Thursday, August 16, 2007

Son of a Witch by Gregory Maguire

It took me two readings to really appreciate the charms of Wicked.

On the first reading, Son of a Witch does not match the mastery of Wicked.

Son of a Witch picks up the story of Elphaba's son, Liir, although Maguire expends an annoying amount of energy and verbiage trying to convince the reader that this fact is in question.

The novel picks up approximately 10 years after the death (?) of Elphaba and fills in the intervening years through flashback. A recurring theme throughout the book is the question of whether "Elphaba Lives." Given that I had just seen Wicked - The Musical, I was amenable to the idea that Elphaba was in fact alive.

The book was uneven and choppy. It held my interest in spite of itself, mostly due to my curiosity as opposed to any intrinsic artistry. Maguire's imagination still impresses but his storytelling disappoints.

I finished the book with a feeling of inconclusiveness. I suspected yet another sequel and was not surprised to learn that in October of 2006, Maguire announced that he was working on a third book based in Oz.

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