thoughts on ‘Wicked’ so far

My book club is currently reading “Wicked: The Life and Times of the Wicked Witch of the West”, by Gregory Maguire, after finally finishing Hemingway’s “For Whom the Bell Tolls.”   I am enjoying Wicked ten times more than “the Bells”.  It’s a totally different style, much easier to read, and full of  a rich fantasy that is definitely my cup of tea.  It’s a good thing, too, because this was the book I suggested for us to read and I am in charge of leading the discussion on it when we finish.  And none of us have seen the Broadway musical, so maybe that would be something fun we could do together after we read it, if it tours nearby.

The blurbs at the beginning of the book and the author’s dedication that referenced the nature of evil as a theme really interested me.  I dunno really so far how that is going to play in, although the gossip at the beginning and the discussions the parents, midwives and Nanny have on why she is green are kinda like common things people say with regard to why some people turn out “bad.”  I will just have to read the whole thing first and then think back on how those themes were woven in, I think.  It’s hard to dissect in the middle because I don’t know how things are going to turn out.

The Animals/animals distinction reminds me of Narnia.  The ‘baptism by piss’ explanation for how the distinction arose was hilarious, and intriguing, and totally reminiscent of a part of one of the novels I might actually finish writing someday.  I just mean the idea of creating an entire religion and competing cosmologies for that imaginary universe, mine doesn’t involve any Fairy Queen urine.

I really don’t know how Elphaba is going to become a ‘wicked witch,’ since so far she isn’t a witch, and I wouldn’t classify her as wicked.  Maybe she’s not really going to be “wicked” in this book, and that label will just be a misperception that society forces upon her?  But of course in the prologue she really was a witch, on her broom…I’m only a little over halfway through, there’s plenty of time for new developments.

I just got to the Vinkus section.  And I am really confused as to what exactly happened, towards the end of that last bit.  I mean when she showed up at the nunnery (maunt-ery?) and had blood on her hands, but no cuts on her wrists or arms.  Did she miscarry?  I mean was she pregnant with Fiyero’s child?  I’m confused.   And I’m worried about Fiyero, I sure hope he isn’t dead.  I couldn’t fully love their affair since he is married, but I thought the line “blue diamonds on a green field” was fantastic imagery, talking about his tattoos and her skin when they embrace.


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