Tuesday, August 11, 2009

2009 book 165

Lev Grossman's The Magicians
I've been really excited to read this book, even though I remembered hated Grossman's last novel, but it's a great premise and is getting stellar reviews. It's about a teenage boy in Brooklyn, obsessed with a series of fantasy books (very similar to the Chronicles of Narnia), who gets recruited to take the entrance exam for an exclusive college of magic (a la Harry Potter). I think the main problem I had with this book was that most of the characters were really, really underdeveloped. Plus they were all the kind of assholes that New York literary men tend to write about. Still, the bits in the school of magic are pretty cool, and their post-graduation adventure was interesting enough, but again, was a bit underdeveloped. Basically, I wanted to love this book, and based on the description I should have, but it really needed more depth and a stronger ending. Still worth a read though. B+.


Christina said...

I loved the first half of this book, but then it just lost me. I couldn't figure out why the main character was so unhappy. Plus, they never really told much about what was supposed to happen in Fillory, but we were still supposed to care as much as the kids who had grown up reading the books. I definitely liked this book, but I was ultimately disappointed, too.

wordnerdy said...

Yeah, in retrospect, I've gotten more disappointed about this book (and even a little annoyed about how many best-of lists it made)--it could have been a really good story, and it wasn't!