Showing posts tagged with “Gregory Maguire”

RE-IMAGINED OZ: Gregory Maguire’s Wicked Years series is a set of fantasy novels that provide a lot of revisionist background stories for L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.

  • Wicked follows the events in the life of Elphaba, the green-skinned “wicked witch” of the west, told from pre-Dorothy time up to the day of her death. The story mostly tackles the issue of the nature of good and evil. 
  • Son of a Witch is a detailed account on the life of Lirr, Elphaba’s son, after the witch’s happy-never-after. One of the story’s recurring theme is the search for identity and how not everyone can—or willing to—pay the price of riding a famous parent’s coattails.
  • A Lion Among Men is about Brrr, the Cowardly Lion that Elphaba once saved when he’s still a cub (I haven’t read this one yet, but I hope it’s good). 
  • Out of Oz is the conclusion of the series—to be released on November 1—and is about Rain, Elphaba’s green-skinned granddaughter that was born on the final chapter of Son of a Witch. I heard Dorothy’s dropping in again. :p
Elphaba Thropp and G(a)linda Upland from Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West.

Elphaba Thropp and G(a)linda Upland from Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West.

Drive a Bentley—Defy Gravity!
Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch and Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West crossover! (dang long titles hahaha)

Drive a Bentley—Defy Gravity!

Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch and 
Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West crossover! (dang long titles hahaha)

Elphaba Thropp and Galinda/Glinda Upland from Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire.

Elphaba Thropp and Galinda/Glinda Upland from Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire.

CHARACTER OF THE DAY. Elphaba Thropp from Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire. Yes, she’s that green evil witch in the land of Oz where Dorothy Gale was dropped in by a twister. Her name is formulated from the phonetic pronunciation of author’s name of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, L. Frank Baum (L-F-B is EL-PHA-BA). She is smart, portrayed as an aspiring revolutionary, has a fondness for animals, and has a power that she cannot control. The book mainly tackles the issue: is Elphaba really wicked?

CHARACTER OF THE DAY. Elphaba Thropp from Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire. Yes, she’s that green evil witch in the land of Oz where Dorothy Gale was dropped in by a twister. Her name is formulated from the phonetic pronunciation of author’s name of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, L. Frank Baum (L-F-B is EL-PHA-BA). She is smart, portrayed as an aspiring revolutionary, has a fondness for animals, and has a power that she cannot control. The book mainly tackles the issue: is Elphaba really wicked?

"A dark, inspired riff on The Wizard of Oz. There are three interwoven stories: Dorothy as a real Kansas girl in the 1870s and 80s; the making of the movie The Wizard of Oz and the childhood of Judy Garland; and a fictional character named Jonathan, who’s obsessed with Oz and history and who is dying of AIDS. This one always makes me cry.."-Audrey Niffeneger, author of The Time Traveler’s Wife.
"Magicked by a spellbinding wordsmith. Was remains a touchstone novel for me. Subtle art about Oz, magicked out of the materials of our cultural memories and our common aspirations."-Gregory Maguire, author of Wicked. 
___ ____ ___ ____ ___ ____ ___ ____ ___ ____ ___ ____ ___ ____ ___ 
I know I should read this the moment Niffenegger (aka the author who made me bawl like a baby over a masterpiece she wrote) said that this certain book will always make her cry. I know I should read this the moment Maguire (aka the author who I look up to for magically re-crafting a world from my childhood) commended this and regarded it as a touchstone.
I’ve finished this ages ago and just tonight I re-read my favorite parts. The scene written above is one of those bits I really loved. Of course it made me sad, knowing that at this point even Dorothy herself, the protagonist, knows she is going to die soon. :’( It pinches the heart, man. Hard. Bill knew that Dorothy will be one of the most kind-hearted angels in heaven.
For my uber!short faux review for this book, clicky here.

"A dark, inspired riff on The Wizard of Oz. There are three interwoven stories: Dorothy as a real Kansas girl in the 1870s and 80s; the making of the movie The Wizard of Oz and the childhood of Judy Garland; and a fictional character named Jonathan, who’s obsessed with Oz and history and who is dying of AIDS. This one always makes me cry.."
-Audrey Niffeneger, author of The Time Traveler’s Wife.

"Magicked by a spellbinding wordsmith. Was remains a touchstone novel for me. Subtle art about Oz, magicked out of the materials of our cultural memories and our common aspirations."
-Gregory Maguire, author of Wicked

___ ____ ___ ____ ___ ____ ___ ____ ___ ____ ___ ____ ___ ____ ___ 

I know I should read this the moment Niffenegger (aka the author who made me bawl like a baby over a masterpiece she wrote) said that this certain book will always make her cry. I know I should read this the moment Maguire (aka the author who I look up to for magically re-crafting a world from my childhood) commended this and regarded it as a touchstone.

I’ve finished this ages ago and just tonight I re-read my favorite parts. The scene written above is one of those bits I really loved. Of course it made me sad, knowing that at this point even Dorothy herself, the protagonist, knows she is going to die soon. :’( It pinches the heart, man. Hard. Bill knew that Dorothy will be one of the most kind-hearted angels in heaven.

