Hello Everyone and welcome to the first post of Jess Witkins’ Wicked Blog! All month long get your fix for the hauntings and paranormal stories you love. Here’s the line-up: Mondays will be All Things Wicked (book reviews, movies, Halloween Parties, costumes, etc.), Wednesdays will be Ghost Stories, read at your own risk, and don’t turn off the lights, and Fridays will continue to alternate between Guilty Pleasures – featuring my favorite things about fall, and Life List Club Guest Posts – helping you achieve the best YOU!
To start off today I have a WICKED review for you about Gregory Maguire‘s witchy tale, Wicked. Everyone knows the story of Dorothy and her dog, Toto. She landed in Oz, killed the Wicked Witch of the East, obtained her magic ruby red slippers and set off on a journey that would forever change her life. But what of the other witch? The Wicked Witch of the West. No one knows her story, not yet.
Wicked chronicles the coming of age of Elphaba Thropp – our Wicked Witch. Born green as grass with razor-edge teeth to a holier than thou father and a trollop of a mother, Elphie is a creature of her circumstances. She was shut out for her color, and disliked for her independence, nonetheless she showed grave responsibility for her family, which included a younger sister, Nessarose, who was born with no arms, and a brother, Shell.
Said to hiss like a dragon and piss on the floor gleefully, she was a terror in her toddler years. When college came around and found her attending Shiz University, a whole new world was opened up to Elphaba. For starters, how would you like to have Galinda Goodie-Too-Shoes for a roommate? That’s right Galinda.
Things get witchier and wickeder when Elphaba uncovers information that the Great and Powerful Oz has plans of genocide for the Animals. You see, in Oz there are both Animals and animals. The Animals have learned the ability to speak, study, raise young ones, teach, work, and act rather humanely.
Maguire has cast a spell with his prequel story to The Wizard of Oz. Readers learn more parts to the original story, such as when did the Cowardly Lion and the Wicked Witch of the West first meet. And why the Tin Man despises her so. All your favorite characters return, from Munchkins to Flying Monkeys, and there are even more, tik tok things and painted soldiers of the tall grasses. Make no mistake, Maguire’s tale is more than a yellow brick walk through your childhood’s favorite story. The book, Wicked, is a dark tale. It’s full of intrigue, affairs, murders, espionage, deceit, hallucinations, and of course, magic.
Gregory Maguire has written several books enlightening us on otherwise adult versions of classic fairytales. You can check out the other titles at his website. His inspiration for writing this story came about after reading newspaper headlines in London at the start of the Gulf War. The ideas began to form around a story of the nature of evil, and who’s more wicked than the Wicked Witch of the West?
Many of you have probably seen the broadway musical version of Wicked which starred Idina Menzel as Elphaba and Kristin Chenoweth as Glinda. I will warn you the book is, as I said, very dark and for mature audiences. When the book was adapted to the stage, that was the first thing needing to be addressed. The plot was subdued and made appropriate for larger audiences. From what I’ve seen in his author interviews, Maguire seems alright with the changes, after all, didn’t he take the same liberties from the story of L. Frank Baum?
Are you curious about the real story of the Wicked Witch of the West? Who’s the most evil character you can think of? What made them wicked?
Tune in again wednesday for a chillingly true ghost story! Happy October!