What does it mean to be good? To be evil? To be Wicked?
Some say it’s a quality you’re born with, while others say it’s created. Gregory Maguire tries to explore this ambiguous question through the character Elphaba in Wicked. She was a child born with green skin, razor sharp teeth and was cursed from the moment she took her first breath. The Unnamed God presented this child as a punishment to those who bore her. But, was it her choice to become evil, or was the path already written?
It took me a while to finish Wicked, and I’m not sure why. The style of this book was a little different for me because, it was very political (and what I mean by political is the good vs. bad stuff). I started reading on February 10th and finished the 519 pages on February 26th. For me, the book was average; I enjoyed the new angle of a classic story, but it took too long and it felt like a lot of build up for a quick ending. I gave a rating of 5 out of 10 and paired it with a drink called Apple of Eden.
I was completely surprised by this book. I expected a story less gritty, and actually got a book that was filled with death, sex and vulgar images. Although this was a shock, it made the book more life-like. A reader could truly connect with Elphaba as she became real.
Elphie is an in depth character. Her life is told through the perspective of others at time and it revels what type of person she is to different perceptions. To me, she was just a person who followed her instincts. She didn’t question her wants, she just acted on them, and I personally think she acted accordingly. Her sister’s death was the breaking point for her, as everything she worked for was taken away. The Wizard of Oz was standing in the way.
I love the way this book put reason to everything in the Wizard of Oz. There were a bunch of “Oh I get it!” moments within this fiction. But, now that I’ve read the book, I have an itch to go see the play.
The reason I rated it a 5 out of 10 is because of several reasons. The first one is because it took me so damn long to finish. I felt like it was never going to end. Another reason is the political agent within the book. Elphie struggles with what makes a soul in the book, and I constantly felt like I was in a debate. I understand that this debate is show to the character’s dilemma, but it was always shoved in my face. I like to figure out if a character is struggling, I don’t want to be told constantly. The last reason was due to the quick ending. Wicked didn’t really go into depth between the final good vs. evil battle (which I thought was strange because the whole book was based off of that internal fight). Anyways, it was a decent book and I recommend it to those who love a major flawed character.
Apple of Eden
For my pairing of this book, I decided to pick a drink made by the Tipsy Bartender, the Apple of Eden. The main reason I picked this drink is because it’s green like Elphaba’s skin. This is what sets her apart from everyone and everything, so I wanted to make sure and capitalize on it. The reason I picked an alcoholic drink is due to the unexpected adultness of this book. So I chose an adult drink. The last and final reason I picked this drink is because the Apple of Eden is the ultimate fight between good and evil.