Friday, June 27, 2014

Out of Oz by Gregory Maguire

It took 400 pages for anything to happen in this book. Then, there was some action that almost made it interesting. Then, everything settled down and got overly philosophical and random. This book was ridiculous.

I love the Oz mythology - read L. Frank Baum's books as a kid - so when Wicked came out I was excited. It was an amazing book, but all of Maguire's forays into Oz since have been disappointing. Out of Oz is the last book in the series and time has moved on so we're following the lives of Elphaba's (The Wicked Witch) son and granddaughter. Glinda is an older woman who has lost the bubbly charm she's best known for and the Cowardly Lion is very beaten down. Dorothy makes an appearance and she's almost an adult, but even her return isn't very exciting.

More than half of this book has characters travelling through Oz, either running away,hiding, or trekking a great distance to stop something horrible from happening. Regardless, they're always moving slowly. There are a few battles in the book since Munchkinland is at war with Loyal Oz (those areas still loyal to the Emerald City,) a high-profile trial, and an interesting love story, but nothing totally delivers. The narrative feels long-winded and a little forced. Bits and pieces unrelated to the story are dumped in to give the book a more literary feel, but it's obvious and ill-fitting.

I finished the book hoping for something to pop at the end and was disappointed. Stop at Wicked if you're interested, but just read the book, don't bother with the musical.

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