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"Wicked" by Gregory Maguire 
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How is everyone coming along with the beginning of Wicked? Does anyone have any questions, thoughts, impressions?

I know I personally was a little confused about Elphaba's birth and had to re-read it to understand what was happening.


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JulianTheApostate wrote:
Ophelia wrote:
4- Elphaba: what's the name of the saint?

According to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wicked_%28novel%29
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Gregory Maguire fashioned the name of Elphaba (pronounced EL-fa-ba) from the initials of Lyman Frank Baum, L-F-B.

I know, that wasn't what you were asking about.


I read this fact too Julian - pretty neat!

I think a lot of the names and terms that the author uses in the novel are his own invention but he is kind of renaming the things we are familiar with.


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Well, I finished Wicked the other day, and I'm not entirely sure if I liked the book or not, which is a funny situation. I'll try and take care not to spoil things, but I already seem one thing here that I believe was addressed, at least partially, in the very end of the novel (Elphaba being a punishment or not to Frex). I find it difficult to talk about a book without considering the whole of it, so I felt I should finish it before discussion.

I'm not certain if Mr. Maguire intended his religions to be direct parallels to existing religions. I think he was more going for sorts of religions. Most religions would fall into one of his three categories, I wager (though I can think of a few that don't). I am admittedly one of the worst people to ask about that sort of thing, but that's the feeling I got.

Sometimes I think I'm a bit dense to symbolism. I don't know if anyone is yet at the part regarding Elphaba's sister? I don't really understand her significance.



Wed Jan 16, 2008 9:50 am
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Theomanic wrote:

Sometimes I think I'm a bit dense to symbolism. I don't know if anyone is yet at the part regarding Elphaba's sister? I don't really understand her significance.


That's a good question. At first I wasn't sure what her point was either except to become the Wicked Witch of the East. I just kind of compared her to Elphaba in that Nessa was physically handicapped and "religious" and therefore was an object of sympathy and pity, while Elphaba's being green and "athiest" was an object of scorn and prejudice. Maybe you have some thoughts on this as well, but I thought maybe the author was making a comment about society and how we might make judgements based on the surface of things, because Nessa wasn't all that nice under the surface.


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Huh. Is Wicked a parody of the book or the movie? I'm confused now.



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irishrosem wrote:
Huh. Is Wicked a parody of the book or the movie? I'm confused now.


Hi Irishrose,

Sorry it took me so long to get back to you. I'm not sure I am 100% clear on your question, but I am assuming you are asking if the book was based on the broadway show or on the movie "The Wizard of OZ"? The book "Wicked" was written first in 1995 I believe as sort of a spinoff/combination of the origial book "The Wonderful Wizard of Oz" and the movie "The Wizard of Oz". It's kind of a combination becase Gregory Maguire took elements from the book and the movie, such as he made the "ruby" slippers silver, as they were in the original 1900 book, but made the wicked witch green and I read that the witch was never green in the original book but she was made green for the movie. So he seems to have taken a combination of the book and movie and spun his own story about the witch herself around it. The broadway show is then based on Gregory Maguire's book. I hope I answered your question.


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Whoa, Constance, poorly worded question on my part, sorry for the confusion. And you don't need to apologize to me, I sometimes leave things hanging forever. I had intended to ask if the book Wicked was a parody of the movie The Wizard of Oz or the story The Wonderful Wizard of Oz. I think I just assumed that the book Wicked was a parody of the book The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, and now I have no idea why I just assumed that.

From what I was reading here, I gleaned that Elphaba was supposed to be the Wicked Witch of the West. But I didn't understand why her skin was green, or why green skin could lead to Elphaba being treated with prejudice. As the only people in the story who appear green live in the Emerald City. Thank you for clearing that up for me.



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Hello Constance, Irishrosem and other readers of Wicked,


I haven't made much progress in reading the book yet, in fact I'm re-reading from the beginning.

Elphaba's parents are appalled at her greenness and consider her to be a monster-- her religious father thinks she may be a punishment from his God. He also organizes an exorcism, but to no avail.

I haven't reached the part about the Emerald City.

I also have a question for Constance: although I appreciate the style and the wit I find that so much wit makes for a distancing effect, which means that I find it difficult to identify with the characters, and therefore read slowly.

Did you identify with the characters, perhaps Elphaba?


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Hi Ophelia,

I agree that there is some distancing and I felt a little cold toward the characters, especially in the first part of the book. I felt differently once I got to part two. Once Elphaba was out on her own I identified with her more and I think the story became more interesting. I think the first part of the book was a little harder to get through. My feelings toward Elphaba changed throughout the book which is another reason I really enjoyed the story. It surprises me when I can not like a character, like them and then not like them again LOL. Usually I tend to form an opinion early on in a book and stick with it. This book was different for me and I think one of the reasons I like it so much. It challenged my opinions of Elphaba but also of Nessa and of Glinda as well.


