By Lev Grossman
Viking Adult, Hardcover, 9780670020553, 416pp.
Publication Date: August 11, 2009
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 modern fantasy.
A very knowing and wonderful take on the wizard school genre.
The Magicians may just be the most subversive, gripping and enchanting fantasy novel I ve read this century.
This gripping novel draws on the conventions of contemporary and classic fantasy novels in order to upend them... an unexpectedly moving coming-of-age story.
The New Yorker
The best urban fantasy in years.
Quentin Coldwater is brilliant but miserable. A high school math genius, he's secretly fascinated with a series of children's fantasy novels set in a magical land called Fillory, and real life is disappointing by comparison. When Quentin is unexpectedly admitted to an elite, secret college of magic, it looks like his wildest dreams have come true. But his newfound powers lead him down a rabbit hole of hedonism and disillusionment, and ultimately to the dark secret behind the story of Fillory. The land of his childhood fantasies turns out to be much darker and more dangerous than he ever could have imagined. . . .
The prequel to the New York Times bestselling book The Magician King and the #1 bestsellerThe Magician's Land, The Magicians is one of the most daring and inventive works of literary fantasy in years. No one who has escaped into the worlds of Narnia and Harry Potter should miss this breathtaking return to the landscape of the imagination.
From the Trade Paperback edition.
"Fantasy fans can't afford to miss the darkly comic and unforgettably queasy experience of reading this book-and be glad for reality."
-Booklist (Starred Review)
"This is a book for grown-up fans of children's fantasy and would appeal to those who loved Donna Tartt's The Secret History. Highly recommended."
-Library Journal (Starred Review)
"Very dark and very scary, with no simple answers provided-fantasy for grown- ups, in other words, and very satisfying indeed."
"... provocative, unput-downable ... one of the best fantasies I've read in ages."
-Fantasy & Science Fiction
"The Magicians is to Harry Potter as a shot of Irish whiskey is to a glass of weak tea."
-George R.R. Martin, bestselling author of A Game of Thrones
"Stirring, complex, adventurous ... from the life of Quentin Coldwater, his slacker Park Slope Harry Potter, Lev Grossman delivers superb coming of age fantasy."
-Junot Diaz, Pulitzer-prize winning author of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
"The Magicians ought to be required reading for anyone who has ever fallen in love with a fantasy series, or wished they went to a school for wizards."
-Kelly Link, author of Magic for Beginners and Stranger Things Happen
"The Magicians is a spellbinding, fast-moving, dark fantasy book for grownups that feels like an instant classic."
-Kate Christensen, PEN/Faulkner award winning author of The Great Man and The Epicure's Lament
"The Magicians is fantastic. It's strange, fanciful, extravagant, eccentric, and truly remarkable-a great story, masterfully told."
-Scott Smith, bestselling author of The Ruins and A Simple Plan
"Remember the last time you ran home to finish a book? This is it, folks. The Magicians is the most dazzling, erudite and thoughtful fantasy novel to date."
-Gary Shteyngart, author of Absurdistan and The Russian Debutante's Handbook
"The Magicians brilliantly explores the hidden underbelly of fantasy and easy magic ... It's like seeing the worlds of Narnia and Harry Potter through a 3-D magnifying glass."
-Naomi Novik, author of His Majesty's Dragon
"Grossman clearly has read his POtter and much more. While this story invariably echoes a whole body of romantic coming-of-age tales, Grossman's American variation is fresh and compelling. Like a jazz musician, he riffs on Potter and Narnia, but makes it his own."
"Grossman skillfully moves us through four years of school and a postgraduate adventure, never letting the pace slacken...beguiling."
"An irresistible storytelling momentum makes The Magicians a great summer book, both thoughtful and enchanting."
"Sly and lyrical, [The Magicians] captures the magic of childhood and the sobering years beyond."
"...no doubt that this book is inventive storytelling and Grossman is at the height of his powers."
"The Magicians reimagines modern-day fantasy for grownups. [It] breathes life into a cast of characters you want to know...and does what [some] claim books never really manage to do: 'get you out, really out, of where you were and into somewhere better."
At first glance, Lev Grossman's new novel looks very much like a Harry Potter story — with older characters and an American setting. But a heap of moral ambiguity surrounds the use of magic and there is no villain, giving the tale many shades of gray. More at NPR.org
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