Viking, 2009 (August 11)
The Magicians is an extraordinarily difficult book to review; especially as a fan of speculative fiction. The difficulty arises I think, while this is perhaps obvious and pertinent to all fiction, because The Magicians is a book that operates on quite a few different levels. It is a book that examines the ennui and existentialism of the young and the privileged, it is a book that examines the confluence of the mundane and the magical, it is a book about growing up, and it is a book about vanquishing the rote and the boring elements of life and recapturing the exuberance and wonder of our childhood fantasies. I’m sure there’s more but I will suffice to say that The Magicians is a multi-layered nuanced piece of fiction whose interpretation and reception is intimately tied to what the reader brings with them. I know that last sentence is a bit of a cop out (what fiction isn’t like that?) but for me at least The Magicians is a book that struck a deep personal chord, evoking a reaction that I find difficult to articulate. I’ll do my best, but I don’t make any promises, so read on at your own peril.