Wow, some people really hate this book. Makes me wonder how many of them read it to the end.
No, the author is not just an old man ranting about "kids...moreWow, some people really hate this book. Makes me wonder how many of them read it to the end.
No, the author is not just an old man ranting about "kids these days." As one of those "kids," I found his views very insightful. And he does have a solution to help fix some of these problems. I just don't think his solution will help.
After spending most of the book agreeing with his assessment of the problem, I couldn't agree with his solution. Apparently, we need values and value judgements, but as there is no moral absolute to base those values and judgements on, we need to just choose some. Or something like that. Honestly, it wasn't very clear.
I originally planned to give it four stars out of five, but the tepid ending bumped it down to three. (More like three and a half, but Goodreads does not allow for half stars. They should work on that.) (less)
I have a complicated relationship with Rob Bell's writing. I like his points, but not usually his conclusions. He's considered "controversial" but he...moreI have a complicated relationship with Rob Bell's writing. I like his points, but not usually his conclusions. He's considered "controversial" but he rarely commits to said controversial opinions. Love Wins is much of the same. 85% of the book is not controversial. The remaining 15% has been said before (and better) by other authors.
Did Rob Bell say that all people go to heaven? No. (At least, I don't think so. He does love being vague.) He did leave the possibility of finding salvation after death open, and perhaps of all people eventually finding salvation. Other Christian writers and theologians have done the same. It's not exactly a new idea.
If the book has a definite thesis (and I'm not sure that it does), it's that salvation is about more than who gets to heaven and who is thrown into hell. If so, I would have to agree. But again, this is hardly new and has been expounded better elsewhere.(less)
Described as Harry Potter for grown ups, "The Magicians" certainly qualifies if "for grown ups" means cynical, depressing, and featuring a protagonist...moreDescribed as Harry Potter for grown ups, "The Magicians" certainly qualifies if "for grown ups" means cynical, depressing, and featuring a protagonist who only grows less likable as the book goes on.
It's not that the book does not have any good qualities. The prose is well written and the magical system and the settings of the book are interesting. Unfortunately, it suffers from what is a fatal flaw. It's pointless. I kept reading because I kept thinking Grossman would eventually get to the point.
Instead we just get Quentin wandering though his life as a selfish, immature, self-centered young adult, just like everyone else. Despite his incredible intelligence, magical talent, and endless opportunities (or perhaps because of the them), Quentin never finds any purpose or real happiness. Rather than feeling sorry for him, I just became more annoyed with him and his self-serving ways.
What's the point? Usually the protagonist's adventures teach him something. Quentin never really seems to learn anything. He starts selfish and depressed and doesn't really end all that differently.
The plot feels like a cheat as well. Grossman keeps promising that there is more this world, a purpose, but every time the more is explained, it becomes just as purposeless as what we already knew. Maybe that is his point. That there is none, at least none that will satisfy us.
But who knows? The ending of the book implies that Quentin's story isn't over, and a sequel is expected out in 2011. I'll probably read it too, still searching for that elusive point to the story. (less)