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Lev Grossman

Author of The Magicians

27+ Works 20,287 Members 1,098 Reviews 29 Favorited

About the Author

Lev Grossman was born on June 26, 1969. He received a degree in literature from Harvard University in 1991. He spent three years in the Ph.D. program in comparative literature at Yale University, but left before completing his dissertation. In 2002, he became a book reviewer and one of the lead show more technology writers for Time magazine. He has written for Salon, The Village Voice, The Wall Street Journal, Wired, Entertainment Weekly, The Believer, Lingua Franca, and the New York Times. His first novel, Warp, was published in 1997. His other novels include Codex, The Magicians, which won a 2010 Alex Award, The Magician King and The Magician's Land. (Bowker Author Biography) show less

Includes the name: Lev Grossman

Image credit: By Larry D. Moore, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=17326275

Series

Works by Lev Grossman

Associated Works

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (1964) — Foreword, some editions — 25,117 copies
Dangerous Women (2013) — Contributor — 1,130 copies
Summer Days and Summer Nights: Twelve Love Stories (2016) — Contributor — 423 copies
The Writer's Map: An Atlas of Imaginary Lands (2018) — Contributor — 417 copies
Unfettered: Tales by Masters of Fantasy (2013) — Contributor — 406 copies
Unpacking My Library: Writers and Their Books (2011) — Contributor — 380 copies
Other Worlds Than These (2012) — Foreword — 247 copies
The Way of the Wizard (2010) — Contributor — 207 copies
Steampunk III: Steampunk Revolution (2012) — Contributor — 152 copies
Who Done It? (2013) — Contributor — 135 copies
Unfettered III: New Tales by Masters of Fantasy (2019) — Contributor — 111 copies
Dangerous Women 2 (2014) — Contributor — 95 copies
The Magicians Original Graphic Novel: Alice's Story (2019) — Creator — 94 copies
Ventriloquism (2010) — Introduction — 67 copies
The Magicians: The New Class (2020) — Creator — 45 copies
The Magicians #1 (2019) — Creator — 11 copies
The Magicians #2 — Creator — 5 copies
The Magicians #4 (2020) — Creator — 5 copies
Time Magazine 2011.02.21 (2011) 2 copies
The Magicians #3 — Creator — 2 copies
The Paulandstormonomicon — Contributor — 2 copies
The Magicians #5 — Creator — 1 copy
Locus, July 2011 (606) — Contributor — 1 copy
Time Magazine 2010.12.06 (2010) — Contributor — 1 copy

Tagged

adventure (283) anthology (366) audiobook (140) candy (213) chapter book (230) children (500) children's (857) children's books (151) children's fiction (193) children's literature (396) chocolate (329) classic (275) classics (214) coming of age (163) ebook (308) fantasy (3,988) fiction (3,443) goodreads (167) humor (344) juvenile (135) kids (134) Kindle (217) literature (138) magic (795) magicians (148) mystery (162) novel (302) own (180) read (550) Roald Dahl (206) science fiction (308) series (246) sff (143) short stories (300) to-read (2,494) unread (137) urban fantasy (278) Willy Wonka (130) YA (147) young adult (271)

Common Knowledge

Canonical name
Grossman, Lev
Birthdate
1969-06-26
Gender
male
Nationality
USA
Birthplace
Concord, Massachusetts, USA
Places of residence
Lexington, Massachusetts, USA
New York, New York, USA
Education
Lexington High School
Harvard University (BA|1991)
Yale University
Relationships
Grossman, Austin (twin brother)
Grossman, Allen R. (father)
Grossman, Judith (mother)
Gee, Sophie (wife)
Grossman, Bathsheba (sister)
Organizations
Time
Awards and honors
Alex Award (2010)
Tolkien Lecture (2015)
John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer (2011)
Short biography
Lev Grossman is an American novelist and journalist. He was the book critic and lead technology writer at Time magazine from 2002 to 2016.

Grossman was born on June 26, 1969 in Concord, Massachusetts. He is the twin brother of video game designer and novelist Austin Grossman, brother of sculptor Bathsheba Grossman, and son of the poet Allen Grossman and the novelist Judith Grossman. He is an alumnus of Lexington High School and Harvard College. He graduated from Harvard in 1991 with a degree in literature. Grossman then attended a Ph.D. program in comparative literature for three years at Yale University, but dropped out before completing his dissertation.

Members

Discussions

The Magicians - Lev Grossman in FantasyFans (April 2019)

Reviews

THERE WILL BE SPOILERS BELOW!

