Wednesday, July 13, 2011

The Magicians: A Novel (The Magicians #1) by Lev Grossman

The Magicians: A Novel
  • Title: The Magicians: A Novel 
  • Classification: Adult Fiction
  • Genre: Fantasy
  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Plume; 1st edition (May 25, 2010)
  • ISBN-10: 0452296293
  • ASIN: B003YDXD3G
  • Notes:  Talk of group sex and a quick ménage à trois flashback - neither goes into great detail. Also, language used that some may find offensive. 

Quentin Coldwater always felt something was a little off about his life. Felt he wasn't living the life that he was meant to. While following a errant page that was blown away by a gust of wind  he stumbles upon a magical place. Brakesbills, a school for magicians, is magically concealed behind a community garden and he's just found a passage to it. Turns out his finding of the passage way was in no way accidental and so begins Quentin's journey into the world of Magic.

Sort of like an adult version of Harry Potter with a coming of age twist. Quentin enters Brakesbills and learns magic. He gains friends and then needs to deal with the real world upon graduating. With the world pretty much his oyster he realizes magic isn't a cure all. I think this quote sums up the book quite nicely:

"If you will, for just one second, look at your life and see how perfect it is. Stop looking for the next secret door that is going to lead you to your real life. Stop waiting. This is it: there's nothing else. It's here, and you'd better decide to enjoy it or you're going to be miserable wherever you go, for the rest of your life, forever."

I liked the first half of the book the best. That was when Quentin learned how to use magic and what creatures the world contains. When Quentin leaves Brakesbills he travels down a dark road that leads him to some self discovery. Along the way he and his friends enter a magically world named Fillroy which he has fantasized about since he was a boy for it was part of a favorite children's books series. You will notice slight similarities to 'Alice in Wonderland', 'Harry Potter', and even the 'Phantom Tollbooth'. Funny thing is even Grossman makes references to them in his book so he realizes we will see the similarities.  In this book, Quentin has to face the reality that life is what you make of it. If you choose to be miserable you will be. The choice is up to each of us.

I gave this one 3 1/2 out of 4 roses.
Order to read series:

1. The Magicians: A Novel
2. The Magician King: A Novel - coming August 9, 2011

1 comment:

  1. The Magicians is truly an adult take on the fantasy world of childhood books. The characters are well developed, the quality of the writing is good, and the story moves along at a reasonable pace. If you have ever wished that fantasy had more to say about reality, this is probably a great book for you.

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