Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
Other Sellers on Amazon
+ $5.99 shipping
+ $4.49 shipping
The Magicians: A Novel (Magicians Trilogy) Paperback – May 25, 2010
|New from||Used from|
100 Sci-Fi & Fantasy Books to Read in a Lifetime
Unleash your mind with these 100 extraordinary science fiction and fantasy books. Learn more
Frequently bought together
Customers who bought this item also bought
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 --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Browse award-winning titles. See more
If you are a seller for this product, would you like to suggest updates through seller support?
Top Customer Reviews
Objectively, there is little wrong with the book itself. The writing is, for the most part, decent, even if the author has the infuriating tendency to tell, not show. Yes, the pacing manages to be laborious, even when skipping months at a time, but other books have that problem and still manage to be decent.
The fundamental problem of this book is that nothing happens. At all. There's something to be said for a book exploring the life of the everyman, to whom nothing of import happens, instead of a mythic hero, but that's not what's going on here. Many things - wonderful things - happen to the main character, Q. He learns magic, travels to other worlds, falls in love but, throughout it all, he rejects them. Nothing is good enough for him. His magic isn't magical enough. His lover is boring. And so he continues to tell himself he's meant for something better, all he while failing to live up to what minor expectations are put on him at all.
There is no character growth. Q remains the whiny, entitled, depressed child he was at the beginning of the book, only with a whole host of new, wonderful things to go on about, at the end. He lauds himself for making such good choices and goes off and does the opposite for no adequately explored reason. He tells himself he's better than everyone and fails to see he's the least of them, even after encountering gods and genuinely decent people. If anything, he revels in the depression this causes him, almost to the point of glorifying untreated mental illness.
The characters with the most potential are hardly explored at all, with most appearing to be written out by the end of the book.
The "villain" - indeed, the overarching "plot" itself - seems like an afterthought, as if the author wrote a book about your average wizard and realized he needed an actual reason for someone to read it. Indeed, the author uses the "villain"'s appearance at the end of the novel as a chance to be preachy, going on about how getting what you want is awful because it always ends up badly, and how having emotions is terrible because you might get hurt, tacked on as if an afterthought.
None of this even begins to touch the magical worlds the author has built. Rather than being a "Hogwarts for adults", as advertised, we are given a magical college that somehow manages to be more dull than any real college ever attended, and people who are, to varying degrees, obsessed with a slightly less Christian allegory version of Narnia. Neither are flushed out to anything close to the degree Hogwarts (or Middle Earth or Narnia) was, so that instead of a "magical world that feels real" that could have possibly redeemed the rest of the book, we get a suggestion of a magical world as seen through fogged glasses from a distance.
In short, I have never encountered anything that was such a waste of time. I can't even bring myself to properly hate the book because there is nothing, fundamentally, to hate. It just is. And for that reason alone it becomes the new #1 on my "Books Never To Read Again And Keep The Rest Of The World From Reading At All Costs" list, above books I've outright loathed, because there is nothing to enjoy and even less to hate.
The more I read, the more I realize that I rarely get swept into a story. This novel did just that. I read the first 70 pages in my first sitting, and finished the rest of the book in about a week. The book was filled with several complex and convincingly unique characters. It was filled with unexpected magical turns, and honest (sometimes beautiful, sometimes horrifying) developments. And I just really liked the colorful, engaging story -- filled with Beasts, missing children, mythic lands, love, finding one's place, loss, and finding community in friends.
I was very pleased to read that the book was not exactly like its namesake show on Syfy. Though I love the show, I hoped that I would get more insight into the characters, and see left out events, in the book, which I did (notably, a touching scene at Brakebills South). If one has come to this book because they've liked the show, then I'd recommend going for it, and buying the book. While the two, the show and book, are fairly different, they both share some pretty important and loveable attributes -- like the fumbling Quinton, lovely Alice, nasty Janet (Margo in the show), exuberant Eliot, the Fillory books, and lots in between.
Again, this was the best book I've read in quite a while.
Still there's creative magic and plenty of action throughout the book. The characters are unique and well-developed. They're not overly fantastical characters, but very real.
Overall I enjoyed it and it's a good read. Just don't go into it expecting Harry Potter. This is mostly practical magic that would be beneficial in a world that isn't exclusively magical, but instead it relates in a lot of way to what might be advantageous in everyday life.