Okay I will be honest, more-or-less halfway through this book I just wanted it to end. When I saw the blurb on the back about how it's supposed to be "Harry Potter and Narnia... for adults!", I will admit, it's what drew me in. I'm always up for a good fantasy that works along the lines of fantasies I've enjoyed in the past. The problem is, Grossman draws mainly off the formulas for fantasies that have worked in the past. When it says "Harry Potter and Narnia for adults," that's just about all it is, you just add sex, drugs, and cussing.
The plot entails one Quentin Coldwater, your typical gloomy, my-life-sucks teenager. Quentin has an obsession with a series of books about the fictional Chatwin children, who travel to the magical land of Fillory by going through a grandfather clock, and help defeat evil (sound familiar?). Quentin would like nothing more than to have magic powers and escape from his dreary New York life into Fillory. Not long after, he by chance gains entrance into Brakebills, a school for magic – a lot like Hogwarts, but in upstate New York. From there on, he makes some friends and becomes a real magician, only to find that the world of magic is much more boundless and dangerous than it seems.
Now, despite the generic-fantasy-formula, the book probably still could have worked, but there are other problems too. For one, the main characters are basically insufferable. Quentin, our hero, is for lack of better words, a whinging, immature idiot. There haven't been a lot of characters out there in the literary world that I've wanted to strangle blue, but Quentin has a special spot in that list. There is not really any kind of personal development for the characters. They don't really seem to learn anything at all from their mistakes and problems. When something bad happens, they whine about it then continue along the same track. Another issue I had with the characters was that they have this amazing world all around them, open to them, and they can only complain about how it doesn't make them instantly happy. They expect a magical cure for the unhappiness to appear out of nowhere. You mean you have to choose to be happy?? Overall, Alice was the one character I actually liked and had some compassion for, then of course she gets killed off.
Now, I'm not saying that there was nothing redeemable about this book, because there were aspects that I really did enjoy. There were moments when Grossman's descriptive and creative abilities really shone through. The only problem is, these moments were short-lived and the story goes back to the old track that wasn't so great. I really enjoyed the moments of magic which he described, and the way the characters did magic – I wish there was more time spent on that then time spent listening to whining. I also think the world of Fillory and Brakebills had a lot of potential. Despite those redeeming qualities, I don't think they're enough to convince me to spend the time required to continue on with this series. Overall, it's a somewhat average book. It's worth trying out, I suppose, if you're someone who enjoys fantasy – you never know, you might like it better than I did – but then again, you might just end up bored and anxious to get it over with.
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escapinginpaper | 672 other reviews | May 18, 2024 |
This book was Harry Potter without the sense of wonder, hope, and strength -- of course, Harry Potter was a child's book and The Magicians is not...

But I honestly wonder if you can call 'The Magicians' more realistic or not. Sure, it covesr the risks of magic, and a bunch of magical teenagers crammed together with hormones and booze and teenage angst better than Harry Potter did, and certainly, more realistically for a certain segment of the population. But after that it loses realism in exchange for rampant cynicism.

It comes to a certain suspension of disbelief. I can believe in the structure of other fantasy 'heroes' better than I can in The Magicians as opposed to seeing Quentin Coldwater cock everything up and ruin pretty much every good chance he had only to re-embrace everything that had shat on his life at the end of the book. While I am probably intrigued enough to pick up The Magician Kings -- which is a good sign for me -- the major thing holding me back is that Quentin is a fuck up who I cannot really believe is going to do anything but fuck up.

It's not a bad book. But it is a difficult book, if you don't want to essentially watch people ruin their lives with too little sense and not enough foresight. Which is fine if you enjoy that, but I see people do that enough in my daily life without having to add it to my reading. I'm honestly hoping he'll learn something from his experiences and the next book he'll grow a little, but... I don't know if I can hold too much hope there.
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crowsandprose | 672 other reviews | May 15, 2024 |
An odd book that turned out to be completely different from what I expected going into it. The idea is interesting, though I can't say that the writing is particularly compelling or that the plot is very good at all. Still, I've heard they get better, so I'll have to see what happens with the next two.
 
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mrbearbooks | 672 other reviews | Apr 22, 2024 |
In the end, I can't say I know what the point of this book was. It slides carelessly from one deus ex machina to the next, and when you're done, you cant help but wish you'd done something else with your time.
 
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mrbearbooks | 197 other reviews | Apr 22, 2024 |

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Works
27
Also by
30
Members
20,287
Popularity
#1,068
Rating
3.8
Reviews
1,098
ISBNs
203
Languages
15
Favorited
29

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