Wicked (G. Maguire)

I am terrified!!!

Ok, so there is a story about the Wicked Witch of the West from Wizard of Oz memory. Funny looking binding, Garamond-ish old-style font – I was so sure it was going to be ironic-sarcastic-amusing!

I start reading, and someone I don’t smile. After the first chapter, I slowly start realizing this is not going to go anywhere else. It is going to stay what it started as. Horror. A serious story of the Wicked Witch of the West. I am not kidding! It’s like a weird cross between the Wizard and Harry Potter, all full of social strife and injustice, tyrants and martyrs, terrorism and salvation.

I am terrified!!!

That Maguire person is taking himself and his book seriously. There is not a funny moment in all of it, and the comic material is jumping out at you like you can’t wack it down fast enough. Maguire doesn’t pick up, choosing to write a replica of Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone in different location.

Someone mentioned the book "talked about the Bush administration." Well, my reader friend must be of the sort that blames the Bush administration of untold horrors, but I could really see no resemblance at all. Instead, there is this Emperor Wizard who rules a country from the Emerald City with iron fist. A railway and a highway (the Yellow Brick Road, the book’s equivalent of I-5 on the West Coast) are means of transportation, and there is lots of stuff that is impassable, impenetrable and wild. Religion is a theme, bigotry is not. When the witches die, it’s all weird and fabricated. And Dorothy is just an adorable clutz, who ends up killing the Witch of the West out of compassion.

It’s all so pointless. Someone take the material, throw out Harry Potter, and make the book funny again. Reading it as if it’s a serious thing is just too much.

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