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Os Magos Lev Grossman Pdf

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There's too much mature content--sex and drugs, but also very complex emotional issues that I think an 8th grader isn't likely to understand. Though high school students might read this, it's really a book for adults, not children. See all 38 questions about The Magicians…. Lists with This Book. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. Sort order. Aug 11, D. Pow rated it it was ok Shelves: This book has been hard-pedaled as an adult Harry Potter and it is-but with a soulless little git like Draco Malfoy as the main protagonist.

Grossman doesn't get to the genuine transformative joy possible in books about other worlds and magic, the metaphorical kick one can bring to the reader.

This is a cold and sterile book for people who think themselves too sophisticated for genre fiction, a sub-section of the reading public that, I suspect, includes the author. To be fair there are certain th This book has been hard-pedaled as an adult Harry Potter and it is-but with a soulless little git like Draco Malfoy as the main protagonist. To be fair there are certain things Grossman does well.

There are isolated set-pieces of violence and magical ritual gone wrong, that are thrilling, scary and visceral. He also is very clever at conveying the huge rush of empowerment a disenfranchised teen would feel when uncovering then honing magical powers. For every scene of terror and beauty, there are two that are clumsy and lame. Grossman presents certain key plot elements so obtusely that they hit like a feather instead of a hammer. Traditional Fantasy Novels power as well as their stodgy childishness lie to a degree in their pedagogical function.

They are to an extent primers for young people on how to behave, how to become a more effective human being, how to be brave in the face of adversity and to learn to be selfless on occasion even though ones adolescent genes and jeans are screaming for pure selfish, solipsistic, I am the center of the universe, expression.

So there is a journey up Mount Doom by sad, wounded Frodo and stout, brave Sam. And Harry Potter puts his nuts on the line over and over against that nose-less wonder, Voldemort, secure in the knowledge that Ron and Hermione always have his back.

They are, in the course of their journeys, becoming braver and stronger and less rooted in their myopic view of things. This is refreshing to an extent-how like real life it is-people seldom change unless confronted by trauma or some extreme events.

View all comments. Jan 13, Emily May rated it it was ok Shelves: I know this is a thing us bibliophiles really shouldn't say EVER, but: I think the show is way better.

Don't hurt me. When I started watching the SYFY version of The Magicians and actually really liked it, I made a quick mental note to go back and read this book first before I got too far into it. Because the book can usually be relied on to be better, I wanted to experience it in written format first.

In this case, though, the book makes the story more boring, the characters downright insufferabl I know this is a thing us bibliophiles really shouldn't say EVER, but: In this case, though, the book makes the story more boring, the characters downright insufferable, and it contains less of an emotional pull. I've heard others pulling up comparisons to Harry Potter and The Chronicles of Narnia , and I can see the obvious influence of both - a boarding school for magicians and doorways to a secret world - but The Magicians lacks the magical spark of either.

In fact, it only barely feels like a fantasy novel, reminding me more of Tartt's The Secret History with a touch of magic something that may or may not sound appealing. Actually, that description fits so right that I wonder if I stole it from someone else Anyway, this is about a bunch of smart beyond belief characters who walk around being self-obsessed and annoying.

If they even brought you in for the Exam you were the smartest person in your school, teachers included. I like unlikable characters, even. Characters who do stupid things for stupid reasons can quickly irk me, as can self-sacrificing heroes who fail to show that people are complex, difficult and selfish at times.

But I enjoy it when characters actually show me intellectual acuity and emotional maturity. Let's all quote Milton and celebrate the misery of our perfect lives!

In the TV show, the characters are not quite so annoying. Their intellect is quirky and charming, and their dissatisfaction with life more convincing. And - maybe because it is the nature of a TV show - it was nice to actually be shown something, rather than simply told it.

The book is so self aware. Truth be told - it's boring. I'm not sure how it's possible to make a story that borrows so heavily from two of the most exciting series out there into something this tedious, but here you are! An emotionally-detached third-person narrative that instructs us in the story and characters, instead of ever weaving a compelling tale.

I'll stick to the TV show. But you can sure as hell decide to be miserable. Is that what you want? He makes Holden Caulfield look like a bundle of sunshine. He makes Charlie Brown resemble an embodiment of optimism and positivity.

