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The Magicians: A Novel Hardcover – Deckle Edge, Aug 11 2009

3.8 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Viking; 1 edition (Aug. 11 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0670020559
  • ISBN-13: 978-0670020553
  • Product Dimensions: 16.1 x 3.2 x 24.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 794 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars 22 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #93,999 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Amazon

Mixing the magic of beloved children's fantasy classics (from Narnia and Oz to Harry Potter and Earthsea) with the sex, excess, angst, and anticlimax of life in college and beyond, Lev Grossman's Magicians reimagines modern-day fantasy for grownups. Quentin Coldwater lives in a state of perpetual melancholy, privately obsessed with his childhood books about the enchanted land of Fillory. When he’s admitted to the surreptitious Brakebills Academy for an education in magic, Quentin finds mastering spells is tedious (and love is even more fraught). He also discovers his power has thrilling potential--though it's unclear what he should do with it once he's moved with his new magician cohorts to New York City. Then they discover the magical land of Fillory is real and launch an expedition to use their powers to set things right in the kingdom--which, naturally, turns out to be a much murkier proposition than expected. The Magicians breathes life into a cast of characters you want to know--if the people you want to know are charismatic, brilliant, complex, flawed magicians--and does what Quentin claims books never really manage to do: "get you out, really out, of where you were and into somewhere better. " Or if not better, at least a heck of a lot more interesting. --Mari Malcolm

Review

"Fantasy fans can't afford to miss the darkly comic and unforgettably queasy experience of reading this book-and be glad for reality."
-Booklist (Starred Review)

"This is a book for grown-up fans of children's fantasy and would appeal to those who loved Donna Tartt's The Secret History. Highly recommended."
-Library Journal (Starred Review)

"Very dark and very scary, with no simple answers provided-fantasy for grown- ups, in other words, and very satisfying indeed."
-Kirkus Reviews

"... provocative, unput-downable ... one of the best fantasies I've read in ages."
-Fantasy & Science Fiction

"The Magicians is to Harry Potter as a shot of Irish whiskey is to a glass of weak tea."
-George R.R. Martin, bestselling author of A Game of Thrones

"Stirring, complex, adventurous ... from the life of Quentin Coldwater, his slacker Park Slope Harry Potter, Lev Grossman delivers superb coming of age fantasy."
-Junot Diaz, Pulitzer-prize winning author of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao

"The Magicians ought to be required reading for anyone who has ever fallen in love with a fantasy series, or wished they went to a school for wizards."
-Kelly Link, author of Magic for Beginners and Stranger Things Happen

"The Magicians is a spellbinding, fast-moving, dark fantasy book for grownups that feels like an instant classic."
-Kate Christensen, PEN/Faulkner award winning author of The Great Man and The Epicure's Lament

"The Magicians is fantastic. It's strange, fanciful, extravagant, eccentric, and truly remarkable-a great story, masterfully told."
-Scott Smith, bestselling author of The Ruins and A Simple Plan

"Remember the last time you ran home to finish a book? This is it, folks. The Magicians is the most dazzling, erudite and thoughtful fantasy novel to date."
-Gary Shteyngart, author of Absurdistan and The Russian Debutante's Handbook

"The Magicians brilliantly explores the hidden underbelly of fantasy and easy magic ... It's like seeing the worlds of Narnia and Harry Potter through a 3-D magnifying glass."
-Naomi Novik, author of His Majesty's Dragon

"Grossman clearly has read his POtter and much more. While this story invariably echoes a whole body of romantic coming-of-age tales, Grossman's American variation is fresh and compelling. Like a jazz musician, he riffs on Potter and Narnia, but makes it his own."
--Washington Post

"Grossman skillfully moves us through four years of school and a postgraduate adventure, never letting the pace slacken...beguiling."
--Seattle Times

"An irresistible storytelling momentum makes The Magicians a great summer book, both thoughtful and enchanting."
--Salon

"Sly and lyrical, [The Magicians] captures the magic of childhood and the sobering years beyond."
--Entertainment Weekly

"...no doubt that this book is inventive storytelling and Grossman is at the height of his powers."
--Chicago Sun-Times

"The Magicians reimagines modern-day fantasy for grownups. [It] breathes life into a cast of characters you want to know...and does what [some] claim books never really manage to do: 'get you out, really out, of where you were and into somewhere better."
--Louisville Courier-Journal

