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Review: _The Magicians_ by Lev Grossman
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Scott Lurndal
2017-05-16 16:49:52 UTC
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tl;dnr synopsis:

Well, I never expected to have to use Dorothy's Eight Deadly words[*],
but "I don't care what happens to those people" applies in spades
to this novel.

A derivitive of Rowling's Harry Potter novels and C. S. Lewis' _Narnia_,
this novel follows Quentin Coldwater as he manages to find his way to
Brakebills College for Magical Pedagogy and is accepted as a new student.

Eventually, after four years of instruction, Quentin and his band of
age-mates spend their days drinking, partying and screwing around until
they manage to find their way to "Fillory" (Narnia) where they encounter
the Beast (spoiler omitted).

Obnoxiously unlikable protagonists, boring settings and unoriginal adventure.

One and one-half stars out of five.


[*] And I actually enjoyed the Wheel of Time novels.
Dimensional Traveler
2017-05-16 18:49:57 UTC
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Post by Scott Lurndal
Well, I never expected to have to use Dorothy's Eight Deadly words[*],
but "I don't care what happens to those people" applies in spades
to this novel.
A derivitive of Rowling's Harry Potter novels and C. S. Lewis' _Narnia_,
this novel follows Quentin Coldwater as he manages to find his way to
Brakebills College for Magical Pedagogy and is accepted as a new student.
Eventually, after four years of instruction, Quentin and his band of
age-mates spend their days drinking, partying and screwing around until
they manage to find their way to "Fillory" (Narnia) where they encounter
the Beast (spoiler omitted).
Obnoxiously unlikable protagonists, boring settings and unoriginal adventure.
One and one-half stars out of five.
[*] And I actually enjoyed the Wheel of Time novels.
Now you need to go find and watch the first two seasons of the TV series.
--
"That's my secret, Captain: I'm always angry."
Scott Lurndal
2017-05-16 19:03:42 UTC
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Post by Dimensional Traveler
Post by Scott Lurndal
Well, I never expected to have to use Dorothy's Eight Deadly words[*],
but "I don't care what happens to those people" applies in spades
to this novel.
A derivitive of Rowling's Harry Potter novels and C. S. Lewis' _Narnia_,
this novel follows Quentin Coldwater as he manages to find his way to
Brakebills College for Magical Pedagogy and is accepted as a new student.
Eventually, after four years of instruction, Quentin and his band of
age-mates spend their days drinking, partying and screwing around until
they manage to find their way to "Fillory" (Narnia) where they encounter
the Beast (spoiler omitted).
Obnoxiously unlikable protagonists, boring settings and unoriginal adventure.
One and one-half stars out of five.
[*] And I actually enjoyed the Wheel of Time novels.
Now you need to go find and watch the first two seasons of the TV series.
Are you suggesting that the TV series is better than the book?

