Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The Magicians

The Magicians - Lev Grossman
I wanted to like The Magicians more than I did, really. This new Harry-Potter-for-adults book by Lev Grossman has its interesting points for sure, and I eagerly read it cover to cover. However, I just didn’t like the main character, Quentin, that much. Worse, I didn’t find his actions at certain points of the story believable – even for a teenager/young adult.

The idea that Grossman returns to often is that “real” magic is hard and very tedious to master. Furthermore, there is usually no all-powerful evil villain (aka Voldemort) that is the center of everyone’s attention and has everyone on red alert. So, without giving too much away, Quentin discovers he is more than just a magician in the vein of fancy card tricks; he goes on to formal training to become a real magician and discovers just how tedious it can be. This is all fine and good, but Quentin just wallows way too much to be believable. At one point, Quentin and magician friends stumble into a parallel world (you’ll have to read it) and instead of being awestruck Quentin mopes around pouting about his girlfriend. It strains credibility.

On a related note, I thought the recent Harry Potter movie (Half Blood Prince was it?) was a bit of a snooze. The only thing that really caught me attention was when Dumbledore used the word maudlin or mawkish (very similar anyways) during one of the scenes. As a word choice it seemed so out of place with all the other dialog.

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