Chris 's Reviews > The Magicians

The Magicians by Lev Grossman
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's review
Sep 03, 2009

really liked it
bookshelves: read-owned-paperback
Read from June 03 to 15, 2011

What a strange little book. Not sure what else to call it, unless it would be a blending of Harry Potter and Narnia with adult content and a heavy dash of the bleak yet often humorous mind-set of a Chuck Palahniuk novel.

And yet, I very much enjoyed it. It wasn't epic, nor heroic. It didn't really have a constructive social message. It wasn't very positive at all. But I still liked it quite a bit.

What does that say about me? Am I negative, with little hope of finding happiness (or even contentment) in my life? Does this mean that all the hopes and dreams of youth are really just illusions that will be shattered and normalized one by one until they're all gone?

I don't think so. There is an undercurrent of humor with this story, underneath the bleakness of it. That's what I'm picking up on. Sure, it does show that reality is not that of childhood dreams. Sure, we can attain some of those, but the reality is still there and it is what it is.

But perhaps it's easier to realize it, chuckle at it a little, and move on. It's nothing to get all worked up over....
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06/03 page 1
01/31 marked as: read
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Comments (showing 1-3 of 3) (3 new)

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Becky Jennifer wrote: "Sometimes it's just fun to read for the sake of enjoyment, never mind the deep and hidden meanings. Glad you liked it!"

LOL... I didn't enjoy anything about this book, aside from the decision to stop reading it. I was bored to tears and slightly annoyed the whole time. =\

But, I'm glad that you guys liked it, and I will agree that there doesn't always have to be a meaning or a message. :)

Maciek Actually, there is a meaning to this book. The author said in an interview that he was interested in writing a book where a hero would be taken to a fantasy world - and the hero would be a fan of fantasy, a nerd. This book aimed to explore the hopes and dreams and how they clash with reality, or rather with the unreality of magic.

This is a good idea, but I found a large part of the book boring and derivative (not sure if that wasn't the point). And to add to that Grossman seemed to discover a method of creating "complex" characters, which means that you make your character want one thing - and when they get it (or not) the writer makes them feel the opposite of the expectations. There was little that I found to my liking in The Magicians, which was particularly disappointing because of all the rave reviews.

Allison I also thought of Chuck Palahniuk when I read this!

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