I suppose that could be true - I like Game of Thrones on HBO, but didn't
finish the first GRRM volume.
Dimensional Traveler
2017-05-16 22:40:45 UTC
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Post by Scott Lurndal
Post by Dimensional Traveler
Post by Scott Lurndal
Well, I never expected to have to use Dorothy's Eight Deadly words[*],
but "I don't care what happens to those people" applies in spades
to this novel.
A derivitive of Rowling's Harry Potter novels and C. S. Lewis' _Narnia_,
this novel follows Quentin Coldwater as he manages to find his way to
Brakebills College for Magical Pedagogy and is accepted as a new student.
Eventually, after four years of instruction, Quentin and his band of
age-mates spend their days drinking, partying and screwing around until
they manage to find their way to "Fillory" (Narnia) where they encounter
the Beast (spoiler omitted).
Obnoxiously unlikable protagonists, boring settings and unoriginal adventure.
One and one-half stars out of five.
[*] And I actually enjoyed the Wheel of Time novels.
Now you need to go find and watch the first two seasons of the TV series.
Are you suggesting that the TV series is better than the book?
I suppose that could be true - I like Game of Thrones on HBO, but didn't
finish the first GRRM volume.
I haven't read the books so I don't know if one or the other is better.
That's why you need to watch the series, so you can tell me! :)
--
"That's my secret, Captain: I'm always angry."
Robert Carnegie
2017-05-16 23:07:10 UTC
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Post by Dimensional Traveler
Post by Scott Lurndal
Post by Dimensional Traveler
Post by Scott Lurndal
Well, I never expected to have to use Dorothy's Eight Deadly words[*],
but "I don't care what happens to those people" applies in spades
to this novel.
A derivitive of Rowling's Harry Potter novels and C. S. Lewis' _Narnia_,
this novel follows Quentin Coldwater as he manages to find his way to
Brakebills College for Magical Pedagogy and is accepted as a new student.
Eventually, after four years of instruction, Quentin and his band of
age-mates spend their days drinking, partying and screwing around until
they manage to find their way to "Fillory" (Narnia) where they encounter
the Beast (spoiler omitted).
Obnoxiously unlikable protagonists, boring settings and unoriginal adventure.
One and one-half stars out of five.
[*] And I actually enjoyed the Wheel of Time novels.
Now you need to go find and watch the first two seasons of the TV series.
Are you suggesting that the TV series is better than the book?
I suppose that could be true - I like Game of Thrones on HBO, but didn't
finish the first GRRM volume.
I haven't read the books so I don't know if one or the other is better.
That's why you need to watch the series, so you can tell me! :)
The sex is better. I haven't seen the books.

I guess this goes for _Magicians_ and for
_A Game of Thrones_.

I did investigate because of this (NSFW):

<https://notalwaysromantic.com/isnt-that-what-the-show-is-about/44043>

My question: "song"? Is there a version with words?
David Johnston
2017-05-16 23:51:57 UTC
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Post by Scott Lurndal
Post by Dimensional Traveler
Post by Scott Lurndal
Well, I never expected to have to use Dorothy's Eight Deadly words[*],
but "I don't care what happens to those people" applies in spades
to this novel.
A derivitive of Rowling's Harry Potter novels and C. S. Lewis' _Narnia_,
this novel follows Quentin Coldwater as he manages to find his way to
Brakebills College for Magical Pedagogy and is accepted as a new student.
Eventually, after four years of instruction, Quentin and his band of
age-mates spend their days drinking, partying and screwing around until
they manage to find their way to "Fillory" (Narnia) where they encounter
the Beast (spoiler omitted).
Obnoxiously unlikable protagonists, boring settings and unoriginal adventure.
One and one-half stars out of five.
[*] And I actually enjoyed the Wheel of Time novels.
Now you need to go find and watch the first two seasons of the TV series.
Are you suggesting that the TV series is better than the book?
I wouldn't count on it. Fillory's pretty but the cast of characters are
really unpleasant people.
Titus G
2017-05-17 04:42:26 UTC
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snip
Post by David Johnston
Post by Scott Lurndal
Post by Dimensional Traveler
Now you need to go find and watch the first two seasons of the TV series.
Are you suggesting that the TV series is better than the book?
I wouldn't count on it. Fillory's pretty but the cast of characters
are really unpleasant people.
Although I thoroughly enjoyed the trilogy, I watched only the first two
or three episodes of the TV series before losing interest.
Robert Bannister
2017-05-18 01:35:07 UTC
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Post by Titus G
snip
Post by David Johnston
Post by Scott Lurndal
Post by Dimensional Traveler
Now you need to go find and watch the first two seasons of the TV series.
Are you suggesting that the TV series is better than the book?
I wouldn't count on it. Fillory's pretty but the cast of characters
are really unpleasant people.
Although I thoroughly enjoyed the trilogy, I watched only the first two
or three episodes of the TV series before losing interest.
I couldn't have read the trilogy. The first book was more than enough
for me.
--
Robert B. born England a long time ago;
Western Australia since 1972
Peter Trei
2017-05-16 19:08:23 UTC
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Post by Dimensional Traveler
Post by Scott Lurndal
Well, I never expected to have to use Dorothy's Eight Deadly words[*],
but "I don't care what happens to those people" applies in spades
to this novel.
A derivitive of Rowling's Harry Potter novels and C. S. Lewis' _Narnia_,
this novel follows Quentin Coldwater as he manages to find his way to
Brakebills College for Magical Pedagogy and is accepted as a new student.
Eventually, after four years of instruction, Quentin and his band of
age-mates spend their days drinking, partying and screwing around until
they manage to find their way to "Fillory" (Narnia) where they encounter
the Beast (spoiler omitted).
Obnoxiously unlikable protagonists, boring settings and unoriginal adventure.
One and one-half stars out of five.
[*] And I actually enjoyed the Wheel of Time novels.
Now you need to go find and watch the first two seasons of the TV series.
Why, does watching 20 somethings recap high school social conflicts, with magic
on top, appeal to you?

