Monday, August 2, 2010


Don't try to deny it. You love it. You thrive on it. It's the best around.

It's the reason you read fantasy novels, obsess over Tolkien and Harry Potter, and honestly, sometimes feel uncomfortable with reality.

Because fiction isn't real and it is unattainable and that makes it better. You always want what you can't have.

But enough of the second person, when I say you, you know I mean I.

I love magic. Now I'm not talking guy pulling a rabbit out of his hat magic. I'm talking YOU SHALL NOT PASS badass Gandalf, Harry Potter versus Voldemort death match magic. The magic that composes the world of my favorite literary escapes. More than once I have secretly sighed and wished, man, if only I had gotten my Hogwarts letter.

And if you're scoffing and saying, as if, you honestly don't know what you're missing.

There's something liberating about the magical realm. It's so simple and seductive. There's some sort of problem which our hero or heroine must solve through magical means and sleuth-like ingenuity. Brilliant.

But what if you could get it? What if Hogwarts was real. And on top of that so was Narnia, and Middle Earth and they were ATTAINABLE. You could go there. Anyone could, if they only knew the way, could get the right tools, or get in with the right people.

Such a dilemma is presented in the novel The Magicians by Lev Grossman. As an avid lover of fantasy, I was wary of this novel. I'll openly admit that I thrive off of young adult literature. It's enjoyable. But this was adult fantasy. It was quite good. First of all, Mr. Grossman writes in a relatable and pleasant prose that is both edgy and hilarious. Secondly, Grossman approaches concepts and ideas that children's literature wouldn't dare. After all, our stories are usually happy endings. The good guys win and our hero lives. There are some casualties along the way but all in all there is a clearly defined victory. In Quentin Coldwater's world this is not necessarily true. What if true power only consumed you? What if your heart's desire actually destroyed you? What if, after all, magic wasn't all it was cracked up to be?

Intriguing, yes?

I recommend this book highly. It's funny, heart-warming, dark and seductive all at the same time. Quite compelling stuff.

Until next time,


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