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The Magicians

by

The Magicians Cover

ISBN13: 9780452296299
ISBN10: 0452296293
All Product Details

 

Awards

Staff Pick

As a diehard Narniaphile and fantasy addict, I think it would have been impossible for me not to fall in love with The Magicians. Taking a page from C. S. Lewis, Grossman introduces Fillory, a charming and uncanny alternate world created by a fictional author, whose books play a role in the lives of Grossman's characters. At the same time, Grossman's Brakebills College seems a nod to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Yet, despite these allusions to children's books, this is definitely a story for adults, rife with sexual tension, deceit, and self doubt.
Recommended by Kara, Powell's Books at PDX

Synopses & Reviews

From Powells.com:

Read an excerpt from The World in the Walls, the novel-within-the-novel in Lev Grossman's new book The Magicians. This excerpt doesn't appear anywhere in the book itself!

Publisher Comments:

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.

Review:

"Harry Potter discovers Narnia is real in this derivative fantasy thriller from Time book critic Grossman (Codex). Quentin Coldwater, a Brooklyn high school student devoted to a children's series set in the Narnia-like world of Fillory, is leading an aimless existence until he's tapped to enter a mysterious portal that leads to Brakebills College, an exclusive academy where he's taught magic. Coldwater, whose special gifts enable him to skip grades, finds his family's world 'mundane and domestic' when he returns home for vacation. He loses his innocence after a prank unintentionally allows a powerful evil force known only as the Beast to enter the college and wreak havoc. Eventually, Coldwater's powers are put to the test when he learns that Fillory is a real place and how he can journey there. Genre fans will easily pick up the many nods to J.K. Rowling and C.S. Lewis, not to mention J.R.R. Tolkien in the climactic battle between the bad guy and a magician." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Review:

"The Magicians is a great fairy tale, written for grown-ups but appealing to our most basic desires for stories to bring about some re-enchantment with the world, where monsters lurk but where a young man with a little magic may prevail." Keith Donohue, The Washington Post

Review:

"[A] very entertaining book; one of those summer page-turners that you wish went on for another six volumes." The Chicago Sun-Times

Review:

"The Magicians is satisfyingly great fun. But it also reminds us of what we discover as adults: childhood fantasies are just that; perfection is elusive; the real, big world is unfair, filled with good and evil and shades in between; and happiness is unstable and depends on how we view life." Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

Review:

"Deep 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)

Review:

"This is a book for grown-up fans of children's fantasy and would also appeal to those who loved Donna Tartt's The Secret History. Highly recommended." Library Journal (Starred Review)

Review:

"Very dark and very scary, with no simple answers provided — fantasy for grown-ups, in other words, and very satisfying indeed." Kirkus Reviews

About the Author

Lev Grossman is a senior writer and the book critic for Time magazine and the author of the bestselling novel Codex. He holds degrees in comparative literature from Harvard and Yale.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 13 comments:

Jennie C, November 26, 2014 (view all comments by Jennie C)
This is easily the worst book I've read all year, and I read a lot of books. I almost didn't finish it, but I kept waiting for it to suddenly turn into the wonderful book that reviewers and critics have claimed it to be. JK Rowling and the estate of CS Lewis should be suing for plagiarism - except this interpretation of the two works is so completely flat and unappealing in every way that no decent author would want to admit to being its inspiration.

