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The Magicians: (Book 1) Kindle Edition
|Length: 428 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
|Page Flip: Enabled||
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-Booklist (Starred Review) "This is a book for grown-up fans of children's fantasy and would appeal to those who loved Donna Tartt's The Secret History. Highly recommended."
-Library Journal (Starred Review) "Very dark and very scary, with no simple answers provided-fantasy for grown- ups, in other words, and very satisfying indeed."
-Kirkus Reviews ..". provocative, unput-downable ... one of the best fantasies I've read in ages."
-Fantasy & Science Fiction "The Magicians is to Harry Potter as a shot of Irish whiskey is to a glass of weak tea."
-George R.R. Martin, bestselling author of A Game of Thrones "Stirring, complex, adventurous ... from the life of Quentin Coldwater, his slacker Park Slope Harry Potter, Lev Grossman delivers superb coming of age fantasy."
-Junot Diaz, Pulitzer-prize winning author of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao "The Magicians ought to be required reading for anyone who has ever fallen in love with a fantasy series, or wished they went to a school for wizards."
-Kelly Link, author of Magic for Beginners and Stranger Things Happen "The Magicians is a spellbinding, fast-moving, dark fantasy book for grownups that feels like an instant classic."
-Kate Christensen, PEN/Faulkner award winning author of The Great Man and The Epicure's Lament "The Magicians is fantastic. It's strange, fanciful, extravagant, eccentric, and truly remarkable-a great story, masterfully told."
-Scott Smith, bestselling author of The Ruins and A Simple Plan "Remember the last time you ran home to finish a book? This is it, folks. The Magicians is the most dazzling, erudite and thoughtful fantasy novel to date."
-Gary Shteyngart, author of Absurdistan and The Russian Debutante's Handbook "The Magicians brilliantly explores the hidden underbelly of fantasy and easy magic ... It's like seeing the worlds of Narnia and Harry Potter through a 3-D magnifying glass."
-Naomi Novik, author of His Majesty's Dragon "Grossman clearly has read his POtter and much more. While this story invariably echoes a whole body of romantic coming-of-age tales, Grossman's American variation is fresh and compelling. Like a jazz musician, he riffs on Potter and Narnia, but makes it his own."
--Washington Post "Grossman skillfully moves us through four years of school and a postgraduate adventure, never letting the pace slacken...beguiling."
--Seattle Times "An irresistible storytelling momentum makes The Magicians a great summer book, both thoughtful and enchanting."
--Salon "Sly and lyrical, [The Magicians] captures the magic of childhood and the sobering years beyond."
--Entertainment Weekly ..".no doubt that this book is inventive storytelling and Grossman is at the height of his powers."
--Chicago Sun-Times "The Magicians reimagines modern-day fantasy for grownups. [It] breathes life into a cast of characters you want to know...and does what [some] claim books never really manage to do: 'get you out, really out, of where you were and into somewhere better."
--Louisville Courier-Journal --This text refers to the hardcover edition.
About the Author
Lev Grossman is the book critic for Time magazine and the author of five novels, including the international bestseller Codex and the #1 New York Times bestselling Magicians trilogy. He lives in Brooklyn with his wife and three children.--This text refers to the hardcover edition.
- ASIN : B0031RS98E
- Publisher : Cornerstone Digital (8 October 2009)
- Language : English
- File size : 2124 KB
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 428 pages
- Best Sellers Rank: 39,475 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
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Top reviews from Australia
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Well written, characters are really well nutted out and you get a vivid picture of the world the more you read on.
Even if you're not sure, give it a go (just get the kindle sample even) you could be pleasantly surprised.
And aren't we all over female characters who put up with their man's crap and then sacrifice themselves. Gimme a break. If the man was Mandela, Gandhi, Dalai Lama, Jesus - maybe, but some immature petulant rude jerk. Yawn.
Read schooled in magic instead.
