Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Something Wicked This Way Comes...

I am late to the party again, but for you few and faithful readers, I return to a theme I've expressed before. I LOVE it when a piece of fiction, be it a book or a movie, can make me see something in a new way, or understand something I didn't understand before. It is with this in mind that this week, nearly 15 years late, I must sing the praises of Wicked.

If you somehow have managed to have not heard of this book, it is both a retelling of the Wizard of Oz from the perspective of the Wicked Witch of the West (or Elphaba as she is called) AND a prequel to the first book in Baum's series. With steely prose, author Greg Maguire constructs for us a main character that you love to hate and cannot help but understand, and a very different picture of the beloved Dorothy as hapless and tragic.

So why am I talking about it now, when so many of you know it and have probably read it already? Because despite some things in the book that irritated me (i.e. an extremely rushed ending), it accomplished what I think should be one of the primary goals of art-- it changed my perspective. It made me rethink and evaluate. It called into play that we are only ever hearing one side of a story. Fiction should open our minds, and this book definately reminded me of that.

If you've read Max and Menna, you know how much I enjoy to tell a tale from all angles. Consequently, the theme of the reader only ever seeing one side of the story is one I play upon extensively in my next novel. Stay tuned...


  1. Have you read Something Wicked This Way Comes? If you don't have a paralyzing fear of traveling carnivals now, you will when you're finished the book!

  2. Shauna, I LOVE Wicked!! It's one of my favorite books. Did you see that Maguire is writing one more Oz book? I've got them all, but have still only read Wicked. I'm hoping to read Son of a Witch soon.