The Magicians, by Lev Grossman

. lecture : 1 minute

the Magicians' cover

I usually don't read fantasy novels, but I've been listening to the podcast "Sword & Laser", and thought I would try following their book club. I'm a little late finishing this book, since someone stole it from my mailbox (rage).

The Magicians is often referred as "Harry Potter for adults", as it features college students going to a magic school. The main protagonist, Quentin Coldwater, is an overachiever that can't seem to find happiness in life, until he finds this school.

Unlike JK Rowling's books, the whole magic schooling fits in the first half of the book; Quentin and his friend are then in New York City, trying to find a purpose in life.

On the book club's forum (at, The Magicians was very polarizing : It seems that you either loved or hated it. A lot of people found the main character, Quentin, really annoying, especially when he never find happiness even though he gets everything he's looking for. Something that I found annoying is the fact that some things are never explained, like Quentin's magical specialty. I even thought at one point that his skill would be weaponized magic, while they are all trying out destructive spells, but no.

By the way, Sword & Laser is a fun podcast, do try listening to it if you enjoy reading fantasy and/or science fiction. It is hosted by veronica bellmont and tom merit, and they now make a video version on Youtube, for Felicia day's new channel, Geek & Sundry. They pick a book every month, and it's nice to have a place to discuss them online, on the goodreads forums.