Bookish Matters

The person, be it gentleman or lady, who has not pleasure in a good novel, must be intolerably stupid.

—Jane Austen, Northanger Abbey

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Not long before I did the Camino, a gorgeous copy of Gregory Maguire’s Wicked and Son of a Witch came into work. Hardcover, shiny embossing, gold-edged pages, a green ribbon to use as place-marker. I quickly snagged it.

From the little I’d heard from friends about Wicked, the few songs from the musical I’d listened to, and the for-children book of Maguire’s I had previously read, I wasn’t prepared for what I’d actually find in the book Wicked. The fully-formed world of Oz; a complexity of politics and religion, prejudice and racism, war and terrorism; contemplations on the existence of the soul and the nature of evil. For being based on glittery shoes and people called munchkins, the story was modern and relevant. It was interesting how, one by one, Maguire fit the puzzle pieces of the original Wizard of Oz into his book so seamlessly you didn’t always notice they were there. Some parts of the writing didn’t feel right, but overall it was an impressive work that I had trouble putting down. I’ve already started Son of a Witch

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