Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Out of Oz by Gregory Maguire

Out of Oz (Wicked Years, #4)
Title: Out of Oz
Author: Gregory Maguire
Publication Date: November 1, 2011
Pages: 384
Publisher: William Morrow
The marvelous land of Oz is knotted with social unrest: The Emerald City is mounting an invasion of Munchkinland, Glinda is under house arrest, and the Cowardly Lion is on the run from the law. And look who’s knocking at the door. It’s none other than Dorothy. Yes, that Dorothy. 

Amid all this chaos, Elphaba’s granddaughter, the tiny green baby born at the close of Son of a Witch, has come of age. Now, Rain will take up her broom in an Oz wracked by war. 

The stirring, long-awaited conclusion to the extraordinary bestselling series begun with Wicked, Out of Oz is a magical journey rife with revelations and reversals, reprisals and surprises — the hallmarks of the brilliant and unique imagination of Gregory Maguire.
My take: First of all, I want to admit that I have not finished the book. My usual M.O. is that I don't write reviews for books I haven't finished but this one I plan on finishing to the very end but it will take some time. So far, I am somewhere between completely enamored and slightly frustrated. But mostly enamored.

Second point to consider is that I have not read the previous three books, hence my frustration. The frustration is small, comparatively to the enjoyment of this book. There are references to previous experiences I missed from the previous books and I am particularly curious about what happened to Elphaba and her family.

Third point to consider is that I am the best wife EVER. One Father's day, while other men received tacky ties, power tools, and enormous screen TV's, I gave my husband two tickets to go see Wicked in San Francisco! It included two airplane tickets and a two night stay within walking distance of the theater. He acted appreciative but he still looks at LED TV's. I can't imagine why. Plus, we were in the same airplane as Steve Young, former 49ers quarterback and I got an autograph for him (and a picture of him and me for me). Anyway, my own background of Wicked helped tremendously to enjoy the current book.

The reason it is taking so long to read is that it is a book to be savored. The story is a little slow so far but, like the Wizard of Oz, it is the journey that is of import. There are times that I can't help but pull out my highlighter and highlight a passage that speaks to my heart. This author is very wise.

And so, although I have not finished it, so far I would give the book 4 -5 stars.


Miranda Hardy said...

I just saw this book in B&N this evening and laughed ready the inside cover. I didn't know it had previous books. I'll have to take a look at the author. Interesting. Glad you are enjoying it.

SMiaVS said...

Hello, just passing on a word of advice, as Gregory Maguire's books are among my favorites ever, and I hate to see someone being set up for frustration in regard to 'Wicked.'

I STRONGLY suggest that you go back and read the other three books (particularly the first and second ones) before finishing 'Out of Oz.' You'll get so much more out of the conclusion novel if you do.

The further the story in 'Out of Oz' progresses, the less it will make sense to you. Certain things will go over your head entirely if you haven't read the other books.

The musical goes pretty far afield from the novel upon which it was based. The characters' personalities and their relationships with one another are very different. The events and the chronology aren't the same either.

For example, Gslinda was never interested in Fiyero in the books, and Nessarose was armless rather than in a wheelchair. The Boq/Tin Man and Fiyero/Scare Crow correlations don't exist in the book, and the Lion Brr's story is different as well. Boq's father, was Mayor of Munchkinland and the Thropp children (two sisters and a brother) were the progeny of a Unionist minister and an aristocrat. Very little will make sense out of context.

I don't recommend trying to enter Maguire's Oz without the back story. I can't emphasize it enough. You'll enjoy it so much more if you know the history. Happy reading!