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The Magicians (Turtleback School & Library Binding Edition) Library Binding – May 25, 2010
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From Publishers Weekly
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
More About the Author
Grossman has been Time magazine's book critic and lead technology writer for over a decade, and he has also written essays and criticism for the New York Times, Salon, Slate, the Wall Street Journal, Wired, the Village Voice and the Believer, among others. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and three children.
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Top Customer Reviews
It has fantastic elements, yes. There is magic; there is a school for magic, where the characters learn to cast spells, using hand gestures and arcane language and strange mystical components -- Ziploc bag full of mutton fat, anyone? -- and there is a voyage from this world to another, a land of naiads and fauns and magical speaking animals, gods and demons, kings and queens, quests and wishes. But this book is something very different from the usual fantasy novel. In "The Magicians," Lev Grossman has done something unusual, and remarkable, perhaps even unique: this is a grown-up fantasy. This book is to fantasy what "The Grapes of Wrath" is to travel books, what "The Metamorphosis" is to self-help: so much more depressing and visceral and funny and horrifying, and genuine, and fascinating, and hard to read and therefore valuable, that it doesn't belong in the same category despite sharing some central traits. The setting is imagined, and there are supernatural things that happen, but make no mistake: this is a serious novel.Read more ›
The characters in the story are fairly fleshed out, in that you have a good sense of what drives them, what makes them tick, you can see the dynamics between them. The description of the magic school Brakebills is very well done, filled with things that people don't understand about and that has a life of its own. And while at the very end there's something that can lead to a sequel, there's definitely an ending to this book, no gimmick cliffhanger that requires you to wait for the next book.
Definitely, the book had the makings of a great story. Yet, I was left numb at the end, not happy, not sad, not scared. And that, really, is why I left this review with 3 stars. I read fiction to be entertained. This entertainment can be in the form of humor, feeling good, scared, excited, titillated, insightful, or some combination thereof. Instead, when I read this book, I saw through the eyes of a fairly apathetic protagonist, who messes things up and blames everyone else, who had chances to become a hero and fails each time. I read about a person who wanted something, got it, didn't like it, and became apathetic. I read about the antagonist being defeated, the protagonist winning in the end, and no one feeling ... well, happy for having accomplished anything. Perhaps this is what real life can be.Read more ›
The main character Quentin is a sad-sack loser who refuses to embrace any form of happiness when he has it. Instead, he is always wishing to be somewhere he's not, convinced that somewhere else holds the key to his well-being. The entire book is stuck in this cycle - it never propels the story forward, it never concludes what it started. Instead, the author jerks the reader from one stage of his fantasy to another, leaving each one with unsatisfying conclusion...or lack thereof since he manages to abandon each storyline before rushing into his next great imitation.
First issue: Imitation versus Inspiration. Most of the ideas in this story are heavily borrowed from The Chronicles of Narnia (Fillory) and Harry Potter (Brakebills) and lumped together in an awkward and poorly constructed narrative (more on that later). It is fan fiction at its worst - anything creative seems to be loosely based on ideas of others, which is fine when you can create something better. Lev Grossman did not. He would have been better off to use Narnia and its characters rather than trying to create poorly disguised carbon copies in his make-believe land of Fillory.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This book is beyond poorly written and it seems pretty clear that Grossman had an idea for a story but it turned out that it only took up 50 pages so he wrote 350 pages of crap in... Read morePublished 11 hours ago by IBuyThings
This is one of the worst books I've ever read in my life.
Nothing about this book is original or imaginative, it's all ripped off from other great authors. Read more
Terribly disappointing book. At first it started out well, and for the first 1/3 of the book I was all set to give it 4 stars. Read morePublished 2 days ago by Anna A. Stanford
Wonderful, the quote "Harry Potter for adults" should be enough for you to want to read it, even if you don't like Harry Potter.Published 2 days ago by Michael Karlsson
This book was hard to get into, the writing was so odd, it would switch between the characters point of view to then just being descriptions of what happened. Read morePublished 2 days ago by ksms
Lion the witch and the wardrobe-Esque, with a sprinkle of sex, drugs and A LOT of alcohol.
I dig it.
What prompted me to read The Magicians were the witty one liner reviews. "A more cracked out version of Harry Potter. Read morePublished 3 days ago by Amazon Customer