by Gregory Maguire
It\’s been a long time since I first read Wicked, I picked this one up for something different. It didn\’t work well for me. It\’s very- dull. Interesting to see the perspective of how Brr the Cowardly Lion grew up an abandoned lion cub in the wilderness (although that part is way too brief) and how his indecisiveness and misfortune at being in the wrong place at the wrong time earns him the label of a coward. Also there\’s a subtle examination of the difference between Animals (talking) and animals (mute) and human intelligence- this wasn\’t in-depth enough for me either. What philosophizing there was often went over my head or seemed to stray far from the point. The characters talk in circles. Far too much of the book consists of this interview between the Lion and Yackle, a elderly crone of a seer who admits to being a quack- it goes back and forth between the two of them telling their past histories, steeped in the politics of Oz as Maguire has imagined it, and the story never really goes anywhere. At least, I couldn\’t see where. Quit halfway. The details are admirable, the storytelling is too slow. I did like the part with the bears, that was amusing, and with the ghosts- that was interesting (and I usually don\’t like ghost stories). But the rest, really made my mind wander.
Abandoned 312 pages, 2008