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Paperback The Magicians Book

ISBN: 0452296293

ISBN13: 9780452296299

The Magicians

(Book #1 in the The Magicians Series)

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

Lev Grossman's new novel THE BRIGHT SWORD will be on sale July 2024

The New York Times bestselling novel about a young man practicing magic in the real world, now an original series on SYFY

"The Magicians is to Harry Potter as a shot of Irish whiskey is to a glass of weak tea. . . . Hogwarts was never like this."
--George R.R. Martin

"Sad, hilarious, beautiful, and essential to anyone who cares about...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Love it!

The book itself came in great condition. The read is fantastic! A mix between thrill and fantasy that keeps you wanting to read more, while envisioning a new world between real and Mythical.

Enjoying The Magicians

I watched this on Netflix and loved it but as usual the book has so much more to offer.

An entertaining deconstruction of genre tropes

Much fuss has been made about The Magicians, the first foray into the Fantasy genre by Lev Grossman, uber-geek, author of Codex and Senior Writer for Time magazine. The most ironic of all? The book is not being marketed as a genre novel, but rather being shelved in the Literature section at most bookstores, despite being a Fantasy novel (full of every cliché in the book) through and through. The thing is, though, The Magicians is a good crossover novel, bridging the gap between Literature-with-a-capital-L and Fantasy, by taking the usual tropes (magic school, dysfunctional band of misfits, wizards, `You're a wizard, Harry'-moments, fireballs, etc...) and throwing in all that stuff the literary folk like (sex, moral ambiguity, cocaine and whiskey, cancerous relationships, etc...). The Magicians is like Harry Potter meets The Graduate, with a little bit of Trainspotting thrown in for good measure. Of course, general debauchery and acidic characters aren't a magical fix-all, able to turn any Fantasy novel into a work of literary genius; but Grossman is aware of this and uses these uncomfortable literary devices as an avenue to tell a sometimes funny, sometimes painful story of young people growing up in a world they hardly understand. Like Trainspotting, The Magicians is all about Quentin's inability to cope with the trials and travails of real life, and his constant search for Fillory, a magical world that Quentin knows will solve all his problems. As most of us know, though, finding that place rarely solves anything, rather it's often a slippery slope, leading to bigger and more serious problems. Like anyone dealing with the pains of growing up, of having distant, ambivalent parents and friends whose true intentions are often muddy, Quentin is full of his own shortcomings and dichotomies. He's a brilliant, troubled man, searching as much for himself as anything else, and makes some bad decisions throughout the course of the novel. Midway throught the novel, Quentin is let loose into the world with little direction, near limitless access to money and drugs, and all his relationships falling to pieces around him. This period of the novel was difficult to read, as Quentin becomes unlikable and brash and confused, deserving little sympathy from the reader. Like reading The Chronicles of Thomas Covenant, the Unbeliever, the reader often wonders why they should even bother reading on, if there are any redeeming qualities left in Quentin. Like Donaldson, though, Grossman is very deliberate in this emotional breakdown of his protagonist, and it plays an important role in Quentin finding the motivation he needs to remove himself from the downward spiral. When Quentin is finally introduced to the land of Fillory, much later in the novel than expected, it's as much a breath of fresh air for the reader as it is for Quentin and his friends. Desperate for a change, for a purpose in his life, Quentin embraces this newfound adventure and jumps in head first,

