I'm reading this. And it's fantastic!
I've always loved the "true story," alternate POV, or general retelling of fairy tales (if you consider the Wizard of Oz a fairy tale). Why else would I love Once Upon a Time so much?
Wicked is no exception. First time I heard of it was several years ago when I first heard of the show, then discovered it was a book and mentally added it to my reading list. Probably a decade later, I've finally gotten around to reading it.
I have to note that it's got some PG-13 to R-rated language and scenes. So, y'know, don't read this to your kids at bed time. However, I'm going to assume that what I consider PG-13 in a book is probably nothing compared to that Gray book (seriously just forgot the name and don't care enough to look it up).
If you haven't caught on by the title of the book, Wicked is about the Wicked Witch of the West. It starts shortly before her birth and follows along for about the first year or so of her life. She's born green with sharp teeth and her parents despise her. Her mother honestly has no idea if Frex (her husband) is the father. Yeah, she's got pretty loose morals and stays stoned most of the time. Good choice of wife for a minister, right? Oh yeah, Frex is a minister.
Fast forward a few years and we meet Galinda (later renames herself Glinda for reasons you'll have to read) headed to college where she meets Elphaba (the Witch). They're forced to room together and history is made. At this point we start to meet other important characters in Oz and see how the future begins to form around the events of The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.
Without telling the whole story ('cause your totally have to read it!) I'll basically just say it's a fantastic book that I can't wait to finish. No, I'm not done yet and I've had it for 2 weeks. In fact, after today my e-book loan from the library ends. I may have to go buy a copy of the e-book. It's not a bad price for an e-book anyway. $6.69 for the Kindle edition.
I will tell you this. It does eventually run parallel with The Wonderful Wizard of Oz, which is awesome to see how Elphie's story corresponds to what's going on with Dorothy.
After I finish Wicked I guarantee I'll have to read the other 3 books in the series. Gregory Maguire is a pretty good writer. However, there are some portions where I feel like he's describing the surrounding too much in a foreign language that the descriptions don't make any sense and start to lose interest. I want to know what Oz looks like, but in English please! I don't speak Munchkinlander.