The Magicians: A Novel

By Lev Grossman
Read by Mark Bramhall

The Magicians Trilogy: Book 1

17.38 Hours 08/11/2009 unabridged
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    ISBN: 9781101079423

The New York Times bestselling novel about a young man practicing magic in the real world Like everyone else, precocious high school senior Quentin Coldwater assumes that magic isn’t real—until he finds himself admitted to a very secretive and exclusive college of magic in upstate New York. But magic doesn't bring the happiness and adventure Quentin thought it would. After graduation, he and his friends stumble upon a secret that sets them on a remarkable journey that may just fulfill Quentin’s yearning—but their journey turns out to be darker and more dangerous than they’d imagined. Psychologically piercing and dazzlingly inventive, The Magicians, the prequel to the New York Times bestselling book The Magician King, is an enthralling coming-of-age tale about magic practiced in the real world, where good and evil aren't black and white—and power comes at a terrible price.

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Summary

Summary

A New York Times Bestseller

Winner of the 2010 YALSA Alex Award

Selected for the August 2009 Indie Next List

Winner of an AudioFile Earphones Award

The New York Times bestselling novel about a young man practicing magic in the real world

Like everyone else, precocious high school senior Quentin Coldwater assumes that magic isn’t real—until he finds himself admitted to a very secretive and exclusive college of magic in upstate New York. But magic doesn't bring the happiness and adventure Quentin thought it would. After graduation, he and his friends stumble upon a secret that sets them on a remarkable journey that may just fulfill Quentin’s yearning—but their journey turns out to be darker and more dangerous than they’d imagined.

Psychologically piercing and dazzlingly inventive, The Magicians, the prequel to the New York Times bestselling book The Magician King, is an enthralling coming-of-age tale about magic practiced in the real world, where good and evil aren't black and white—and power comes at a terrible price.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

Remember the last time you ran home to finish a book? This is it, folks. The Magicians is the most dazzling, erudite and thoughtful fantasy novel to date. Gary Shteyngart, author of Absurdistan and The Russian Debutante's Handbook
The Magicians brilliantly explores the hidden underbelly of fantasy and easy magic ... It's like seeing the worlds of Narnia and Harry Potter through a 3-D magnifying glass. Naomi Novik, author of His Majesty's Dragon
The Magicians is fantastic. It's strange, fanciful, extravagant, eccentric, and truly remarkable-a great story, masterfully told. Scott Smith, bestselling author of The Ruins and A Simple Plan
The Magicians is a spellbinding, fast-moving, dark fantasy book for grownups that feels like an instant classic. Kate Christensen, PEN/Faulkner award winning author of The Great Man and The Epicure's Lament
The Magicians ought to be required reading for anyone who has ever fallen in love with a fantasy series, or wished they went to a school for wizards. Kelly Link, author of Magic for Beginners and Stranger Things Happen
Grossman clearly has read his POtter and much more. While this story invariably echoes a whole body of romantic coming-of-age tales, Grossman's American variation is fresh and compelling. Like a jazz musician, he riffs on Potter and Narnia, but makes it his own. Washington Post
Grossman skillfully moves us through four years of school and a postgraduate adventure, never letting the pace slacken...beguiling. Seattle Times
The Magicians reimagines modern-day fantasy for grownups. [It] breathes life into a cast of characters you want to know...and does what [some] claim books never really manage to do: 'get you out, really out, of where you were and into somewhere better. Louisville Courier-Journal
...no doubt that this book is inventive storytelling and Grossman is at the height of his powers. Chicago Sun-Times
Sly and lyrical, [The Magicians] captures the magic of childhood and the sobering years beyond. Entertainment Weekly
An irresistible storytelling momentum makes The Magicians a great summer book, both thoughtful and enchanting. Salon
Stirring, complex, adventurous ... from the life of Quentin Coldwater, his slacker Park Slope Harry Potter, Lev Grossman delivers superb coming of age fantasy. Junot Diaz, Pulitzer-prize winning author of The Brief Wondrous Life of Oscar Wao
The Magicians is to Harry Potter as a shot of Irish whiskey is to a glass of weak tea. George R.R. Martin, bestselling author of A Game of Thrones
“Sly and lyrical, [The Magicians] captures the magic of childhood and the sobering years beyond.” Entertainment Weekly
This is a book for grown-up fans of children's fantasy and would appeal to those who loved Donna Tartt's The Secret History. Highly recommended. Library Journal (Starred Review)
Fantasy fans can't afford to miss the darkly comic and unforgettably queasy experience of reading this book-and be glad for reality. Booklist (Starred Review)
Very dark and very scary, with no simple answers provided-fantasy for grown- ups, in other words, and very satisfying indeed. Kirkus Reviews
... provocative, unput-downable ... one of the best fantasies I've read in ages. Fantasy & Science Fiction
“An irresistible storytelling momentum makes The Magicians a great summer book, both thoughtful and enchanting.” Salon
“While this story invariably echoes a whole body of romantic coming-of-age tales, Grossman's American variation is fresh and compelling.” Washington Post
“Grossman skillfully moves us through four years of school and a postgraduate adventure, never letting the pace slacken...beguiling.” Seattle Times
“This is a book for grown-up fans of children’s fantasy...Highly recommended.” Library Journal
“Very dark and very scary, with no simple answers provided—fantasy for grown-ups...Very satisfying indeed.” Kirkus Reviews
“Mark Bramhall, a smooth baritone with a supple speaking voice, reads carefully, with a slight air of heaviness and sorrow. He pauses frequently and freights the silences with a tenderness well befitting a coming-of-age novel.” Publishers Weekly (audio review)
“As Bramhall depicts this Narnia-like land, he fully portrays the heroes, villains, even the secondary characters such as the cruel mage, a drunken bear, and a timid tree person. Winner of AudioFile Earphones Award.” AudioFile