For my uber!short faux review for this book, clicky here.

Flaunting my bloated cheeks copies of the first two novels in the Wicked Years series, Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West and its sequel, Son of a Witch. The simple land of Oz that we knew in our childhood—the one with the remarkable yellow brick road and the shimmering Emerald City—was re-crafted by Gregory Maguire into an extremely intricate realm that will dazzle you from start to finish. Add to that setting an intelligently weaved storyline and drool-worthy characters and you got a series worth reading. Got a few flaws of course, but still a great read. I still have to buy the third installment, A Lion Among Men.
My reviews for these two:-Wicked -Son of a Witch 
(PS: A day late for GPOYW, yeah?)

Flaunting my bloated cheeks copies of the first two novels in the Wicked Years series, Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West and its sequel, Son of a Witch. The simple land of Oz that we knew in our childhood—the one with the remarkable yellow brick road and the shimmering Emerald City—was re-crafted by Gregory Maguire into an extremely intricate realm that will dazzle you from start to finish. Add to that setting an intelligently weaved storyline and drool-worthy characters and you got a series worth reading. Got a few flaws of course, but still a great read. I still have to buy the third installment, A Lion Among Men.

My reviews for these two:
-Wicked 
-Son of a Witch 

(PS: A day late for GPOYW, yeah?)

First-class fairytale sequels, re-imaginings, and parodies are forming a quite successful trend in the realm of literature today. Neil Gaiman’s pen is dangerously viral when he rewrites tales we have come to love as children: his darker version of Snow White, Snow, Glass, and Apples, forever changed (in a deliciously twisted way) my perception of the bedtime story; his adult version of Troll Bridge still makes me shiver whenever I remember it. Anne Rice’s Sleeping Beauty erotica and Garth Nix’s grim take on Hansel and Gretel did the same thing to me, I swear I’ll never be able to think about those tales the same way again.
The abovementioned stories are on the first notches of my favorite retellings, and along with them goes Gregory Maguire’s revisionist Wicked.
Indeed, so much happened before Dorothy dropped in.
Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West zeroes in on the untold story of the green-skinned villain of L. Frank Baum’s classic The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Elpahaba. What makes her wicked? What is her connection to the Wizard and why does he want her dead? What role does Glinda, the Good Witch of the North, play in Elphaba’s life? You can find all the answers in this unconventional story that tackles the true concept of good and evil, love and friendship, religion, discrimination, magic, and politics all crammed up in an overly bizarre but wonderfully crafted setting—who would’ve thought that Oz could be so intricately beautiful?
That is one of Maguire’s strengths, I guess: he was able to effectively recalibrate the unexplored realm Baum created. Many readers, including myself, were dazzled by the phantasmagoric world and its equally surreal events.
I can’t say this book’s a real page-turner though because admittedly there were some parts that were a tad too dry to be able to fuel the readers to go on. I think that’s why some of my friends who borrowed the book never really finished it. XD The prose was at times too florid for my taste.
However, I have to admit that Maguire was able to establish his own milestone with this work, something that was completely separate from Baum’s success. He breathed into full life the characters that were propped up two-dimensionally in the original work (which is not a fault in itself, for the original work’s target audience is kids): the Munchkin(lander)s, the Wicked Witch of the East, and many more.
Despite its apparent flaws, I still enjoyed this book. I believe that any book, however weak the other elements may be, if it has drool-worthy, well-developed characters, will always stand out and emerge as a good work. Why, a character can pull the whole story with himself! That’s why Wicked will always be one of my favorites. The characters, and some of the philosophies that sent my thoughts about good and evil haywire—I will never forget those.
Three point five out of five stars for this!
(Wicked has sequels, Son of a Witch and A Lion Among Men)

First-class fairytale sequels, re-imaginings, and parodies are forming a quite successful trend in the realm of literature today. Neil Gaiman’s pen is dangerously viral when he rewrites tales we have come to love as children: his darker version of Snow White, Snow, Glass, and Apples, forever changed (in a deliciously twisted way) my perception of the bedtime story; his adult version of Troll Bridge still makes me shiver whenever I remember it. Anne Rice’s Sleeping Beauty erotica and Garth Nix’s grim take on Hansel and Gretel did the same thing to me, I swear I’ll never be able to think about those tales the same way again.

The abovementioned stories are on the first notches of my favorite retellings, and along with them goes Gregory Maguire’s revisionist Wicked.

Indeed, so much happened before Dorothy dropped in.

Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West zeroes in on the untold story of the green-skinned villain of L. Frank Baum’s classic The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, Elpahaba. What makes her wicked? What is her connection to the Wizard and why does he want her dead? What role does Glinda, the Good Witch of the North, play in Elphaba’s life? You can find all the answers in this unconventional story that tackles the true concept of good and evil, love and friendship, religion, discrimination, magic, and politics all crammed up in an overly bizarre but wonderfully crafted setting—who would’ve thought that Oz could be so intricately beautiful?

That is one of Maguire’s strengths, I guess: he was able to effectively recalibrate the unexplored realm Baum created. Many readers, including myself, were dazzled by the phantasmagoric world and its equally surreal events.

