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Fillory - Die Zauberer
Lev Grossman
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Fillory - Die Zauberer (The Magicians #1)

3.47 of 5 stars 3.47  ·  rating details  ·  120,383 ratings  ·  13,188 reviews
A thrilling and original coming-of-age novel about a young man practicing magic in the real world

Quentin Coldwater is brilliant but miserable. A senior in high school, he’s still secretly preoccupied with a series of fantasy novels he read as a child, set in a magical land called Fillory. Imagine his surprise when he finds himself unexpectedly admitted to a very secret, ve
Published (first published January 1st 2009)
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Clara No, I'd say not. 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…moreNo, I'd say not. 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.(less)
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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D. Pow
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
'You can't just decide to be happy.'
'No, you can't. But you can sure as hell decide to be miserable. Is that what you want?'
The answer to this, as far as Quentin Coldwater is concerned, is a resounding 'YES!' At any stage of his life. 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
Khanh (Clowns, Nightmares, and Bunnies)
If you will, for just one second, look at your life and see how perfect it is. Stop looking for the next secret door that is going to lead you to your real life. Stop waiting. This is it: there’s nothing else. 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.”

“You can’t just decide to be happy.”

“No, you can’t. But you can sure as hell decide to be miserable. Is that what you want? Do you want to be the asshole who
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.

Mike (the Paladin)
I have a Goordreads friend who likes this book. 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
Dan Schwent
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
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. But since I'm a sucker for fantasy ...more
Jason Pettus
(Reprinted from the Chicago Center for Literature and Photography []. I am the original author of this essay, as well as the owner of CCLaP; it is not being reprinted illegally.)

(UPDATE: After reading other reviews online, I realized that I could've made my point even more succinctly by simply saying the following: "Oh, wonderful -- another dour academe writes another fussy, joyless genre exercise, designed specifically for MFA circle-jerks who consider themselves 'above' such si
Okay I am in the minority I didn't really like this book. I didn't think it was going to be a Harry Potter, as a matter of fact I knew it wouldn't be even though it was compared to HP.... the author even compared it to HP which its not.

I can enjoy that this is a "tribute" to fantasy..... but that's about it. It was a depressing poorly written book. Details seemed to be lacking and the only details we'd get is a knock off version of another fantasy book. The characters were one sided and had no
5.0 stars. I ABSOLUTELY LOVED THIS BOOK!!!! I know that not everyone agrees with this sentiment for this book, but I was greatly impressed by it. From the very beginning of this story, I got the distinct feeling that Grossman was going to be taking "the less travelled path" in his fantasy novel. While I have seen a lot of comparisons to other stories (some of which are quite intentional by the author) this book is certainly ITS OWN BOOK.

The novel is really two very different and distinct storie
A quick and easy way to describe this would be to call it Harry Potter for adults. There's a magic school and a lot more sex and booze than poor old Harry ever had. But that doesn't do it justice because this was an extremely original and unique twist on the notion of what it would be like to actually live in a world where magic and fantasy realms exist.

Quentin Coldwater is a bored teenager getting ready to apply for college but is already seriously disillusioned with his life and wishes things
The Magicians by Lev Grossman is one of the most frequently reviewed fantasy novels of the last few years, which isn’t surprising because the author is a well known writer (and book reviewer) for TIME Magazine, and the book was very effectively hyped as “Harry Potter with college age students.” The end result of all of this is that lots of people who don’t regularly read fantasy have picked up this novel, and many of them had their expectations severely challenged. So, is The Magicians also wort ...more
[Name Redacted]
A friend gave this book to me as a Christmas present, but the sneering reviews (on and inside the book) which compared it (oh-so-favorably) to Harry Potter/Narnia/LotR (proclaiming them "weak" and this strong and bracing and refreshing and...) kept repulsing me before I could even get to the first page. She's coming to visit me next month however and I'm determined to read it! Updates to follow!

UPDATE 4: A miserable book about miserable people being miserable while doing miserable things written
September 2015 Update

It occurs to me that I never really wrote a proper review for this, so no time like the present, amirite? We start with millennial Quentin Coldwater

who gets accepted to New York Hogwarts Brakebills College for Magical Pedagogy

after passing some exhausting magical tests.

Upon graduating he realizes that magic can't solve everything

but it can do a lot of other cool stuff

like go to Narnia Fillory, a magical land from his favorite childhood book series and play quidditch welters.
Jeffrey Keeten
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
This book was the worst book to read/listen to while I was extremely busy. All I wanted to do was get back in the car, take a walk, workout (yeah right), clean, etc. Anything to get back to my audiobook.

The best sign of a good audiobook is how much I put aside my visualbook to listen.

And the craziest part is that when I start to explain the book, I find myself wondering, How could I possibly like this book?

The main characters are the biggest, self-obsessed, pricks I've probably ever read about.
This was in a special category for me: books whose positive reception make me question my membership in the human race. 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 ...more
Ben Babcock
If you write enough book reviews, eventually you start sounding like everyone you never wanted to be. Today, I'll be the annoying guy who brags about how he saw everything coming. That's right, I found this book utterly predictable from start to finish. Even the Arctic fox sex scene.

The Magicians is a very postmodern type of fantasy, deconstructing as it does the Narnian-style childhood fantasy of saving the world. It's one of those curiously self-aware books that nevertheless stays firmly on th
Seth T.
People love describing one thing as the adult version of another thing. For example, Foucault's Pendulum is like The Da Vinci Code for adults. The allure of this kind of comparison is at least threefold: 1) it offers a simple way to draw people in, by playing on their affection for another work; 2) it leverages against the desire to take in a more mature version of something they already like; and 3) it derides the value of the other, presumably-enjoyed work.

