Wicked/Son of a Witch (Barnes & Noble Collectible Editions)

( 148 )

Overview

This unique volume combines two modern classics spun from the imagination of national bestselling author Gregory Maguire. Wicked, told from the perspective of Elphaba Thropp, the Wicked Witch of the West, gives the wildly entertaining prehistory of the Emerald City of Oz before the arrival of Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Cowardly Lion, and the Tin Woodsman. The saga continues in Son of a Witch, the whimsical coming-of-age story of Liir, the Wicked Witch's secret son. Beautifully ...
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Overview

This unique volume combines two modern classics spun from the imagination of national bestselling author Gregory Maguire. Wicked, told from the perspective of Elphaba Thropp, the Wicked Witch of the West, gives the wildly entertaining prehistory of the Emerald City of Oz before the arrival of Dorothy, the Scarecrow, the Cowardly Lion, and the Tin Woodsman. The saga continues in Son of a Witch, the whimsical coming-of-age story of Liir, the Wicked Witch's secret son. Beautifully designed and illustrated, this volume makes the perfect gift for lovers of modern fantasy literature.
 
Wicked/Son of a Witch is part of Barnes & Noble's Collectible Editions series. Each title in the series presents a classic work in an attractively designed edition bound in durable bonded leather. These books make elegant additions to any home library.
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Product Details

Meet the Author

Gregory Maguire

Gregory Maguire is the bestselling author of Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister, Lost, Mirror Mirror, and the Wicked Years, a series that includes Wicked, Son of a Witch, and A Lion Among Men. Wicked is the basis for the Tony Award–winning Broadway musical of the same name. Maguire has lectured on art, literature, and culture both at home and abroad. He lives with his family near Boston, Massachusetts.

Biography

Raised in a family of writers (his father was a journalist and his stepmother a poet), Gregory Maguire grew up with a great love of books, especially fairy tales and fantasy fiction. He composed his own stories from an early age and released his first book for children, The Lightning Time, in 1978, just two years after graduating from the State University of New York at Albany.

Several other children's book followed, but major recognition eluded Maguire. Then, in 1995, he published his first adult novel. A bold, revisionist view of Frank L. Baum's classic Oz stories, Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West places one of literature's most reviled characters at the center of a dark dystopian fantasy and raises provocative questions about the very nature of good and evil. Purists criticized Maguire for tampering with a beloved juvenile classic, but the book received generally good reviews (John Updike, writing in The New Yorker, proclaimed it "an amazing novel.") and the enthusiasm of readers catapulted it to the top of the bestseller charts. (Maguire's currency increased even further when the book was turned into the Tony Award-winning Broadway musical Wicked in 2003.)

In the wake of his breakthrough novel, Maguire has made something of a specialty out of turning classic children's tales on their heads. He retold the legends of Cinderella and Snow White in Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister (1999) and Mirror, Mirror (2003); he raised the ghost of Ebenezer Scrooge in Lost (2001); and, in 2005, he returned to Oz for Son of a Witch, the long-awaited sequel to Wicked. He has reviewed fantasy fiction for the Sunday New York Times Book Review and has contributed his own articles, essays, and stories to publications like Ploughshares, The Boston Review, the Christian Science Monitor, and The Horn Book Magazine.

In addition, Maguire has never lost his interest in -- or enthusiasm for -- children's literature. He is the author of The Hamlet Chronicles, a bestselling seven-book series of high-camp mystery-adventures with silly count-down titles like Seven Spiders Spinning and Three Rotten Eggs. He has taught at the Center for the Study of Children's Literature at Simmons College and is a founding member of Children's Literature New England (CLNE), a nonprofit organization that focuses attention on the significance of literature in the lives of children.

Good To Know

In our interview, Maguire shared some fun facts with us about his life:

"While I pride myself on trying to be creative in all areas of my life, I have occasionally gone overboard, like the time I decided to bring to a party a salad that I constructed, on a huge rattan platter, to look like a miniature scale model of the Gardens of Babylon. I built terraces with chunks of Monterey jack, had a forest of broccoli florets and a lagoon of Seven Seas salad dressing spooned into a half a honeydew melon. I made reed patches out of scallion tips and walkways out of sesame seeds lined with raisin borders. Driving to the party, I had to brake to avoid a taxi, and by the time the police flagged me down for poor driving skills I was nearly weeping. ‘But Officer, I have a quickly decomposing Hanging Gardens of Babylon to deliver....' Everything had slopped and fallen over and it looked like a tray of vegetable garbage."