pt
David Mitchell
2017-05-16 21:22:33 UTC
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Post by Scott Lurndal
Well, I never expected to have to use Dorothy's Eight Deadly words[*],
but "I don't care what happens to those people" applies in spades
to this novel.
A derivitive of Rowling's Harry Potter novels and C. S. Lewis' _Narnia_,
this novel follows Quentin Coldwater as he manages to find his way to
Brakebills College for Magical Pedagogy and is accepted as a new student.
Eventually, after four years of instruction, Quentin and his band of
age-mates spend their days drinking, partying and screwing around until
they manage to find their way to "Fillory" (Narnia) where they encounter
the Beast (spoiler omitted).
Obnoxiously unlikable protagonists, boring settings and unoriginal adventure.
One and one-half stars out of five.
Well, yes. It's hard to argue with that.

But. If you can access the other books in the series (I know, who would a
thunk), it works quite well and brings it to a suitable conclusion, and there
are enough set pieces of interest to have made it worthwhile enough for me to
recommend it to friends.

But don't pay for it ;-)
a***@yahoo.com
2017-05-16 22:14:40 UTC
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Post by Scott Lurndal
Well, I never expected to have to use Dorothy's Eight Deadly words[*],
but "I don't care what happens to those people" applies in spades
to this novel.
Well that's slightly better than "I want these people to die" (and it didn't happen). So much so that I didn't care whether the science was accurate or not.
Hint: DR by GB.
Titus G
2017-05-17 04:36:56 UTC
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Post by Scott Lurndal
Well, I never expected to have to use Dorothy's Eight Deadly
words[*], but "I don't care what happens to those people" applies in
spades to this novel.
A derivitive of Rowling's Harry Potter novels and C. S. Lewis'
_Narnia_,
And many more.

this novel follows Quentin Coldwater as he manages to find
Post by Scott Lurndal
his way to Brakebills College for Magical Pedagogy and is accepted as
a new student.
Eventually, after four years of instruction, Quentin and his band of
age-mates spend their days drinking, partying and screwing around
until they manage to find their way to "Fillory" (Narnia) where they
encounter the Beast (spoiler omitted).
Obnoxiously unlikable protagonists, boring settings and unoriginal adventure.
One and one-half stars out of five.
I am sorry to read that as I loved it awarding 5 stars out of 5, the
second book also scored 5 but the third only a 3 for me.
Post by Scott Lurndal
[*] And I actually enjoyed the Wheel of Time novels.
Does that partly explain the one and one-half stars?
Titus G
2017-05-17 04:37:28 UTC
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From a message titled "Just Finished: The Magicians by Lev Grossman"
posted to the usenet newsgroup rec.arts.mystery on 7/7/2010.

HERE BE SPOILERS

This is a deep, complex, marvellous book. It forces you to
think about your place, if there is one, in the universe,
about the immutability of acts done, and the consequences of
decisions taken.

