Thursday, January 21, 2010

just finished reading

The Magicians, by Lev Grossman. My review here. Anyone else read? Any thoughts?

15 comments:

Phoebe said...

Oooh! I did! Loved it, and I agree with your assessment that it isn't about magic but a certain kind of loss of innocence, one that may or may not be there in the first place.

I posted a review on my site here.

JES said...

Sorry, no, haven't read this. But I am always amazed (no matter how many times you've explained it) how MUCH you read. I've kidded you about how annoying the blizzard of "just finished reading" posts can be, but in truth I'm not annoyed. I marvel and envy.

So then I just came across this program (at Julien Smith's In Over Your Head blog) -- reading 40 pages a day to read 52 books a year -- and now am wondering if I ought to try disciplining myself more.

(But then part of me screams, "You're already DOING ENOUGH STUFF!")

Kristan said...

Haven't read it yet, but I want/plan to, and I enjoyed your review of it!

Your "episodic" comment is of particular interest to me, because St. Martin's Press just requested my full manuscript with the caveat that the partial indicated it might be too episodic. I don't necessarily disagree with that comment (I actually wrote it as episodes, haha) but I am hopeful it's something that can be worked through (rather than rejected). Perhaps I should bump The Magicians up in my queue and take a look for some insight.

The Rejection Queen said...

I think I'll pick up this book.

moonrat said...

Kristan--I don't know that "episodic" is a good or bad word! We're taught to think of it as a bad word, and favor very visible narrative arcs, but so many excellent books break that trend that I'm not even sure it is one anymore. So go you.

moonrat said...

JES--a girl's gotta have a hobby, you know! I mean, one besides Facebook Scrabble.

writtenwyrdd said...

I read that it was like Harry Potter but for adults, which sounded fun. Unfortunately, I wasn't in the mood for the dry beginning and stopped about a quarter into the novel. I do intend to pick it up again, though...eventually!

Flora said...

I started to love it, then didn't. Found it too derivative of other books (Harry Potter, Narnia series). I thought it was really well-written, but ended up feeling that "paying homage" was code for "using other people's imaginations." Too bad, because there's obviously so much talent there.

Brendan said...

I loved the world her creates and the fleshing-out of characters; his style is very fun to read. I felt that the conflict, and thus the actual plot, began halfway through the book. The protagonist was also not sympathetic enough. I would have rather read a book about one of the minor characters.

hampshireflyer said...

Enjoyed it in general - but it really sagged between the academy sections and the actual magic setting. Was there really nothing more interesting for them to do than go off and be hipsters? (All right, I know the point was that you don't just automatically become an Auror or anything like that... but it just seemed to sit around a bit.)

Jack Schnerk said...

Hi moonrat. I just finished a 5 part dramatic serial. The first part is short, a single page. I'm told it's a good read. Would you be willing to read it? That first page, that is.

Bernard S. Jansen said...

I've come to the conclusion that I've not read a single book you have. Oh well, perhaps it's time to branch out.

Rachel said...

I thought it was just okay. I understood the point about looking for magic as escapism, and found that an enjoyable and interesting message in the book.

Still, the characters did little to nothing for me, and the plot wandered (which I realize was intentional).

My thought is this: if you're going to write a book that is really about the message more than anything else, it still either needs to have well-developed characters (my preference) or a strong plot. I was disappointed that neither of these aspects were compelling.

Phoebe said...

Hmm, Rachel, I might disagree that his characters weren't well-developed. I found them very well-developed, just extremely unlikeable. Which was sort-of the point, but I can understand why such icky people made for uncompelling reading.

Pamala Knight said...

I mistakenly left my review at the Book Book under my youngest son's name (griffin) but left you a correction/mea culpa note there.

I agree with the others who say that the magic was just a common background/thread for the characters to be shown against. From about halfway through, I read with a certain sense of trepidation but overall I enjoyed it.