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The Magicians (Magician, Bk 1)
The Magicians - Magician, Bk 1
Author: Lev Grossman
A thrilling and original coming-of-age novel about a young man practicing magic in the real world. — Quentin Coldwater is brilliant but miserable. A senior in high school, he's still secretly preoccupied with a series of fantasy novels he read as a child, set in a magical land called Fillory. Imagine his surprise when he finds himself unexpec...  more »
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ISBN-13: 9780452296299
ISBN-10: 0452296293
Publication Date: 4/27/2010
Pages: 416
  • Currently 3.3/5 Stars.

3.3 stars, based on 175 ratings
Publisher: Plume
Book Type: Paperback
Members Wishing: 2
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

reviewed The Magicians (Magician, Bk 1) on + 11 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 5
I really liked the descriptions, situations and plot twists in this book. The problem was that I wasn't fond of the protagonist, Quentin. His friends seemed so much more interesting. Perhaps Quentin will grow up in the next book!
reviewed The Magicians (Magician, Bk 1) on + 27 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
I did not like it. I did not feel as if I got the know the characters, did not care if they lived or died and did not enjoy the fantasy aspect.
reviewed The Magicians (Magician, Bk 1) on + 150 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
Honestly, I felt like this book was a big f-you to anyone who ever wanted to go to Hogwarts or dreamt of finding a secret cupboard to Narnia.
Quentin was an unlikeable main character who is constantly bored and unsatisfied with his life, no matter how miraculous it becomes. He even stops and says at times how he should be happy, but he just isn't. Someone should have given him a Prozac and the story would be much better. Probably.

The world was neat and I liked the magic school when Quentin wasn't mucking it up. I didn't like how the author took what should have been an amazing experience - Magic is Real!!! - and turned it into hard work. What I love about fantasy and magic is that they are better than the real world. There is Good and Evil and Quests and Glory. The Magicians turned magic into Difficult, Dangerous, and Useless.

I can give this 3 stars because it did hold my interest. It was a different take on your typical fantasy. Trying something new and succeeding should get at least that many stars.

I'm sure there are those who really enjoy this and can see beyond the main character's flaws, or actually can appreciate the main character for his flaws. For me, however, all I wanted after finishing this was to curl up with a childhood favorite where the good guys win and magic always sparkles.
reviewed The Magicians (Magician, Bk 1) on + 39 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 3
After all the hype, I was expecting a lot more out of this. Without giving too much away, the book spends a decent chunk of time at Brakebills but it doesn't feel like enough. The whole story feels like someone hit fast forward and you get the big main points, but not any of the character and story development that *could* be there. For lack of better comparison, it's like the first three Harry Potter books being distilled down into one story.

Quentin isn't the most likeable protagonist either. He whines and pities himself through most of the book, just like a lot of regular teens/people. Which is fine for the most part, because you know a big lesson is coming for him. Except the thing is, when the big lesson comes and he learns it, it feels anti-climactic and I just ended up mentally comparing him to an ex who was also whiney and poo-faced. Maybe I would have liked this story more had it been told from Alice, Penny, Eliot or even one of the professor's perspective. There's so much hinted at in their pasts and so little revealed; at certain points I was really hoping the story would take a multi-perspective storytelling stance so we could get into the meat of their lives, but no such luck.

Overall I liked the book and was entertained enough to finish it, but as other reviewers have stated, the whole book just feels like it exists as a set-up to the next book... which I'm not really sure I want to read.
reviewed The Magicians (Magician, Bk 1) on + 65 more book reviews
Helpful Score: 1
So imagine if you will that you are a teenager who grew up LOVING the Narnia books and wanting nothing more than to visit Narnia yourself some day... and then *poof* you discover that Hogwarts is real (only called Brakebills and for older teens rather than 11 year olds)... except the headmaster isn't fun or whimsical at all and Magic is HARD.

That pretty much sums up the part one of this book... and then the kids find Narnia (Fillory) and it's not at all what they all secretly dreamed it would be.

Part one of the book dragged like mad for me, but I found it interesting enough to keep reading. The latter parts were more fun and quicker to read, but couldn't really redeem the boring beginning.
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reviewed The Magicians (Magician, Bk 1) on + 6 more book reviews
I find it difficult to review this book because I neither liked nor hated it. I can say with certainty, however, that I flat out hated the characters.

The students at this school (including all of the main characters), are angst-ridden and hard to like. They sleep around, they're insecure, they hurt each other emotionally on purpose. As another reviewer has already pointed out, Quentin, the main character, is moody and immature throughout. His constant "life sucks, everything sucks" internal monologues are tiresome and leave you wondering why he doesn't just jump off a cliff and get it over with. The one single character in the story who seemed to be above it all (won't mention who it is in case you want to be surprised) turned out to be just as immature as the rest in the end and I lost all respect for said character after reading it.

Throughout most of the book, it was hard to get a good sense of where everything was going. Magic does not come as easily to magicians in this story as they do to the wizards in Harry Potter. It requires extensive grueling training, which takes up the majority of the book. Finally, in the last few chapters, the story started to get interesting.

While this story left me disliking every single character, the end was interesting enough to get me to (maybe) want to read the next one just to see what happens. Hopefully, the characters will redeem themselves later on. Or get killed off. Really either is good at this point.

I also want to add that if you're looking for another "Harry Potter", this is not it. The only similarity is the existence of magic, and a magic school. I did not feel any loyalty or love for any of the characters as I did with "Potter", and at times I hoped the author was going to get rid of one or two of them.

This book is also not appropriate for younger kids as it contains some sexual situations and drug use.
reviewed The Magicians (Magician, Bk 1) on + 3 more book reviews
A mix between Harry Potter and the Chronicles of Narnia, this story doesn't lack in magic, however raw and cynical it appears to be in the book. The characters could be more developed, and the plot weakens in a couple of spots, but overall, I think this is a good read. It lacks the fluff and faerie dust of most other fantasy novels, but it was refreshing because of it. I think everyone can relate to the longing Quentin feels to find his "place" in this world or another.