"My first job was scooping ice cream at Friendly's in Albany, New York. I hated the work, most of my colleagues, and the uniform, and I more or less lost my taste for ice cream permanently."

"If I hadn't been a writer, I would have tried to be one of the following: An artist (watercolors), a singer/songwriter like Paul Simon (taller but not very much more), an architect (domestic), a teacher. Actually, in one way or another I have done all of the above, but learned pretty quickly that my skills needed more honing for me to charge for my services, and I'd always rather write fiction than hone skills."

"I steal a bit from one of my favorite writers to say, simply, that I enjoy, most of all, old friends and new places. I love to travel. Having small children at home now impedes my efforts a great deal, but I have managed in my time to get to Asia, Africa, most of Europe, and Central America. My wish list of places not yet visited includes India, Denmark, Brazil, and New Zealand, and my wish for friends not yet made includes, in a sense, readers who are about to discover my work, either now or even when I'm no longer among the living. In a sense, in anticipation, I value those friends in a special way."

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    1. Hometown:
      Boston, Massachusetts
    1. Date of Birth:
      June 9, 1954
    2. Place of Birth:
      Albany, New York
    1. Education:
      B.A., SUNY at Albany, 1976; M.A., Simmons College, 1978; Ph.D., Tufts University, 1990
    2. Website:

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 148 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(83)

4 Star

(39)

3 Star

(17)

2 Star

(7)

1 Star

(2)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 148 Customer Reviews
  • Posted February 14, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    Left me wondering how they ever made this into a Kid-friendly Musical

    I would call this book a character exploration into how the wicked witch of the west (and her sister) became known as "wicked". Maguire does an excellent job of introducing his heroine/villan as likeable and passionate. All the imagination behind the characters I would consider fantastic.<BR/><BR/>The Plot was rather loose, jumpy, and almost pointless/nonexistant.<BR/><BR/>The other thing for me, which I definitely could have done without was all the gratuitous and elluded to sex. It was over the top - the onlye sex mentioned in fact would be "forbidden sex" (ie- adultry, beastiality, homosexual) No "clean" sex at all. And all the debaucherous images of nudity left me with the feeling that Maguire is a pervert who would get a kick out of sharing his depraved fantasies with a more innocent mind for at least the shock value if nothing else.<BR/><BR/>Some may be able to edit those sickening scenes out of the book and be left with the gorgeous characterizations and have a good impression of the talent of Maguire (for in my opinion he is as equally talented as he is excessively wanton). <BR/><BR/>But I could not get rid of the dirty feeling I got from reading this book - and still am left wondering #1 was it really necessary to have those licentious scenes at all? and #2 how did they make this into a family friendly musical?

    10 out of 20 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 13, 2008

    I Also Recommend:

    Wicked good

    I loved these books and I was pleased to find them in this great looking volume. I found myself unable to tear away from these stories. What the author has done by fleshing out characters we thought we knew and giving them histories that place them in completely new context was brilliant. These stories however are not child friendly. With issues such as oppression of minorities, terrorism, adultery and the search for redemption to name a few I would strongly recommend that parents read the books first before deciding if it is something they want their kids reading by themselves.

    9 out of 10 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 27, 2009

    Fantastic!

    When I saw that both Wicked and Son of a Witch had been put into such a beautiful cover I was uber excited. I have already read both and also A Lion Amoung Men. This series will become a classic and I love that it was put into such a classic looking cover.
    This story of the Wicked Witch of the West and her history has changed how I see her in the movie The Wizard of Oz. I do feel there are a few scenes in the book that are not necessary to the story line that are of a sexual nature and also it irritates me that there is profanity. I was hoping that my daughter would be able to read this as well and I will have to wait a few years until she is old enough.
    Other than that, this book takes you on a ride that you don't want to end. It is a must read and a keeper.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 22, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    Interesting and Offputting

    Not a book for children or those with puritanical beliefs. As of yet, I have only read Wicked. The story is interesting and, at times, off-putting. Some scenes (especially of a overly sexual nature) seem unessary. This book did stretch my vocabulary (I would invest in an electronic dictionary) and hold my interest. It is well designed with thick gilded pages and a sumptous leather cover. I enjoyed the back stores referring to other Ozites such as the Cowardly Lion, Glinda, The Wizard, and the Woodsmen. Wicked has added a new layer to the Wizard of Oz and made the movie more enjoyable for me as well as given me an insatiable desire to see the play.

    3 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 27, 2010

    wicked!!

