The Magicians: A Novel (Unabridged)
by Lev Grossman
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A thrilling and original coming-of- age novel about a young man practicing magic in the real world. Quentin Coldwater is brilliant but miserable. A senior in high school, he's still secretly preoccupied with a series of fantasy novels he read as a child, set in a magical land called Fillory. Imagine his surprise when he finds himself unexpectedly admitted to a very secret, very exclusive college of magic in upstate New York, where he receives a thorough and rigorous education in the craft of modern sorcery. He also discovers all the other things people learn in college: friendship, love, sex, booze, and boredom. Something is missing, though. Magic doesn't bring Quentin the happiness and adventure he dreamed it would. After graduation, he and his friends make a stunning discovery: Fillory is real. But the land of Quentin's fantasies turns out to be much darker and more dangerous than he could have imagined. His childhood dream becomes a nightmare with a shocking truth at its heart. At once psychologically piercing and magnificently absorbing, The Magicians boldly moves into uncharted literary territory, imagining magic as practiced by real people, with their capricious desires and volatile emotions. Lev Grossman creates an utterly original world in which good and evil aren't black and white, love and sex aren't simple or innocent, and power comes at a terrible price.
I don't know about anybody else who listened to this book, but Book 1 was actually ok. I enjoyed the implications of the non-harry-potteresque school setting, but once book 2 hit, the real torture began. The main protagonist was kind of like 3rd season peter petrelli....all the potential....but was a little bit too "poor me.....the world hates me....so I refuse to reach my full potential." Also the author in my eyes was very unoriginal... Almost every cool aspect of the magic was stolen from C.S. Lewis and even the "magic school" idea was stolen from Rowling. There are so many more fantasy novels worth reading out there, that don't include the unnecessary swearing, poor vocabulary, random sex scenes and scenes from the emo kid hanging out at the local mall convinced that the world is out to get them. seriously don't waste your time on this book.
It's not a 1:1 comparison to Harry Potter, people.
No one said this book would be a 1:1 comparison to Harry Potter, or LotR, or Narnia. But it does play upon those traditions, adds realistic characters [as real as can be expected], and drops them dead-center of this magical, fantastical reality. What you have is a series of events that answers the questions: what would REALLY happen to a normal kid if he found out there really was magic in the world and that he could be a part of it. It's as honest a fantasy story as one could get. It's a bit too episodic in places for me and the ending begs for a sequel far too much, but it was still a satisfying story. No, you're not gonna get a 7-book opus. You're not going to get a story about some kid who can do no wrong. You're not even gonna get a story about British kids. But you will get a story that satisfies.
The Magicians is a wonderful book when you begin it. Lev starts with a great and intriguing storyline. But somewhere along the way, that story is changed dramtically. I got the impression that he didn't know what else to do with it so he began a whole different story in the middle of his unfinished one. After that the book seems to drag along... Don't get me wrong it is interesting and pretty exciting. But the spark is lost. Also the ending seems to be sudden and written poorly personally.