I am usually a pretty fast reader, and I read all different kinds of stuff.
But I have been plodding through Wicked since sometime in November or December. And it's killing me.
It's so different from the musical, but that's not the part that I'm having trouble with. I can accept a book being different from its screenplay or Broadway production.
I'm about a hundred pages from the end -- still -- and I have JUST reached the part where a house falls on a little girl.
And Elphaba is about to take off in her quest for those damned shoes.
I know how it ends. Well, I take that back. I know how the MUSICAL ended, and I liked it a lot. I wish I had known THAT ending back when I was three or four and the Wicked Witch of the West scared the bejeezus out of me. Between her and the flying monkeys, no wonder I had nightmares.
It's not just the differences in plot. Gregory Maguire, the author, has an extensive vocabulary, but he also uses a lot of made-up words because, after all, we are in Oz, not in Kansas anymore. So when I come across a word I don't know, I have to stop and ask myself, "Wait, is this a real word that I just don't know, or is it one of those made-up ones?"
I need to hurry up and finish this thing so I can get on to the other 9 books that have stacked up while I've been working on this toothache-of-a-book. I'm too far in to give up on it, but it's not one of those compelling things that I can't put down.
It's beginning to feel like homework.