Wednesday, May 30, 2012
Review: The Magicians
The Magicians by Lev Grossman
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
This was such a great book! Someone finally took off the rose-coloured glasses, took the magic-and-mundane-worlds-living-parallely trope, and showed that if you're a miserable cunt in your mundane life, being able to do magic probably won't change that. Not only that, but it takes tonnes of work aand effort to master. Holy crap. It's almost not worth it, the way Quenton describes it. Sure, they had to study at Hogwarts, but this sounds like one of those situations in China where they hook kids up to IVs during exam time.
Quenton is immensely unlikeable. He's a whiney, mopey, privileged, self-absorbed dork. Which, to be honest, describes most 16-21 year olds I know. But he grows, so that's nice.
I was just really happy to read a book with the classic Harry Potter theme that treated these kids as normal, modern kids. Maybe it's because they were American and not British, but they swear and drink and fuck eath other. Harry was 17 when he left Hogwarts - and he was honestly still a virgin? Really? I don't know very many 17 year olds who can claim that. Quenton sure as heck can't by the end of the book.
It's a miserable book, brilliantly written. I say it's miserable because Quenton, our narrating character, is miserable. The book itself is fabulous. Grossman is really clever and there were parts I actually laughed out loud at.
If you don't like reading books where bad things happen to good people, and especially to people you actually like, you probably won't like this book.
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