    Wicked was AMAZING! I totally fell in love with Elphaba! Wonderful work Great characters!!

    Son of a Witch was a little more difficult to get into.. still interesting, i just didn't connect with it as much... but all in all it was a good purchase!

    3 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2010

    YUCK ! Ruined the joy

    I found these books to be some of the worst written and biggest disappointments in a very long time. They were clumsy, poorly constructed, crude for no reason; basically torturing the original spirit of the Wizard of Oz. The author took a beautiful, though disturbing, fantasy and destroyed the plot, characters and general naivete' of the original story in a base attempt to fully flesh out the characters and their history/movitvations. Overall, neither story flowed effectively, both introduced unlikable new characters, made old characters unlikable and generally killed the joy of a great childhood classic by including inappropriate concepts. There is no child that should read this book. I can't think of a reason anyone should read this series. I had such high hopes for this book since the play is so successful. The website for Wicked has a great description that should be more than enough info to understand the plot.

    3 out of 11 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 21, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    A Book As Wickedly Beautiful As The Stories Within....

    This is a wonderful keepsake book for anyone's personal library. Great to give as a gift for someone who loved the broadway play "Wicked" and wonders what happens next.

    I think if you see the "Wicked', the play, first it definitely makes these written stories easier to read.

    2 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 5, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    Favorite book of all time in this beautiful compilation? How could I lose?!?

    Wicked is my favorite book of all time, along with other books Gregory Maguire has written. When I first saw this, I couldn't get over how stunning it was, and of course I was freaking out because I absolutely love the musical as well, and they put the musical logo right smack dab in the center! I think it's wonderful that they put the first 2 books together, and I am so glad I've added it to my collection. With 2 wonderful books bound in this beautiful leather, the price is extremely reasonable and a must-have for any Wicked fan out there!

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 28, 2013

    I think many would bash this review based off of the love of the

    I think many would bash this review based off of the love of the musical or the original OZ series. As far as the pure aesthetics of the book itself, it is well bound and designed with that front cover picture that we have all come to love. It looks fantastic on the shelf and embodies a very rich green hue against the black backdrop.
    As for the writing itself, if one were to purely take a step back and call it as it is, it is fairly poor written book. The character development is weak and often confusing. The plot-lines drive into such a strong political arena, that you may think they turned a real case into fantasy just to try and make it interesting. Throw in some very awkwardly-done sexual situations, some with animals, and you have Wicked. Far be it from me to bash the author, but whoever re-wrote this for the stage is the pure genius. I bought it for the collection and its cover, and now I will be sure that no one with any time to waste does not read this.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 11, 2013

    Gorgeous

    Beautifully bound, vibrant colors, and a perfect addition to my library!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 24, 2012

    Not the greatest book Ok first, the leatherbound edition: Its g

    Not the greatest book

    Ok first, the leatherbound edition: Its gorgeous! Absolutely stunning. I love the leatherbound series and there are a bunch of books Im planning to get (barring the ones Ive already bought) The only thing I'm wondering though, is why B&amp;N bothered to bind this book in leather. Surely, it doesn't quite fit with the other editions to the leatherbound series. Coz this book is... uh.... not even in the same LEAGUE as the other classics that have been bound.

    Now for the book review:

    So my review is going to be half and half.

    I was pretty excited to read this book, based on the short premise I had read. The jist, or so I thought, was the re-telling of the story of the Wizard of Oz, but from the witch's perspective. Ok, this could be good! In an evil kind of way.

    I expected evil. Pure, unadulterated evil. That is, afterall, what the wicked witch of the west is supposed to be. What I got was an awkward green person who never had anything go right in her lifetime --- despite the claim that she would rise to a huge fate, yet... she couldn't even do magic. Uh, what??? If an awkward life of pain is something to aspire to, why bother with life at all? And in spite of all, while she wasn't pure by any stretch of the imagination, she upheld something of an innocence to her, that is just a turn off when it comes to WHO she was ACTUALLY supposed to be. I waited for her to turn totally revolting..... but even toward the end, it was just.... not believably so. And the greatness she was supposed to achieve??? It never happened.

    Also, its a bit tawdry... I'm not even sure why, exactly. But even all the eroticism displayed in the book was.... I dunno, bland at best. Thrown in for shock value, perhaps?? Plus, sex with animals is pretty gross lol Freud would have a field day with this guy. Sexuality for the mere sake of it, does not make a good read.

