I'm a big admirer of Gregory Maguire's first Wicked book. It rightly deserves all the literary and popular acclaim it has so far garnered. I was fascinated by the life story and character of Elphaba Thropp aka The Wicked Witch of the West. The second book, Son of a Witch, was disappointing, mediocre but sort of readable. It suffered most because of the need to compare it to its predecessor. This third book, A lion Among Men, is much worse. It hardly seems like a book at all, more like a DVD commentary for a tv series/first two books, where cast and crew tell anecdotes about the filming. Only unable to get either the lead actor, writer or director the commentary features actors who played minor characters and forces them to go through a question and answer session formulated by a group of fans. The Lion and Yackle fit into that role, with a mystery guest contributor on the last episode.
Who else but the most rabid of fan could would put up with two such unlikable characters as The Lion (sorry Brrr) and Yackle for over 400 pages? The cowardly lion sits in one room and interviews Yackle for most of the book. Though being such a poor excuse for an interviewer, the Lion tells more about his own experiences than he receives from Yackle. We hear all about his aimless meandering. Of course he has to meet some lions, oh and some tigers and unfortunately some bears...oh my. There is also an attempt by the author to shoehorn a theme about the morality of war into the mix but this only serves to compound the already rampant cynicism of the the main characters.
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16 hours ago