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The Magicians: A Novel [Kindle Edition]

Lev Grossman
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,270 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $16.00
Kindle Price: $3.00
You Save: $13.00 (81%)
Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC

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Book Description

The New York Times bestselling novel about a young man practicing magic in the real world 
Like everyone else, precocious high school senior Quentin Coldwater assumes that magic isn't real, until he finds himself admitted to a very secretive and exclusive college of magic in upstate New York. There he indulges in joys of college-friendship, love, sex, and booze- and receives a rigorous education in modern sorcery. But magic doesn't bring the happiness and adventure Quentin thought it would. After graduation, he and his friends stumble upon a secret that sets them on a remarkable journey that may just fulfill Quentin's yearning. But their journey turns out to be darker and more dangerous than they'd imagined. Psychologically piercing and dazzlingly inventive, The Magicians, the prequel to the New York Times bestselling book The Magician King and the #1 bestseller The Magician's Land, is an enthralling coming-of-age tale about magic practiced in the real world-where good and evil aren't black and white, and power comes at a terrible price.


Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Amazon Best of the Month, August 2009: 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

From Publishers Weekly

Grossman's novel is a postadolescent Harry Potter, following apprentices in the art of magic through their time as students at an upstate New York college to their postcollegiate Manhattan misdeeds, with jaded ennui tempering the magical aura. Mark Bramhall, a smooth baritone with a supple speaking voice, reads carefully, with a slight air of heaviness and sorrow. He pauses frequently and freights the silences with a tenderness well befitting a coming-of-age novel. A Viking hardcover (Reviews, June 1). (July)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1362 KB
  • Print Length: 428 pages
  • Publisher: Plume; 1 edition (August 11, 2009)
  • Sold by: Penguin Group (USA) LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002AU7MJU
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,379 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
828 of 959 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
Stop thinking this is a fantasy book. I know, I know, it's called "The Magicians," the plot synopsis references all three of the most famous fantasy series and describes a handful of familiar fantasy tropes, including the school of magic and the fairy tale land come to actual life. But forget all of that. I have read more fantasy books than I can remember -- I'm named for a character in perhaps the most famous fantasy series of all time -- and I'm telling you: "The Magicians" is not a fantasy.

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.
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465 of 554 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Well written book, but it left me Numb July 24, 2009
Format:Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The Magicians by Lev Grossman is a well written story about a magical world, a fairly detailed world of rules and exceptions. The story, at one point, had a very poignant concept of what magic may be: That if the universe was a house that God made for everyone, that Magic was the tools he left behind, possibly by accident, in the garage. That perhaps using Magic was as dangerous as kids finding these power tools and such, and using them without direction or precaution.

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.
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42 of 48 people found the following review helpful
Format:Hardcover
Lev Grossman's Harry-Potter-Goes-to-Narnia novel claims to be a fantasy novel for grown-ups, a fantasy novel about what it means to be grown up. Its protagonists--on the one hand--are capable of incredible magic feats, graduate from a college clearly modeled on Hogwart's, and adventure in a renamed Narnia; on the other hand, they are themselves Dungeons and Dragons players and obsessive Narnia fans who discuss theme parks, cons, and cosplay. Such a universe in which magic is both fantasy and reality, and in which characters openly discuss spellcasting as the ultimate speech-act and ask questions like, "Can a man who can cast a spell"--a man for whom desire and its gratification seamlessly merge--"ever really grow up?" seems like the perfect setting to explore the human impulse towards fantasy. What does it do for us? Is it bound by morality? For what, exactly, is magic a metaphor?

Grossman opens up these questions, but explores them only as superficially as humanly possible. Towards the end of the novel, its abject antihero Quentin chooses to eschew magic in favor of a "mundane" life. It's clear he intends for this renunciation to be penitential, but Grossman goes out of his way to show how Quentin uses his connections to the magical world to secure a plush corporate sinecure and a fantastically privileged lifestyle in the "real" world. It seems a fabulous opportunity to explore parallels between the easy power of magic and the unearned privileges our own world doles out based on class, race, nationality, and gender.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome read!
Hooks you in immediately! Great plotline, keeps you wanting more. Can't wait to read the next book and see where it goes!
Published 12 hours ago by Serena Utz
3.0 out of 5 stars Decent Start
It took me a long time to get into this book. Quentin's time at brakebills seemed rushed and initially the book was kind of boring. Read more
Published 1 day ago by Erin
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
interesting variation on the boy wizard. definitely not Harry
Published 2 days ago by Ed Sbardella
5.0 out of 5 stars Messy. so gloriously messy.
The fantasy book we actually needed as an adolescents, but no one had the balls to give us. Thank Ember it's here now.
Published 3 days ago by Charles G. Meyer
5.0 out of 5 stars entrancing fantasy
As a life-time lover of the fantasy genre, I have to say I loved this book. The writing was so descriptive, and the imaginings of the author so vivid, that I felt myself to be... Read more
Published 3 days ago by Maribeth Metcalf
5.0 out of 5 stars A novel approach to a not uncommon genre
Creative, rich, engaging, and memorable—as good a book as I've read for entertainment in some time.
Published 3 days ago by Blake Olmstead
5.0 out of 5 stars Good Reads
Great beginning to a story that keeps drawing you in. Culturally fresh and current. I am now a Lev Grossman fan.
Published 4 days ago by Kichele
1.0 out of 5 stars One Star
It was the worst book I ever read.
Published 7 days ago by Ronald Hilliard
2.0 out of 5 stars Awesome Potential, but Doesn't Manage to Pull it All Together
This was a book I had to step back from and stew on a bit before trying to write my review. For starters, Lev Grossman uses heavy-handed allusions to the “Harry Potter” and... Read more
Published 8 days ago by Reading To Distraction
4.0 out of 5 stars Did I enjoy this? Not really
I wasn't going to write a review of this book, since there are so many of them already. But, after reading a few dozen reviews (I always read the reviews AFTER I read the book... Read more
Published 8 days ago by Erik A Westwig
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More About the Author

Lev Grossman is the author of the New York Times bestselling novels The Magicians and The Magician King. The third book in the trilogy, The Magician's Land, will be published in August 2014. The New Yorker named The Magicians as one of the best books of 2009. In 2011 Grossman was awarded the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer by the World Science Fiction Society.

Grossman is also the book critic at Time magazine, and he has written about books and technology for the New York Times, Salon, the Wall Street Journal, Wired, Lingua Franca, the Village Voice and the Believer, as well as NPR.

He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and three children. He's 43, slightly built and probably wouldn't last long in a post-apocalyptic, eye-for-an-eye world.

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The Magicians by Lev Grossman
Rachel, you have to remember that time moves differently in Fillory. Martin has been there for centuries. He ran away to the dark forest as a child and began learning magic (obviously very dark magic). If he has had centuries to amass his power, it's not a stretch to think he could overpower... Read More
Mar 2, 2010 by Michael A. Allen |  See all 41 posts
If I have a growing dislike at 75% through should I finish?
Oh God I hope you did. I thought the book was interesting for the first half then completely got bored for a while. However, the book is so worth finishing. Not because the end is so dramatic, happy, or monumental. In fact the ending is very simple, depressing, and... lax. For all of that, the... Read More
Apr 25, 2013 by Isaac |  See all 7 posts
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