Read Out of Oz: The Final Volume in the Wicked Years Online

Authors: Gregory Maguire

Tags: #Fiction, #General, #Fantasy, #Fairy Tales; Folklore & Mythology

Out of Oz: The Final Volume in the Wicked Years

BOOK: Out of Oz: The Final Volume in the Wicked Years
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Out of Oz: The Final Volume in the Wicked Years
Wicked Years [4]
Gregory Maguire
HarperCollins (2011)
Rating:
★★★☆☆
Tags:
Fiction, General, Fantasy, Fairy Tales; Folklore & Mythology
Amazon.com Review

“Elphaba’s Heirs and Assigns” by Gregory Maguire

Depending on how you count the years, I am about at my 25th anniversary of the original inspiration for
Wicked
. I was on a walk on a country road in Massachusetts, thinking myopically and somewhat self-regardingly about various offenses that I felt had been perpetrated against me. I was wondering about how apparently trustworthy people could turn dangerous, or if they really had been dangerous all along, merely well-disguised, even from themselves? A standard issue college dorm question, I suppose, but the matter seemed urgent to me that year. I moved from the slightly sore subject of my personal life into the realm of imagination to keep the question alive without it hurting so much, and almost immediately I thought of the Wicked Witch of the West--admittedly, more Margaret Hamilton than L. Frank Baum--and I wondered: Was she always terrible?

The momentary crisis of that year, combined with attention to acts of evil and distress in our larger world a few years later, brought me into Oz and the world of
Wicked
. Still, even eight years later when
Wicked
was first published, I hadn't expected that the story would remain a presence in the world. I had an imagination big enough to see into every cranny of Oz, but not big enough to imagine that anyone else might get interested, and stay interested.

After the story of Elphaba hit the bookstores, the national bestseller lists, the book clubs, and then the Broadway stage, the increasing attention to the story prompted me to go back and follow up the clues I had liberally sprinkled in the first book.
Son of a Witch
posited that Elphaba and Fiyero had an illegitimate boy, and considered the troubles he would have first growing up with the Witch as a negligent mother and then, even worse, with his negligent mother gone from his life.
A Lion Among Men
followed up with the Cowardly Lion's tale. Why the Lion and not the Tin Woodman or the Scarecrow, readers ask me. For a number of reasons, but chief among them is that the Lion is an Animal, and Elphaba's concern for the flight of talking Animals makes his life story more urgent to the themes of the Wicked Years sequence.

So finally we come to
Out of Oz
, the fourth and I believe final book in the series. I feel both elated and elegiac to be bringing it to readers. I get to revisit characters I love--Glinda, under house arrest; the Cowardly Lion, on the run from the law; Liir, the Witch's boy; and a little girl growing up in the shadows who may be pivotal to the resolution of military and social struggle in Oz.

Oh, and yes--Dorothy too. Dorothy Gale. That Dorothy. She comes on for something more than a curtain call. Face it: you always knew Dorothy was too strong a force to stay buckled down on the Kansas prairie, didn't you? No earthly gravity can hold that girl in one place for long: she defies gravity, too, only without the broomstick.

Come for a visit and stay a while. (It's over five hundred pages!)
Out of Oz
is, I hope, out of this world.

Review

“Engrossing, complex . . . continues to flip the world of Oz on its head while answering new and old questions about Oz and its denizens. Highly recommended.” (Library Journal (starred review) )

“A worthy conclusion to an imaginative and emotionally searing cultural phenomenon. . . . nobody does fractured fairy tales better than Maguire.” (Booklist )

Dedication
for Cassie Jones

Epigraph

[He] … had a magical view of the work of words, that “it is hard to conceive of a nobler magic” than the prospect of a salvation which is not just for us.

—Michael Wood, in
The London Review of Books
, on Frank Kermode’s appraisal of I. A. Richards from
Bury Place Papers
We believe the explanation we hear last. It’s one of the ways in which narrative influences our perception of truth. We crave finality, an end to interpretation, not seeing that this too, the tying up of al loose ends in the last chapter, is only a storyteling ruse. The device runs contrary to experience, wouldn’t you say? Time never simplifies—it unravels and complicates. Guilty parties show up everywhere. The plot does nothing but thicken.

—Michele de Kretser,
The Hamilton Case

Contents

Cover

Title Page

Dedication
Epigraph

The Wicked Years: A Note to Readers

Charting the Wicked Years Chronologicaly

Maps: The City of Shiz, Gilikin; The Emerald City

Significant Families of Oz

A Brief Outline of the Throne Ministers of Oz

Prologue: Out of Oz

I. To Cal Winter upon Water

I

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

I0

II

I2

I3

I4

I5

I6

I7

I8

I9

20

2I

22

II. The Patchwork Conscience of Oz

I

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

I0

II

I2

I3

I4

I5

I6

I7

I8

I9

20

2I

22

III. The Chancel of the Ladyfish

I

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

I0

II

IV. The Judgment of Dorothy

I

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

V. At St. Prowd’s

I

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

I0

II

I2

I3

I4

I5

I6

I7

VI. God’s Great-Niece

I

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

I0

II

I2

I3

I4

VII. To Cal the Lost Forward

I

2

3

4

5

6

7

8

9

VIII. Somewhere

I

2

3

Acknowledgments

Coda

About the Author

Also by Gregory Maguire

Credits

Copyright

About the Publisher

THE WICKED YEARS

A Note to Readers

Our story so far:

Wicked
begins with the birth of a green-skinned child, Elphaba Thropp—later known as the Wicked Witch of the West—and portrays her unlikely colege friendship with Galinda Upland and her romance with Fiyero Tigelaar. The arriviste Wizard of Oz consolidates his power in the Emerald City and throughout Oz. Under the governance of the Wicked Witch of the East, Nessarose Thropp, Munchkinland secedes from Loyal Oz. The novel closes with the Matter of Dorothy, when Elphaba is thirty-eight and her son, Lir Thropp, is fourteen.

Son of a Witch
tels the story of Lir’s life, revealed in flashbacks, while Elphaba’s brother Shel strengthens his position in the Emerald City, particularly against Munchkinland. Orphaned at fourteen, without guidance or patronage, Lir stumbles into the military, leads a raid against Quadlings, and goes AWOL, eventualy heading a protest against his uncle Shel, now the Emperor of Oz.
Son of a Witch
concludes with the arrival of a child—a green-skinned daughter—born to Lir and Candle, a Quadling. Lir is about twenty-four.

A Lion Among Men
refers to the Cowardly Lion, known as Brrr. His story is told alternately with that of the ancient oracle, Yackle. Brrr muses on his part in the Matter of Dorothy, his rise and fal in society, and his plea-bargaining with Emerald City magistrates to avoid a prison sentence. Hunting for the mysterious oracle Yackle, he locates the lost Grimmerie in the bargain. At novel’s end, a skirmish between rabble-rousing Munchkinlanders and the Emerald City military threatens to ignite into ful-scale civil war. Caught in the crosshairs, Brrr escapes with the troupe that accompanies the Clock of the Time Dragon.

Out of Oz
begins a few months after the close of
A Lion Among Men.

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