Like any great novel, it operates on multiple levels. On
one level, it is about reading. Quentin, our 17 year old
(at the start) protagonist from Brooklyn, indirectly
announces this when he comments that he always thought that
a certain set of fantasy novels were really all about
reading. These fantasy novels are based upon C. S. Lewis's
*Chronicles of Narnia* . In this book they are written by a
Christopher Plover [is this a variant of A. A. Milne's
Christopher Robin?] and consist of five novels about the
adventures of the five Chatwin children staying with
relatives in Cornwall during World War One. Martin, the
oldest, goes through the cabinet of a grandfather clock and
finds himself in the land of Fillory, from which the
fictional set of books takes its name. In time the others
follow.

Quentin has read the books as a child - and continues to
re-read them, and admits to himself that he has never really
put them behind him as the other children have. He is
unhappy and wants desperately to go to Fillory. Instead, he
finds himself wisked off to a College of Magical Pedagogy
hidden away on the Hudson River in Upstate New York.
Already, the reader can see that Grossman is touching upon
more than one series of fantasy novels. And, indeed, the
book is ripe with indirect references to the whole genre of
fantasy novels. While it is not necessary to the
understanding of the work, one would profit before reading
this book from having at least a nodding acquaintance with
the following:

Lewis Carroll, Alice n Wonderland
J. M. Barrie, Peter Pan
Frank Baum, The Wizard of Oz
J. R. R. Tolkien, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings
T. H. White, The Once and Future King
Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughter-House Five
J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter
Philip Pullman, His Dark Matter
and of course
C. S. Lewis, The Chronicles of Narnia.

Fantasy, of course, differs from Science Fiction. Fantasy
has a necessary structure, which Bilbo Baggins names in the
title of his own chronicle, *There and Back Again* .
Science Fiction gives you only the "There" part. Ever since
Homer, the first fantasy writer, wrote the first great
"there and back again" story - The Odyssey - the necessity
for the "back again" part of the formula has been
universally respected. Odysseus, having been crowned by the
Phaiacians for his adventures and feted well into the night,
is returned by them to his native land of Ithaca, and he
awakes on the shore, drunk and in rags, having now to start
almost all over again, unrecognized, in the real world, and
to redeem what has been taken away in his absence. The
"back again" segment represents the return to "reality" and
the necessity of applying the lessons learned to the real
world. Even The Lord of the Rings has this facet, with the
section on the Scouring of the Shire.

Grossman makes it all self-reflective. Quentin, being so
familiar with the Fillory stories, sees all that he is doing
as being within the structure of those stories, and when the
adventure actually ends up in Fillory and becomes
desperately serious, he continues to think about how to make
"the story" reach its rightful end. Indeed, along the way,
he and others speak of what is going on about them in terms
of various of the works listed above. One student tells a
salesman to "Send me an owl," even though there are no owls
in the story, and if they should appear, they are not
mailmen. An inn built into the side of a hill is said to
have Hobbit-style rooms. As part of their education,
students are transformed into geese and fly to South
America. [Compare to Merlin's training of Arthur in T. H.
White's book.] The students at the college engage in
Welters tournaments, not Quidditch, but one of the students
accidentally calls it Quidditch. On the Welters field,
there are pools of water. These mirror (reflect?) the pools
of water in C. S. Lewis's The Magician's Nephew, the
pre-story for the rest of the novels, published last of all,
and the pools there allow ingress to and egress from various
other worlds. Grossman repeats this interworld of pools
with a variation, that there appears to be an infinite
number of such pools and hence an infinite number of other
worlds - the multiverse.

Grossman's Fillory is not the Narnia of Lewis. In Lewis's
Narnia, Aslan, the Lion, appears to be immortal and
represents an aspect of the Christian God, at least the
Jesus aspect, that is. In The Magician's Nephew, he sings
the world of Narnia into existence (viz., Gospel of John and
"On the Idea of Order at Key West" by Wallace Stevens); in
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, he sacrifices himself
and is resurrected. Grossman substitutes two Rams, Ember
and Umber, for Aslan. Already, a question arises. Two
gods? And when it is learned that one of them has been
killed (without resurrection) and the other a prisoner of
the Beast, the cloak of divinity is dropped in the same way
that Toto pulls aside the drape to reveal the man behind the
wizard in Oz. In so doing, Grossman subverts the Christian
thesis of the Narnia stories. The theological aspects are
also discussed in brutal frankness when Richard, a
"Christian Magician", employs William Paley's analogy of the
Clockmaker to claim that magic is the Maker's tools and as
such is evidence of the existence of a Maker or God. The
others rip apart the analogy. This leaves unresolved the
issue of purpose in the world, and that unresolvedness dogs
Quentin throughout the novel.

