Since I took yesterday to mention what I had read, I thought I would write about another book I read, too.
This is not a new book and I guess I must be behind when it comes to my friends and who has read the book. I guess I just wasn’t interested enough to buy the book and I always had other things to read. However, the Stalker seems to like the book and the writer because she has all of Maguire’s work… from the Wicked Years to other works by him. The book was what the great hit musical show was based on and I have to say that the premise is definitely a great one.
How many of our childhood stories have villains that are likely misunderstood? It reminds me of a story about my brilliant nephew. He loves trains and, because his name is Thomas, my mom has always been one to give him things from the show Thomas and friends. It’s only been in the more recent half of his life that he’s taken a liking to them and my SIL definitely fosters his love by getting him different trains and the like from the series. I can’t remember the name of particular train, but apparently there is one train that is supposed to be like the mean train. Kind of like stormy bear of the Care Bears.
There is always one grumpy character.
So, my SIL was out shopping and Thomas really wanted that train. My SIL was surprised and asked him why he wanted the mean train. Thomas immediately responds with “He’s not mean. He’s just lonely.” It’s fascinating that a toddler would come up with that but when my SIL stopped to think about it, she could see why that train could be misunderstood and why Thomas would understand that the other trains were misunderstanding the other train and he could be lashing out because he was lonely for being left out.
This isn’t unlike the tale behind Wicked when they give the life and times of Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West. I think the story on a whole is rather fascinating to explain the world of Oz from another viewpoint that could lead to the same outcome as the original Wizard of Oz. It gives a whole new set of reasons and motives for actions and quests. Like all stories, it makes me think that the true story probably lies when you average out both sides of the tale and find some middle ground. The funny thing is that I have not read the Wizard of Oz nor have I actually seen the movie. I just happen to know enough of the story to make out what it’s all about. I think most people are this way.
However, when it came to actually reading this book, I wish I could say that I liked it as much as I hoped I would. The actual reading was convoluted and there were likely too many subplots to truly give credit to. The writing was a bit stuffy and I only finished it because I wanted to see where it would finally end. I’m not sure if I will read the other two books based in the Wicked Years. My opinion may change or I may pick them up when I find myself without anything else to read.
There are other Gregory Maguire books based on other tales one usually associates with fairytales. I’ve read the summaries of all and decided that I will try reading Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister next. We’ll see if my opinions improve of Maguire’s writing with this book.