Becky's Reviews > The Magicians

The Magicians by Lev Grossman
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Dec 16, 15

did not like it
bookshelves: 2011, abandoned, fantasy, disappointing, multi-dimensional, ebook_nook, reviewed
Read from June 06 to 13, 2011

I'd heard mixed reviews about this book. Some of my trusted friends loved it, and some others didn't. I fall into the "didn't" crowd. But I didn't actually hate this book, I just didn't care about it enough for that. I just got bored pretty quickly and stayed bored too long.

It got to the point when I would rather flip my mattress and change my sheets, do dishes and laundry and clean the litterboxes than pick this book up again. I couldn't even make myself finish the chapter, which a friend said was her favorite of the book.

So for me, this was an utter fail. I tried to give it a chance, and tried to be fair, but I just didn't get it and couldn't get into it. I didn't care about a single character, so I didn't care what happened to them. Everything that could have been fun or even just interesting about a school of magic eventually turned into a slogfest of tedious boredom. Even the school GAME, welters, wasn't fun or exciting or even explained all that well. It was just played because some students can't stand to lose at anything. I don't care about Quentin or his schoolmates or their sense of entitlement or jaded blahsomeness, so why should I care what they do? Fillory sounds about as exciting as watching paint dry (OH NOEZ! That pesky watcherwoman done put a clock in a tree again! Someone HELP!) so, crap, even if it is real, who cares? Shit, give me SOMETHING to enjoy in this book! The only thing that even came close to interesting was one character engaging in a little dominant/submissive play, and that lasted all of about 1/2 a page and then we go find somewhere else to study and be bored.

Adding to that the couple of inconsistencies I noticed -- can someone explain to me why "brilliant" Quentin had to be told, in his 2nd or 3rd year, that electronics don't work around magic? He observed that very thing in his 1st year when explaining about the contraband game console that went wonky "every time someone practiced a spell" within 100 feet (or whatever distance) "which was constantly"? Or... (view spoiler) I don't know if there was any other point to that whole thing, since that's the chapter I couldn't finish. Didn't seem like there was, but if I am wrong, I'm sure someone will let me know.

Blah... I need a nap.
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Reading Progress

06/09/2011
25.0%
06/09/2011
26.0% "Which awkward way will 'which' be used on this page? So far every note I've made has been about some misused "which" that is awkward and distracting. I'm up to 5 bookmarks... in 60 pages." 2 comments
06/12/2011
37.0% "*sigh* This is really not doing anything for me. WHAT THE HELL was with the goose thing? I really think it was just so that Grossman could throw some gratuitous nudity in... =\"
06/13/2011
39.0% "This is the end... my only friend, the end. ...For me at least." 1 comment

Comments (showing 1-32 of 32) (32 new)

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Maciek Didn't like it. In fact, I'd say it sucked. Not so much the writing, but the incredibly loathsome protagonist and the utter pointlesness of this all.


Becky I know it, Maciek. In fact, your review pretty much had me swearing this one off forever... But then you know I'm a glutton for punishment so I decided to try it anyway.

I'll probably love it, you know. :P


Maciek Actualy, a lot of people do. The reviews are polarized, which made me pick this up. I'm in the didn't like it camp, and curious to see where you'll end up.


Becky I'm interested to see that too!


Maciek And of course I expect a full report!


Becky *salutes* Aye, Cap'n!


message 7: by Trudi (new)

Trudi Great review Becky! You've just saved me a lot of pain :)


message 8: by Maciek (last edited Jun 14, 2011 04:25AM) (new) - rated it 1 star

Maciek At least you were smart enough to abandon this book. Me, I tend to stupidly stick to the bitter end no matter what, and this was a very unrewarding experience. While taking an interesting promise - disillusion in magic - through absolute lack of originality and utterly boring characters Grossman crafted a novel that doesn't deliver at any level...IMHO.


Becky I've decided that going forward, I'm not wasting my time on books I don't enjoy anymore. But this one, I don't really feel like it was a decision since every time I thought of picking this book up, I found something else I could be doing and did that instead. I started three other books while reading The Magicians just so that I wouldn't feel like I was unproductive, reading-wise.

I kinda feel like I just left the most boring amusement park ever - where all the rides just go in circles, the same carnival music plays on repeat, the corndogs are stale and the lines unending.

One plus - at least I didn't pay for it!


