Tuesday, December 2, 2008

WICKED - The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West - Gregory Maguire (The Wicked Series)

I never imagined that I would get to the point in my life where I actually wrote or posted blog comments about a book. I am a outdoor grilling enthusiast...not a book critic.

Background: When I turned 40 I determined that I probably had not read more than 3 or 4 books since college...so I decided to read one book per week for the rest of my life. It went well the first year when I read over 55 books. In the subsequent years (13 of them) I've actually done pretty well reading over 300 books since that time, but it still runs in streaks.

You avid readers know what I mean, you find a good book and stay up till 3 a.m. reading it. Then you go for 10 days without another minute to pick up a book, so I'm averaging about a book every two weeks, not bad I guess.

What happens to me is that I find a author that I like and I read every book they have published, sometimes with few other authors in-between. However, I also have a habit of starting as many as 3 or 4 books at the same time and finishing them all about the same time as well.

It keeps me interested in the longer books like those thousand page biography's (of which I like but take me months to read). Most recently I stumbled across a display of Gregory Maguire A Lion Among Men books at my local book store. I picked up a copy and found out that apparently I had missed a 10 year (or more) series of books called THE WICKED SERIES...of which I was holding the latest (3rd) book in the series. Short of reading materials,

I picked up the first book A Day in the Life of the Wicked Witch of the West. About six hours later I was on Amazon ordering the second and third books in the series...the rest is history.

As a non-trained literary critic, I may hack this up but the first book is essentially the tale of Elphaba from birth to death...the first two thirds of the book tells the story of her life and the final third tells a story that is recognizable to all of us as the story of The Wizard of Oz...at least a very close resemblance...it's less fairly tale and more lifelike in details but in the end, the witch dies and Dorothy goes home...and openings are left all over the place for sequels...thus the series.

Clearly I am no critic and to give out details would spoil the series...however I find myself having completed the third book in about a week after reading the first and now I am almost finished with some of this other books Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister and Mirror, Mirror.

I highly recommend this series and if I ever decide to talk books again, maybe I will get into the characters and details...for now, I'm just promoting reading and to include this special series of books into your library if you haven't already.