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PostPosted: Wed 14 Jun , 2006 6:09 pm 
Another bright red day
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Oh, of course not. Why would he conclude a storyline like that? The fact that that was one of the purposes of writing the book certainly isn't a good reason!

:roll:

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PostPosted: Tue 31 Oct , 2006 6:22 pm 
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Well, well, well. I've now seen it for myself. And very glad I did.

Observations (including spoilers):

Shoshana Bean makes for a superb Elphaba.

I've often thought they should have left the tragic ending of the book. But on the other hand, part of me "needs" to have a happy ending to feel satisfied, even if it is just a tiny bit forced. Judging from the delighted reaction of the audience when Elphaba jumped out of the hidden door at the end, I'm not the only one who feels that way.

The whole premise of this ending is that Elphaba's alleged allergy to water is actually just a rumour that she and Fiyero took advantage of, rather than actual fact. Actually, that anyone could be affected by water in this way beggars belief, and is one of the less credible things about the book ( and, by extension, also about Baum's The Wizard of Oz, since she really is killed by water in that book). I mean, how could she have survived long enough to reach childbearing age? And even if she did, she'd be so unhygienically pungent that nobody would be able to stand being near her! (least of all a Winkie Prince! :D )

I need to re-read the book sometime - it's beginning to fade from my memory, whereas I've been listening to the soundtrack regularly.

My nieces, who saw it with me, are now hooked on Wicked too. Fiona thinks that "it would be really cool to have a green kid!" :damnfunny:

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PostPosted: Sun 05 Nov , 2006 7:09 am 
Another bright red day
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More spoilers!


Jude wrote:
Shoshana Bean makes for a superb Elphaba.


Definitely agreed. Shoshana was wonderful.

I've often thought they should have left the tragic ending of the book. But on the other hand, part of me "needs" to have a happy ending to feel satisfied, even if it is just a tiny bit forced. Judging from the delighted reaction of the audience when Elphaba jumped out of the hidden door at the end, I'm not the only one who feels that way.

I don't really have anything to say in response, but you make an interesting observation, and I think you're right. (I still don't like the ending, but what you say is true.)

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My nieces, who saw it with me, are now hooked on Wicked too. Fiona thinks that "it would be really cool to have a green kid!" :damnfunny:


:LMAO:
(My wee cousins agree.)

I loved the postcard! :love: Thanks to you and your nieces so much. I walked back from the mailroom with a huge smile of my face, like this --> :D . It is pinned up on my wall.

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PostPosted: Mon 06 Nov , 2006 2:43 pm 
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Those are your nieces? Why do I get the feeling that you picked out their outfits for them?

Glad you liked the postcard - my nieces are both very grateful to you. I hear from my sister-in-law that they can't stop talking about the musical.

More thoughts on the musical:

Just what is the time-scale of the events? Glinda says at the beginning (paraphrasing from memory) "I did know her at school, but you must realize that was many years ago").

How long have they been students when Mme. Morrible hears back from the wizard and sends Elphaba to the Emerald City? She had said she'd "write at once to the wizard"; did she put it off, or did the wizard take his sweet time in replying?

How long between acts I and II? For the propaganda war between Elphaba and the wizard's camp to still be big news, I would guess a few weeks. None of the characters are still students in act II - have they all graduated?

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PostPosted: Mon 06 Nov , 2006 6:23 pm 
Another bright red day
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Jude wrote:
Those are your nieces? Why do I get the feeling that you picked out their outfits for them?


My cousins, though they're young enough to be my nieces. I actually had nothing to do with their outfits, though I certainly approve.

Quote:
Glad you liked the postcard - my nieces are both very grateful to you. I hear from my sister-in-law that they can't stop talking about the musical.


It brightened my afternoon. :D It makes me happy that you and they enjoyed it so much, even though I had absolutely nothing to do with it.

Quote:
Just what is the time-scale of the events? Glinda says at the beginning (paraphrasing from memory) "I did know her at school, but you must realize that was many years ago").

How long have they been students when Mme. Morrible hears back from the wizard and sends Elphaba to the Emerald City? She had said she'd "write at once to the wizard"; did she put it off, or did the wizard take his sweet time in replying?

How long between acts I and II? For the propaganda war between Elphaba and the wizard's camp to still be big news, I would guess a few weeks. None of the characters are still students in act II - have they all graduated?


