The novel Wicked is a dark, satirical twist on The Wizard of Oz (my favorite movie of all time), told from the Wicked Witch’s (Elphaba) perspective. The story inspired the musical Wicked, but the tone of the novel is much darker and more mature than that of the musical. The central theme of the book seems to be one of isolation and non-conformity, though it also deals with other social, religious, and political constructs. While I was greatly disappointed in the sequel Son of a Witch and don’t hold out much hope for the next installment, my love of the original Wicked novel is as intense now as it was when I first read in over a decade ago.
To celebrate (and obviously promote) the upcoming release of A Lion Among Men – Gregory Maguire’s third novel in his “Wicked Years” series – the author and his publisher have made Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West available online in its entirety for free.