Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Book Review: The Magicians

There's this book that all these different people keep recommending to me. It's called "The Magicians". The problem was that whenever I'd go looking for it the bookstore would be sold out. Then I saw that the author, Lev Grossman, was gonna be in DC. Where the author is there simply MUST be books. The problem was that I wasn't gonna be in town. Luckily, Yummy would be. She didn't get vacation time so she wasn't going back to Kansas with me. So SHE went to the book signing for me.

Turns out that Lev Grossman is the identical twin of another author I like - Austin Grossman. Austin wrote "Soon I Will Be Invincible". Both brothers have sequels in the making.

Start with Harry Potter. Now lets pretend that Hagrid didn't show up until Harry was a senior in high school and looking to go to Stanford or Harvard or somewhere like that. Then, in an attempt to catch a piece of paper that's blowing in the wind, he's led down an alley that takes you somewhere other than the other end of the alley. Entrance exams for a school of magic are about to start and Quintin, the central character, gets to take it.

Now, take the Harry Potter books and eliminate Voldemort. You have a guy taking some seriously hard classes. That's one of the strange things about "The Magicians". There is no villain other than life. There's the occasional monster. There are other students. There's really hard exams and classes. And then he graduates. That's the first half of the book.

After graduation Quintin has to go out in the world. What do you do if you're a magician? You don't have any need for money. You can conjure whatever money or resources you need. Housing can be obtained similarly. As can clothing and most anything you want. What do you do with your life? Some magicians are good at answering that. Others, not so much. Most, not so much. With no direction Quintin's life starts to come apart.

Then something else happens. Quintin always thought that life would become satisfying once he was out of high school. Or if he could become a magician. Or get the girl. Would this something new will finally fill that hole and make life enjoyable?

"The Magicians" is a good book and an engaging read. It's not Harry Potter, but if you enjoyed those books you'll enjoy this.

1 comment:

Sweetly Single said...

liked it ....worth the read

btw....awesome new template!