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The Magicians

A Novel
Grossman, Lev (Book - 2009 )
Average Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5.
The Magicians


Item Details

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.
Authors: Grossman, Lev
Title: The magicians
a novel
Publisher: New York :, Viking,, 2009
Characteristics: 402 p. ;,map :,25 cm
Summary: 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.
ISBN: 0670020559
Branch Call Number: FICTION Gro
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Report This Jul 19, 2013
  • LT rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

Harry Potter with sex, drugs, and a nasty cynical streak. Prepare for dysphoria. Well written but ultimately pointless. I am in agreement with the reviewer who criticized Grossman's sense of timing.

Harry Potter for adults. Kids go to college and experience all the usual heartbreak, drug use, and disillusionment of coming of age. All this with a back drop of magic and how that would work in the real world.

Report This Apr 12, 2013
  • andreajomartin rated this: 0.5 stars out of 5.

This book had no idea what it wanted to be and was therefore just plain awful. I confess I didn't actually finish the book because it was so terrible. This is the 2nd book I've ever felt was so bad I simply couldn't read it. Don't waste your time.

Report This Feb 01, 2013
  • hlee02 rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

It's hard for me to rate this book: I found the pacing uneven (woosh, and now it's five years later and we still don't have a great sense of some of the central characters), and I really didn't like the ending. But the overall conceit and many of the scenes were creative and astute enough to keep me reading breathlessly to the end...

Report This Dec 05, 2012
  • Queensgal rated this: 2 stars out of 5.

I am only reading this book because my book club chose it. I am about 1/3 through and am bored. Unfortunately, not bored enough to call it quits (plus, I would like to participate in the book club discussion. :)

Report This Sep 08, 2012
  • GuyN rated this: 3.5 stars out of 5.

At its best this is a fantasy bildungsroman (coming of age story) about an "extremely intelligent" young man entering a college of magic. At its worst it is said young man failing to grow and stumbling through an unfunny parody of Narnia. Ignore the blurbs referencing Harry Potter. This shares very little with him in plot, character, tone, focus, or anything else. If you need to like your protagnonist, stay away, as Quentin is selfish and relatively heartless with other unendearing qualities. Still, parts of this book are promising and creative. I am undecided about this book, but will read Book 2 (although Amazon's free chapter reads like a return to cheesy Narnia with swipes at Wonderland--Egad, Lev you haven't the chops of Carroll.)

Report This Aug 07, 2012
  • Maroon_Weasel_2 rated this: 5 stars out of 5.

My absolute favorite book of all time. Grossman manages to create a fantastical world that is all the more believable because of how firmly rooted in reality it all is. His characters are so real, their problems so easily related to, it's almost too true to be good. Almost.

Report This Jun 22, 2012
  • Maybea rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

For me, this book was so-so. I was fairly engaged at first, and thought it was an interesting twist on the Fantasy genre. However, the last quarter of the novel I was just waiting for it to be over.

Report This Jun 11, 2012
  • goatgirlnyc rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

I first picked up this book thinking this was going to be a "Harry Potter book for adults". I really don't think it's fair to market the book this way. I think some people may be disappointed because although it plays with the clichés found in fantasy adventure books like the Potter and Narnia series, it takes them in a different direction. When we read books like Harry Potter and Narnia I think we all...maybe I should speak for myself here...when I read the books of C.S. Lewis, Ursula Le Guin, J.K. Rowlings, Susan Cooper, etc. one of the wonderful things about them are the resulting day-dreams and one of the sad things that nobody talks about is the lingering sense of ...longing. Longing to go "there"; to that world. If only we could go there our lives would be better and all our problems would be solved. To be deemed "worthy" of finding that porthole, that secret door. That someone would grant you an opportunity to leave your mundane life behind and embark on an adventure. How wonderful to be "chosen" to go to a magical land, fight evil and become a hero. We all like to think we’re as pure of heart as a Frodo Baggins or as selfless as Harry Potter but the truth is most of us are probably more like the protagonist in this book than we’d like to admit. Totally human. We have our faults and insecurities. We make bad decisions sometimes. We get jealous. People annoy us. Sometimes we’re not so nice. At times there are issues of unrequited love. You get the idea. So what happens when someone who is unhappy gets an opportunity to embark on one of these adventures? It’s too easy to think that my life would be better if only I could… make more money, get a better job, go to that fairy tale world, etc. This book explores the idea that maybe getting everything you’ve ever dreamed of isn’t always the solution to your problems and that a happily ever after doesn’t necessarily come with the program. And when that happens, why? This book is the story of what happens when a depressed, awkward and angst-y teenager has an opportunity to live out the fantasy novel dream. And although he and his friends may not be the most likable characters you’ve ever come across in a book, I think they’re more realistic than most characters you tend to come across in these type of books. They’re good kids but like most people, they’re complicated, emotional and just trying to find themselves and how they fit into the world. Real or imaginary.

Report This Jun 05, 2012
  • 336emily rated this: 2.5 stars out of 5.

A slacker, cynical take on some classic fantasy novels like Harry Potter and the Narnia series. Due to that, your enjoyment may vary depending on how much you like an aimless, occasionally unlikeable protagonist. Ultimately I thought it hit slightly more than it missed but still not enough to recommend it. However, the sequel is much, much better.

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Report This Apr 06, 2011
  • beckylunatic rated this: 4.5 stars out of 5.

The truth doesn't always make a good story, does it? But I think I tied up most of the loose threads. I'm sure you can fill in the rest, if you really think about it.

Report This Dec 20, 2010
  • andreareads rated this: 3 stars out of 5.

Nobody wanted to admit they were frightened, so they took the only other option, which was to be irritable instead.

Report This Aug 12, 2010
  • ndp21f rated this: 4 stars out of 5.

He wasn’t sure they were friends, exactly, but she was unfolding a little. He felt like a safecracker who—partly by luck—had sussed out the first digit in a lengthy, arduous combination.

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