Heralded as an instant classic of fantasy literature, Maguire has written a wonderfully imaginative retelling of The Wizard of Oz told from the Wicked Witch's point of view. More than just a fairy tale for adults, Wicked is a meditation on the nature of good and evil. Elphaba is born with green skin, a precocious mind, and a talent for magic. An outcast throughout her childhood in Munchkinland, she finally begins to feel as though she fits in when she enters the University in the Emerald City. While she hones her skills, she discovers that Oz isn't the Utopia it seems. She sets out to protect its unwanted creatures, becoming known as the Wicked Witch along the way.
Narrator John McDonough draws you in to Maguire's magical world of witches and talking animals, making it possible to believe in a land somewhere over the rainbow.
©1995 Gregory Maguire (P)2000 Recorded Books, LLC
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Critic reviews

"A staggering feat of wordcraft." ( Los Angeles Times)
"McDonough's excellent portrayals of Elphaba's outspoken, gravel-voiced nanny, Glinda's snobbish friends, and the wide-eyed, soft-spoken Dorothy make this excursion to Oz worthwhile." ( Publishers Weekly)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By Kirsty Whittingham on 20-03-08


A fantastic retelling of the life of Elpheba the wicked witch of the west in Baum's world of Oz. Detailed and rich this is evocative and draws you in instantly. A great reading too.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By Ollie Crook on 07-07-14

Great audiobook

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

I've always loved the book Wicked, and listening to it as an audiobook was a new experience entirely. I would recommend this to a friend as it really makes the story come alive.

What other book might you compare Wicked to, and why?

I don't think you can really compare Wicked to anything - it's a reworking of The Wizard of Oz, making a child's story into an adult novel.

What about John McDonough’s performance did you like?

The narrators pacing was very good, and he got the humor of the book well - be prepared for a few snorts of laughter when listening! There were lots of characters who's voices he managed to make individual and memorable, so you can recognise them.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The ending of course is memorable, and with the narrators pacing he manages to make it moving.

Any additional comments?

I had already read Wicked before listening to the audiobook, and I would definatly recommend it! It really brings the book to life.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Kathleen on 30-07-08

It's not easy being green

From reading the reviews, this looks like a book that few are lukewarm about. Listeners either really loved it or really hated it! I'm of the group who loved it. And I feel compelled to say so after writing a negative review of the disappointing sequel Son of a Witch. I didn't truly appreciate John McDonough's excellent narration until listening to the author narrate the sequel. No comparison.

I'll admit that I didn't take to the story right away. It took about an hour. But a person driving a long distance is a captive audience and by the time Elphaba got to Shiz I was hooked. It's an odd story that takes place in an odd place and is certainly not for everyone. But it was for me.

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45 of 46 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Suzn F on 19-12-11

I was not sure for a while then.......

Yes, I'm taken with this novel. Humor, intrigue, and overall a good story. It's not the type of book I'm typically drawn to, but this time I'm glad I was.

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35 of 37 people found this review helpful

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