That has always bothered me, too. The timeline I have agreed upon in my head, which may not be correct, this this:
Elphaba and Galinda go to school. Mme. Morrible writes to the Wizard.
The Wizard takes his sweet time responding. Elphaba heads to the Emerald City either just before or just after graduating. An indeterminate time later, Act II starts. One the one hand it seems like, as you said, it must be only a few weeks later since it's so fresh in everyone's minds. The Wizard could have made Glinda into a celebrity in that amount of time. On the other hand, Fiyero is Captain of the Guard, and it seems like it would take more than a few weeks for that, so who knows.
A few years later comes the scene in Munchkinland/As Long As You're Mine/etc. A few more years pass until For Good, just to let Elphaba brew a bit. Then it ends, and she dies.

It sounds more logical in my head before I typed it out. Thoughts?

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PostPosted: Mon 06 Nov , 2006 6:57 pm 
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MaidenOfTheShieldarm wrote:
A few more years pass until For Good, just to let Elphaba brew a bit. Then it ends, and she dies.


This is the only part of your timeline I don't agree with. At the munchkinland scene, Dorothy has just left minutes before. Let's say a few weeks to get to the Emerald City, and then a few more weeks to reach the castle where Elphaba is hiding. Then an indeterminate amount of time in captivity before Elphaba is liquidated.

More fun facts: in the MGM movie of the Wizard of Oz, only a few hours pass between Dorothy's capture and the liquidation of the witch. In the original book, it was several days.

I can't remember any mention of the witch being green in the book - I think this was a movie invention.

And the whole book is available online! link to literature.org

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PostPosted: Mon 03 Nov , 2008 3:38 pm 
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Well, he has in fact written the sequel that he declared he would never write: A Lion among Men

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Since Wicked was first published in 1995, millions of readers have discovered Gregory Maguire's fantastically encyclopedic Oz, a world filled with characters both familiar and new, darkly conceived and daringly reimagined. In the much-anticipated third volume of the Wicked Years, we return to Oz, seen now through the eyes of the Cowardly Lion—the once tiny cub defended by Elphaba in Wicked.

While civil war looms in Oz, a tetchy oracle named Yackle prepares for death. Before her final hour, an enigmatic figure known as Brrr—the Cowardly Lion—arrives searching for information about Elphaba Thropp, the Wicked Witch of the West. As payment, Yackle, who hovered on the sidelines of Elphaba's life, demands some answers of her own.

Brrr surrenders his story to the ailing maunt: Abandoned as a cub, his earliest memories are gluey hazes, and his path from infancy in the Great Gillikin Forest is no Yellow Brick Road. Seeking to redress an early mistake, he trudges through a swamp of ghosts, becomes implicated in a massacre of trolls, and falls in love with a forbidding Cat princess. In the wake of laws that oppress talking Animals, he avoids a jail sentence by agreeing to serve as a lackey to the war-mongering Emperor of Oz.

A Lion Among Men chronicles a battle of wits hastened by the Emerald City's approaching armies. What does the Lion know of the whereabouts of the Witch's boy, Liir? What can Yackle reveal about the auguries of the Clock of the Time Dragon? And what of the Grimmerie, the magic book that vanished as quickly as Elphaba? Is destiny ever arbitrary? Can those tarnished by infamy escape their sobriquets—cowardly, wicked, brainless, criminally earnest—to claim their own histories, to live honorably within their own skins before they're skinned alive?

At once a portrait of a would-be survivor and a panoramic glimpse of a world gone shrill with war fever, Gregory Maguire's new novel is written with the sympathy and power that have made his books contemporary classics.


So will he tie up any of the loose ends? Or will he pull another Son-of-a-Witch and leave you no further ahead by the end of the book?

If so, I shall henceforth take every opportunity to give him bad reviews. :rage:

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PostPosted: Mon 03 Nov , 2008 10:20 pm 
Another bright red day
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I picked up an advance copy at the library in September but haven't had a chance to read it yet. On the one hand, I think it's interesting that he's going back to the more mainstream 'good' characters, but on the other hand I suppose I'm just skeptical.

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PostPosted: Wed 05 Nov , 2008 4:32 am 
I took the stars from my eyes, and then I made a map, And knew that somehow I could find my way back; Then I heard your heart beating, you were in the darkness too - So I stayed in the darkness with you
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I am so dense I didn't even realize that it was a third Oz installment. I should have stopped to read the sleeve, but then I probably wouldn't have put it down :blackeye:

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Your sweet and weary head
Night is falling
You’ve come to journey's end
Sleep now
And dream of the ones who came before
They are calling
From across the distant shore

Why do you weep?
What are these tears upon your face?
Soon you will see
All of your fears will pass away
Safe in my arms
You're only sleeping


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PostPosted: Thu 22 Jan , 2009 1:35 am 
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Has anyone read A Lion among Men yet? :poke:

I just want to know if I should bother...