People love to dismiss especially po
Maybe a fungus. Yeah: it grew on me like a fungus.

Read mark:

Read Kelly:

Read Khanh:

Read me:

I had fun. I think the author and his doppelgänger MC have issues. The writing is pretty good, and the universe produced by Mr. Grossman's various preoccupations is compelling.

My cousin thought it was boring as fuck, though—and I think it's because you have to be a certain kind of Ameri
Having never heard of Lev Grossman I picked up two of his novels at the thrift store, basing solely on the premises from the back covers - Codex and The Magicians. I decided to read The Magicians first, because Grossman's first two books have both been bombs - Warp vanished without a trace, and Codex received largely negative reviews. But The Magicians was a huge success, so it couldn't be all that bad, right? After my admiration for Peter Straub's Shadowland (which deals with roughly the same t ...more
Kevin Xu
I feel like this book has too many tropes and cliche of all the mainstream fantasy books all wrapped up in one. I hope maybe the sequel will be better. Overall, the book was not worth the time to read it. First, the author comes from this high New York mind set that only New Yorkers are better than others, even better, add both Harvard and Yale into the mix. (one of the reason the New York Times and the media love this book) To me what I hate most about this book is that he had to copy from Harr ...more
Heather K (dentist in my spare time)
*Audiobook edition*

I can honestly say that I haven't read a book with characters this self-involved, self-aggrandizing, and self-important in, well, ever. This book and all of its contents were wholly insufferable. Not only was it a blatant rip off of other notable books, but it was completely shameless in its theft. I hated everything about this book.

I read another review where the reviewer says the following:

Oh, wonderful -- another dour academe writes another fussy, joyless genre exercise, de
mark monday
it is clear that the author is trying for Harry Potter-meets-Narnia through the lens of Bret Easton Ellis. nice try! but all the carefully placed bits of minor note ennui and teenage boredom cannot hide the fact that the author actually has a lot invested in writing pure, thrilling fantasy with a healthy dose of phantasmagoria. i will take the moments of awe over the moments of bored disdain any day... and i think the author secretly agrees. Grossman's description of a transformative flight (heh ...more
A narrative in two parts- two books in one, really, with the same characters.

The first section of this book is the attention-grabbing, "if Harry Potter were mixed with" blurb-causing, teenage magic school creation that you've heard about. The comparisons are accurate enough, and I'm not going to try to get creative here and pretend that its actually about something else to be original. The author clearly means for us to see the parallel. Harry Potter introduced a deserving orphan, and guided him
The first two-thirds of this book, when Grossman is gently and skillfully poking holes in everything you thought you loved about the Harry Potter series, is really good. Best parts of this section: Grossman makes it clear that magic is really really hard (to the point where the only kids who get accepted to this college-equivalent of Hogwarts have to be legit geniuses, and even then they might not get in), the kids do drugs and drink and have sex like normal teenagers, most grownup magicians are ...more
Mogsy (MMOGC)
3 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum:

Self-absorbed, annoying, moody, smug, dissatisfied, spoiled, fake, maudlin, insecure, aimless, whiny, stupid, pampered, emo, vain, egotistical, small-minded, excessive, inconsiderate, thankless, pretentious, snobby, entitled, mercurial, immature, depressed, hypocritical, mean-spirited, cynical, clueless – just a small sample of the words I could use to describe the characters in this book.

No, The Magicians isn’t going to
So let's get the horrible marketing out of the way first. First of all, for those of you who may be under the same misunderstanding as the good folks at let me say this: The Magicians is not a children's book. I really think I should say it again, in bold this time: The Magicians is not a children's book. The cheery introduction by chanting 9 year olds that begins each section of the download ("This is audible kids!") makes as much sense as it would before an episode of H ...more
Crystal Starr Light
Bullet Review:

Rating in flux. I absolutely HATED Quentin, particularly in regards to that DEPLORABLE subplot with Alice. I have NEVER hated a character as much as I've hated Quentin.

And Quentin is why this is currently sitting at 2 stars; otherwise, it was cool and fascinating and funny, and I would likely rate at least 4 stars.

Full Review:

I suppose I should just break down and write a full review of this.


I don't really want to, because I'm afraid it'll degenerate into endless lines of "I
What a strange little book. Not sure what else to call it, unless it would be a blending of Harry Potter and Narnia with adult content and a heavy dash of the bleak yet often humorous mind-set of a Chuck Palahniuk novel.

And yet, I very much enjoyed it. It wasn't epic, nor heroic. It didn't really have a constructive social message. It wasn't very positive at all. But I still liked it quite a bit.

What does that say about me? Am I negative, with little hope of finding happiness (or even contentmen
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Joseph Beth Sci-F...: The Magicians by Lev Grossman, to be discussed November 16, 7-8 pm in The Bistro 6 6 Nov 17, 2015 08:05AM  
The Magicians - Quentin as a character 1 14 Nov 07, 2015 03:16PM  
2015 Reading Chal...: The Magicians by Lev Grossman 4 28 Oct 25, 2015 08:19AM  
Eclectic Readers: Episode 7: The Magicians 14 13 Oct 16, 2015 11:36AM  
Eclectic Readers: The Magicians 8 10 Oct 12, 2015 01:15PM  
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My novel The Magicians was a New York Times bestseller. So was the sequel, The Magician King. The third book in the trilogy, The Magician's Land, will be published in August 2014.

There's yet more information about me and my books on my website.
More about Lev Grossman...

Other Books in the Series

The Magicians (3 books)
  • The Magician King (The Magicians, #2)
  • The Magician's Land (The Magicians, #3)

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“If there's a single lesson that life teaches us, it's that wishing doesn't make it so.” 2548 likes
“I got my heart's desire, and there my troubles began.” 378 likes
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