Tuesday, July 1, 2014
Touted as, "Harry Potter for grown-ups," The Magicians by Lev Grossman seemed to be right up my alley. Boy was I wrong. Right now, I'm trying to think of a book about magic which I have hated more than The Magicians, and absolutely nothing is coming to mind.
So what was wrong with "the best urban fantasy in years"?
EVERYTHING. First of all, while the characters can be relateable, they're all horrible people. And even the good people are horrible. Like I spent most of the book wanting to place all the main characters in a circle and just running around the middle of a circle with a chair in my hands, smacking every single one of them across the head with it. And the writing might not be bad, but Grossman has the tendency to just skip huge chunks of time. By my estimate, the book covers about seven years? And you would think that most of those years would need a lot of explaining, but Grossman would disagree. He also has the tendency to focus on the most obnoxious things--some readers might say this is an effect of being inside the mind of the main character a boy in his late teens, but to that I say WRONG. And finally, the plot just seemed so absolutely unnecessary. Like basically the entire book negates itself.
I don't know that I would recommend this book to my worst enemy.
Favorite Quotes (yes, despite all my problems with the novel, I did enjoy a few lines):
"In Fillory things mattered in a way they didn't in this world."
"The real problem with being around James was that he was always the hero. And what did that make you? Either the sidekick or the villain."
"He'd spent too long being disappointed by the world--he'd spent so many years pining for something like this, some proof that the real world wasn't the only world, and coping with overwhelming evidence that it in fact was."
"Things like this didn't happen in Fillory: there was conflict, and even violence, but it was always heroic and ennobling, and anybody really good and important who bought it along the way came back to life at the end of the book."
"Look , who's the talking bear here? [..] Is it you? Are you the talking fucking bear? All right. So shut the fuck up."