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PostPosted: Sat 24 Jan , 2009 8:37 pm 
Another bright red day
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It's still waiting on my shelf. I got distracted by the 19th century but I'm hoping to read the whole series in March. I'll let you know.

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PostPosted: Sat 24 Jan , 2009 10:09 pm 
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Thanks Mossy! :)

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PostPosted: Fri 12 Jun , 2009 12:13 am 
Another bright red day
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I finally made good and reread the first two books along with Lion Among Men. Here, for what it's worth, are my thoughts. Spoilerish for the first two.

Wicked

Better than I remembered. Also, the Philosophy Club was distinctly less graphic that I remembered and makes a lot more sense. I was more tuned into the religious themes this time, and within that context I think the Philosophy Club is absolutely justified.

The strongest impression I was left with was actually a deep appreciation for Maguire's prose, which I think is beautiful. I would love for him to write a play just to hear the dialogue he would come up with spoken. His language is very rich and well put together. The closest analogy I can come up with is a word that just feels good to say. If Wicked were as well plotted as his prose is written, it would be an astonishing book.

Son of a Witch

Actually did not hold up as well as I thought it would. The plot was contrived and Liir not that likable. Also, I found the whole Candle subplot to be contrived. Still love his writing, just wish he'd used it better. The most interesting thing to me was the world he created.

And finally, what you've all been waiting for....

A Lion Among Men

To be frank, I'm not sure why Maguire felt compelled to write a third book. There are some interesting things about Yackle and a bit about the dwarf with the Clock of the Time Dragon, but that was really the only value I found in reading it. I wasn't interested in the Cowardly Lion at all and thought that it was again not that tightly plotted. This is easily the worst of his books that I've read. I'm not sure if I'd recommend. If you are really curious, I would say it's a library book, not a buying book.

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PostPosted: Fri 12 Jun , 2009 12:15 am 
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So... do I take it that none of the loose ends from Son of a Witch were addressed?

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PostPosted: Sun 14 Jun , 2009 8:15 pm 
Another bright red day
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No, one major loose end is tied up.

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PostPosted: Fri 22 Jan , 2010 3:43 pm 
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:grouphug:

I FINALLY BOUGHT WICKED.

It was darn difficult, but totally worth it.

On page #54 right now!

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PostPosted: Wed 21 Apr , 2010 10:01 am 
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I'm part-way through A Lion Among Men right now. Thoughts:

Maguire's prose style is unforced, natural, and conversational. He really draws you in and makes you want to keep reading. On the other hand, his plot construction is disorganized and messy. Son of a Witch was a deeply unsatisfying read for me, fascinating though it was; a good alternate title would be "101 Ways to Avoid Closure". :D

A Lion Among Men is highly readable - every time I get to the end of a chapter I want to keep reading the next one right away. On the other hand, if I find at the end that nothing has been resolved, I'll be left with the same dissatisfaction that I had with Son of a Witch. Based on Maguire's track record, I guess it's quite likely.

There is an interesting nod to the Wizard of Oz movie: in the celebration song that follows Dorothy's arrival in Munchkinland, there is this little play on words:

Quote:
You'll go down in history!
You'll be hist-, you'll be hist-, you'll be hist-oh-ree!


I've often wondered if this was meant to be a double-entendre, as if the Munchkins were subtly ribbing Dorothy:
Quote:
You'll go down in history!
You'll be hissed! You'll be hissed! You'll be history!


So I had to chuckle when I read this in A Lion Among Men:

Gregory Maguire wrote:
"The torch of piety, that is, as wielded by Shell, the Apostle Emperor. Younger brother of Elphaba and Nessarose. He swore he was divinely positioned by the Unnamed God. For all I know he is his, he is his---" She nearly gagged at the thought, and rotated her hand in the air, a forward roll. "He is history."

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PostPosted: Sun 30 Oct , 2011 5:21 pm 
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Okay, here's a book I'm looking forward to:

Out of Oz by Gregory Magquire

It claims to be the "final installment". So will he tie up all the loose ends? Well, he'd better! :horse:

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