To have characters that were more believable in their motivations, less focused on people trying everything they can to make themselves more and more miserable.
Personal interactions were at best sophomoric, at worst blindingly stupid.
Adequate, I was too caught up in not liking any of the characters.
I'm trying to find one that I would keep.
If you like books like Catcher in the Rye, you will probably not mind this book. If you are simply looking for a more mature, magic in the modern world novelization, I suggest you look elsewhere. The book as an overall theme focused on negativity and the ability of individuals to make themselves miserable. The sex, drugs, and alcohol are essentially irrelevant, the problem is the focus on consistently inane personal motivations and interactions. No one, could spend year after year in school, and not grow and develop in any emotional capacity. The book encompasses years and every single character is stuck in an emotional temper tantrum. Even Catcher in the Rye is focused on a relatively short interval in someone's life, not the same emotional diatribe for years. The characters never develop in any emotional capacity at all, which gets really old fast.
Interesting slightly more adult take on the genre, The characters degree of self pity and loathing was a little over the top at times. The performance was good and the story was enjoyable.
Although basically a plot about the schooling and coming of age of a group of young magicians, and easily compared to Harry Potter, Lev Grossman's novel is much darker and the emotions more raw. On some levels it becomes a more 'realistic' story of the main characters and how the road to mastery of magic runs parallel to the road to adulthood. At some points I was disappointed with the story, but in the end I was satisfied. Perhaps this is as good a review as you can give; that a story surprised you in some way, but ultimately led you to a satisfying conclusion.
I enjoyed the narration provided by Mark Bramhall.
I'm looking forward to reading the next novel "The Magician King".
Maybe, depending on the reviews
Again, maybe. The feeling I had at reading the end of The Magicians was one of relief, not satisfaction. For this reason alone I have not gotten The Magician King yet.
Mark Bramhall's narration was just fine.
Yes. It inspires me to read far more reviews on a novel I am not familiar with prior to buying it.
In an interview on the web series, The Sword and Laser, author Lev Grossman said that he wasn't as much concerned about making the protagonist, Quentin Coldwater, likable as he was in making Quentin real. Breakbill's magical college, Manhattan life immediately after college, Fillory and its aftermath, Grossman has made them all seem very real. But seen through the eyes of Quentin, these wonderful worlds are all seen through a thick veil of self-loathing, ennui, and overall douchbaggery.
Breakbill's, of course, is a real world take on Hogwarts, just as Fillory is Grossman's take on Narnia. Quentin finds out he is capable of magic. Does he appreciate this? Maybe for half a day, then it's all whining about how much hard work learning is. The faculty is interesting, but does he bother to learn anything about them? Except for one, no, they are simply background noise. In coming to the end of his college career, does Quentin take time to consider his future? Of course, but comes to no conclusions other than "More alcohol!" And when he finally gets to Fillory, when the action in the book finally goes forward taking all of the main characters with it, Quentin manages to infuse a whole new world with his narcissism, acrimony, and in the end, cowardice and delusion.
In the same interview at The Sword and Laser, author Lev Grossman said that his inspirations for The Magicians were not only Harry Potter and Narnia but also Alan Moore's Watchmen. Watching this interview has made me reflect more on the book, but doesn't necessarily make me like it any better, because ultimately Quentin doesn't like any world in which he finds himself. If the main characters in a book don't like their worlds, does the author? It sure didn't seem like it, so why should we, as readers, care about these worlds?
I think that Grossman succeeded in his desire to make magical characters more real. In fact, I think that Grossman's comment can be applied to the entire novel: he was more concerned about making this fantasy real than making it likable.
no, i enjoy this kind of read it's just that the story stalled so much.
his voice and performance was that of an old man. this did not match the age of the characters who were in college.
i don't recommend it. i really, really wanted to finish. there wasn't enough magic and there was way too much whining.