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Customer Reviews

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
If the Harry Potter books were about innocence, magic and wonder, The Magicians is about self absorption, indulgence and misery. There is no magic in The Magicians. There is no wonder. Everyone is suspicious of everyone else. It's as if the author was projecting a deeply felt bitterness about the futility of magic in his own life. And to top it off, the prose is clumsy, and the plotting is entirely without suspense. A masterpiece of succumbing to every possible betrayal of what brings magic into life. Curious, this. And curious that some people like it.
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Format: Paperback
The Magicians ultimately left me disappointed at the concepts the author chose to focus on and what was set aside. What first feels like a mix of Harry Potter and the Narnia Chronicles, with a sampling of alien horror, chooses to focus on the faults of the characters and their vices over a heroic story. Their progression of magical study and journey is demoted for infidelity and clichéd school yard politics. The protagonist is set up as incredibly gifted and intelligent and then seemingly loses those qualities for the rest of the book. The setting does not seem to wander far from its sources, and when it does it feels perverted instead of tributary. There are some good concepts, good characters and even some moments in this book which made my disappointment bittersweet.
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Format: Hardcover
It pays homage to the Harry Potter and Narnia novels, and it has similarities but that's where it stops. It's a coming of age novel which features Quentin and his friends he meets at Brakebills. It's definitely a more serious novel and delves deeper into emotions and it's more dark and definitely not a kid's book! there's action and drama, romance too, but there's some twists and turns that make the book more darker and includes more "dangerous" themes which makes the book catered towards adults.

I liked the book. It certainly did grab my curiosity when I first heard about it and as I read further into it, I had to try and not put Harry Potter and Narnia comparisons, or it'll ruin my enjoyment of this book - which I'm glad I managed to fight off. I thought it was pretty well executed and very well thought out especially with trying to juggle the Fillory part into this story and having to put it as once a fictional world that Quentin had been reading since he was a boy into a full fledged real-life fantasy world and also adding a fantasy epic plot into it as well, while also juggling the plot happening on real Earth. However, it went smooth and it did not leave me, as a reader, confused. There's even a helpful map on the inside of the book which is an added bonus. The plot was great, as it followed Quentin from his beginning years in the college, to his graduation, to his real life entrance into the world, and to his adventures in Fillory and afterwards. It's a great chronological way of running the story.

I have to admit, this is one of the few books I liked, but where I also had an intense dislike for the main character. I actually did not like Quentin at all. He's such a whiner!
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Format: Paperback
Overall, I have to say that I mostly enjoyed the story. I thought it was well told and the character development was very well done. The biggest problem I had was Quentin, the main character. I tried and tried to like him but just couldn't. He's one of those people who always want or need something more to be happy but once they get it, they need something else. Nothing is ever enough to make them happy. I'd say more about certain aspects of his character that I found revolting but that would give away some of the story so I won't.

There's a sequel coming out in September 2011. I will most likely not bother getting it or reading it. This book is a complete story without a sequel and, honestly, I didn't care enough about the characters to want to read more. That's why I gave it a three. To get a four, it would have to be good enough to make me "need" the sequel.

I'll still recommend it for people who like this type of book (Harry Potter, Narnia, etc) but with reservations.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Holy angst, Batman. Let's see... you have unlimited magical power, unlimited wealth... and you choose to dress up like the lead singer from the Cure and flounce around all day mumbling "I am so sad, kill me...". The writing is fine, the premise is clever enough... but the characters... if I lived in a world like this, I would be deliberately evil just to snuff out these whining, ungrateful little sods. I understand there are more in this series, and that the later ones are better. We shall see.
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Format: Kindle Edition
Meh.

I probably put too much faith in another person's review that this was like Harry Potter for adults. A more accurate description would be that this book is a depressing, dark, sexual, fairly pointless story, told by a depressed guy, that is about self-discovery, adventure-seeking, and meh, that's about it.

I guess it starts with kids going to a magic college, but it's nowhere near as majestic as Hogwarts. I imagined a regular high school, but with magic courses... but there was nothing fancy or exciting about it. The first half of the book goes through years of school, where I care about none of the characters nor the story. I was quite bored. It was more about the characters and their depressed lives trying to find something exciting. I didn't like any of them. Actually, I kinda liked Alice.

Then the 2nd half of the book is more like a depressed version of an evil dark Narnia. It was better than the first half though.

I would only read the next one because I already have it, and because I am slightly curious as to what will happen. I was more relieved it was over.

This is written by a guy, with a guy protagonist, and I would say even more catered to guys. Most of the jokes and internal dialogue comes from a guy's perspective. I thought there were some pretty realistic perspectives where I would have said the same thing as Quentin.
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