The Magicians – Lev Grossman

I wanted to read The Magicians the moment I saw Diane’s review. An adult version of Narnia really appealed and further comparisons with Harry Potter made it all the more interesting to me. I then started to see some more negative and mixed reviews and began to suspect that I might not love this book as much as I first thought.

The Magicians begins with a boy turning up for a Princeton University entrance exam. He finds his interviewer dead and then a mysterious note leads him to into a strange new world, where he finds himself studying magic at Brakebills University. 

Unfortunately I quickly realised that this book wasn’t going to live up to my expectations. It lacked emotion and the plot felt like Harry Potter with the sparkle removed. There was none of the humor or imaginative detail that made Hogworts special and I quickly became bored with the book. The plot was slow moving and I felt there was too much waffling and unnecessary information.

That August the Physical Kids straggled back from summer vacation early. They spent the week before classes camping out in the Cottage, playing pool and not studying and making a project out of drinking their way jigger by jigger through an old and viscous and thoroughly disgusting decanter of port Eliot had found at the back of a cabinet in the kitchen. But the mood was sober and subdued.

I waded through the first 200 pages before finally deciding that life was too short to finish it. This book has been very popular this year, so I’m pleased that I picked it up and am able to join in the conversations about it, but it is a shame that a book with such a promising premise failed to contain any magical writing.

stars1 (DNF)

Did you enjoy The Magicians?

Does the premise appeal to you?