The Next Queen of Heaven

The Next Queen of Heaven

3 (1,704 ratings by Goodreads)
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"A delight....[A] funny and warmhearted exploration of the sacred and the profane."
--Washington Post

"Reading The Next Queen of Heaven is like hanging on to the back of an out-of-control carnival ride--terrifying, thrilling, a once-in-a-lifetime adventure."

--Ann Patchett

New York Times bestseller Gregory Maguire--who re-imagined the land of Oz and all its fabled inhabitants in his monumental series, The Wicked Years--brings us The Next Queen of Heaven, a wildly farcical and gloriously imaginative tall tale of faith, Catholic dogma, lust, and questionable miracles on the eve of Y2K. The very bizarre and hilarious goings on in the eccentric town of Thebes make for a delightfully mad reading experience--as The Next Queen of Heaven shows off the acclaimed author of Confessions of an Ugly Stepsister and Mirror Mirror in a brilliant new heavenly light.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 347 pages
  • 132.08 x 200.66 x 25.4mm | 272.15g
  • HarperPaperbacks
  • New York, NY, United States
  • English
  • Reprint
  • Illustrations, black and white
  • 006199779X
  • 9780061997792
  • 394,795

Back cover copy

With the new millennium approaching, the eccentric town of Thebes grows even stranger. Mrs. Leontina Scales begins speaking in tongues after being clocked by a Catholic statuette. Her daughter, Tabitha, and her sons scheme to save their mother or surrender her to Jesus--whatever comes first. Meanwhile, choir director Jeremy Carr, caught between lust and ambition, fumbles his way toward Y2K. The ancient Sisters of the Sorrowful Mysteries join with a gay singing group. The Radical Radiants battle the Catholics. A Christmas pageant goes horribly awry. And a child is born.

Only a modern master like Gregory Maguire could spin a tale as frantic, funny, and farcical as The Next Queen of Heaven.
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Review quote

Reading The Next Queen of Heaven is like hanging on to the back of an out-of-control carnival ride terrifying, thrilling, a once-in-a-lifetime adventure. --Ann Patchett, bestselling author of Bel Canto and Run"
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Rating details

1,704 ratings
3 out of 5 stars
5 8% (137)
4 24% (416)
3 37% (628)
2 21% (357)
1 10% (166)

Our customer reviews

Gregory Maguire is best known for his books centering around the Wicked story, and while I"m a huge fan of the Broadway show, the book just didn't do it for me. I've read a few more of Maguire's books along the way and finished each one with a feeling of confusion - I just didn't get it. I didn't get the humor, the satire, the subtle jokes everyone else is apparently getting. So in an attempt to understand what exactly I didn't "get" about this book let me break it down into sections. Characters: The characters in The Next Queen of Heaven were easy to relate to. Tabitha and Jeremy's voices were the loudest and it was easy to fall in to their lives and to figure out how the events unfolding were impacting them. I admit, I'm a bit of a prudish reader when it comes to language (mostly because I like to recommend clean-language novels, and it makes me cringe to read some really harsh words at the start of a book) and The Next Queen of Heaven is definitely not a book if you have a hard time getting past some of the more crude language out there. Tabitha has just about the most foul mouth I've read from a character lately and, considering some of the books I've read in the last month, that's really saying something. Still, I liked the characters - aside from the language issue, and I found myself rooting for them and feeling their pain and struggles. So it wasn't the characters that brought the story down for me. Plot: I think this may be where everything falls apart. The plot felt like it began to fall apart about half-way through. I started to lose track of which nun was which, and... I'm still trying to understand why certain events took place in the Catholic church toward the end of the story (but that may be because I'm not Catholic?). Because the plot had me confused, some events that should have triggered an emotional response from me, ended up not triggering much at all. Setting: The setting was fine. I grew up in a town much like the one in this book, so it was easy for me to get a feel for the area and the people. Religion: This is, I think, one of the things that made me the most uncomfortable. Although I enjoyed reading Good Omens, by Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, I had a difficult time with the irreverence of it, and - in much the same manner - I felt uncomfortable reading parts of this book as well. I also didn't like the movie Dogma, but - many folks do and to each their own. I think I feel safe in saying if you enjoyed Dogma or Good Omens, then this is probably a book that you'll enjoy as well. So I guess it comes down to the fact that I just felt confusion with the plotline. Everything else was fine and I read the book quickly, so it wasn't a difficult read. Another Maguire checked off the list - I'm sure I'll find one someday that I'll fall in love with!show more
by Lydia Presley
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