If I ever had to name one book that I don't stand yet can't stop reading, it would inevitably be 'Wicked' by Gregory Maguire. My first impression of the book was that that author did not have enough creative material that he had to make it an art out of extracting the magic from every last fold of the beautiful Oz, chiseling an artwork out of its hard precipitate. In other words, he took another artist's work of art and gave it dimensions of his own. However, curiosity made me wonder how far he took it, and that's probably what the writer depended on to give the book sales a controversial thrust, L. Frank Baum's celebrity and the sensation 'The Wizard of Oz' caused at its time. I'm almost halfway through it, and I couldn't help noticing three things about how the book is written. Firstly, the dimensions he set to the book, the moral, political and fictitious dimensions are not very intact. At one point, two dimensions would merge and leave out the third, and then the third gets brought up. Secondly, he didn't use what most writers do with protagonists. Authors tend to make you like or hate the main character, according to the plot in question. Nevertheless, Gregory Maguire doesn't try that, all he does is make you relate to Elphaba, on a more instinctively logical level. Thirdly, a certain air of morbid injustice is held unwaveringly throughout the book, in a sense like the old saying: 'The end justifies the means'. As a consequence, instead of trying to set the constant villain-hero scale, he keeps the characters, especially Elphaba's, rather volatile. Despite the fact that the book sales were shouldered and elbowed into celebrity, I'd say it is its mystic cleverness that kept it going. It's a book worth reading, just the way a book review is!
Wicked by Gregory Maguire
March 22, 2009