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The Magicians: A Novel by Lev Grossman
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The Magicians: A Novel (original 2009; edition 2009)

by Lev Grossman

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
5,457470793 (3.45)1 / 388
Member:elevbess
Title:The Magicians: A Novel
Authors:Lev Grossman
Info:Viking Adult (2009), Edition: 1, Hardcover, 416 pages
Collections:Your library
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The Magicians by Lev Grossman (2009)

  1. 171
    The Secret History by Donna Tartt (middled, kraaivrouw, Euryale)
    Euryale: No magic, but I thought the tone and setting were otherwise very similar.
  2. 195
    The Chronicles of Narnia by C. S. Lewis (Jannes)
    Jannes: The Magicians wolud not exist if it wasn't for the Narnia books, and is really a kind of loving deconstruction of Lewis' work. What could be better than giving the books that inspired it a try?
  3. 121
    Fragile Things: Short Fictions and Wonders by Neil Gaiman (catfantastic)
    catfantastic: Read the short story "The Problem of Susan" included in this collection.
  4. 147
    Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: Magic is real in a world we recognize--Napoleonic England and contemporary New York.
  5. 147
    Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows by J. K. Rowling (sonyagreen)
    sonyagreen: It's like HP goes to college, complete with drinking and sex.
  6. 40
    The Chronicles of Chrestomanci, Volume I by Diana Wynne Jones (Anonymous user)
  7. 30
    Little, Big by John Crowley (rarm)
    rarm: Fairy tale worlds that reveal a hidden darkness.
  8. 31
    The Book of Lost Things by John Connolly (rnmcusic)
  9. 20
    Shadowland by Peter Straub (Scottneumann)
  10. 75
    Harry Potter Box Set (Books 1-7) by J. K. Rowling (elleeldritch)
    elleeldritch: An adult version of Harry Potter (and Narnia), albeit with a different (but still interesting) magic scheme.
  11. 10
    Bedtime Story by Robert J. Wiersema (ShelfMonkey)
  12. 10
    The Vanishers by Heidi Julavits (BeckyJG)
  13. 10
    The Alchemyst by Michael Scott (Jess1106)
  14. 65
    Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (Book 1) by J. K. Rowling (kaledrina)
    kaledrina: Older YAs and above. Really for late teens and adults. Potter meets Narnia meet sex drugs and rock n roll.
  15. 10
    The Silver Nutmeg: The Story of Anna Lavinia and Toby by Palmer Brown (tetrachromat)
    tetrachromat: Both describe the reflections of certain pools of water as windows onto other realities. The Silver Nutmeg, however, is much less dark and aimed at younger readers.
  16. 21
    How to Live Safely in a Science Fictional Universe by Charles Yu (lobotomy42)
    lobotomy42: Similar combination of a genre setting, an unlikeable protagonist, and an inward-looking plot.
  17. 10
    Dreams and Shadows by C. Robert Cargill (Scottneumann)
  18. 32
    Among Others by Jo Walton (Jannes)
    Jannes: Both are fantasy or fantasy-sih books about fantasy readers and how the stories you read hape you and affect your sense of the world.
  19. 00
    A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. Le Guin (aulsmith)
    aulsmith: Two different schools of magic
  20. 00
    The Once and Future King by T. H. White (wandering_star)
    wandering_star: I thought of making this recommendation when reading the magical education section of The Magicians, which reminded me of the first book of The Once and Future King. But the wider idea - that magical powers can't stop us from making stupid human mistakes - is also relevant to both books.… (more)

(see all 27 recommendations)

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English (450)  Swedish (1)  French (1)  All languages (452)
Showing 1-5 of 450 (next | show all)
If you got Bret Easton Ellis to write Harry Potter - this might be the result: A bunch of strung-out, clinically depressed magicians. The diffident, morose voice would have been better suited to a first person narration. After the initial setup, nothing much happens until the very end of the story. You never learn much about the magical education they receive at Brakebills Academy, or the rules of how magic works in their world, instead the story focuses on the characters’ self-obsessions and sex lives (and their attempts to destroy their livers)

