Out of Oz

I was older when I discovered the magic of The Wizard of Oz. I don’t think I watched it for the first time until I was nearly 20. Obviously once I gave it a chance, I fell in love with it. From there, reading Gregory Maguire’s Wicked seemed like a natural progression.

I loved it.

Then the musical came out and I got the chance to see it. In London. I just about died. A production recently toured in my neck of the woods and I took my mom to see it.

I listen to the soundtrack all the time. You might say I’m obsessed and you wouldn’t be too far off.

After Wicked, I read Son of a Witch and A Lion Among Men and was just waiting for the final installment to be released in paperback. Out of Oz was finally in paperback and I finally read it.

And I did not like it.

I’m not sure if it had been too long since I’d visited Oz and so the politics of the world were now completely over my head? It totally could be that.

I definitely enjoyed some parts of it. Maguire’s Glinda always makes me laugh and this time was no exception. I enjoyed his characterization of the now 16-year-old Dorothy and the A Little Princess-esque time when Rain (Elphaba’s granddaughter) is at boarding school.

But the politics of Oz overshadowed everything and the characters, beaten low by years of oppression didn’t have any spark left. Rain, abandoned by her parents, left to shift for herself and ultimately semi-responsible for how things are supposed to turn out, is a bit of an anti-heroine. But not in an ass-kicking way, in a kind of I-don’t-really-care-what-happens kind of way. Which is hard to get behind.

And the ending. Probably best not to get me started on the ending – actually I’m not really sure what I would even say since I still don’t even get it.

So that’s how that ended for me: disappointment.