2012: 9. The Magicians

"Quentin did a magic trick.  Nobody noticed."

The Magicians, Lev Grossman

      The Magicians is a pastiche, but it's a great pastiche. It's a modern day/American/grown up Harry Potter, and while you can't deny that it's derivative (of Potter, of Narnia, of Tolkien), it's a super entertaining read.  And, I guess, because Grossman and his characters are up front about the sources he's playing with, I guess you can call it an homage instead.  

    It's the story of Quentin, a bright kid from Brooklyn, who one day gets the opportunity to take a fabulous test, and discovers that he is capable of doing magic.  Suddenly, instead of an elite university, he goes to magic college (called Brakebills), and studies there - where he learns not only is magic real, but so is the mystical land of Fillory (read: Narnia) where his favorite books growing up were set.   Guess where Quentin goes after graduation?

     As I said, it's super entertaining and inventive - even where we are familiar with the concepts (magical school, mystical land), Grossman writes so well about how those things would inter play with our real world, and keeps you turning the pages.  My only quibble is that 1) he blows through so much plot so fast - he definitely could have written more (and given that he ended up writing a sequel, maybe he agrees!), and 2) Quentin himself is sort of a pill that he can grate a bit.  But the book is totally worth it for the world building and, I happen to know, the Quentin is a pill issue is somewhat relieved in the sequel.  

Categories:  Fiction, Library Book

© Carrie Dunsmore 2017