Book Talk Tuesday

I skipped posting last week because I was immersed in something Wicked. 

The touring company of the musical was in town and we had tickets. I'd heard it was a great show and I wanted to see it. But I have this quirk that I may have mentioned a time or two. I only like to see movies or shows that are based on books, after I've read the book. This is sometimes a problem. My kids were probably the only ones on the planet (or at least in their circle of friends but they swore it was the whole planet) who didn't get to see The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe (circa 1988, I think) when it came out. Because we were still reading the book.

Anyway, I had my nose buried in Wicked by Gregory Maguire in preparation for seeing the musical.
Side note: I'm usually not a big fan of musicals. I know lots of people who rhapsodize over The Sound of Music or My Fair Lady. I'm more of a cut-to-the-chase kind of girl. Just tell me stuff, you don't have to sing it to me. But I wanted to enjoy Wicked, so not only did I read the book, I also purchased the soundtrack so I'd be familiar with the music. And it worked! I thoroughly enjoyed the show.

And the book.
Which is the backstory of the Wicked Witch of the West and Glinda the Good Witch.
I thought Maguire did an excellent job filling in all the what-ifs of the source material. I tried to read the original The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum, but just could never get into them. So I can't say if Maguire is more faithful to the books or the movie. (Yes, I realize that means I broke my rule of not seeing movies based on books until I've read them). Anyway, where was I?

Oh, yes. I never wondered why the Wizard wanted Dorothy to kill the witch, or what was so special about those ruby slippers, or why the witch put a spell on the Tin Man. Maguire's book tells us the way it may have happened. His conjectures are well reasoned and stand up to burden of the classic tale.
The musical, of course, had to make changes. The book covers 30 or more years and involves many characters and subplots. I thought the show did a good job of keeping the vital points and letting others go.
All in all: I loved them both!


  1. I loved them both too! Actually got to see the NY show a few years ago (AFTER reading the book)! Maguire's other books are enjoyable but more R-rated and don't fill in the back-stories as well.

    Sue S.

  2. Good to know, Sue! Thanks for the info because I was wondering just those things re: backstory, etc.