Eeyore the Donkey is brimming with life force compared to our perpetually unhappy hero. You couldn't have everything. Or at lea 'You can't just decide to be happy. Or at least the available evidence pointed overwhelmingly to that conclusion. Not only will he always think of a cup as being half-empty, but he will drive himself crazy wondering who the hell drank half of it to make it so. Hand him his deepest dream on a silver platter - and five minutes later he will be whining in a decidedly disillusioned fashion about how it fails to make him happy.

Disillusionment and dissatisfaction are how he operates. If ennui were to be a superpower, Quentin Coldwater would have been Superman, propelled into space by the power of his constant negativity. This couldn't be it. It had been diverted somewhere else, to somebody else, and he'd been issued this shitty substitute faux life instead. In Upstate New York. But it's still a British boarding school, really.

Anyhow, unlike what we are supposed to expect, Quentin, miserable and disillusioned in the quasi-grown-up way that quite a few teens seem to be , does not find happiness in his unexpected admission to Brakebills, a magical college. Apparently he learns that - suprise! As Quentin mechanically stumbles through his four years of quasi-British education in the self-pitying perpetually drunken haze, the plot stammers all over the place, never picking up a consistent pace, never leading to the reader actually caring about what happens to this set of miserable characters.

So many potentially interesting storylines are never pursued further, with Grossman choosing to focus on the less exciting parts of this story.

And a belated infusion of plot about three quarters into the book, after a long and befuzzling journey through Quentin's magical education, comes way overdue and at this point fails to impress and, frankly, begins to irritate.

All this while Quentin, despite his apparently staggering intellect, acts like a frustratingly clueless idiot and makes you want to reach into the book and shake some sense into him. And all of this just to see him come to even greater depths of self-pity and annoying in their platitude 'revelations': There's no getting away from yourself.

Not even in Fillory. What I expect is that in a series of events a. Even Holden Caulfield seems to change and grow up a bit, despite his uber-teenageness. Quentin and his friends, on the other hand, do not appear to grow up in any way; they are contentedly stuck in the perpetual aimlessness and inflated self-pity, all while flaunting their oh-so-special disullusionment which reminds me of pointless drunk 'adult' college conversations that lead nowhere - and I'm left a bit annoyed and irritated by it all.

Anyway, 2. Not a horrible book, but not that good either. Just kinda 'meh', honestly. It left me not really caring about what happened or what will happen next - and that's not really a good sign.

Quentin can brood himself into oblivion - I don't care much. Stop looking for the next secret door that is going to lead you to your real life.

Stop waiting. This is it: 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.

View all 88 comments. Nov 25, Khanh, first of her name, mother of bunnies rated it really liked it. If you will, for just one second, look at your life and see how perfect it is. Do you want to be the asshole who If you will, for just one second, look at your life and see how perfect it is.

Do you want to be the asshole who went to Fillory and was miserable there? Even in Fillory? Yes, Harry Potter was a pretty dark series by its end, but it started as a children's tale. The characters are admirable. They are imperfect, but they're often models, paragons.

Real life isn't like that. Real people are jerks, and, let's admit it, we'll do anything to get ahead. We lie. We cheat. We steal. This is the American dream, and this is what the American characters in this book represent. The main character in this book is a depressed, over-analytical little shit and that's just fine, because I'm a glass-half-empty kind of person, and he resonates with me.

Are the main characters in this book nice people? Fuck no. Maybe that's why I like them. I'm an asshole. Let me clarify that. I'm not deliberately mean. I am not a jerk, but "asshole" to me, means you do what it takes to get ahead in life. It's all good to be meek, to be gentle. It's fine, but it's not going to get you anywhere in life. Studies have shown that leaders are, in fact, people who are jerks. Sure, you can be charming, charismatic, but everyone needs a little assholery in their life, however well-concealed.

If you're content with normalcy and a quiet, calm life without stress? Good for you. I admire you, and I say that with neither condescension nor sarcasm. But a nice, quiet life where one doesn't want to get ahead, where one doesn't feel the need to stand up for one's self is not for everyone.

It's not for me. I need stress in my life. I need power. And that, my friend, is why I like the characters in this book. They're assholes, they're not perfect, they're stupid at times, they're more Slytherin than Gryffindor, and they're the symbol of 'Murica, y'all.

This ain't your British boarding school. The main character in this book is a brilliant kid who stumbles literally into the Magical school of Brakebills. There is no magical legacy here. There are no magical families. Brakebills is effort only, talent only.