Reviews

Reviews

by CorayThan 9/13/2017
Overall Performance
Narration
Story

Dark, realistic take on the school of magic trope

This is one of my favorite books. It manages to be exciting, funny, and genre-bending at the same time. The main character can seem a little whiny at times, but I still love his character, and all the characters are compelling and interesting.

Especially as someone who knows the fantasy genre well, this is an awesome book. This takes the school-of-magic trope to places I haven't seen before. If the only fantasy you've read are Harry Potter and other modern young adult fantasy, though, do yourself a service and give yourself some background before reading this. Ursula K. Le Guin's Earthsea Trilogy is a series Rowling borrowed a lot from. Read the Chronicles of Narnia. Maybe even The Color of Magic by Terry Pratchet.
by Samuel 9/13/2017
Overall Performance
Narration
Story

Amazing and wonderfully-narrated, one of my all-time favorite books and audiobooks

Bramhall's narration is spot-on in this absolute masterpiece of modern, literate fantasy. Comparisons to "Harry Potter for adults" don't begin to capture the depth and reality of this book. It owes more to The Once and Future King and acts more as a discomplement of Narnia than it alludes to Harry Potter, though indeed the book occurs in our present world, a world where all of these books exist. Quentin is an honestly voiced character throughout, growing though a middle class high-performance student upbringing, to bit by bit coming to terms with his adulthood, his powers, his mistakes, and himself. This is a book about finally growing up, about self-realization, about love and loss and longing, and yes, about magic. And Grossman's prose is wonderful, the story true, never saccharine, and, again, Bramhall's appropriately at-times dry, at-times tender, well-characterized narration is a delight, capturing the tone and spirit of the book and its characters. I can't really recommend this book enough; definitely one of the top 10 genre novels of the 2000s, perhaps the very best in its subgenre, facing competition only from Perdido Street Station, Finch, and American Gods. (For more taste comparisons, my other picks from the decade in other subgenres are: R. Scott Bakker's The Darkness That Comes Before, Paolo Bacigalupi's The Windup Girl, etc.) If you haven't read the book, or perhaps even if you have, enjoy these 17 and a half hours, and then pick up the (just as fantastic) sequel The Magician King, and join the wait for the conclusion, The Magician's Land, in August 2014.

Author

Author Bio: Lev Grossman

Lev Grossman is a senior writer and book critic for Time magazine. His books have been New York Times bestsellers, and in 2011, he was awarded the John W. Campbell Award from the World Science Fiction Society. A graduate of Harvard and Yale, he lives in Brooklyn with his wife and two daughters.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download
Category: Fiction/Fantasy
Runtime: 17.38
Audience: Adult
Language: English