Review: The Magicians by Lev Grossman

The Magicians by Lev Grossman
The Magicians by Lev Grossman

The Magicians
Lev Grossman
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.

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