostalgia factor.
Marion Zimmer Bradley, Mists of Avalon: Tackles the King Arthur story from the prospective of its traditional villain as the protagonist.
Robert Coover, Briar Rose: A re-telling of the Snow White tale, tackling similar issues of identity, character, and destiny.

Similar Works and Authors (Non-Fiction): Evan Schwartz, Finding Oz: How Frank L. Baum Discovered the Great American Story: Explores the origin’s behind the original tale of Oz.
Zipes, Zack, When Dreams Come True: Classical Fairytales and their Tradition: Discusses the social history of literary fairy tales through eras and cultures.
Gita Morena, The Wisdom of Oz: an examination of the psychology of the Oz books.

Name: Chris