I can’t say this book’s a real page-turner though because admittedly there were some parts that were a tad too dry to be able to fuel the readers to go on. I think that’s why some of my friends who borrowed the book never really finished it. XD The prose was at times too florid for my taste.

However, I have to admit that Maguire was able to establish his own milestone with this work, something that was completely separate from Baum’s success. He breathed into full life the characters that were propped up two-dimensionally in the original work (which is not a fault in itself, for the original work’s target audience is kids): the Munchkin(lander)s, the Wicked Witch of the East, and many more.

Despite its apparent flaws, I still enjoyed this book. I believe that any book, however weak the other elements may be, if it has drool-worthy, well-developed characters, will always stand out and emerge as a good work. Why, a character can pull the whole story with himself! That’s why Wicked will always be one of my favorites. The characters, and some of the philosophies that sent my thoughts about good and evil haywire—I will never forget those.

Three point five out of five stars for this!

(Wicked has sequels, Son of a Witch and A Lion Among Men)

This sequel to the book Wicked: the Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West follows the adventures of Elphaba’s (implied) son, Liir. The story starts with the discovery of Liir’s body—badly injured, but not dead and with his face still intact, unlike the recent “victims” of a mysterious barbarian crime. From there, the story progressed in a series of alternating present scenes and flashbacks, telling us of Liir’s adventure and his struggle to find his (perhaps) half-sister Nor and his sense of purpose and self-identity.I’ve always loved how encyclopedic Gregory Maguire made Baum’s Land of Oz, especially in Wicked. The politics and religion he created are intricately woven, and I admire how he created the characters with intelligence. Liir is not your ordinary protagonist: he is filled with doubts, and most of the time he is confused by his emotions, primarily the effect of Elphaba’s death on him. The poor soul-searching boy tries to find sense in his life by seeking the company of other people—quite the opposite of Elphaba, who is content in being alone.Aside from search for self-identity, it as well tackles the issue: if you’re a child of a powerful figure, does it necessarily mean you can equal what your parent can do? Liir often thinks of what Elphaba—if she really is his mother—will do if she is in his shoes. Most of the time his knees will wobble, clobbered by self-doubt, but there are moments where he will stand up to leave a mark of his own. This is not your average bildungsroman. There are certain parts, though, where the prose becomes too embellished and superfluous. I think Maguire is a little pressured by the positive reviews about how greatly he (re)crafted the Land of Oz in Wicked that he worked so much to ‘amaze’ the readers with this next installment. This intention didn’t really fail, but some elements are being affected. The plotline itself twists from one path to another and another and another, until the reader is lost and will be sent asking: where the hell is this heading? The ending didn’t quite satisfy me, but maybe that’s why there’s a third book. ;DThe best thing about Son of a Witch, I think, is that Maguire is able to show the readers how a fairytale can be as dark and as real as the happenings in real life. The politics, religion, personal issues, even sexuality, they’re all tackled very well. I will certainly watch out for the next book A Lion Among Men. *is just waiting for the paperback issue*

This sequel to the book Wicked: the Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West follows the adventures of Elphaba’s (implied) son, Liir. The story starts with the discovery of Liir’s body—badly injured, but not dead and with his face still intact, unlike the recent “victims” of a mysterious barbarian crime. From there, the story progressed in a series of alternating present scenes and flashbacks, telling us of Liir’s adventure and his struggle to find his (perhaps) half-sister Nor and his sense of purpose and self-identity.
I’ve always loved how encyclopedic Gregory Maguire made Baum’s Land of Oz, especially in Wicked. The politics and religion he created are intricately woven, and I admire how he created the characters with intelligence. Liir is not your ordinary protagonist: he is filled with doubts, and most of the time he is confused by his emotions, primarily the effect of Elphaba’s death on him. The poor soul-searching boy tries to find sense in his life by seeking the company of other people—quite the opposite of Elphaba, who is content in being alone.

Aside from search for self-identity, it as well tackles the issue: if you’re a child of a powerful figure, does it necessarily mean you can equal what your parent can do? Liir often thinks of what Elphaba—if she really is his mother—will do if she is in his shoes. Most of the time his knees will wobble, clobbered by self-doubt, but there are moments where he will stand up to leave a mark of his own. This is not your average bildungsroman.

There are certain parts, though, where the prose becomes too embellished and superfluous. I think Maguire is a little pressured by the positive reviews about how greatly he (re)crafted the Land of Oz in Wicked that he worked so much to ‘amaze’ the readers with this next installment. This intention didn’t really fail, but some elements are being affected. The plotline itself twists from one path to another and another and another, until the reader is lost and will be sent asking: where the hell is this heading? The ending didn’t quite satisfy me, but maybe that’s why there’s a third book. ;D

The best thing about Son of a Witch, I think, is that Maguire is able to show the readers how a fairytale can be as dark and as real as the happenings in real life. The politics, religion, personal issues, even sexuality, they’re all tackled very well. I will certainly watch out for the next book A Lion Among Men. *is just waiting for the paperback issue*