Kevin Xu's Reviews > The Magicians

The Magicians by Lev Grossman
Rate this book
Clear rating

by
2310290
's review
Dec 22, 2010

it was ok
bookshelves: re-read
Read from December 23 to 30, 2010

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 Harry Potter and the Chronicles of Narina mixed with Ender's Game, and does it at a mediocre level at the best. I feel like the world was not immersive world. The character of Quentin feels like dry, dull, and emo as he is willing to go alone with everything without questioning anything. Overall I think he was trying to write something fantasy that was more literary for adults based on the main stream fantasy, and his own background. Anybody who likes good epic fantasy would hate this book. So basically stay away from this book, run away from it, but it is a good book for discussion.
61 likes · flag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read The Magicians.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

05/17/2011 page 59
15.0%
02/08/2016 marked as: read
show 2 hidden updates…

Comments (showing 1-20 of 20) (20 new)

dateDown arrow    newest »

mark monday i enjoyed a lot of this book. but it was also very aggravating. overall, not that great of a novel.


♥Xeni♥ I tried reading this book... I really tried. I couldn't stick with it more than a third of the way through, though. There are just so many flaws in it that it really ruins any good that I could have found!

Glad to see I'm not the only one who thinks it's horrid!


Kelly I couldn't stand the protagonist. He was a whiny little twit who made me want to shout from the rooftops NOT ALL SF/F GEEKS ARE LIKE THIS!


♥Xeni♥ Hah! xD Good point. Also, he supposed to be a super genius. Like, nothing of that came across to me. Did it to you?


Julia I despised this book! I read the first 100+ pages and that was enough! The main character's a jerk, the setting is waaaay too derivative, the author couldn't write a true YA (or fantasy) novel to save his life.

Here's a quote from my review: "This is not a fantasy novel, but an unsuccessful literary novel with fantasy elements. It may be for other people, but it’s not for me."


Kelly He came off like some of the guys I went to college with. Smart, yeah, but convinced they were The Smartest Guy in the Universe because they'd been smart at their high school, and with tons of privilege but convinced they were horribly persecuted because the ladies weren't swooning for them.


♥Xeni♥ I like your quote Julia. xD I think I may have written something like that in my review too!

I see where you're coming from Kelly, but I didn't notice the smartness about him at all. He was acting like a 14 year old in a 19 year old genius' body for me. Not necessarily that he was The Smartest Guy in the Universe but rather that he had potential to say / think smart things and instead settled for mediocrity in his mind. I know some really smart people... they think totally differently from what the "average" person does!


I suppose I am so mad at this book / author because he had a really good idea (without all the 'HP for adults and Narnia' bits tossed in) and then just screwed it up, and screwed it up and then decided to just toss the whole thing out the window and ride on the 'HP for adult's' wave.


Kevin Xu I think he wrote this book more for the average mainstream audience so it could look more sophisticated.


Jenny (Reading Envy) Super agreed. He tried plugging into what he thought made Harry Potter successful and just missed it completely.


George I didn't really get the mindset that New Yorkers are better than everyone else, not from the character Quentin and definitely not from the author. Are there any particular moments that gave you that sense?
Also, I can't really see how it copied Harry Potter other than the idea of a school for wizards which long predates Harry Potter.


Alexander Draganov To be honest, I liked the novel. It was a bit slow moving, but unlike the majority here, I liked and understood Quentin. I still haven't read the second novel, though.


message 12: by Christopher (new)

Christopher Bunn I really disliked this book for a lot of reasons. Couldn't finish it. One of the main problems for me is that I could almost feel the author hovering over my shoulder while I was reading. It was as if he had written the story so pretentiously that he wanted to stick around and see if I was impressed with his sophistication. I was not.


Tobias Taylor What about people who prefer shorter fantasy? I really enjoyed the book, but I don't know why. At a glance it is not a well written book.


AndrewP Yeah I thought it was unoriginal and pretty horrible the whole way through. I think the only reason this got good press reviews is because Mr Grossman is part of the book review scene. A case of 'I scratch your back if you will scratch mine".


Kevin Xu AndrewP wrote: "Yeah I thought it was unoriginal and pretty horrible the whole way through. I think the only reason this got good press reviews is because Mr Grossman is part of the book review scene. A case of 'I..."

Yeah, he is the one that coined George R.R. Martin "The American Tolkien".


message 16: by Alex (new) - rated it 4 stars

Alex Ristea I liked this book because it had so many tropes. That was the whole point--a satire of fantasy tropes.


Kevin Xu Alex wrote: "I liked this book because it had so many tropes. That was the whole point--a satire of fantasy tropes."

Also the tropes helps him grab more audience, as more people only knows the tropes.


message 18: by Alex (new) - rated it 4 stars

Alex Ristea True.

It still wasn't all that enjoyable though. I only finished because it was fairly short, and I won't be picking up the sequel.

An interesting idea, but not the best execution.


the scarecrow ♥Xeni♥ wrote: "Hah! xD Good point. Also, he supposed to be a super genius. Like, nothing of that came across to me. Did it to you?"

The only reason I knew he was a genius is because the author kept beating me over the head with it. This book was such a blatant ripoff it's ridiculous. Cassandra Clare plagiarizes better than Grossman, and that's saying something, since Clare is an awful writer.

Urgh.


Helle The Magicians is not epic fantasy (nor does it attempt to be). It's more of a Bildungsroman.


back to top