The Magicians

The Magicians

A Novel

eBook - 2009
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As a senior in high school Quentin Coldwater became preoccupied with a series of fantasy novels he read as a child, set in a magical land called Fillory. After graduating from college and being admitted into a highly exclusive, secret society of magic in upstate New York, he makes a stunning discovery: Fillory is real. But the land of Quentin's fantasies turns out to be much darker and more dangerous than he could have imagined for his childhood dream becomes a nightmare with a shocking truth at its heart.
Publisher: New York : Viking, 2009.
ISBN: 9781101082287
Characteristics: 1 online resource (402 p.)
Subjects: College students -- Fiction.
College graduates -- Fiction.
Magic -- Fiction.
Self-actualization (Psychology) -- Fiction.
Electronic books.
Manhattan (New York, N.Y.) -- Fiction.
Fantasy fiction.
Psychological fiction.


From Library Staff

lgmosher Apr 27, 2020

This book just gets worse as it progresses.

First of all, Quentin is the biggest douchebag to ever live. He's ungrateful, moody, pathetic, and has no drive to make things better.... He just wants things to happen for him.

Second of all, Grossman has no idea what personal character connecti... Read More »

For adult fans of Harry Potter

From the critics

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Aug 05, 2020

I kind of agree with Igmosher - I won't be reading the next two books. I came along Lev Grossman via his short story in the "Dangerous women" anthology (that short story was a basis for the 3rd book in this sequel), really liked the story and assumed the same about the trilogy. I was wrong! I think it would be better if the author stayed with the short stories... This book was painful to read - first half is very boring, and the 2nd half is boring and dark.
I'd suggest don't waste your time. If you like Harry Potter, this one would likely be a big disappointment

Jun 01, 2020

This book as pretty good! I will always have a soft spot for the harry potter series and think it's the best thing in the world. However, this is definitely the adult/modern/American version. I felt like it was a little hard to keep up as the action ramped up towards the end, but I think it will tie in better as I read more of this series.

lgmosher Apr 27, 2020

This book just gets worse as it progresses.

First of all, Quentin is the biggest douchebag to ever live. He's ungrateful, moody, pathetic, and has no drive to make things better.... He just wants things to happen for him.

Second of all, Grossman has no idea what personal character connection is. Every character in his book is so far off. There is no intimacy for the reader.

Third of all, the book is unnecessarily crude. Like, things that don't help or add value to the book at all are in there and why? So that I can read a sentence that I really rather not to and is absolutely pointless....

All and all I realize why I waited so long to read this book and why I'm not excited about the next one (and I won't be reading it). Honestly there is no story. It's just a bunch of douchery thrown together and a faint underlining plot that has something to do with Fillory.

Do yourself a favor and just grab a different book.

Jan 20, 2020

Book 1

Nov 19, 2019

You can't help compare this to "Harry Potter." But imagine if Harry Potter was a total jerk and his friend were also kinda jerks, and, aside from learning magic, they drink, smoke, have sex, swear, and generally behave like ill-tempered teens. And also there's a land that's basically Narnia. Followed by two more books and made into a TV series. Grossman is the book critic for TIME.

Oct 15, 2019

How to compare The Magicians to Harry Potter? Both are stories about male protagonists who suddenly find themselves at a school for magic after leading lives of Muggles. Quentin begins his career at Brakebills at the age of a Hogwarts graduate. The plot of HP is far more gripping with Harry's being targeted by Voldemort moving the story line along. Quentin and his friends seem perpetually bored, drunk and unhappy. However where The Magicians shine is in the actual magic. Severus Snape declared that "There will be no foolish wand-waving or silly incantations in this class", but wand waving, uttering simple words and phrases, mixing ingredients in a cauldron per a recipe seemed to be the extent of the magic in the world of HP. The magic of Lev Grossman's fiction is far more challenging, more personal, more striking and hence more gratifying than anything in JK's world of magic.
The magicians is definitely worthwhile for an older HP fan. The audio version of the book is performed very satisfyingly bringing Grossman's excellent prose to life.

Sep 28, 2019

Quentin is a thoroughly unlikeable main character, and that's precisely why this book was so good. The Magicians asks what would happen if Harry Potter wasn't a perfect "hero" or "chosen one", but instead was a thoroughly mediocre character who can be selfish and jealous. Sometimes the characters can seem especially cruel or petulant, but generally they won me over because they weren't perfect archetypes. Some elements in the ending were questionable, but overall I enjoyed it.
Excellent read for those who grew up reading fantasy (or even those who didn't) and want a story that pushes back against the genre.

Jul 17, 2019

I wouldn't say this was like either Harry Potter or Narnia, unless it was Harry Potter condensed into 200 pages and someone had only read an excerpt of Narnia. I didn't find any of the characters that remarkable and I didn't love most choices at the ending.

Jul 03, 2019

Unfortunately, it really feels like this story starts off very slow and I was constantly waiting for things to happen. I usually prefer imperfect characters but some of the major players were pretty dislikeable.

Dec 27, 2018

Awhile ago I watched the SyFy series that came after this book, and recently decided to read it. A lot of the things that appealed to me with the show are present in this first in the trilogy, though there are some big differences. If you've ever felt completely absorbed into a fantastic story it might appeal to you. It feels very realistic while being fantastic, and it was easy for me to connect to the characters, even when I didn't always like them.

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Apr 04, 2020

ahoffman4277 thinks this title is suitable for 18 years and over

Jan 10, 2020

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Oct 19, 2019

Eva2404 thinks this title is suitable for 15 years and over

Jul 21, 2017

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Jun 15, 2017

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Mar 02, 2017

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Jan 20, 2016

WeirdCammy thinks this title is suitable for 14 years and over


Add a Quote
Apr 06, 2011

The truth doesn't always make a good story, does it? But I think I tied up most of the loose threads. I'm sure you can fill in the rest, if you really think about it.

Dec 20, 2010

Nobody wanted to admit they were frightened, so they took the only other option, which was to be irritable instead.

Aug 12, 2010

He wasn’t sure they were friends, exactly, but she was unfolding a little. He felt like a safecracker who—partly by luck—had sussed out the first digit in a lengthy, arduous combination.


Add a Summary
Mar 02, 2017

The main character is a self-loathing teen who hasn't been able to let go of his childhood obsession with a series of fantasy novels about a magical world called Fillory. What a surprise when he discovers first that magic is real, and then that Fillory is too. Unfortunately, for him, neither prove to be all that he'd dreamed they were as a child. While there is a clear and strong plot throughout the book, the novel seems to be mostly about the main character's struggle with his own unhappiness. Magic doesn't do it. A new girlfriend doesn't do it. Entering Fillory doesn't do it. In many ways it's a psychological journey more than a fantasy journey. Be prepared for a level of self-pity and self-loathing that will have you rolling your eyes and hoping this kid will grow up.


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