I prefer Halloween and Harry Potter

I read the book “The Magicians” by Lev Grossman on recommendation from a friend, who I quote now: “It’s like Harry Potter but with sex, booze, and drugs.” You had me at like. So I jumped aboard “The Magicians” train like it was the Hogwarts Express.  Like Harry Potter, the book was about young adults realizing they aren’t quite like their peers and are invited to a special school that us normal folk can’t find by stepping off an imaginary train platform or between a NY suburban park’s hedges.

But even when combined with like-magicked kids, they are still their old entitled, skinny-jean wearing, melodramatic selves. It’s like Grossman set out to create a hero for emo kids. And this is where the commonalities end.  Where Harry Potter has consistent characters throughout and generally follows a well laid out plot toward a common, well communicated goal, Magicians does not. I think our man Lev was sipping a bit too much of the ol’ pumpkin juice. Characters came and went in this book like Jesus on Easter. It’s like Grossman wanted to write down the craziest thing he could think of that day, and when he ran out of cohesive thoughts, abruptly solved the dilemma and ended the chapter.

By the end of the book, our “hero”, Quentin, has finally realized what his quest is and it’s a lovely segue for book two.  I, however, think it unfair that you write such a large book with the sole purpose of setting the scene for your next one. That’s called a Foreword. Great marketing ploy though. Cause now that I’ve come this far through your warped and twisted mind, I am going to crawl through the creepy attic space that it is until the end.

I guess one doesn’t have much time for food and drink when they are busy being blasé, but “The Magicians” made me think of absinthe and the candy from Halloween that your parents wouldn’t let you eat because there’s razor blades in it.


1 Comment

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One response to “I prefer Halloween and Harry Potter

  1. sj

    See, I’ve had far too many people recommend this book to me whose taste I find questionable to even consider reading it. Thanks for reaffirming my suspicions that it’s crap.

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