“When Dorothy triumphed over the Wicked Witch of the West in L. Frank Baum’s classic tale we heard only her side of the story. But what about her arch-nemesis, the mysterious Witch? Where did she come from? How did she become so wicked? And what is the true nature of evil? Wicked is about a land where animals talk and strive to be treated like first-class citizens, Munchkinlanders seek the comfort of middle-class stability, and the Tin Man becomes a victim of domestic violence. And then there is the little green-skinned girl named Elphaba, who will grow up to become the infamous Wicked Witch of the West, a smart, prickly, and misunderstood creature who challenges all our preconceived notions about the nature of good and evil.”
So I’ll make an admission. I read this book solely because I loved the stage show so much and never realised it was based on a book. However, the show and the book are very different. The show does have some of the same basic plot lines as the book but there is a lot that is omitted from the play possibly because of its dark nature and time constraints. The book goes into elephabas past a lot more as it starts out with elphaba as an infant. The characters stories are also quite different in the book to how they are in the show.
However, I still liked the book regardless of the differences. I think I liked the book as much as I did because of these differences. There was a lot more to the characters in the book and if you have seen the show and read the book you feel a little cheated out of not being able to have seen some of the stories play out that are within the original story. I think the biggest development in the book that you wouldn’t see in the play is that elphaba has a life after shiz and that her leaving shiz wasn’t the end of the story. However, the book was quite long for my liking and the writing was quite small which made it feel even longer. There are also parts of the book that maybe didn’t need to be included. I enjoyed the book overall but it was just a little long. (I think it took me at least a month to read, although I have been a slow reader as of late).
I would definitely recommend it though because it’s a good read. Have you read it? Feel free to share your feelings in the comments below.
Thanks for reading!