I've owned the book Wicked for many years, started it once a while ago, and then got the Kindle and put it aside (for some reason, once I started to use the Kindle, I stopped reading real books). Anyway, now that I can take out Kindle Library books (so it doesn't cost anything to read real books I already own on the Kindle), I decided to get it out from there and give it a go again.
First you should know that I'm a huge Wizard of Oz fan (the movie not the books). Except for the part when the tornado strikes, I could watch that movie over and over again (and I have). So let me tell you right off the bat, this is not Judy Garland's Oz.
This Oz is filled with corruption, back-stabbing, revolution, religion, genocide, oh and sex.
Now whether this is L. Frank Baum's Oz, I cannot say as I never read his original series. Though, I must admit, I'm curious and since The Wonderful Wizard of Oz is free on Kindle, I may download it to find out.
What I can tell you is that I'm a bit ambivalent about this book. The concept did and still does intrigue me. I still have many unanswered questions and issues with the story but what I cannot decide is whether I want to invest any more time into it (by reading the three subsequent books by Gregory Maguire) or let it go. For example,
1) One of the central themes to the story is the nature of evil? Is it born? Is it chosen? Is it in the eyes of the beholder? Remember history is written by the victors. Yet, I don't think Maguire ever really takes a firm stand or even let's us decide that question because of the constant lingering doubt as to whether the characters are acting of their own free will (a la spell casting by Miss Morrible and the interference of the dwarf and Yackel).
2) Where did the Wizard really come from? Our world, another as yet unseen and unnamed world?
3) So many of the characters were developed so well (especially our heroine, the Wicked Witch of the West - yes you read that correctly), yet the Wizard, well he was so one dimensional and in a way, so purely evil, I felt ... like it was a cop out... Will we ever find out why he drugged Elphaba's mother? Was he truly her father?
I'm sure I have more, but I'm interested to hear what other readers have thought and especially from anyone who may have read the entire series.