Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Review | The Magicians By: Lev Grossman

I found this book singularly boring.

I wanted to love it. Had heard good things about it from Patrick Rothfuss and A Dribble of Ink. But couldn’t bring myself to love it.

Perhaps it’s just me. Perhaps it’s ennui. I have been having trouble with my reading lately; I can’t seam to be engaged. I keep waiting for a book to rescue me, and to fall in love again. This book was not it. And consequently I trudged through it with a bitter edge of expectations that were never met.

Fillory (or as I like to think of it Narnia) is Quentin’s obsession. He is of exceptional intelligence, higher than an IQ aught to be, but obsessed with a series of children’s books written in the early 1930’s in regards to a magical land and a family of children who visit it.

Magic exists. As Quentin finds out and he gets to go to a school for it. At this point the novel has been compared to Harry Potter. It is nothing like that. It is like to Harry Potter as dog shit is to chocolate. Vague resemblance in that there is a school of magic, but nothing else really in common.

The Magician is Literature with a capital capital L. Or at least that is how it feels like to me. It feels narrated rather than told from a point of view. It doesn’t delve deeply into the life of Quentin but rather takes snapshots and flits along the surface. I never feel a sense of desperation just an aimless wandering. Consequently, I was left in a constant state of waiting for something to happen, anything. However, when something finally did happen, it never seamed as grand as it aught be. It was mired down in drudgery and alcohol.

Furthermore, magic, is singularly dull in this novel. None of the wild and exoticness that I picture. Methodical, yet elusive.

This book has been deemed a love hate relationship and I by far fill into the hate category. My views on this book and reactions side more with Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist, and The Book Smugglers.