    It was wrought with a lot of political prowess... which I found to be quite boring. That isn't to say that someone may not take an interest in all the political leanings. Even that, would have been a fine pill to swallow, if the expectation of greatness was there, with Elphie - alas, it fell flat on its face there too.

    HOWEVER... I realize... having grown up with the Wizard of Oz, that I had certain expectations.... maybe even unruly ones. Had I not known of the story beforehand, and treated this book as a stand-alone story... I prolly wouldn't have been disappointed. Or at least, not AS much so. On its own, it was a okay enuff book.... I just think that if you go in with certain expectations, or even referring to the Wizard of Oz, you may actually end up slightly bitter. Oh and DO NOT LET YOUR CHILDREN READ IT. Not for kiddies. Newp, it sure is not.

    I don't think I will bother to read the sequel &quot;Son of a Witch&quot; either.... it had pretty terrible reviews, and based on my experience of Wicked, would probably be as bad. If not worse.

    I'm not one to turn off readers coz I personally didn't like something, however.... so I will say, if you're interested, read it and decide for yourself. You will most likely, anyway.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 18, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Well worth the confusifying terms!

    I cannot tell a lie. Starting this book was like jumpstarting my Green Geo-Tracker, that was probably worth more in scrap metal; it took many tries to get going. However, after 50 pages in, I realized just how difficult it was to let it go. Re-imagining L. Frank Baum's original novel, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, is adventuresome, but to take the 1939 American classic, The Wizard of Oz, and give it a dark twist? That takes…courage. Yes, that pun was intended.

    The incredible imagination of Gregory Maguire kept me hypnotized, trying to crack open the deep connections between every character, every moment, every unsuspected turn. Wicked, at times, baffled this reader by often cutting me off just in a moment of comprehension, leaving important significance dangling, just out of reach. The green heroin Elphaba, or the Wicked Witch of the West, endures one misfortune after the other, giving an inside look to the complexity of good and evil, by stretching out all the shades of gray in her life, as well as the rest of Oz.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 31, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    THIS is Considered a "Classic"???

    I've never even HEARD of it--and I've got a college degree in English literature!

    1 out of 18 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 10, 2010

    Wicked

    This book is absolutely beautiful and so is the story. I read Wicked and I loved it. The book is so pretty though and I keep stroking the cover. I'd buy this again any day to give as a gift. It's amazing.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 26, 2010

    Fantastic Book

    I was extremely impressed with this book. I received it as a birthday gift and could not have been more pleased. It is so beautifully designed, the black leather with the bright green artwork and markings, it is just pleasure for the eyes. Then on to the story, the writer did sucj and excellent job introducing the characters. I found it very interesting to see characters from the movie in their youth and getting to know a little about how they came to be. I was always interested in these characters from watching The Wizard of Oz as a child. I started reading and I just could not put it down. The artwork within the book is also quite appealing. Overall I think you will enjoy this book

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 6, 2010

    Its Just Wicked!

    I am probably one of the biggest fans in the world of The Wizard of Oz and most people don't like Wicked who love the Wizard of Oz... I on the other hand love it! I love how Gregory Maguire made the story of Elphaba come to life and truly explained why/ how the Wizard of Oz came to be! I love it and I encourage others to give it a chance!

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 27, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Great book all around

    I made the choice to see the play first and then purchase the book, which was probably a mistake as the book is so much better. Don't get me wrong, I loved the play but the book opens doors to the world of Oz that was never explained in the play. I decided to read this book for a light read after reading a very dark and heavy book "The Cult that Died." I wouldn't say its the lightest book, but it definitely takes you away to a world of fantasy and wonder.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 2, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    I love this book!

    I have not been able to put this down. I am finally on the second book Son of a Witch, I do have to say this part is just as good. I can't wait to start the book Wicked the life and times of the wicked witch.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 18, 2014

    I have become a FANATICAL Wicked/Gregory Maguire fan - I love th

    I have become a FANATICAL Wicked/Gregory Maguire fan - I love the Wicked series and it has become very close to my heart, and I now have all of his other available pieces as well. My friend bought me this beautiful, gilded paged version for me and I was absolutely thrilled. I ONLY wish that the two remaining books in the series were turned into matching publications (though Out of Oz might need to be its own book for the sake of length.)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 29, 2014

    I really hope that they would do another bind up of the next two

    I really hope that they would do another bind up of the next two books in the Wicked series. That way the whole collection would look nice and beautiful on my bookshelf. This is such a eye catching edition. I hope they carry it on to the next two books. 

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 148 Customer Reviews

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