My take on Wicked

A question from Askville:

Has anyone else read the book Wicked, by Gregory Maguire? What did you think of it?

Did you find it an easy, smooth read? Or difficult to get through? Did you like the main character, Elphaba? or feel any connection to her?

In general what type of “feeling” did this book give you – happy, depressed, excited – couldn’t wait to pick it up again, or couldn’t wait for it to end?

I thought first two thirds were superb and sophisticated fantasy (the politics around Animals was a great twist, even though the concept of an Animal, including spelling, was clearly borrowed from C.S. Lewis), although I couldn’t shake off a strange feeling that Elphaba is somehow an otherworldly female version of Aureliano Buendia (One Hundred Years of Solitude by Gabriel Garcia Marquez), developing along the same lines — from a lonely child to a sexually frustrated young adult to a revolutionary to a misunderstood (but reputably evil) recluse. Reading the last third or so of the book, I felt like the author lost interest in completing it, but finished it anyway (possibly, under pressure from the publisher or friends who read the early parts and demanded the ending) as soon as he could, so in the end it was disappointing.

I had a great time reading it (the first two thirds anyway), but I will probably not read it again.

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