Maciek Becky wrote: "I kinda feel like I just left the most boring amusement park ever - where all the rides just go in circles, the same carnival music plays on repeat, the corndogs are stale and the lines unending. "

This is a great comparison. I'd only add that the said amusement park is a combination of other amusement parks, boring and without any new attractions.

Well, I paid for it, but it was cheap and I got it at the used book store, so I supported people I like. LOL!


message 11: by Becky (new) - rated it 1 star

Becky Yes... Mickey Mouse wanders aimlessly around, but pushes all the little kids away and reeks of liquor...


Maciek LOL but he's not Mickey Mouse, He's Hickey Mouse which makes him a totally original creature, eh?

I saw an interview with Grossman on writing "The Magicians" and he was asked about the obvious influence of Harry Potter. His answer was to the tone "Well, I started writing it in the 90's, but then that British woman came and wrote a whole saga before I published my book, but I was first." LOL. Here it is:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YEEvOB...


message 13: by Becky (new) - rated it 1 star

Becky Oh goodness... =\


Maciek The fun thing is that I also looked at the guy and discovered an essay by him where he boasts about...writing fake 5 star reviews for his first, panned novel. I bet a lot of authors do that, but few have the balls to go and not only admit to it, but be proud of the fact and publish an essay on it in a magazine.

http://www.salon.com/21st/feature/199...


message 15: by Becky (new) - rated it 1 star

Becky Well you know, when you want something done right, you have to do it yourself. Apparently all the critics and readers out there were doing it wrong... O_o

The more I hear about this guy, the less I like him. I've only tried this book, and was bored to tears by it, so the chances of me trying another are in the negative digits...


message 16: by rivka (new) - added it

rivka /me unshelves from "to-read"


Maciek I've read the other one, "Codex", and gave it three stars, despite everyone panning it. I liked it a bit, but it was nothing to write home about.


message 18: by Becky (new) - rated it 1 star

Becky Can't say I blame you, Rivka! I said the same thing after reading Maciek's review, and then I went ahead and tried it anyway, and... well. Yeah. LOL


Maciek Becky wrote: "Can't say I blame you, Rivka! I said the same thing after reading Maciek's review, and then I went ahead and tried it anyway, and... well. Yeah. LOL"

Now you know that my brilliant insight is not to be questioned. LOL!


message 20: by rivka (last edited Jun 14, 2011 10:00AM) (new) - added it

rivka Becky, like you, I have friends who loved it. But you're not the only one who really didn't!


message 21: by Becky (new) - rated it 1 star

Becky Maciek wrote: "Now you know that my brilliant insight is not to be questioned. LOL! "

Riiiiiiight... *cough*The Bad Place O_o


Maciek It's not my fault that not everyone is suited for appreciating what I appreciate. LOL!


message 23: by Becky (new) - rated it 1 star

Becky Maciek wrote: "It's not my fault that not everyone is suited for appreciating what I appreciate. LOL!"

LOL


colleen the fabulous fabulaphile I'm glad I read it til the end only because there is this one good moment which happens closer to the end - but I wouldn't tell you to stick around for it.

I agree about there being inconsistencies. Besides the ones you mentioned the ones that stuck out for me were (view spoiler)

Anyway - I'm kinda glad you didn't like it. I didn't want to be the only one in the group who didn't. ;)


message 25: by Becky (new) - rated it 1 star

Becky Colleen - oooh, what is it? Does Q grow a personality? That would be pretty good. LOL

And I'm happy to keep you company, of course! ;)


Maciek Did you girls know that there's a sequel coming? More angst! More asshole protagonists! Yay!


message 27: by Becky (new) - rated it 1 star

Becky Yes... I can't say I'm excited about it though.


Chris Ahhh, I feel like such a fucking outsider...oh well, I can be the outcast - won't be the first time.


Chris I did agree with you on the Welters game though. It was pretty lame.


message 30: by Becky (new) - rated it 1 star

Becky Chris wrote: "Ahhh, I feel like such a fucking outsider...oh well, I can be the outcast - won't be the first time."

Nah... if you liked it, that's cool. I just didn't. *shrug* No biggie. :)


Sheila I still want to read this, but your review was highly entertaining!!!


message 32: by Becky (new) - rated it 1 star

Becky Sheila wrote: "I still want to read this, but your review was highly entertaining!!!"

Good luck!!


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