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Depending on how you count the years, I am about at my 25th anniversary of the original inspiration for Wicked. I was on a walk on a country road in Massachusetts, thinking myopically and somewhat self-regardingly about various offenses that I felt had been perpetrated against me. I was wondering about how apparently trustworthy people could turn dangerous, or if they really had been dangerous all along, merely well-disguised, even from themselves? A standard issue college dorm question, I suppose, but the matter seemed urgent to me that year. I moved from the slightly sore subject of my personal life into the realm of imagination to keep the question alive without it hurting so much, and almost immediately I thought of the Wicked Witch of the West--admittedly, more Margaret Hamilton than L. Frank Baum--and I wondered: Was she always terrible?
The momentary crisis of that year, combined with attention to acts of evil and distress in our larger world a few years later, brought me into Oz and the world of Wicked. Still, even eight years later when Wicked was first published, I hadn't expected that the story would remain a presence in the world. I had an imagination big enough to see into every cranny of Oz, but not big enough to imagine that anyone else might get interested, and stay interested.
After the story of Elphaba hit the bookstores, the national bestseller lists, the book clubs, and then the Broadway stage, the increasing attention to the story prompted me to go back and follow up the clues I had liberally sprinkled in the first book. Son of a Witch posited that Elphaba and Fiyero had an illegitimate boy, and considered the troubles he would have first growing up with the Witch as a negligent mother and then, even worse, with his negligent mother gone from his life. A Lion Among Men followed up with the Cowardly Lion's tale. Why the Lion and not the Tin Woodman or the Scarecrow, readers ask me. For a number of reasons, but chief among them is that the Lion is an Animal, and Elphaba's concern for the flight of talking Animals makes his life story more urgent to the themes of the Wicked Years sequence.
So finally we come to Out of Oz, the fourth and I believe final book in the series. I feel both elated and elegiac to be bringing it to readers. I get to revisit characters I love--Glinda, under house arrest; the Cowardly Lion, on the run from the law; Liir, the Witch's boy; and a little girl growing up in the shadows who may be pivotal to the resolution of military and social struggle in Oz.
Oh, and yes--Dorothy too. Dorothy Gale. That Dorothy. She comes on for something more than a curtain call. Face it: you always knew Dorothy was too strong a force to stay buckled down on the Kansas prairie, didn't you? No earthly gravity can hold that girl in one place for long: she defies gravity, too, only without the broomstick.
Come for a visit and stay a while. (It's over five hundred pages!) Out of Oz is, I hope, out of this world.
i loved the series wasn't as happy with this book i don't like the open-ended ending since the author said this is definitely the last book in the series...Published 1 month ago by Adam J. Shumay
This is a great book and is well in line with what one would expect to get from Gregory Maguire and his wonderful interpretation of the fantasy world he has created from the land... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Craig Davis
A good way to finish the Wicked Years. However, I felt unsatisfied in the end because there were too many questions and issues left unanswered, almost as if Mr. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Kevin A Slavin
The first section of this book has no potty mouth in it whatsoever! This proves that this writer can write without having to dredge "rough language" into almost every page. Read morePublished 1 month ago by Cherryl Walker
This book was very highly rated to be so dreadfully bad. Wicked was great because it gave life and character to the 2 dimensional characters in The Wizard of Oz. Read morePublished 1 month ago by S. Smith
I read this book shortly after it first came out, in early 2012, and loved it. I enjoy my silly habit of assigning letter grades to the novels I read, and these are the grades I... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Droon by the loove