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The Magicians: A Novel

The Magicians - Lev Grossman

I have two main things to say about this book.


The first is that part of me feels like this book was written just for me, and the second is that the other part of me despises it for exactly that reason. The first part wanted to give it five stars for the awful, pessimistic, nihilistic feelings of solidarity that it conjured up inside of me with the main character Quentin, who I honestly don't even like, and the second part wanted to give it one star, throw it out the window and scream "FUCK YOU" into the night. Because here's the thing about what this book is telling me. Part of me believes every joyless word because that part of me, the part that is lost and doesn't know what to do about the future, and the part of me that is tired of just waiting for that magical adventure to come and find me (which is honestly how I spend half of my life, and half the reason I read and watch TV in the first place, for the power of stories) needs to be told to grow up. It needs to be told that if I live my life like it's a story instead of like it's real life, I'm going to miss something. It's also telling me, you are not an adult and you never will be if you don't stop believing -- really believing, like I do -- in fairytales.


But here's the other thing, even if that's true, that's not how I want to live my life. I will believe in fairytales and magic until the day I die. Not the literal kind of course, but the kind that gives you hope that there's something better out there than nothingness and alcohol.


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UPDATE: I feel like I need to give Grossman his due, however, because I haven't felt emotions this strongly about a book in quite a while, even if they aren't all positive, and I don't think he could have done that if he wasn't talented.