The Magicians |H[#1]

The Magicians |H[#1]

A Novel

Book - 2009
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The New York Times bestselling novel about a young man practicing magic in the real world, now an original series on SYFY

" The Magicians is to Harry Potter as a shot of Irish whiskey is to a glass of weak tea. . . . Hogwarts was never like this."
--George R.R. Martin

"Sad, hilarious, beautiful, and essential to anyone who cares about modern fantasy."
--Joe Hill

"A very knowing and wonderful take on the wizard school genre."
--John Green

" The Magicians may just be the most subversive, gripping and enchanting fantasy novel I've read this century."
--Cory Doctorow

"This gripping novel draws on the conventions of contemporary and classic fantasy novels in order to upend them . . . an unexpectedly moving coming-of-age story."
--The New Yorker

"The best urban fantasy in years."
--A.V. Club

Quentin Coldwater is brilliant but miserable. A high school math genius, he's secretly fascinated with a series of children's fantasy novels set in a magical land called Fillory, and real life is disappointing by comparison. When Quentin is unexpectedly admitted to an elite, secret college of magic, it looks like his wildest dreams have come true. But his newfound powers lead him down a rabbit hole of hedonism and disillusionment, and ultimately to the dark secret behind the story of Fillory. The land of his childhood fantasies turns out to be much darker and more dangerous than he ever could have imagined. . . .

The prequel to the New York Times bestselling book The Magician King and the #1 bestseller The Magician's Land , The Magicians is one of the most daring and inventive works of literary fantasy in years. No one who has escaped into the worlds of Narnia and Harry Potter should miss this breathtaking return to the landscape of the imagination.
Publisher: New York : Viking, 2009.
ISBN: 9780670020553
0670020559
9780452296299
Branch Call Number: FICTION Grossman Lev 08/2009
Characteristics: 402 p. ;,25 cm.

Opinion

From Library Staff

"The Magicians by Lev Grossman. HATE IT."

Comment
JCLAmyF Dec 02, 2014

Quentin grows up dreaming of magic-wielding heroes and his favorite fantasy land, Fillory (the subject of a five-book series he read countless times). (Un)fortunately for him, it turns out magic is real and he's recruited into a magical school (Hogwarts+Cruel Intentions) where magic is a tiresome... Read More »

High school senior Quentin is on his way to a college interview when he wanders off the street and ends up transported to another place.where it's still summer. At first he thinks he must be in the land of Fillory, where his favorite childhood books took place, but no, he is actually at a magical... Read More »


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ldonnell94
Nov 09, 2020

I had the opportunity to read Lev Grossman’s The Magicians and as an ardent fan on the SyFy Tv Show iteration found Grossman’s original work marvelous! I had a broad understanding of what The Magicians would hold but I was blown away by Grossman’s straightforward, compelling, and harshly real prose. The Magicians follows Quentin Clearwater as he muddles through a bleakly predictable life as magic and a whole new world of wonder is thrust upon him. In listening to this novel I was became engrossed in the narration and the engrossing world building. How often since Harry Potter strolled onto the literary scene have readers looked around and hoped for magic to be around the corner. The Magicians provides an answer to what magic would look like if we suddenly found ourselves introduced to it. Grossman’s characters are apathetically endearing and draw the reader in to see if they will succeed. This book is deserving of its professional 5/5 star average and I wholeheartedly agree with that rating.

JCLAmyF Dec 02, 2014

Quentin grows up dreaming of magic-wielding heroes and his favorite fantasy land, Fillory (the subject of a five-book series he read countless times). (Un)fortunately for him, it turns out magic is real and he's recruited into a magical school (Hogwarts+Cruel Intentions) where magic is a tiresome and difficult subject. Not quite what Quentin had always dreamed of...and also somehow not enough to make him happy, like he'd imagined magic would. For our Quentin, like most humans, the grass is always greener, even when you get your heart's desire.

The resilient desire to imagine and then seek happiness above and beyond what is attained, the strange habit of self-sabotage, and the unbearable mundanity of life make this fantasy novel a bitter pill. And just like for Quentin, for the reader, there is no end to the relentless grind.

In setting out to disillusion both his readers and his main characters of their magical fantasies, Grossman creates an entirely unlikable protagonist. I love unreliable narrators but this was something more, or something less. I got no joy from this story (and I wholeheartedly believe you can get joy from bitter, dark stories. But not this one, for me), and I doubt I'll pick up the next in the series.

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