Excellent satire

Quentin Coldwater is delighted to find out he's one of the chosen few who will train as magicians at Brakebills college. No more mundane high school for him. Things advance at a rapid pace, and pretty soon he and his clique have all graduated and got bored. Then they discover Quentin's childhood passion, the Narnia-like land of Fillory, is real. Quentin knows he's messed up, but being in Fillory will make it all better... won't it? I'd read a few reviews before I came to read this, so I wasn't expecting heart-warming heroics, but I was rather worried the characters would be so unlikeable as to make it very grim. In fact I found it highly readable and enjoyable. Although the overall line is pretty bleak, it's chock-full of fun ideas and it's slyly funny too. Grossman sets out to satirise our preoccupation with escaping to fantasy worlds. This is fantasy as it might be if the people were real, fallible human beings - drawn from the ranks of self-pitying teenagers who will try anything to avoid growing up. We get a Narnia with no religious belief and a Generation X sense of futility, and a Hogwarts stuffed full of over-achieving, angst-ridden egotists. Thankfully, we don't get anywhere near Martin Amis' level of misanthropy. The plot is fast-paced and witty, satisfyingly demolishing some of the pomp of high fantasy. Quentin is a naive idiot, but he's also real enough to identify with, and moping about is kept to a minimum because of all the action. He falls in with Eliot, the Sebastian Flyte of Brakebills, and studious genius Alice. Then there's Penny the punk maverick and lots of other bit parts. Our adventurers earnestly believe themselves to be the good guys. When things fall apart, it's through ordinary human mistakes, not fatal moral flaws. To really enjoy this I think you probably need to be familiar with the Narnia books, Harry Potter and Tolkien - and you probably need to be older than Grossman's characters too. It's a book for fantasy fans that have grown up.

Magic is HARD (to do). This book is EASY (to love).

I've read enough books full of wands and spells and mystical lands to have internalized the following rules: magic is fairly simple, sex is largely absent, and the visceral confusion of battle is typically glossed over. Not so in THE MAGICIANS. Spells are akin to high-level physics equations, young wizards have sloppy, drunken feelings for each other, and magical encounters are simultaneously joyous and mind-blowing in their effects. Magic is hard and dangerous and it has very real consequences. So, yes, as many other reviewers have noted, this is a fantasy novel for adults, both in love with and critical of all of its predecessors (C.S. Lewis, J.K. Rowling, even Dungeons and Dragons). But it's also imaginative as hell. There are concepts, characters, and settings (such as an endless Spanish-style plaza, reminiscent of Dali's freakiest paintings, full of fountains that serve as entryways to other worlds) that are themselves deserving of entire books. THE MAGICIANS contains worlds within worlds, and it's wonderfully easy to get lost (and lost, and lost) inside its pages.

The Magicians Mentions in Our Blog

The Magicians in A Spoiler-Free Crash Course to Sarah J. Maas's Crescent City Series
A Spoiler-Free Crash Course to Sarah J. Maas's Crescent City Series
Published by Ashly Moore Sheldon • January 21, 2024

Fans can't wait to get their hands on House of Flame and Shadow, the newest book in Sarah J. Maas's sexy, action-packed Crescent City series, coming out January 30. If you're interested in learning more about the series, here's a spoiler-free crash course.

The Magicians in Watched it? Now Read It!
Watched it? Now Read It!
Published by Ashly Moore Sheldon • December 14, 2023

Sometimes, the best literature gets delivered to our television screen before we've had the chance to read it. But even if you've already watched, it's never too late to read. Here are the books behind 26 of the best adaptations on Netflix right now.

The Magicians in Calling All Twihards: 7 Fun Facts about the Twilight Series
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Published by Ashly Moore Sheldon • August 05, 2021

With last year's publication of Midnight Sun and Netflix's recent release of the Twilight movies, the popularity of the Twilight Saga is resurging. Here are seven fun facts about the books and movies that may surprise you.

The Magicians in 23 Years of the Alex Awards
23 Years of the Alex Awards
Published by Ashly Moore Sheldon • December 21, 2020

Have you heard of the Alex Awards? Established in 1998, they celebrate books written for adults that have special appeal for younger readers, aged twelve to eighteen. These intergenerational, or crossover, books can serve as wonderful connection points between parents and teens.

The Magicians in Read-Aloud Books for Everyone!
Read-Aloud Books for Everyone!
Published by Ashly Moore Sheldon • November 08, 2019

Reading aloud isn't just for kids. Everyone benefits from the simple, calming act of picking up a book and enjoying a story together. It is especially important in this age of frantic, electronic, distraction. We have become so accustomed to the constant cacophony of our devices, we forget how important it is to unplug.

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