Quentin is an unhappy person, unhappy at his essence. He is
alienated throughout from his parents. He expects that each
new adventure will cure his unhappiness, and, of course, it
does not. Getting into the magic college is thrilling for a
couple of weeks, then the drudgery of learning follows.
After graduation, there seems to be no roll for him - or for
the other magicians - in the real world, and his and their
lives deteriorate to drinking and drugging as an escape.
His arrival in Fillory provides a momentary high, until the
threatening reality takes the luster off the adventure. At
times he sees it as at least a mitigated disaster, but then
the worst happens and all that is left is anger, bitterness
and tears. He tracks down the Questing Beast (Le Morte
d'Arthur, The Once and Future King) and is given three
wishes. But his most important wishes are incapable of
fulfillment. Once again, he is returned to the "real" world
filled with guilt and shame, and given a real world office
job with no real function. The story ends with him being
given one last chance to go to Fillory, and he takes it.

Why does he take it? Much earlier in the book, Grossman has
obliquely referred to Tennyson's poem "Ulysses". Overtly,
the reference is left undeveloped, but it adds one more
element to the fantasy structure: there, back again, and
off again. In Tennyson's poem, Ulysses/Odysseus is the
narrator, and he is explaining to his wife, his son, his
crew, why he can abide no longer at Ithaca:

I am a part of all that I have met;
Yet all experience is an arch wherethrough
Gleams that untravelled world, whose margin fades
For ever and for ever when I move.
How dull it is to pause, to make an end,
To rust unburnished, not to shine in use!

He describes the ever unsatisfied nature of the quester:

and vile it were
For some three suns to store and hoard myself,
And this grey spirit yearning in desire
To follow knowledge like a sinking star,
Beyond the utmost bound of human thought.

And the decision:

Come, my friends,
'Tis not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, and sitting well in order smite
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.

