Leigh. 26 years old cis queer female. Social justice, adorable things, comics, and lots (lots and lots) of fandom.
Forever fandom loves: HP, anything Joss Whedon (but especially Buffy). Current hot fandoms I am obsessed with: ORPHAN BLACK, Orphan Black, and Orphan Black. Also SPN, Hannibal, Marvel/Avengers, Orange is the New Black, Welcome to Night Vale
Current OTPs: OB: Cophine, Propunk, Punky Monkey, Alex/Piper (OITNB), Steve/Bucky (Marvel), Dean/Cas (SPN), Cecil/Carlos (WTNV)
Oooh I’m glad you asked!
I don’t necessarily dislike musical!Elphaba, I just find book!Elphaba to be a far more engaging and interesting characterization.
In the novel, Elphaba is far more shrewd and ambitious, antisocial to a point but extremely passionate and on point about the things she cares about, whether that be Animal rights or the few people she lets into her social circle.
In the musical, I feel like Elphaba (and most of the plot and characters in general) is so watered down—they make her a bit of an awkward loner instead of a person who has been so severely verbally abused, shunned, and reviled throughout her life that she has built up very specific and very effective walls against being hurt again. Elphaba is hard, and yet someone who is brimming with incredibly intellect and spirit. She is one of my ABSOLUTE FAVORITE PEOPLE EVER and seeing her transformation from terror of a child everyone thought was evil, to withdrawn college student, to passionate lover, to charismatic leader, to exiled witch, is one of my favorite character arcs.
You should absolutely read the book! You have to go into it not expecting the musical at ALL, though, mind you. It is both narratively, and in theme, very different. The book is very adult and far more political in nature. The relationship between Elphaba and G(a)linda is still incredibly central to the story, but the plot focuses more on the repercussions of a tyrannical leader in the Wizard and a large scale civil rights movement among the Animals. Elphaba in the book is far more of a freedom fighter and activist leader, and I can’t say enough good about it. Keep reading!