Wicked by Gregory Macguire
Best for: People who like fantasy. So, apparently, not me.
In a nutshell: It’s billed as the back story of the wicked witch of the west. Instead it’s a convoluted mess of a book that I could not follow.
“Galinda didn’t often stop to consider whether she believed in what she said or not; the whole point of conversation was flow.”
“I don’t dress for your approval, boys.”
Why I chose it: I initially tried to read the Audrey Hepburn book Alabama Pink reviewed, but after about 80 pages it still felt like homework. I thought this would be a fun read.
(Narrator: It was not.)
I think this solidifies my thought that Alabama Pink and I would not have belonged to the same book club. I absolutely hated the Cannon Book Club pick by Craig Ferguson (seriously, it’s so bad), and of the remaining dozen books to review for this square, none really caught my eye. I tried the Audrey Hepburn biography and it was as dry as a desert and just as monotonous. I realized that Wicked was an option, and given how popular the musical is, I assumed this would be a fun, interesting read.
Sadly, I assumed incorrectly.
I think part of this is because I just don’t enjoy fantasy that much. I don’t like having to learn a new vocabulary, or new worlds. Having to memorize the geopolitical landscape of a fictional world just isn’t generally my favorite thing to do. So clearly this isn’t the book for me.
I also think that it isn’t particularly strongly written. I mean, I’m sure my opinion is wrong, and someone out there could explain to me how it is factually a masterful book, but clearly I missed something. In fact, when I finished, I went back to read the Wikipedia entry about the book, and holy shit. Plotlines were discussed that I didn’t even recognize.
Books shouldn’t feel like chores. At least, I don’t think they should. And I don’t mean they shouldn’t be challenging, or tough, or interesting. I’ve read many books that are slow reads, that I need to concentrate on deeply, and that have many layers to explore. But those books don’t feel like things I’m trying to get through so I can get to something better. Sadly, this one did.