If you had an imagination as a child, longed for magic to be real, or for quests to other worlds to be possible, you might love this book. If you had..Show More » an awkward and painful youth that seemed as if you would never find happiness, you might love this book. If you are still quietly looking in the hidden depths of your soul for magic to be real, you might love this book.
If you're looking for "Harry Potter for Adults" you're going to hate this book. What a crude and misinformed/misinterpreted description that is. If you're going to have a fit about references to other works of fantasy (which exist in the universe of this book as well), you're going to hate this book.
This book is satire and realism poured onto the concepts of magic and being a teenager/early twenties. It is rough, muddy, painful, and beautiful- just like growing up. Grossman managed to capture the malaise of youth, the desires and hopes for the future. It is a meditation on happiness and the transition from childhood to adulthood and the dreams we had growing up that, if they were possible, might end up being quite different than we had imagined.
The performance by Bramhall was brilliant.
Finally, if you can't see some parts of yourself reflected back at you in these characters... I don't know what to say. They were immensely relatable, as were their actions.
A brilliant book, highest marks, and I am starting part two immediately.
It is unusual when a following book is better than the original, and even more rare when considering that the first book is marvelous in its own right..Show More ». In the first book Quentin was somewhat pathetic, but you loved him even so (one of those negative people who is never satisfied, regardless), he was an antihero who yearned to be a hero. But discovering Breakbills through Quentin's eyes was nonetheless magical, and haunting, and when the first book ends you pretty much have to go back and read it again. Book 2, The Magician King is even more all that than the first book, replete with Julia's experiences, and Julia is probably even a better character than Quentin, although her unbelievable constant fury matches Quentin's omnipresent ingratitude and teenage lack of direction. Julia and Quentin are both utterly believable as highly intelligent, unique-thinking braniacs (Grossman is brilliant, in dialogue, characterization, and plotting). Fillory is much more engrossing in this second book and finally provides a worthy contender to C.S. Lewis' Narnia (albeit a raunchy, F-bomb laced Narnia, drunken and drugged). There is a lot of raunchy language, but The Magician King is haunting and beautiful, and quite a read, and more satisfying than the first book (which was quite satisfying, read it first). Mark Bramhall as narrator is skilled and sophisticated (and I keep thinking I'm listening to David Hyde Pierce's Niles Crane, with a slight cold, and a little drunk on cough syrup, but his voice changes and delivery is masterful). Great book, and worth the wait! Art et Amour Toujours
It took me much longer to finish this book than the previous two. I'm not sure whether it was because it was slower or because my brain knew the end ..Show More »was nigh and wanted to prolong the experience. I choose think the latter. To be completely honest, parts did bore me a bit. But, in the grand scheme, they were mere drops in a lake of wonder.
The most important thing, to me, is that it was satisfying. The characters reached their resolution in one form or another, the arch was completed, and I feel comfortable with the end. Yes, it was a bit predictable, but who cares. The execution is what matters. And Grossman executed it beautifully.
This final installment was set on a much grander stage than the previous ones, with no ill effects. In fact, I liked that aspect quite a bit more. Bramhall did a fantastic job narrating as always.
One of the ending scenes, the culmination of self realization, was as powerful for me as it was for Quentin. I was overwhelmed with longing and sadness, with happiness about a lost time in my life. I guess that's the power of a good series; it picks you up and carries you along, forcing you to identify and project your own experiences onto one character or another.
These books are brilliant. They returned me to a time when books truly transported me, affected me, on a basic level. Highest marks.