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Wicked Years - The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West

This book can be downloaded and read in Apple Books on your Mac or iOS device.


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?

Gregory Maguire has created a fantasy world so rich and vivid that we will never look at Oz the same way again.

From Publishers Weekly

Oct 30, 1995 – Born with green skin and huge teeth, like a dragon, the free-spirited Elphaba grows up to be an anti-totalitarian agitator, an animal-rights activist, a nun, then a nurse who tends the dying--and, ultimately, the headstrong Wicked Witch of the West in the land of Oz. Maguire's strange and imaginative postmodernist fable uses L. Frank Baum's Wonderful Wizard of Oz as a springboard to create a tense realm inhabited by humans, talking animals (a rhino librarian, a goat physician), Munchkinlanders, dwarves and various tribes. The Wizard of Oz, emperor of this dystopian dictatorship, promotes Industrial Modern architecture and restricts animals' right to freedom of travel; his holy book is an ancient manuscript of magic that was clairvoyantly located by Madam Blavatsky 40 years earlier. Much of the narrative concerns Elphaba's troubled youth (she is raised by a giddy alcoholic mother and a hermitlike minister father who transmits to her his habits of loathing and self-hatred) and with her student years. Dorothy appears only near novel's end, as her house crash-lands on Elphaba's sister, the Wicked Witch of the East, in an accident that sets Elphaba on the trail of the girl from Kansas--as well as the Scarecrow, the Tin Woodsman and the Lion--and her fabulous new shoes. Maguire combines puckish humor and bracing pessimism in this fantastical meditation on good and evil, God and free will, which should, despite being far removed in spirit from the Baum books, captivate devotees of fantasy. 50,000 first printing; $75,000 ad/promo; first serial to Word; author tour.

Customer Reviews


I could not put it down! I could feel all the emotion felt. Made my heart pound. Cried. Loved the wicked witch. Only wish Fierro and Elphaba were together in the end. I saw the WICKED play this year for the first time. Bought the musical show album. I listen driving to work daily. I always loved the Wizard of Oz growing up since 1960. Thank you for the books . Cannot wait to start on SON OF A WITCH...

Didn't live up to the hype

This book is not at all what I expected from growing to love the play. The characters all meet a very unhappy end. I like something happy to look forward to in a novel and this book didn't provide that for me. The language in which Maguire writes can be hard to follow at times. The story was definitely very inventive and had a lot going on, but it was too political for my taste. I wouldn't really recommend this book. It was alright, not great and not horrible, if that makes sense.

Wickedly amazing!

This is simply the best book I've ever read... Not as kid friendly as the musical, and no map, but still amazing!

Other Books in This Series

View in iTunes
  • $7.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Fiction & Literature
  • Published: Oct 13, 2009
  • Publisher: William Morrow
  • Print Length: 560 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Series: Wicked Years
  • Requirements: This book can only be viewed on an iOS device with Apple Books on iOS 12 or later, iBooks 1.3.1 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

Customer Ratings