PDF - The Magician's Land

Either you got magical powers or you're just a Muggle. Quentin passes the magical test not ever having known that such a magical world existed , and is admitted into the school. Harry Potter jumped at the thought of entry into Hogwarts. Suppose it really was a school for magic. Was it any good? He had to think practically.

The characters in this book do not come from all walks of life. They're the best of the best. Throw them all together and you've got the equivalent of a bunch of pre-med studenst killing each other to get 0.

Quentin is fucking brilliant, the best in his school in the normal world. It's not going to matter here. Everyone here was the cleverest little monkey in his or her particular tree. It can be a shock. Not enough coconuts to go round. There's no Harry and Ron and Hermione here.

There is friendship, yes, but there's always a spirit of competition here, because they're all the best striving to be the best among the best. They were quiet and intense, always eyeing each other assessingly, as if they were trying to figure out who—if it came right down to it—would take out who in an intellectual death match. They were used to competing and used to winning.

There's not much playing, a lot of studying. Friendship does not come easily. Harry met Ron and bonded on the Hogwarts Express.

It's a much bumpier road to friendship here. They move through a blank and empty world. There are no muttered phrases, no cute names for spells. Instead of a visible villain like Voldemort, the evil, the terror in this book are much less visible, but by no means less effective. I've rarely read a phrase in a book that has more accurately described a feeling of a panic attack.

The branch came from nowhere. It was attached to nothing. Then Professor March stopped speaking and froze in place. Alice had stopped, too. The room was silent. A chair creaked. There was nothing restraining him, but the line between his brain and his body had been cut. He circled Professor March. There was something strange about the way he moved, something too fluid about his gait. Below the cuffs of his white shirt his hands had three or four too many fingers.

Fifteen minutes crawled by, then half an hour. He toured the auditorium. He took out a knife and pared his fingernails. Objects stirred and shifted restlessly in place whenever he walked too near them.

I know there are a lot of people who hated this book. The main character is smart, he wants to get ahead, he is pessimistic, he is a skeptic. Why is this a bad thing? What's wong with looking at everything through The world is not all rainbows and roses. We need people who see the glass as half-empty. Fantasy is great, I absolutely love Harry Potter, but there's always too much of a good thing. Main characters do not always have to be admirable. Anti-heroes are awesome, too.

Selfishness, narcissism, misanthropy: Are you perfect? I know I'm not. I know I have my dark moments. It's not wrong to want to get ahead in life. It's not wrong to want to be the best.

The world is not a magical place. It is filled with corruption and people who will step on you if given the chance. Survival of the fittest means you have to be a jerk at times; you have to stand up for yourself. That is why I like this book. It is dark, it is pessimistic, it views fantasy and magic in a more methodical, more sensible manner.

It is realistic. If you want your rainbows and magical lions that talk, go back to Narnia. I'll take my Brakebills. View all 53 comments. Aug 22, Simeon rated it did not like it Shelves: The story of a quasi-sociopathic high school cretin who mouth-breathes his way into an exclusive fantasy club of anhedonic wizards - replete with bad writing and worse story-telling. View all 25 comments.

Feb 06, Anne rated it really liked it Shelves: Pretend Harry Potter was a bit of a narcissistic douchebag, and all of his friends were whiny a-holes who drank too much.

PDF - The Magician's Land

Now pretend that they crammed 5 years worth of their Hogwarts adventures into one book. Except most of the adventures are fairly mundane, with a few exceptions sprinkled here and there. Then pretend at the very end of said book, they all took a trip to a warped version of Narnia Now, if you're the type of reader who absolutely has to like the main character Pretend Harry Potter was a bit of a narcissistic douchebag, and all of his friends were whiny a-holes who drank too much.

Now, if you're the type of reader who absolutely has to like the main character, or feels like you need to at the very least sympathize with them? Then you may want to give this one a pass. I knew going into it that this was a story populated with moody dickholes, so that part of it didn't bother me.

What I didn't realize was that this was going to be a fairly random, rambling book. It just sort of goes along at its own pace, telling the story it wants to tell, without much regard to how much you want it to get to the fucking point already. The short version? Quentin finds out he's one of the elite few magicians in the world, and then embarks on a rather dull journey to find his place in the world.