I strongly disliked the pretentious pronunciation of the reader. For example, the way he says nauseous, pronouncing every vowel. Or how he over emphasizes the letter H in words like who or where. Very annoying. It's atrocious speech IMO, and it routinely pulled me from the story. His accents were not great (though not bad either) and he seemed to half-try different voices for the various characters, and only succeeded a few times.
The Magicians starts with the premise, "What if magic, Hogwarts and Narnia were real?" and then explores the implications through the eyes of Quentin, a brilliant, unhappy, self-involved young sorcerer making his start in the magical world. The book upends certain genre conventions (the hero and his friends engage in all manner of conventional, painfully banal immorality) even as it glorifies others (secret magical worlds and a capital-"Q" Quest), without irrevocably upsetting the balance of the story. In fact, the entire book is a balancing act, causing you to alternately love and loathe the characters, the magical world, and the situations Grossman describes in unapologetically modern prose. The Magicians is challenging and rewarding in equal measure, with the payoff directly proportional to your ability to release your expectations of Harry Potter and Prince Caspian and let Grossman's story stand on its own.
This is not a fantasy story; rather, it is an utterly unmagical coming of age story about characters immature enough to believe that being bored by everything is the height of sophistication. (I suspect the author shares this view; certainly there is no suggestion that there is anything inappropriate in the characters' total disengagement.) The protagonist, Quentin, is transported from his boring and meaningless life as an upper-middle-class high schooler to a college for magicians, which he finds boring and meaningless. Even when Quentin plays a minor prank (out of boredom, of course), that causes a fellow student to be eaten alive, it causes only the most minor ripple in the lake of his ennui. Quentin frets briefly over whether or not his classmates noticed that he caused the event, then forgets it until graduation, when the class drinks a pretentious little toast to the dead student and then forgets all about it again. An episode when Quentin comes near to death during a trial-by-ordeal final exam has a similar lack of impact. Not only does Quentin not experience any significant emotional effects from spending days running naked across Antarctica, he doesn't particularly care when he returns and discovers that his friends simply skipped the ordeal and spent the time drinking cocktails on the terrace, without facing any repercussions. Throughout the hours of tedium consumed by the recounting of Quentin's years of magical education, the reader is tantalized by references to the fictional land of Fillory, with which Quentin has been obsessed since childhood. Surely, Fillory must be real, and at last something the reader can care about might happen! Fillory of course does turn out to be real, and Quentin and the members of his equally unlikeable clique eventually find their way there, only to discover that everything there is sordid and perverted. Thus, the lesson of this unpleasant novel is that growing up means replacing the bright fantasies of childhood with desperate, pointless emptiness, except for the special people who are privileged to discover that underneath the veneer of monotony, life is vile and depraved. Oh, and Mr. Grossman? When you want your heroine to express the closest thing that this book has to an emotional insight (she hates her parents, even though they're magicians, too), just have her say it. Nobody gasps out things like that in the throes of sexual passion. Gasping, yes. Gasping "don't let me turn out like my parents," no. Although in retrospect, I would certainly not have chosen to spend a credit on this book (or on the sequel -- I bought both books at once, the more fool I), I don't particularly want my credit back. What I want back is the brain cells that I wasted on this loathsome piece of work.
Reading and listening goes straight into your medulla oblongota and you learn through thought memory. It's like being programmed into intelligence. If you read this, you just learned that the best gifts are free. Or One Credit... and that's kinda free.
Woefully slow at first, but purposeful. Story developes, takes off and is woven together tightly. Very enjoyable. Felt for the characters. Learned, tragic, NY realistic, then fantasy and Nymphs. Voice charaterization well done - took a bit to engage, then took off. Pace of the book has purpose and intent - albeit a bit sluggish with a strange ending. Worth another listen down the road. A nice story told.
Basically Harry Potter for grown ups, but completely lacking in spirit or engaging characters. There's really only one character in the book, the protagonist, and he's a self-interested bore. I liked the premise of the book but hated the execution.