The Magicians: A Novel Hardcover – Deckle Edge, Aug 11 2009
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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
"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."
"... 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."
"Grossman skillfully moves us through four years of school and a postgraduate adventure, never letting the pace slacken...beguiling."
"An irresistible storytelling momentum makes The Magicians a great summer book, both thoughtful and enchanting."
"Sly and lyrical, [The Magicians] captures the magic of childhood and the sobering years beyond."
"...no doubt that this book is inventive storytelling and Grossman is at the height of his powers."
"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."
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Top Customer Reviews
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!Read more ›
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.
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.
Most recent customer reviews
This book had been recommended for anyone who enjoyed the Harry Potter books. Having read all of them with my children, I'd looked forward to reading it. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Avid Reader
Very interesting concept to create a "grown up" Harry Potter" in a magic college type environment mixed with a "Narnia" type land... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Doctor I
People are pretty generous with stars around here. This book was ok. If you gave it five stars, try The Name of The Wind.Published 12 months ago by Andrew Bertrim
Loved it! This book appears to be about magic but is really about human nature and what it means to be a grown up in a complicated world. Would highly recommend it. Read morePublished 12 months ago by Book Spy
I don't consider myself a literary snob, but I didn't feel like this book was very well written. The concept was fun and the last 60 pages or so we're exciting, but the character... Read morePublished 14 months ago by David Pearlman
Well written and complex but didnt seem to go anywhere? Like he worked so hard on the characters he forgot to have a plot?Published 15 months ago by Fiona Gordon
An amazing book with rich characters. I couldn't put it down and burnt through the next two immediately after.Published 16 months ago by Dane McGuire