Ok, now having said all of that, you may be wondering why I gave this 4 stars. Well, first off, because I read the shit out of it. I can't for the life of me pinpoint why , but I didn't want to put it down. I just had to keep reading. And I had a lot of stuff to do that weekend! And, second, I really enjoyed the way the story sort of started out one way and then ended up in a completely different spot than I thought it would.

Full circle craziness! Oh, and for those of you who are wondering? Yeah, this is absolutely nothing like the television show.

And by absolutely nothing I mean, duh , it has stuff in common! It's based on the books! But it looks like they took the general idea of the books and made a show out of it, instead of making a faithful rendition of the story.

I probably wouldn't have read this if I hadn't started binging the show on Netflix one Saturday with my son. But after 6 or 7 episodes we were kinda burned out. It felt like a low budget show about whiners at a college for magic, and neither of us felt like pressing Next Episode. I was curious enough to see what inspired it I'll be the first to admit this is a Not For Everyone book, but I enjoyed it.

Then again, I like weird stuff Sep 16, Mike the Paladin rated it it was ok Shelves: He expressed a thought that I might not. While not wholly correct about my take he came pretty close.: Well, first Stephen, you're right in a way, I don't like stories that are "downers just to be downers". The nihilistic attitude you see so often. I don't like the as I've said before "life is crap and then you die" story.

So many today seem to think that for a story to have any depth it has to be deeply depressing. On the other hand if there is a reason for the sadness in a story then it makes sense for example Julius Winsome, Julius Winsome https: But you were close to right about this one.

It has in my opinion a lot of flaws. I'm sorry I feel this way for Dawn just gave it 5 stars and I agree with her on some books. So, please don't be insulted that we disagree here. I don't hate this book, but neither do I really care for it. For much of it's length it could be said that the book actually has no plot. It's a series of events in the life of Quentin and the other students at Brakebills magical college.

This one sadly didn't manage it. It sort of stumbles along giving us insight into the personality of Quentin, Elliot, Janet, and Alice, which we "do use later" every time I use that phrase I recall Andy Griffith using it in his "retelling" of Hamlet , and finally gets around to a story line maybe three quarters of the way through.

The book has been compared to Harry Potter and Narnia. Well, I suppose if Harry were a selfish, snotty, creep Though King is a better writer. In great part some of this book strikes me as written by someone Lev Grossman who wants to drag worlds where there is any hint of innocence and undiluted goodness into our tainted world and rub them down good with filth.

This is a disillusioned, sad, and corrupted version of "the magical story". And also of magic worlds. It's not an "adult" take on it, it's a "disillusioned, tainted" take on it. It is a nihilist take on life in general told using the mode of a magic world. They all know magic is real, but they're all disillusioned about it. No matter where he went, he took himself with him. The world they find isn't what he carried with him from the books he'd read and it was the presence of humans that had added to the evil and rot that they found.

But, in his realization of this there was at least some point to what had happened in the book. In my opinion, not much, but a little. I see on the last page an add to watch for "The Magic King".

I doubt I'll follow this volume up. I'm pretty sure at least I won't buy it as I did this one. So, 2 stars not one I'll reread.

Finally I think sadly that Mr. Grossman and possibly the audience he's attempting to appeal to more or less sneer at the literary worlds he is supposedly giving homage to here. It put's me in mind of "kids" who attempt to "ironically enjoy" things actually sneering at them all the while. The sad part is that thinking themselves to be "above it all" they actually miss the joy and I really don't care for and can't recommend this book.

Barely 2 stars. Nope, sorry. While I sort of liked the series 1st season I stilol think the same about the book. By the way, I also lost interest in the TV series after a couple of episodes in the next season so Oh well. View all 86 comments. Aug 22, Dan Schwent rated it it was amazing Shelves: Quentin Coldwater is an unhappy teen, eyeing up an uncertain future in college.

He's secretly in love with his friend Julia. Nothing else really matters to him except the Fillory and Further series of books he's loved since childhood.

Imagine how he feels when a seamingly routine college interview drops an undiscovered Fillory book in his grasp and leads him to Brakebills, a college of wizardry, and worlds beyond First of all, this isn't Harry Potter for adults, no matter how much people want Quentin Coldwater is an unhappy teen, eyeing up an uncertain future in college.

First of all, this isn't Harry Potter for adults, no matter how much people want to slap that label on it. Although if you expanded that label to Harry Potter for cynical adults who've read Harry Potter and don't think it's the greatest series ever written, it would be more accurate.