Top reviews from other countries
Basically, everything my fellow 1 * reviewers said is accurate. For some odd reason that I can't explain, I read all of this and I'd resolved some time ago to go with my gut when I suspect I'm reading dross and stop before wasting any more of my time. The only explanation I can come up with is that the pace does kind of sweep the reader along - the only problem is, it doesn't really sweep you to anywhere. It was like reading a Narnia-set novel for young adults complete with all the unpleasant arrogance, angst and awkward sex, but missing any real action, empathetic characters or dynamic and interesting storyline - a real conundrum, but seriously - leave it - it's dross.
The premise is straightforward but intriguing: a mash-up of Harry Potter (wizard school) and Narnia (portals to other worlds) but with modern, American, adult protagonists. On the whole, it delivers quite well on this, with a nice blend of magic and realism. It definitely kept me engaged.
For me, the main problem was the plotting and pacing. The two homages took up about half the book each and had little to do with each other, which made it feel a bit disjointed and made it harder to suspend disbelief. And then certain plots points seemed to be rushed over – most strikingly, four years of magic school in half a book – while others were lingered on. And for a book with so much going on, there was a surprising lack of plot, though I did enjoy the way that several elements were ultimately wrapped up and brought together.
Overall, I would recommend this, and I plan to read the sequel in due course, but I’m not rushing to pick it up.
Almost any review of these books will mention that they are derivative. And it’s true that the books could be subtitled “The Famous Five become geeky teenagers, study at Hogworts and then visit Narnia”. But just because something is a remake or a homage, doesn’t make it bad art. Picasso reworked Velazquez’ “Las Meninas” and created a masterpiece. Leonard Bernstein, Stephen Sondheim and Jerome Robbins updated “Romeo and Juliet” to 1950’s New York and so created the powerful and enduring musical “West Side Story”. E. L James wrote fan fiction for the Twilight series and, well, created a whole new genre.
The references that Grossman makes to other giant works of fiction only underscore one of the key themes – which is the role that beloved works of fiction can play in a reader’s life – from being a source of inspiration to acting as a ever-dependable friend and support in difficult times. The Fillory stories not only provide the central character, Quentin, with entertainment in his youth, but in times of despair he turns to them as a source of comfort, a mental blankie under which he can take refuge against the world. One can only assume that Grossman bases Quentin’s profound love for the Fillory books on his own experience of being transported by similar fantasy works.
The premise of the books is “what would happen if a modern urban teenager suddenly entered Hogwarts / Narnia, with all his modern teenage neuroses and limitations”. The internal journey that Quentin undergoes is as important to the plot as the adventures that the characters experience – finding peace with himself and acceptance of his place in the world. The books can be seen as a metaphor for the experience of many real life generation X-ers – the world they find themselves is extraordinary, rich, full of opportunity, and compared with the world of say, 100 years ago, full of magic. The ability to communicate with someone miles away through a small handheld device, to search for information on almost any topic, to hold a video conference call, to find directions to your destination from wherever you are, with accuracy down to scant metres – these technologies are nothing short of magic if one can imagine viewing them through the eyes of a person living 100 years ago. Quentin’s personal difficulties should resonate with everyone who has felt unfulfilled while ostensibly living a comfortable life: even with all the gifts and wonder in the world available to you, why does happiness elude you. Quentin’s complaint that “it wasn’t what thought it would be” may sound frighteningly familiar. As Quentin discovers, blaming external circumstances does not solve the problem. Quentin only truly comes into his power when he accepts things, and himself, for what they are. The message here is that happiness comes from our internal journey and acceptance of ourselves, not our access to external wonders, now matter how magnificent.
The subtle genius of this series is that the combination of influences is NOT an obvious one. It just seems that way because of Lev Grossman’s incredible imagination and the strength of his writing. The world he conjures is rich in detail and ideas, which, while riffing off the masterpieces that have gone before, nevertheless transports you to a new and vibrant universe. His writing is so strong that it disappears and allows the reader to fully enter the story without the distraction of poor prose or clunky similes. And what a world! Grossman launches off the base idea of “a school for magic” and “a world of talking creatures” to create a world so inventive and coherent that you have to make an effort to step back to appreciate just how imaginative it is. The plot and pacing are tight, and there is an acerbic humour that works like a slice of lemon in a gin and tonic.