If someone held a gun to my head I might consider reading the other two books in the trilogy - emphasis on the "MIGHT."
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
LitDoc, October 29, 2014 (view all comments by LitDoc)
I loved all three of the books in Grossman's trilogy. Just like everyone says, it's like Harry Potter and Narnia for adults, which is necessarily disturbing. The world Grossman creates is believable and the characters are realistically flawed. Quentin is not particularly likeable in this first book of the trilogy, but that too is realistic--what 18 year old narcissists are likeable? Dive in, and enjoy. You will be happy there are two more books following this one.
Was this comment helpful? | Yes | No
luvagoodstory, May 22, 2013 (view all comments by luvagoodstory)
I am surprised this book got such great reader reviews. I do love fantasy, but this one did nothing for me. I was disappointed in the characters especially the main one. Quentin was... ugh... always feeling sorry for himself. It was all teenage angst in my opinion. Which is interesting because one of the reviews said it was an adult version of Harry Potter etc. Teenage angst is not an adult subject it is a reminder of all the petty stuff adults don't care about because they have grown up. Possibly since sex and drugs were added that may mean adult? -(which may have been the only appealing topic in the book) I wanted more magic and interesting characters to keep me turning the pages. I read this book because I heard it compared to other epic stories. I did not think it even came close. Unfortunately I did not care what happened to the characters. I felt the characters had no depth and were very shallow (except possibly Alice). I felt the setting was not very engaging. I like it when the author puts you into their world, but I did not get that from this book.
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(2 of 4 readers found this comment helpful)
View all 13 comments

Product Details

ISBN:
9780452296299
Author:
Grossman, Lev
Publisher:
Plume Books
Subject:
Fantasy - General
Subject:
Literary
Subject:
Fantasy fiction
Subject:
Magic
Subject:
Science Fiction and Fantasy-Fantasy
Publication Date:
20100531
Binding:
TRADE PAPER
Language:
English
Illustrations:
Y
Pages:
416
Dimensions:
8.54x5.50x.88 in. .82 lbs.
Age Level:
17-17

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Related Subjects


Featured Titles » General
Featured Titles » Genre
Featured Titles » Literature
Featured Titles » Staff Picks
Fiction and Poetry » Literature » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » A to Z
Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » Fantasy » General
Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » Featured Titles

The Magicians New Trade Paper
0 stars - 0 reviews
$16.00 In Stock
Product details 416 pages Plume Books - English 9780452296299 Reviews:
"Staff Pick" by ,

As a diehard Narniaphile and fantasy addict, I think it would have been impossible for me not to fall in love with The Magicians. Taking a page from C. S. Lewis, Grossman introduces Fillory, a charming and uncanny alternate world created by a fictional author, whose books play a role in the lives of Grossman's characters. At the same time, Grossman's Brakebills College seems a nod to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Yet, despite these allusions to children's books, this is definitely a story for adults, rife with sexual tension, deceit, and self doubt.

"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Harry Potter discovers Narnia is real in this derivative fantasy thriller from Time book critic Grossman (Codex). Quentin Coldwater, a Brooklyn high school student devoted to a children's series set in the Narnia-like world of Fillory, is leading an aimless existence until he's tapped to enter a mysterious portal that leads to Brakebills College, an exclusive academy where he's taught magic. Coldwater, whose special gifts enable him to skip grades, finds his family's world 'mundane and domestic' when he returns home for vacation. He loses his innocence after a prank unintentionally allows a powerful evil force known only as the Beast to enter the college and wreak havoc. Eventually, Coldwater's powers are put to the test when he learns that Fillory is a real place and how he can journey there. Genre fans will easily pick up the many nods to J.K. Rowling and C.S. Lewis, not to mention J.R.R. Tolkien in the climactic battle between the bad guy and a magician." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Review" by , "The Magicians is a great fairy tale, written for grown-ups but appealing to our most basic desires for stories to bring about some re-enchantment with the world, where monsters lurk but where a young man with a little magic may prevail."
"Review" by , "[A] very entertaining book; one of those summer page-turners that you wish went on for another six volumes."
"Review" by , "The Magicians is satisfyingly great fun. But it also reminds us of what we discover as adults: childhood fantasies are just that; perfection is elusive; the real, big world is unfair, filled with good and evil and shades in between; and happiness is unstable and depends on how we view life."
"Review" by , "Deep fantasy fans can't afford to miss the darkly comic and unforgettably queasy experience of reading this book — and be glad for reality."
"Review" by , "This is a book for grown-up fans of children's fantasy and would also appeal to those who loved Donna Tartt's The Secret History. Highly recommended."
"Review" by , "Very dark and very scary, with no simple answers provided — fantasy for grown-ups, in other words, and very satisfying indeed."
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