It has a superficial resemblance to Harry Potter in that both books involve learning to be a wizard. That's about it. In a nutshell, The Magicians depicts what would happen if regular people went to a college for wizards, complete with parties, sex, drugs, cursing, and making stupid choices. The characters make mistakes and act like normal people, not heroes.

Quentin's never happy, not even in his relationship with Alice or his friendships with the other wizards. One thing that stands out in The Magicians is the magic. It's not fake latin and waving wands around. It's taxing and has consequences and learning it is extremely difficult. One character's speculation that magic might be the tools left behind after the universe was created really sticks in my mind.

The back cover says it's a coming of age story. It is, and the moral of the story is Be careful what you wish for. You just might get it. View all 19 comments. Feb 20, Jason Pettus rated it did not like it. Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography [cclapcenter.

I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted illegally. After reading other reviews online, I realized that I could've made my point even more succinctly by simply saying the following: Yeah, that's exactly what the world needed. I get that Grossman deliberately ripped off Harry Potter; my point is that he's an untalented f-cking hack for doing so, and that such a thing is profoundly offensive to those of us who are adult genre fans, and who do enjoy the Harry Potter books precisely for their sense of joy and wonder.

Regular readers know that I mostly judge books here on relative terms -- relative to the author's experience, relative to my natural interest in its subject, relative to the amount of money that was spent promoting that book. And that's why I was so excited to get my hands on Lev Grossman's The Magicians , one of the most heavily hyped books of last autumn, because it comes with an excellent pedigree: That's why I'm such a stickler for the idea that professional book reviewers should never, ever publish their own creative work in the field of whatever type of literature they're paid to review, and why a big red flag goes up in my head every time one of them does.

And it's for all these reasons that this book's massive shortcomings made me not just disappointed but actively infuriated; because when people say that this is "Harry Potter for grown-ups," they mean that it is a literal beat-for-beat plagiaristic ripoff of the Harry Potter books , such a thoroughly naked steal of someone else's ideas that I'm legitimately surprised that JK Rowling hasn't sued Grossman back into the stone age.

Don't believe me? J-sus, Grossman, you untalented hack, why don't you throw in a Golden F-cking Snitch while you're at it? Now, I acknowledge that genre novels by nature are always going to share a certain amount of elements with other novels in that genre, and in fact I have no problem with that when it's done well and used merely as a starting point; for an excellent example, see Susanna Clarke's fantastic Jonathan Strange and Mr.

Norrell , which takes a very Potteresque concept magic actually exists in open hiding all around us but instead does something strikingly original with the idea, creating an entire millennium-long fake history of the UK and then focusing in on the dysfunctional fuddy-duddys who are the masters of this made-up applied science.

But in The Magicians , Grossman presents not even a single solitary idea that he didn't steal from someone else, essentially making the whole thing feel like the unnecessary fan-fiction product of some year-old goth girl who's jealous that Rowling beat her to the punch; and while that would be fine if this actually was a piece of xeroxed fan fiction from a year-old goth girl with no original ideas of her own, it's f-cking inexcusable when it's the most heavily hyped book of the year, and comes from the main book critic of Time f-cking magazine.

J-sus, what a godd-mned waste of my time this derivative piece of sh-t was. Out of Mar 13, nostalgebraist rated it did not like it Shelves: This was in a special category for me: After finishing it I stared at the glowing blurbs on the back, looked up some positive reviews online, and thought, who are these people?

What could they have been thinking? How could they possibly be so different from me? After that it took a few days of solid social interaction with good friends to convince me that I actually had something in common with my fellow humans -- t This was in a special category for me: After that it took a few days of solid social interaction with good friends to convince me that I actually had something in common with my fellow humans -- that they weren't a bunch of ineffable Lovecraftian things hiding in bodies that looked like mine.

The most extreme version of this experience I've ever had was with Special Topics in Calamity Physics, a book widely praised but so staggeringly, contortedly bad that when I tried to review it, I got to words and gave up in despair because I hadn't even half exhausted all the issues I had with it.

What The Magicians very clearly wants to be is a darker, more realistic, more laddish version of Harry Potter or Narnia, combining the cutesy, whimsical worldbuilding of children's fantasy with adolescent protagonists who are horrible little shits in the way real adolescents are horrible little shits. So far, so good, I guess -- I mean it could have been a really funny parody, at least.

