Apr 29, 2011

Review: The Magicians

Quick summary of Lev Grossman's The Magicians before I start complaining about it:  It's about a college for magicians, and not the kind of magicians that do illusions (not tricks because "tricks are what whores do for money" - I miss Arrested Development), but the magicians who can alter elements and such.  These socially awkward magicians go through five years of classes while pretty much hating the world they live in.  They realize that there's really no point to life, even with the powers they possess.  Nothing can really make them happy.  Even traveling to the assumed ficional world Fillory, setting of a book series they all loved as kids, can't bring them happiness. 

It's such an uplifting story. 

I liked the book for the most part, because it was more about the characters than plot, and the existential element was interesting.  But there were too many moments when I wanted to throw the book against the wall, something I haven't felt since I read Breaking Dawn when I actually did throw the book.  Characters just disappear without notice.  They assume a large role and then *poof* they're gone for 100 or so pages without explanation.  It's very annoying.  Or to me it is.

But the thing I hated most was how it tries so hard to remind the reader that it's a completely different story than Harry Potter.  I'm fairly certain that the fact that the title does not include the phrase "Harry Potter and the" made it clear to whoever picked it up that it was not part of the HP series.  But the HP series is constantly referenced and it gets old fast. 

But if you like existential novels, then you'll probably really enjoy The Magicians.  There's also a sequel coming out this summer, so there'll be more opportunities to discuss how pointless life is.  Huzzah!

1 comment:

  1. Ahhh, existentialism.

    Also, I'm going to copy you and start putting pictures of book covers in my posts, because I really like the way it looks in yours. :)