Thursday, October 18, 2012

Book Review: Out of Oz by Gregory Maguire

I'll admit, part of me was excited for this last installment of Gregory Maguire's Wicked Years series - mainly because I was ready to see it all wrapped up, and hoping that it would be in a neat little package.

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I should have known that Maguire would give his readers no such thing ;)

On top of that, I was no more pleased with Out of Oz than I was with Son of a Witch or A Lion Among Men. I just feel that the new characters introduced in the second, third, and fourth books of this series were...unlikeable, at best. Out of Oz's main character, Rain, interested me no more than Liir did when he was introduced in Son of a Witch; and in fact she interested me less than Brr the "cowardly lion" did while I was reading A Lion Among Men. What happened to the amazing characters that Maguire peopled Wicked with? In fact, the best part(s) of Out of Oz featured none other than Glinda.

Thankfully Maguire did give us answers to quite a few questions that had been raised by the previous installments in this series, but one revelation in particular seemed a bit over the top. I can't say more without revealing a huge spoiler, but suffice it to say that personally I think Maguire could - and should - have used what he created in the first three books of the Wicked Years to round out the series, rather than throwing in so much new information in Out of Oz. 3/5 stars

“’What do you call yourself? A rebel? Or a loyalist?’
‘I call myself well bred, which means not talking politics in society.’”

“’What population signs on willingly for slavery?’
‘You mean other than wives?’”

“’I have nearly no sense of reason,’ she told him, ‘so be forewarned.’”

“Secrets are revealed as you are ready to understand them.”

“Well, Glinda thought, perhaps it felt to her like having a family. Which is less fun than is generally acknowledged in the popular press.”

“For Brr’s part, the months of inaction made him consider that the one thing that had characterized his life since infancy was his constant motion. No matter how much he’d enjoyed life among the great and the good in Shiz or the Emerald City, he wasn’t a house Lion at heart. He was a roving beast. Maybe his lifelong tendency to take umbrage at minor slights was a symptom of his chronic eagerness to get going somewhere else. He only ever needed a good reason.”

“’Don’t speak about what you don’t know,’ snapped Mr. Boss.
‘We all did that, we’d be mute forever,’ Liir said softly.”

“There was no apology for the way the world worked. Only accommodation to it, while at the same time committing – somehow – not to give up.”

“’I never understood you for a single moment, but in the choice between wishing you ill and wishing you well, I wish you well.’”

“’And if I happen to die today of hexus of the plexus or bonkus of the konkus, don’t think I go unwillingly. It’s been a long rocky life, with plenty of possibility but too much human ugliness.’”

“…she’d picked up the art of pretending to listen. It seemed to calm them all down, and who knows, maybe she learned something. She didn’t count the lessons, if there were any.”

“She wasn’t afraid of doing good or of resisting evil. She was merely afraid she might not be able to tell the difference.”

“As years pass, and the abundance of the future is depleted, the crux of old mistakes and the cost of old choices are ever recalibrated. Resentment, the interest in umbrage derived from being wronged, is computed minute by minute, savagely, however you try to ignore it.”

“’…who is to say that magic follows our expectations.’”

“I want no more love and no more regret than the investments I’ve already made.”

“’Will you love me whatever I say?’
‘No, I don’t promise that. I may have made my own choices, for my own reasons, but I won’t love you unless you make your own choices, for your own reasons. That’s the bargain of love.’”

“We don’t get an endless number of orbits away from the place where meaning first arises, that treasure-house of first experiences. What we learn, instead, is that our adventures secure us in our isolation. Experience revokes our license to return to simpler times. Sooner or later, there’s no place remotely like home.”

“’People need something to be missing. They need to crave something they don’t have.’”

“’I lived alone…There were people everywhere but no one was mine, and I was no one’s. I can’t repair that.’”

“’Maybe [you] will come back one day, or maybe [you] won’t, but in the meantime I have known you. That will see me through, I do believe.’”

“’I love both Trism and Candle. It isn’t impossible for you to love both Tip and Ozma.’
‘What’s impossible,’ she said, ‘is to know the truth inside someone’s heart if they don’t tell you.’”

“’They say Elephants never forget, and as I live and breathe, I’m telling you that this is true of humans no less than Elephants.’”

“Light will blind us in time, but what we learn in the dark can see us through.”

“To read, even in the half-dark, is to call the lost forward.”
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1 comment:

  1. I *loved* Wicked, the musical, but I couldn't get all the way through the book. Seriously, I tried really really hard. Twice. I even resorted to listening to the audiobook. We have all the rest of his books at the library, but I guess I'll never get to them either.

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