However, Grossman isn't really going for parody. His book is rarely laugh-out-loud funny, and he seems to want the reader to feel invested in his characters and impressed with the psychological realism of his twist on the fantasy novel. Unfortunately, I was unable to rise to this task, because of the following basic fact about The Magicians: Everything in this book is determined by Grossman's desire to imitate or respond to his literary models, not by considerations of human behavior.

The characters don't act the way they do because real people or even some distorted version of real people would act that way, but because their actions contrast with the way Grossman imagines a "standard" children's fantasy character would behave in the same situation.

The fantasy world s in which the story is set do not make sense, but are supposed to be impressive simply because they are darker and grittier than their literary models. If you stop thinking of everything as a genre joke and start thinking of it as an actual story about people, it falls apart completely. This is especially bad because the Grossman yearns to be patted on the back for writing a "realistic" fantasy novel. But unlike, say, China Mieville, he doesn't try for realism by seriously thinking about how the darker side of human nature would play itself out in a magical world.

He just takes a set of models HP and Narnia , makes them darker and more vulgar in implausible and nonsensical ways , and then, having conflated edginess with realism, sits back and expects us to be impressed. For the first two-thirds of the book, the primary model is Harry Potter, and the primary "realistic" twist is that the characters in magic school are bored. Although the main characters are all very impressed with the idea of learning magic when they first reach the magic school which as in HP resides in a coexisting culture kept secret by magic , they quickly lose interest and start spending all of their time drinking to excess, playing pool, and bitching about people they know and the general tedium of their little lives.

This is kind of a funny idea, but the transition from curiosity to indifference is not made real. The characters simply go from one pole to the other in the course of a very short number of pages covering months of in-story time. As with everything else in the book, Grossman seems to have been so pleased with his clever twist on his literary models that he didn't think he needed to make it psychologically natural.

The characters are bored, and being bored is unadmirable, and that means it's realistic -- what more psychology do you need?! The characters' incuriosity spares Grossman from having to fill in many of the details of his fantasy world -- if no one asks a question, the reader never hears its answer.

Harry Potter also relies on this mechanism, but it makes much more sense there because the characters are younger. They enter magic school around age 12 -- an age when many people are still forming their basic worldviews.

Lev Grossman

As a result, it's easy to imagine that they just take the existence of magic in stride, rather than going around grabbing lapels and demanding explanations. Grossman's characters, though, are 18 when the book begins, and it's difficult for me to imagine an year-old who wouldn't freak out in some way when confronted with the existence of a hidden magic world. Remember, the characters are literally discovering a vast conspiracy -- wizards have been hiding magic from everyone for centuries.

Why do they do it? Why don't wizards use magic to improve the world of ordinary humans? Harry Potter at least makes gestures towards answering these questions; The Magicians doesn't even do that, because the main characters -- bafflngly -- don't seem to give a shit.

Grossman even goes out of his way to specify at the beginning that his protagonist, Quentin Coldwater, is a physics nerd who, at 18, is taking college-level advanced physics classes. I was pleased to see him name-check Differential Geometry, which is exactly the sort of subject that such an advanced high school student might know a few things about.

Now, I also like physics, and if I were transported to magic land one of the things I would ask, in the course of my frantic label-grabbing question-asking "how can this be fucking possible? I mean, physicists have developed these theories that seem to explain everything we can observe, and yet there's this extremely powerful force out there which could be harnessed by weird crusty old dudes centuries ago yet has escaped the notice of modern physics entirely?

Well, that's a question that Harry Potter sure isn't interested in answering, and one might hope that a book that fancies itself a grown-up HP, especially with a physics-nerd protagonist, would concern itself with it.

Quentin doesn't care. He basically forgets about physics after the first few chapters. I understand that some people get less nerdy when they get to college, but come on -- at least show me the psychological process, Grossman.

Later on there's a part where Quentin's studious girlfriend is working on a thesis about how to magically violate the uncertainty principle ha! Again, things work by the logic of cliches rather than the logic of psychology -- in the beginning Quentin is playing a nerd and later on he's playing a jaded college senior and his ostensible interests just adjust to fit the cliche of the moment.

