One purpose of this second read is to prepare me to see the musical "Wicked - the Untold Stories of the Witches of Oz" on July 13 at Shea's Performing Arts Center in downtown Buffalo, NY. The musical has created quite a local buzz since it opened last Friday. I've had many conversations with people about reading the book and seeing the musical. My teaching partner (officially only until tomorrow *sniff*) read the book, saw the musical, and loved both. She informed me that MUCH of the story in the book is NOT in the musical. Understandable.
As I am reading through the second section of the book, in which the youngsters are at Shiz University in Gillikin, I think about why a few of my good literary friends (you know, the English teacher types) tried to read the book but did NOT like it enough to finish it. The book is certainly not action or even plot-driven. (Twilight is very plot and action-driven, in contrast.) The lives of the main characters tell not just their own personal stories, but also the history and culture of Oz. The book is also a philosophical discussion of the nature of good and evil, both in Oz and on Earth. I don't know how I managed to persist in the first reading, but this time, I remind myself to be patient, read on, and enjoy the gems I find.