Book Review: The Magicians by Lev Grossman


Amazon | Goodreads


What is it about?

Quentin Coldwater is a verifiable genius who mastered calculus 2 in 8th grade. I didn’t even master calculus 2 in college. Instead I took business calculus, which I remember being interesting and enjoyable, but I do not think I remember any of the math.

Anyways, Quentin is a smart guy working on his college admissions when he gets invited to go to a magic school. He believes this is his dream come true and a place where he can finally find happiness.

Was it good?

Well, Quentin may be book smart, but he has the emotional intelligence of a sociopath. I was going to say toddler, but by the end of this book I was starting to think that my toddler takes more responsibility for his actions than Quentin. He (Quentin, not my toddler) is just so unlikable that I had a hard time enjoying the story at all. And unless someone tells me that Quentin turns out less of an A-hole in the second and third books, then I am not remotely interested in reading them.

The back of the book describes the story as being about a land of his childhood fantasies which turns out to be dangerous, but it takes the book 250 pages to even build up to that point. This land is pretty creepy, as if an alcoholic tornado blew through a Winnie the Pooh story and then all the characters were stitched together wrong with evil hearts and intentions.

I wanted to like this book. The story had a lot of potential, and it was even enjoyable for maybe the first half. After that, unfortunately, I found myself just getting annoyed and angry.

My husband asked me how it was going, and I said, “I just want to finish the darn book.”.

“Why do you want to finish the DARN book, mommy?” Asks my 3-year-old.

Look what you’ve made me do, Lev Grossman! I’m just kidding. Unlike Quentin, I know that it was my fault my toddler learned that word today.

I need to read a happy book now, so feel free to leave a suggestion in the comments.


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