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The Magicians > On being made fun of...




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Skip | 436 comments I did get a Narnia vibe from the book in that you as the reader know that what the characters are doing will lead them into trouble, but they go there anyway. Quentin is that guy who knows everything and knows nothing.


Joe Informatico (joeinformatico) | 600 comments Is that why I feel neither love nor hatred for The Magicians? I never read the Narnia books as a child--I read The Magician's Nephew and Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe when I was about 25 and didn't really care to read anymore. So I have no particular sentiment attached to Narnia.


Doug S. (dougoftheabaci) | 248 comments I bought the second book a while ago, adding it to my shelf of "I will be reading this next" but now I'm really feeling worse about it... Mentally revisiting it reminds me how much I disliked a lot of it at the time.


Jack Lancaster | 14 comments I did not feel made fun of at any point in this book; what I felt was annoyed that many facets were left unpolished, loose ends left dangling and lessons left unlearned. Left.

It's like a 1930's freak show, "COME ONE, COME ALL; SEE THE AMAZING QUENTIN, THE CHARACTER THAT NEVER GROWS!"


Esther (eshchory) | 130 comments If this book was trying to make fun of me it did it so badly I didn't notice.


Doug S. (dougoftheabaci) | 248 comments I can't say I felt made fun of that much, but, to be honest, I wasn't thinking about it. Simply put, the book didn't grab me nearly enough for me to start analyzing it the way I have others. I just pushed through it and hoped it would be over soon.


Adrienne (addiebelle) | 226 comments I don't remember feeling like I was being made fun of. Instead, I didn't like the book because I couldn't care at all about Quentin.

Actually, I would probably enjoy a similar satire if the main character had at least something going for him.


Daniel | 5 comments I guess for me it is just a matter of association. You can't really read The Magicians, hear about Fillory and not think, "Oh Like Narnia." Once the connection was made I think it influenced how I read the rest of the book.

The Potter references didn't have the same affect on me. I enjoy the Potter books, but I don't associate them with my youth. I may be a minority voice here. However it seems like many of the people who read fantasy have some connection with the Narnia books to their childhood.

I think that is why in part I liked and didn't like the book. On one hand you can associate with that longing to go to a place like Narnia, or at least remember what it was like when you did. On the other hand it takes that world and deconstructs it.


P. Aaron Potter (PAaronPotter) | 582 comments A novel of geek self-loathing? Maybe. Reminds me of The Elfish Gene: Dungeons, Dragons and Growing Up Strange. Not sure I can get behind much more of that. What, precisely, is supposed to have been the negative effect of being an idealist, a voracious reader, an intellectual?


John Wiswell | 86 comments I can at least understand where you're coming from. It didn't even read as a necessarily gritter Narnia, so much one more infected with the mindset of modernity. It's the same feeling I derive from Grossman's tone and characterization on his protagonist. In modeling after Narnia and then changing its themes or intellectual influences, he changed the appeal, and if it doesn't appeal to you, it could easily come off as cheapening. I imagine Grossman intended to enrich from his own experience.

The "made fun of" thing is a strange criticism to me since I read Grossman putting himself into the fiction. Like Tom mentioned, I think he keeps the real CS Lewis-world out of this in part because he's fond of the work. Most of the barbs I figured were at least partially inwardly directed. I'm not sure how you could write something quite so detailed in its nerdery without being a nerd. This isn't a novel you could write just going to a Harry Potter movie and reading Wikipedia, you know?


Daniel | 5 comments I wanted to respond to something Tom said on this weeks podcast concerning why some people don't like this book. Tom said that he thought many people didn't like it because they were being made fun of. This might be true, but I think there was another reason for me.

I read both this book and the Magician King a while back and I enjoyed the books on one level, but something always nagged at me and kept me from fully embracing them. After several months it dawned on me. The books are just to much like Narnia.

I know what you are going to say. That is the point, they are supposed to be like Narnia, and I get that. The problem for me is that the Narnia books were the books of my youth. These are the books that my dad read to me every night as he was putting me and my brother to bed.

Now I read The Magicians and it is a gritty version of Narnia. I am not trying to be some sort of prude about it. The problem for me is, and I fully recognize how cheesy this sounds, is it took something that for me was an innocent thing and just cheapened it.

I think that is a big reason that at the end of the day I just can't fully embrace the books.

On a side note Tom, I also love the Ransom(Space) Trilogy(That is what my dad always called it). Every few years I go through and re-read those books. I think Perelandra and Until We Have Faces are my two favorite Lewis books.


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