Why are these people so unhappy? They are in college learning a fascinating subject, their personal lives seem to involve no special difficulties above and beyond those of the average privileged college student, so where's the problem? Grossman so thoroughly fails to provide a motivation remember, it's dark, so it must be realistic that it starts to seem like all of the characters, and particularly Quentin, are probably just clinically depressed.

This raises the question, though, of why none of them even consider this. The book covers seven years of magic school in a few hundred pages, which is a pretty remarkable span of time in which to be miserable and never ever think about why except "magic land didn't satisfy me like I thought it would" -- again, good genre subversion but bad psychology -- why don't they wonder why they are unsatisfied?

The characters start out as year-olds with the maturity of year-olds and end up as year-olds with the maturity of year-olds. It's conceivable that someone could change this little in seven years, but again -- give me the damn psychology, Grossman.

The only likable character in all of this is a sort of punk-ish nerd who the main characters all hate because he's really awkward, even though he spends all of his time doing interesting shit rather than drinking and bitching. Is this some kind of joke about how even in magic land paradise for nerds?

But then we're supposed to sympathize deeply with the main characters and the difficulties they face as boring entitled assholes and I just don't get it. Where is my entry-way into these characters? I've read and enjoyed a lot of books about really awful people, but in all of those cases there was something that rang very true about the characters' particular brand of awfulness.

Grossman's characters aren't awful in a way that feels real, they're just awful as a genre joke. Ha, bet you've never seen Harry Potter starring an asshole before! Nope, I haven't. But why is he an asshole?

What's going on in his head? Come on, this is Creative Writing stuff!

In the last third of the book we switch over from Potter pastiche to Narnia pastiche and there's some metafictional stuff and a bunch of thematic stuff I would probably discuss if I cared more about what Grossman is trying to do. But I don't. His handling of his themes is so crude and inhuman that I just don't care what he's trying to say. There were a few scenes that I did really like, mostly those about elements of the fantasy world itself -- like a scene where the characters transform into birds and fly to Antarctica, or one about a powerful and sinister wizard who looks like Magritte's "Son of Man" painting.

These scenes make me think that, ironically, Grossman would do much better if he tried to write a more ordinary, non-subversive fantasy novel. But this imaginative stuff never lasts for long, because Grossman has to keep us regularly updated on the characters' horrible lust triangles and how totally shitfaced they were last night.

View all 15 comments. I might change it later After deliberation I decided that the best way to describe this book is A muggle born Draco Malfoy who grew up reading about Narnia, learns that magic is real and Narnia might be too I think my main issue with his book was my own expectations. Too often people describe this book as Harry Potter books for grown ups and it's just not how I see it. The main character all the characters actually! The pacing is what left me the most unsatisfied.

The first hundred pages, the main character is introduced, he passes the exams and goes through the first 2 years of school He's done with school at around pages. That's half the book! If I had known that, I would have probably have enjoyed the book a lot more. I'm not sure I liked the ending So basically to enjoy this book you'll have to remember that the characters are unlikeable, only half the book contains the magical school so there won't be much "everyday life a la Harry Potter" here and that the school is basically just to open the magical universe.

I'll watch the TV Show and update you: View all 22 comments. So I listened to this on Audio from the library and I laughed my arse off for most of the book!

I mean the audio was soooo good but I thought this was about something totally different!! Well, all I can say is I enjoyed it and plan on reading the rest of the So I listened to this on Audio from the library and I laughed my arse off for most of the book! Well, all I can say is I enjoyed it and plan on reading the rest of the trilogy. View all 38 comments. Oct 07, Jeffrey Keeten rated it it was amazing Shelves: I passed on reading this book when it first came out because I was underwhelmed by the author's first book Codex.

The excessively negative reviews about The Magicians peaked my interest. The complaints these reviewers had actually made me want to read the book. The positive reviews confirmed my growing suspicion that I should read this book. Although I am late to the party I must say I am glad that I overcame my initial reluctance because I loved this book. Unfortunately this book was marketed a I passed on reading this book when it first came out because I was underwhelmed by the author's first book Codex.

Unfortunately this book was marketed as an adult book for Harry Potter fans. There is some truth in this marketing scheme, but too many people who are ardent Harry Potter fans are not the proper readership for this book. One reviewer said how much he despised this book, but that the "hipsters" would like it.

I'm finally I probably just lost my hipster status using the word cool. I was afraid that this would be a year one, year two, etc. Not so. Grossman smokes through 5 years of Brakebills in quick order giving us highlights, but leaving a lean script that keeps the pages turning. One of my favorite scenes is when the main character Quentin Coldwater and his friends are turning into geese to fly to Brakebills South in Antarctica.