All of this is enthymatic in Grossman's novel. The reader
must be the quester to seek out the structure of the work
from the clues provided, and must take the hint from the
start that this is at least in part about reading itself,
though, of course, with all the pain, it is at least in part
about what we choose and why we choose it and whether our
reasons for choosing what we do are rational or emotional,
good or bad. And it is about finding a way to live with the
consequences of our decisions.
--
Francis A. Miniter
Magewolf
2017-05-17 06:17:43 UTC
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Post by Titus G
From a message titled "Just Finished: The Magicians by Lev Grossman"
posted to the usenet newsgroup rec.arts.mystery on 7/7/2010.
HERE BE SPOILERS
This is a deep, complex, marvellous book. It forces you to
think about your place, if there is one, in the universe,
about the immutability of acts done, and the consequences of
decisions taken.
Like any great novel, it operates on multiple levels. On
one level, it is about reading. Quentin, our 17 year old
(at the start) protagonist from Brooklyn, indirectly
announces this when he comments that he always thought that
a certain set of fantasy novels were really all about
reading. These fantasy novels are based upon C. S. Lewis's
*Chronicles of Narnia* . In this book they are written by a
Christopher Plover [is this a variant of A. A. Milne's
Christopher Robin?] and consist of five novels about the
adventures of the five Chatwin children staying with
relatives in Cornwall during World War One. Martin, the
oldest, goes through the cabinet of a grandfather clock and
finds himself in the land of Fillory, from which the
fictional set of books takes its name. In time the others
follow.
Quentin has read the books as a child - and continues to
re-read them, and admits to himself that he has never really
put them behind him as the other children have. He is
unhappy and wants desperately to go to Fillory. Instead, he
finds himself wisked off to a College of Magical Pedagogy
hidden away on the Hudson River in Upstate New York.
Already, the reader can see that Grossman is touching upon
more than one series of fantasy novels. And, indeed, the
book is ripe with indirect references to the whole genre of
fantasy novels. While it is not necessary to the
understanding of the work, one would profit before reading
this book from having at least a nodding acquaintance with
Lewis Carroll, Alice n Wonderland
J. M. Barrie, Peter Pan
Frank Baum, The Wizard of Oz
J. R. R. Tolkien, The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings
T. H. White, The Once and Future King
Kurt Vonnegut, Slaughter-House Five
J. K. Rowling, Harry Potter
Philip Pullman, His Dark Matter
and of course
C. S. Lewis, The Chronicles of Narnia.
Fantasy, of course, differs from Science Fiction. Fantasy
has a necessary structure, which Bilbo Baggins names in the
title of his own chronicle, *There and Back Again* .
Science Fiction gives you only the "There" part. Ever since
Homer, the first fantasy writer, wrote the first great
"there and back again" story - The Odyssey - the necessity
for the "back again" part of the formula has been
universally respected. Odysseus, having been crowned by the
Phaiacians for his adventures and feted well into the night,
is returned by them to his native land of Ithaca, and he
awakes on the shore, drunk and in rags, having now to start
almost all over again, unrecognized, in the real world, and
to redeem what has been taken away in his absence. The
"back again" segment represents the return to "reality" and
the necessity of applying the lessons learned to the real
world. Even The Lord of the Rings has this facet, with the
section on the Scouring of the Shire.
Grossman makes it all self-reflective. Quentin, being so
familiar with the Fillory stories, sees all that he is doing
as being within the structure of those stories, and when the
adventure actually ends up in Fillory and becomes
desperately serious, he continues to think about how to make
"the story" reach its rightful end. Indeed, along the way,
he and others speak of what is going on about them in terms
of various of the works listed above. One student tells a
salesman to "Send me an owl," even though there are no owls
in the story, and if they should appear, they are not
mailmen. An inn built into the side of a hill is said to
have Hobbit-style rooms. As part of their education,
students are transformed into geese and fly to South
America. [Compare to Merlin's training of Arthur in T. H.
White's book.] The students at the college engage in
Welters tournaments, not Quidditch, but one of the students
accidentally calls it Quidditch. On the Welters field,
there are pools of water. These mirror (reflect?) the pools
of water in C. S. Lewis's The Magician's Nephew, the
pre-story for the rest of the novels, published last of all,
and the pools there allow ingress to and egress from various
other worlds. Grossman repeats this interworld of pools
with a variation, that there appears to be an infinite
number of such pools and hence an infinite number of other
worlds - the multiverse.
Grossman's Fillory is not the Narnia of Lewis. In Lewis's
Narnia, Aslan, the Lion, appears to be immortal and
represents an aspect of the Christian God, at least the
Jesus aspect, that is. In The Magician's Nephew, he sings
the world of Narnia into existence (viz., Gospel of John and
"On the Idea of Order at Key West" by Wallace Stevens); in
The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, he sacrifices himself
and is resurrected. Grossman substitutes two Rams, Ember
and Umber, for Aslan. Already, a question arises. Two
gods? And when it is learned that one of them has been
killed (without resurrection) and the other a prisoner of
the Beast, the cloak of divinity is dropped in the same way
that Toto pulls aside the drape to reveal the man behind the
wizard in Oz. In so doing, Grossman subverts the Christian
thesis of the Narnia stories. The theological aspects are
also discussed in brutal frankness when Richard, a
"Christian Magician", employs William Paley's analogy of the
Clockmaker to claim that magic is the Maker's tools and as
such is evidence of the existence of a Maker or God. The
others rip apart the analogy. This leaves unresolved the
issue of purpose in the world, and that unresolvedness dogs
Quentin throughout the novel.
Quentin is an unhappy person, unhappy at his essence. He is
alienated throughout from his parents. He expects that each
new adventure will cure his unhappiness, and, of course, it
does not. Getting into the magic college is thrilling for a
couple of weeks, then the drudgery of learning follows.
After graduation, there seems to be no roll for him - or for
the other magicians - in the real world, and his and their
lives deteriorate to drinking and drugging as an escape.
His arrival in Fillory provides a momentary high, until the
threatening reality takes the luster off the adventure. At
times he sees it as at least a mitigated disaster, but then
the worst happens and all that is left is anger, bitterness
and tears. He tracks down the Questing Beast (Le Morte
d'Arthur, The Once and Future King) and is given three
wishes. But his most important wishes are incapable of
fulfillment. Once again, he is returned to the "real" world
filled with guilt and shame, and given a real world office
job with no real function. The story ends with him being
given one last chance to go to Fillory, and he takes it.
Why does he take it? Much earlier in the book, Grossman has
obliquely referred to Tennyson's poem "Ulysses". Overtly,
the reference is left undeveloped, but it adds one more
element to the fantasy structure: there, back again, and
off again. In Tennyson's poem, Ulysses/Odysseus is the
narrator, and he is explaining to his wife, his son, his
I am a part of all that I have met;
Yet all experience is an arch wherethrough
Gleams that untravelled world, whose margin fades
For ever and for ever when I move.
How dull it is to pause, to make an end,
To rust unburnished, not to shine in use!
and vile it were
For some three suns to store and hoard myself,
And this grey spirit yearning in desire
To follow knowledge like a sinking star,
Beyond the utmost bound of human thought.
Come, my friends,
'Tis not too late to seek a newer world.
Push off, and sitting well in order smite
The sounding furrows; for my purpose holds
To sail beyond the sunset, and the baths
Of all the western stars, until I die.
All of this is enthymatic in Grossman's novel. The reader
must be the quester to seek out the structure of the work
from the clues provided, and must take the hint from the
start that this is at least in part about reading itself,
though, of course, with all the pain, it is at least in part
about what we choose and why we choose it and whether our
reasons for choosing what we do are rational or emotional,
good or bad. And it is about finding a way to live with the
consequences of our decisions.
I think I must have read a different book. The one I read just had a
bunch of silly prats running making the world a worse place for everyone
or whining or sometimes both.
Robert Carnegie
2017-05-17 08:46:09 UTC
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Was it noted that _The Phantom Tollbooth_
features two imprisoned rulers?

