Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Vintage Tuesdays – The Witch of the West

Due to my non-ability to read lately, though still wanting to keep posting every day (preferably reviews), I’ve come up with the perfect solution; Vintage Tuesdays. In a week where I already have Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Friday covered with meme’s, Tuesday was the logical choice. Plus, it was the one day that sounded the best with the word ‘vintage’.

Basically what this is going to mean is that every Tuesday I’m going to review an old book that I have read in the past, probably one that has stuck in my mind so much that I still periodically think about it. I figure that with all the new books that I have yet to read, I’m not going to re-read an old book purely to post a review but I still want to share these already read books so this is ideal.

In celebration of this first ever Vintage Tuesday, I’ve decided to work off my IMM this week and review…


Written by: Gregory Maguire

Released: October 5, 1995 by Harpercollins Publishers

Summary: 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.

When you’ve read a really good book you can remember basically everything about it. With this book, I know that it was a really good one because I can still remember getting the recommendation for it. I was working at the time at Giant Tiger in my hometown and I was still in high school. I was on cash, like always, when a customer came through and said that she was in a hurry because she needed to get home to finish reading this absolutely amazing book for her book club. Me, being the book nerd that I am, asked what the book was, and thus came a glowing referral, and the sudden overpowering want to read the book as well.

Upon actually buying the book before the musical became what it is today – in fact I think that it was even before the musical came to be – I fell in love with it (and was SO happy that I got one of the original book covers and not one of the musical poster ones). I thought that the way Maguire went into detail about the Wicked Witch of the West, her family, her life, her friends, her heart; it was all so beautiful and made you think about the original book in a different light. I suppose this book was proving (though really creating) the other side of the coin for the entire Dorothy story and giving reason to why the witch turned out the way that she did. I mean, having your lover killed and then finding the body would damage anyone and turn their heart against the world.

I think that this book should be read by anyone who is an antagonist empathizer or anyone who wants to see a different view of a classic tale. Though I haven’t read the second and third books that accompany this book, they are on my ever-growing TBR pile, the third one just bought. I’m giving this book a 9/10; I definitely want to read it again eventually too.

1 comment:

thebookfairyhaven said...

I have this book at home, but haven't gotten around to reading it yet. I think, based on your review, that I'll have to make a plan to read it very soon. Thanks for the advice regarding my blog by the way - I have made a change for the better I think :)