Book A Month Club: JulyPosted: August 1, 2010
The Magicians by Lev Grossman… Loved it!
I seriously had no idea what I was in for when I purchased this book. I walked into Borders, walked around aimlessly for nearly an hour and then ran across a poster that said something to the effect of, “Are you an adult Harry Potter fan?”. I pretty much picked up the book beneath it and walked up to the register 🙂 This book is nothing like Harry Potter… but it did not disappoint. It hit some of my favorite book qualifications: a hint of fantasy (disguised in a story that could almost be real), a dark and twisty quality (something illustrating depth in the characters and their lives), a clever writing style, a pretty cool twist and open ending (that allows me to entertain some hope that there will be a sequel or two)! Though this book took me forever to read(mostly due to my current life place) when I finished the last page I was excited and immediately tried to think of someone who would enjoy it that I could offer it to.
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