So does _Richard III_, approximately, but
that's farther from genre.
Ted Nolan <tednolan>
2017-05-17 13:10:31 UTC
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Post by Titus G
From a message titled "Just Finished: The Magicians by Lev Grossman"
posted to the usenet newsgroup rec.arts.mystery on 7/7/2010.
HERE BE SPOILERS
This is a deep, complex, marvellous book. It forces you to
think about your place, if there is one, in the universe,
about the immutability of acts done, and the consequences of
decisions taken.
I have to say that the description makes me *really* not want
to read this book! (But very nice description).
--
------
columbiaclosings.com
What's not in Columbia anymore..
Sea Wasp (Ryk E. Spoor)
2017-05-18 00:33:28 UTC
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Post by Scott Lurndal
Well, I never expected to have to use Dorothy's Eight Deadly words[*],
but "I don't care what happens to those people" applies in spades
to this novel.
Wow, thanks, I thought I was alone in my reaction to this book. I've
picked it up to read three times and each time gotten maybe three or
four chapters farther in before I decide I'd rather re-read something else.
--
Sea Wasp
/^\
;;;
Website: http://www.grandcentralarena.com Blog:
http://seawasp.dreamwidth.org
Scott Lurndal
2017-05-18 12:34:29 UTC
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Post by Sea Wasp (Ryk E. Spoor)
Post by Scott Lurndal
Well, I never expected to have to use Dorothy's Eight Deadly words[*],
but "I don't care what happens to those people" applies in spades
to this novel.
Wow, thanks, I thought I was alone in my reaction to this book. I've
picked it up to read three times and each time gotten maybe three or
four chapters farther in before I decide I'd rather re-read something else.
Yeah, I put it down after about 3/4ths and re-read Sagara's _Battle_ for the
umpteenth time.

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