Who knew or cared? Quentin had never experienced peace and satisfaction like this. He forgot about his human past, about Brakebills or Brooklyn. Why hang on to them? He had no name anymore. He barely had any individual identity, and he didn't want one. What good were such human artifacts? He was an animal. His job was to turn bugs and plants into muscle and fat and feathers and flight and miles logged. He served only his flock-fellows and the wind and the laws of Darwin.

And he served whatever force sent him gliding along the invisible magnetic rails, always southward, down the rough, stony coast of Peru, spiny Andes on his port, the sprawling blue Pacific on his starboard. He had never been happier. Professor Mayakovsky the teacher at Brakebills South really turns boys and girls into men and women.

It is the boot camp of magic. Mayakovsky sums it up to Quentin on his first day. You must learn the principles of magic with more than your head. You must learn them with your bones, with your blood, your liver, your heart, your deek.

He grabbed his crotch through his dressing gown and gave it a shake. Grossman doesn't shy away from Harry Potter. He actually makes a couple of references to the Hogwarts series. They are books in the evolving reality of the world he creates for this book. Our heroes, be they too human, moments of bravery wrapped around acts of cowardice finally arrive in Fillory. I was least interest in this portion of the book which makes me wonder if I will like the follow up book The Magician King.

I've underestimated Grossman before so at some point I will give it a try. Most of the time I didn't even realize that I was reading a fantasy book. The characters reminded me of people that I went to college with.

Grossman actually does a good job developing the characters. They are all interesting, flawed, very human characters that again made me believe in the reality of this world. I suppose because there is sex and copious alcohol consumption, although not flagrantly so, reviewers have made comparisons to Bret Easton Ellis. I will say all of the sex was in the context of the plot and even sometimes gave the plot a proper nudge. I have also seen comparisons to Donna Tartt and to me that is a closer comparison because the characters had more personality than what I experienced in Less than Zero.

If you are looking for Harry Potter even an adult Harry Potter you should probably give this book a pass. If you are looking for just a damn good edgy book with well developed characters and a compelling plot than pick up a copy and start reading.

Before you know it you will have consumed pages and will be stealing time from the rest of your life to finish the remaining pages. View all 32 comments.

I was ready to love this book, it's supposed to be Harry Potter like but more gritty, more realistic, more substantial, and I guess it is and I still like the idea of it. And yet this book did not work for me. I was really patient with it, I downplayed the initial irritation of incorporating the entire Potter premise. It's one thing to borrow bits and pieces, it's another to rip off a whole concept leaving out a few bits here and there and dressing up the rest.

See a Problem?

But since I'm a sucker for fantasy I was ready to love this book, it's supposed to be Harry Potter like but more gritty, more realistic, more substantial, and I guess it is and I still like the idea of it.

But since I'm a sucker for fantasy, so I was willing to let that go. Mimicry is the highest form of flattery, right? Mimic all you want, just make the story interesting and magical. But the story The story lacked in optimism, was devoid of magic and the main character? Grossman lives in Clinton Hill, Brooklyn [25] with his second wife, Sophie Gee, whom he married in early , [ citation needed ] and his daughter Lily [26] from a previous marriage. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Lev Grossman. Grossman at the Texas Book Festival. Concord, Massachusetts. Retrieved A New J. December 15, The Washington Post. The Washington Post Company. Retrieved August 1, The New York Times. The New York Times Company.

Retrieved 24 June The Chicago Tribune. Retrieved September 23, The Boston Globe. Archived from the original on August 29, The Magician King ". The A. Archived from the original on 2 December The Verge. Retrieved 24 February Thoughts on Being a Writer and Having Children".

Or, I Had a Baby". Authority control BNE: XX BNF: Retrieved from " https: Hidden categories: Namespaces Article Talk.

Views Read Edit View history.Why don't wizards use magic to improve the world of ordinary humans? Suddenly there is a sharp line in the sand, dividing your life into two phases: Curse you Lev Grossman!

In August , The Magician King , the sequel to The Magicians , was published, which returns readers to the magical land of Fillory, where Quentin and his friends are now kings and queens. Are they even equipped for the responsibility of having these weapons?

LUCIEN from Hawaii
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