Every so often something interesting happens, and you think the story is finally getting somewhere… but it never does. If I had been reading this instead of listening to the audio book, I never would have finished. The sendup of Narnia at the end is hilarious, but I’m not sure if this was the author’s intention. The main character *does* finally grow and realize that his depression was the problem all along, but it’s too little too late. I doubt many readers will slog through hundreds of pages to finally see Fillory.
( )
  memccauley6 | May 3, 2016 |
I am agog, but I am saving the review for when I finish The Magician's Land. To be continued.. ( )
  BookFrivolity | Apr 23, 2016 |
This novel tells the story of a high school student who is under-performing in every aspect of his life. However, he is suddenly spirited away from that life and enrolled in a school for magic. At this school, Quentin, the main character, is thrown in with a band of other misfits as they try to navigate their journey to adulthood, while dealing with interpersonal issues, learning magic, and discovering that a place previously thought to be fictitious, is actually real. A practical joke on Quentin's part creates some real drama for the cast of characters, as the unleash "The Beast" into the world. While curricular connections for this novel are few, I can see mature young adult readers having an interest in it. Readers who previously liked Harry Potter will probably like this book, although it has mature content.
  jstrecker | Apr 18, 2016 |
This book is an adult amalgam of Potter and Narnia with a smattering of other kids' fantasy classics thrown in for good measure. I did enjoy it but I think I had 'this has already been done and done better' in the back of my mind while I read. I give this one 2.5. It was OK. Not great but not terrible. It did keep me interested, but not so much that I want to pick up the next in the trilogy. ( )
  enemyanniemae | Apr 15, 2016 |
This is called the adult Harry Potter, but I'm not sure if that is accurate. There are similarities- magic, hidden magical schools and universes- but Grossman is a skilled writer and the story is so much richer than that of HP. ( )
  kristina_brooke | Apr 15, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 450 (next | show all)
”Magikerna” marknadsförs som ”Harry Potter för vuxna”, men i själva verket är det en ovanligt vacker sorgesång över hur det är att lämna barndomen. Det var faktiskt bättre förr, när man kunde uppslukas helt av leken.
added by Jannes | editDagens nyheter, Lotta Olsson (Feb 4, 2013)
 
This isn't just an exercise in exploring what we love about fantasy and the lies we tell ourselves about it -- it's a shit-kicking, gripping, tightly plotted novel that makes you want to take the afternoon off work to finish it.
added by lampbane | editBoing Boing, Cory Doctorow (Oct 20, 2009)
 
It’s the original magic — storytelling — that occasionally trips Grossman up. Though the plot turns new tricks by the chapter, the characters have a fixed, “Not Another Teen Movie” quality. There’s the punk, the aesthete, the party girl, the fat slacker, the soon-to-be-hot nerd, the shy, angry, yet inexplicably irresistible narrator. Believable characters form the foundation for flights of fantasy. Before Grossman can make us care about, say, the multiverse, we need to intuit more about Quentin’s interior universe.
 
Somewhat familiar, albeit entertaining... Grossman's writing is intelligent, but don't give this one to the kids—it's a dark tale that suggests our childhood fantasies are no fun after all.
added by Shortride | editPeople, Sue Corbett (Aug 31, 2009)
 
Grossman has written both an adult coming-of-age tale—rife with vivid scenes of sex, drugs, and heartbreak—and a whimsical yarn about forest creatures. The subjects aren’t mutually exclusive, and yet when stirred together so haphazardly, the effect is jarring. More damaging still is the plot, which takes about 150 pages to gain any steam, surges dramatically in the book’s final third, and then peters out with a couple chapters left to go.
added by Shortride | editBookforum, Michael Shaer (Aug 14, 2009)
 

» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lev Grossmanprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bramhall, MarkNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
I'll break my staff,
Bury it certain fathoms in the earth,
And deeper than did ever plummet sound
I'll drown my book.

--William Shakespeare, The Tempest
Dedication
For Lily
First words
Quentin did a magic trick. Nobody noticed.
Quotations
That guy was a mystery wrapped in an enigma and crudely stapled to a ticking fucking time bomb. He was either going to hit somebody or start a blog.
Space was full of angry little particles.
He had no interest in TV anymore - it looked like an electronic puppet show to him, an artificial version of an imitation world that meant nothing to him anyway. Real life - or was it a fantasy life? whichever one Brakebills was - that was what mattered, and that was happening somewhere else.
No one would come right out and say it, but the worldwide magical ecology was suffering from a serious imbalance: too many magicians, not enough monsters.
"Never cook with a wine you wouldn't drink," he said. "Though I guess that presupposes that there is a wine I wouldn't drink."
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (3)

Book description
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0670020559, Hardcover)

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

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:09:45 -0400)

(see all 5 descriptions)

As a senior in high school Quentin Coldwater became preoccupied with a series of fantasy novels he read as a child, set in a magical land called Fillory. After graduating from college and being admitted into a highly exclusive, secret society of magic in upstate New York, he makes 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 for his childhood dream becomes a nightmare with a shocking truth at its heart.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 7 descriptions

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