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Post My Next Month Book
JulianTheApostate wrote:
I really enjoyed the musical version of Wicked, which I saw in San Francisco last year. When I tried reading the novel, I gave up after a couple of pages, but I didn't give it much of a chance.


I am actually planning on reading this book during the months of March and April (my roommate, co-worker, and friend really want to read this book, so I am leading the discussion). So, I just wanted to say, first, thank you guys for the discussions you have already gotten rolling on this forum. Second, that I saw a different co-worker of mine reading this book a couple of weeks ago. I asked her how she liked it, and she said she was not getting into it, but that she was going to give it to page 50 before giving up on it. (I think she was only on like page 25.) Anyway, a couple of days ago, after I had seen her reading it again, I asked if it had gotten better. She answered an emphatic, "Yes!", so I have high hopes for this book. Would like to bounce some starter discussion ideas off of you guys before I introduce them to my own little reading group, if that's all right. See you on this thread more often next month! ;-)



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Hello Tammy,


The discussion of Wicked as a by-thread is going slowly, as participants ' attention is diverted to many other threads...

I suggested Wicked a while ago in the
Fiction Book Suggestions and Polls thread for our April- May selection, and then I withdrew my suggestion because I wasn't making headway with my reading.

Have you had a look at this thread? We would love to have input there from our new (or newly posting) members. If you like the book and are already discussing it in the "real" world, you will have good arguments to put forward.


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Post 
Ophelia wrote:
The discussion of Wicked as a by-thread is going slowly, as participants ' attention is diverted to many other threads...
Have you had a look at this thread? We would love to have input there from our new (or newly posting) members. If you like the book and are already discussing it in the "real" world, you will have good arguments to put forward.


I haven't started reading the book yet yet. I will be finished with The Stuff of Thought by the end of this month, however; and next month through the end of April, I will devote my reading time to Wicked and leading my own discussion group where I live. I would like to interact with you all on this thread about the book, if that's all right, even though it's not a formal fiction selection for BookTalk, so that I can introduce the most interesting ideas I can develop through interacting with your minds ;-)

Also, Ophelia, do you know where I should go to give my input for the next fiction selection? I think I've heard it proposed on one of the forums somewhere on BookTalk, but I can't remember where. (Really, there are so many threads that are going on about the same stuff --like suggestions for the new book selections --that I am not sure where to post for my suggestion to be formally counted. Very confusing for a new person when there are so many threads touching on the same things... UGH!) Anyway, I'd like my vote to go for Water for Elephants (or nominate it if it hasn't already been). It was a best-seller I believe, but more importantly, the exerpt on the inside sleeve of the book sounded interesting! (I am ready for a fiction break after The Stuff of Thought... :D



Mon Feb 11, 2008 4:23 pm
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tjpounds wrote

Quote:
do you know where I should go to give my input for the next fiction selection? I think I've heard it proposed on one of the forums somewhere on BookTalk, but I can't remember where. (Really, there are so many threads that are going on about the same stuff --like suggestions for the new book selections --that I am not sure where to post for my suggestion to be formally counted. Very confusing for a new person when there are so many threads touching on the same things... UGH!) Anyway, I'd like my vote to go for Water for Elephants (or nominate it if it hasn't already been). It was a best-seller I believe, but more importantly, the exerpt on the inside sleeve of the book sounded interesting!


Your input for the next fiction selection will be greatly appreciated.

Go to the general heading " Current fiction books discussion forums".

There, on 4th position: "Fiction books suggestions and polls"

Once there, at the top, a thread in blue: " April and May fiction books suggestions".


I have seen a lot of references to "Water for the Elephants" but haven't looked into it yet.


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tlpunds wrote:

Quote:
next month through the end of April, I will devote my reading time to Wicked and leading my own discussion group where I live. I would like to interact with you all on this thread about the book, if that's all right,


Of course Tammy, feel free to do so... :)


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Post Re: My Next Month Book
tlpounds wrote:
I am actually planning on reading this book during the months of March and April (my roommate, co-worker, and friend really want to read this book, so I am leading the discussion). So, I just wanted to say, first, thank you guys for the discussions you have already gotten rolling on this forum. Second, that I saw a different co-worker of mine reading this book a couple of weeks ago. I asked her how she liked it, and she said she was not getting into it, but that she was going to give it to page 50 before giving up on it. (I think she was only on like page 25.) Anyway, a couple of days ago, after I had seen her reading it again, I asked if it had gotten better. She answered an emphatic, "Yes!", so I have high hopes for this book. Would like to bounce some starter discussion ideas off of you guys before I introduce them to my own little reading group, if that's all right. See you on this thread more often next month! ;-)


The beginning of the book is hard to stick with but it really does get so much better. I admit I was a little lost in the first few chapters and not sure if I wanted to continue, but it gets so much better after you get through the beginning.


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