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The Magician King (The Magicians, #2)
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Previous Books of the Month > 2012-01 THE MAGICIAN KING: roll call and first impressions (*SPOILERS*)

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message 1: by Candiss, Moderator (new) - added it

Candiss (Tantara) | 757 comments Mod
Please let us know if you're reading, planning to read, or have read The Magician King by Lev Grossman, and any initial impressions.

No spoilers in this thread please!


message 2: by Candiss, Moderator (new) - added it

Candiss (Tantara) | 757 comments Mod
If anyone wants a refresher on the first book in the series or was not involved in this group's June 2011 discussion of that book, you can find the (passionately divided) spoiler-filled thread archived here. (That discussion is still open for posting, of course.)


Felina I'm planning on reading this one. I've started the audiobook but I may need to abandon it because I'm not loving the reader.


Helen | 598 comments I'll be reading, two books ahead of it though. Forgotton about the first book being a love it/hate it book.


Kevin Xu (kxu65) | 360 comments I might read it again if I have nothing to read sometimes this month, but it will probably be sometime later this month.


Sarah | 110 comments I read it a couple of months ago, so I'll definitely be participating. I found it interesting but somewhat lacking.


Suzanne | 61 comments I'm planning on reading the book. I enjoyed the Magicians, especially the first half, so I'm at least hoping to like the sequel!


Sandi (Sandikal) | 331 comments I really hated the first book. However, I heard an interview with Lev Grossman on The Geek's Guide to the Galaxy in which he said that he was surprised that so many people found Quentin to be unlikeable and he tried to correct that in this book. So far, I think he's succeeding.


Sarah | 110 comments Sandi wrote: "I really hated the first book. However, I heard an interview with Lev Grossman on The Geek's Guide to the Galaxy in which he said that he was surprised that so many people found Quentin to be unlikeable..."

That kind of makes me mad, actually. I thought Quentin was unlikeable on purpose. In the first book he was a whiny kid who had everything handed to him but could never find a way to be satisfied. He should have been filled with wonder instead of ennui. I thought that was pretty much the point of the book. The standard plot is "child who is not satisfied with his mundane life is plucked from his mundane life and shown the magical world he was meant for," so I saw The Magicians as a spin on that in which the child is shown his promised magical world but somehow can't ditch his old attitude. I don't know what to make of it at all if that is the author's failing and not his intent.


Helen | 598 comments I liked Quentin in the first book, probably because he was so miserable in life!


Kernos | 241 comments Sandi wrote: "I really hated the first book. However, I heard an interview with Lev Grossman on The Geek's Guide to the Galaxy in which he said that he was surprised that so many people found Quentin to be unlikeable and he tried to correct that in this book. So far, I think he's succeeding. "

If this is true, I've lost a lot of respect for Grossman. As fantasy The Magicians was special with Quentin being non-heroic, with the sarcasm... and irony in relation to fantasy as a whole. The Magician King was common, IMO. If Grossman did it to please readers (and sell more books) rather than as a need to express his art, I'm disappointed in him.


Sandi (Sandikal) | 331 comments In his defense, I think that what's happened is that Quentin has grown up and recognized what a jerk he was. He's had a few years for navel gazing and that's improved him.


Carly (WildCityWoman) | 29 comments I liked this book - read the first one too ... kinda crazy, but I guess I like crazy ...

I did make some notes as I was listening to this sequel - here they are:

When he's first on the ship, it puts me in mind of two things:

1) Myst ... y'know, the game?
2) Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy


Carly (WildCityWoman) | 29 comments That's just too funny about being careful where you 'put' the golden key


Carly (WildCityWoman) | 29 comments I loved the 'Faceless' program.


Carly (WildCityWoman) | 29 comments Love it when he said the day that old fashioned
streets signs come to this place will be a MerryFuckinOccasion

Most women in my age group (68) would be offended by four letter words, but it depends on how they're put together and in what context.

I thought this particular thing he said was hilarious. I'm dying to use the phrase myself, but gotta watch who I'm around when I do come out with it.


Carly (WildCityWoman) | 29 comments Sarah Pi wrote: "I read it a couple of months ago, so I'll definitely be participating. I found it interesting but somewhat lacking."

Hmmm ... I actually liked this second one better than the first.

I liked the first one too, but this second seemed to have more guts to it.

There's a lot of common sense, down to earth philosophy in this guy's writing.


Carly (WildCityWoman) | 29 comments Sandi wrote: "In his defense, I think that what's happened is that Quentin has grown up and recognized what a jerk he was. He's had a few years for navel gazing and that's improved him."

Yeah, Sandi - I think you're right - it's interesting to see characters mature.


Carly (WildCityWoman) | 29 comments That concept of God - amazing!

- and -

the last comment i saved ...

ko tick a tack

i liked that sound of the ping pong game ... i gotta remember that


Michele | 31 comments I don't think you can ever trust what an author says in an interview. I'm sure many people will disagree with me on that subject, but it just doesn't make sense for an author to be 100% honest with readers about a book. Oh, I think you can trust them about specific details, but not about whole impression kind of things. I think artists have a secret desire for their audience to figure out what they "meant" on their own. A book is more successful if the author does not have to tell a reader what he/she meant.

Besides, I don't care how he "meant" to portray Quentin. Quentin (in the first book especially) comes across as an obnoxious unhappy person who is somehow like many of us. Always waiting for something else. It doesn't matter if Grossman intended for Quentin to be a warm fuzzy character; he just isn't. I don't find any reason to be bothered by his (possible) intentions.

I loved the book, but I only liked it up until the last quarter of the book. Then I loved it.


Helen | 598 comments Well said!


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