Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West Audiobook [Free Download by Trial]

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Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West by Gregory Maguire

The readers can download Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West Audiobook for free via Audible Free Trial.


Maguire travels back to Frank L. Baum's land of Oz for this absorbing fantasy that delves into the background if the famed Wicked Witch of the West, a misunderstood creature who challenges the preconceived notions of good and evil.



  • By the time I finished this book, I couldn't help but feel unsatisfied and shocked by the amount of acclaim it had received. However, I soon realized that I might be partly to blame for my disappointment. With a title like "Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West," I expected a straightforward narrative that delves into this character's world. It was my own misjudgment to anticipate a vivid and realistic portrayal of a three-dimensional character within these pages.
  • I had high hopes for this book, especially since the musical adaptation was such a hit. However, I quickly realized that the book takes a different path than the well-known production. While the writing and narration are decent, I couldn't help but feel frustrated by the lack of connection between the Wizard of Oz books and the storyline of Wicked. If an author is going to delve into the "back story" of a famous tale, they shouldn't alter the events of the original story. Unfortunately, this is exactly what happened here. As I listened to the book, I became increasingly angry, knowing that the scenes I was familiar with were being changed completely. Moreover, the book fails to provide a compelling explanation for why Elpheba turns wicked, which was a major disappointment.
  • I have to say, after all the buzz surrounding this book, I was kind of let down. The storyline itself was definitely unique and imaginative, but it felt like the author was trying a bit too hard to fit everything into the original Wizard of Oz narrative. It ended up feeling less original and more forced. Similar to other reviewers, I also found that the story tended to meander quite a bit. And there were some peculiar and purposeless elements that left me scratching my head. I'm glad I gave the book a listen so I could form my own opinion, but it's not something I would revisit. I think letting your imagination run wild with the concept might be a better choice!
  • Don't let the positive reviews fool you! This audiobook felt like it would never end, and I usually enjoy a lengthy one. I was constantly anticipating a pivotal moment or an intriguing twist among the endless descriptions. Whenever it seemed like it would shed light on something from "The Wizard of Oz," the details would disappoint and turn out to be inconsequential, making me realize I never truly cared in the first place. It failed to provide any deep understanding of the witch's perspective. Tedious, monotonous, and utterly uninteresting!! Steer clear of this book temptation.
  • I really don't get all the rave reviews for this book. I mean, if you look at the positive ones, they either don't really explain what makes the story "good" or read more like a summary. I was intrigued because of the popularity of the musical and the promise of a different perspective on the story, but I couldn't help but feel bored and sometimes disgusted. I never connected with the characters, not even Elphaba (and most of them were really annoying), probably because I couldn't relate to any of them. I always felt like I was just a bystander getting pushed around and left confused. It was strange for the author to create a world that resembled the 1800s with its formality and old-fashioned ways, and then include graphic sexual encounters (which were not even arousing, just trashy) and even beastiality, which added nothing to the story - definitely not suitable for kids. So much of what happened wasn't explained and just seemed to occur without reason, as if the author assumed we would immediately understand his version of Oz's culture. There were a lot of implied events and confusion. Overall, I didn't think it was well-written at all. If anything, it was way too long, and I couldn't bring myself to finish it - and I doubt I ever will. Plus, the author's pretentious rants about politics and religion became tiresome. Instead of using the story as a soapbox, maybe he should have focused on making it more interesting and coherent. Don't waste your money or credit.
  • This book offers a glimpse into the history of the famous land of Oz, albeit a very limited one. It cleverly weaves together elements from the original story, such as Dorothy, the Tin Man, the Lion, the Scarecrow, and the Emerald City, while also exploring lesser-known aspects of the land, where different cultures coexist and magic is an accepted part of life. The narrative delves into the rule of religious zealots, religious heresy, and fear, creating a unique and intriguing atmosphere. The story follows the growth of the initially "wicked" green child, who eventually becomes a beautiful, independent-thinking, and strong-willed young woman. Along the way, she forms a complex relationship with Glenda, a former college roommate in a university where even "animals" can be professors and barnyard pets. One of the book's interesting suggestions is that the so-called "wicked witch" was not truly wicked, but rather assumed the role imposed upon her by whispers and ultimately sought to do what was right, even confessing to her murdered lover's widow. The narrative also incorporates elements of sex, rebellion, mysticism, and the concept of destiny. This book is quite different from the Broadway musical of the same name, and its unnerving nature adds to the overall experience. It's a compelling read with a must-read ending that will leave you wanting more.
  • This book just keeps going in circles without ever reaching a clear focus. Just when I start to think we're making progress, the main character suddenly dies, making it impossible for me to develop any emotional attachment. Additionally, I feel like I'm not gaining much understanding of the background behind the wizard of oz; it's more of a superficial exploration of an alternative viewpoint. Especially when compared to a book like the Mists of Avalon, which truly offered a fresh perspective on the King Arthur legends.
  • I was intrigued by the unique concept of this book. The moral and ethical dilemmas it explores are truly thought-provoking, which made me anticipate a great read. However, my attention was not captivated throughout the entire book. It was one of those moments where you suddenly realize you haven't been engaged for several minutes. I constantly found myself rewinding and relistening to sections because my mind had wandered off. The narrator did a good job, so that wasn't the issue. I believe part of the problem lies in the writing, which felt a bit rigid, or as the author would put it, "the prose is a tad stilted". Nevertheless, I persevered and completed the entire book, feeling like I got my money's worth. Thus, I give it a rating of 3.
  • First and foremost, this book is incredibly well written. The language used throughout is absolutely stunning. The story itself is intricate and captivating, with fully developed characters that are incredibly believable in their own world. If you enjoy high-quality fantasy literature like Tolkien or if you're interested in delving deeper into the world of The Wizard of Oz, then this book is an excellent choice. However, my only gripe with this book is that the ending felt a bit forced. Towards the end, there was a point where the narrative seemed to lose its way, almost as if the writer had become so engrossed in their own story that they struggled to find a seamless path back to The Wizard of Oz storyline. This resulted in the plot feeling somewhat contrived, and I found the ending to be a bit underwhelming compared to the rest of the book. It's a minor flaw in the grand scheme of things, considering the remarkable accomplishment of the overall story. One thing to note is that I made the mistake of listening to this book with my kids. I would advise against it. It is definitely not kid-friendly, as there are quite a few sexual innuendos and even some explicit scenes. While it's not inappropriate for adults, you might find yourself blushing and wondering how much of it your child actually understood.