I think enough of us have read The Magicians by now, so I don’t need to describe it as “Harry Potter for adults”, and I don’t need to talk about what an awful character Quentin “Holden Caulfield” Coldwater is. We all know about Fillory and Brakebills; lovely Alice and the horrible Janet; and obnoxious Eliot and his dependence on red wine.
Like many of you, I didn’t love the book, but I definitely appreciated it. I had a very hard time getting past my hatred of Quentin and trying to enjoy the story and writing. But between Quentin’s instances of assholery (is that a word?) I had many glimpses of true brilliance. Grossman is truly a talented writer and has created a brilliant alternate world (and an alternate world within that world).
For instance, I was blown away by the entire sequence where the students are woken in the night, turned into geese, and fly all the way to Antarctica. That was some awesome writing. I also liked how Grossman created this magical world in which magic was actually REALLY HARD and not as easy as in those Harry Potter books.
At some point I’ll read The Magician King, but not anytime soon, as I need a break from Quentin.