NOTICE: (Updated March 5, 2010)

Beginning December 19, 2009, Books 'N Border Collies will be posting but only intermittently while I pursue personal goals. I plan to share some reading I'm doing, but there will be no reviews. I will, however, be sharing my exploration of vegetarian cooking and the cookbooks and websites I use to educate myself. I hope you enjoy it!


Saturday, May 9, 2009


by Gregory Maguire

"The Cowardly Lion looks to Yackle, a dying oracle, for answers about the Wicked Witch of the West, but there's a price to pay for the information he seeks." (From the CD container)

What I'm discovering when it come to the work of Gregory Maguire is that, with the exception of Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister which I loved, I am more attracted to his style of writing than to his stories. There are individual sentences, entire paragraphs here and there I think are brilliant, but I'm not terribly interested in the book as a whole. His Oz series reminds me of when I read The Coachman Rat, minus the intense perturbation. It takes a beloved childhood story and turns it into a darker, more unsettling tale. Normally this would be a huge plus for me, but for some reason I can't seem to put my finger on I'm very lukewarm about these books. What bothered me most about A Lion Among Men was that he took my favorite Oz character, the Lion, and turned him into someone who I didn't particularly like despite the occasional bouts of sympathy I had for his treatment. Then, once again, the larger picture escaped my interest while I dwelled on a couple of more engaging details such as the characterization of Yackle. Her, I liked. A lot!

And if you want to take a chance on the story of Cinderella creeping you out for the rest of your existence, see if you can get your hands on a copy of The Coachman Rat. It's freaky.


bermudaonion said...

My sister loves Gregory Maguire's work. I've tried 2 of his books and discovered they're not for me.

Lezlie said...

Bermudaonion ~ Which ones did you read? I thought Mirror, Mirror was kind of cool even if I didn't quite understand some of it, but that might have been because I'm curious about the Borgias.


Jo-Jo said...

I read Wicked last summer and really enjoyed it...but I can recall that there were some things in there that I just did not understand. What an imagination!

Lezlie said...

Jo-Jo ~ I read Wicked when it first came out, and all I really remember thinking is that I had to be missing something, that there was a message, a subtlety that had to have been going right over my head. I've often thought I should read the original Wizard of Oz, then try Wicked again.


Jeane said...

Oo, yes, I read the Coachman Rat and it was quite creepy but I liked it just as well. Wicked I liked, but some other Maguire just hasn't worked for me. I think I might try this one.

Lezlie said...

Jeane ~ You are the only other person I've known who has read Coachman Rat!! I'm sooooo glad you liked it, too! It's been many years since I read it, but every time "Cinderella" gets brought up, all I can think is, "Do you know what happens to them later?!" :-) I think I need to dig it out again and see if it still strikes me the same way as it did back then.

I'll be curious to see your thoughts on this one if you decide to read it. I didn't really dislike it. I just didn't care that much.